By KBB.com Editors
KBB Expert Rating: 5.3
When Jeep created the Patriot in 2007, the idea seems spot on. After all, the compact SUV segment was booming and Jeep had nothing to offer for less than $20K that got much better than 20 mpg. Despite its humble Dodge Caliber roots, the Patriot does possess a modicum of off-road ability, especially with the Trail Rated Freedom Drive II package. And while its overall build quality has improved, the Patriot still lags far behind industry leaders like the Honda CR-V and Kia Sportage. However, if your budget is limited and you're not all about engine refinement and performance, the Patriot will hold a spot on your dance card. It's also one of the few remaining SUVs still offering a manual transmission.
If you live in an area where snow and inclement weather are regular occurrences, the 2014 Jeep Patriot's low cost 4-wheel drive model should look quite appealing. When equipped with Freedom Drive II, this little compact can go where many of its rivals dare not.
If you're looking for a refined ride with the latest technologies both under the hood and inside the cabin, you probably won't connect with the 2014 Jeep Patriot. Real off-road enthusiasts will prefer the Wrangler, while those looking for maximum fuel economy might prefer a Mazda CX-5 or Subaru Forester.
A new 6-speed automatic transmission is now available on most models, although the dreaded continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) is still roaming freely among models equipped with the Freedom Drive II option. Front-seat side-impact airbags are now standard on all trims.
Driving Impressions You can't deny your roots, and neither can the Jeep Patriot. The Dodge Caliber econocar platform probably made sense for a low-priced, light-duty Jeep in 2007, but...the small-SUV class is too competitive for that formula to still work. The Patriot can hold its own in modest off-roading when equipped with the Freedom Drive II package, but almost all drivers spend the vast majority of their time on public pavement, and there the Patriot is simply outclassed. Neither of the 4-cylinder engines feels very strong, and the CVT transmission does more for fuel economy than it does for performance, although the new 6-speed automatic goes a long way to improving the latter. Highway ride and handling are okay, as long as you don't compare the Patriot to a more refined small SUV – of which there are plenty. The all-new (probably Fiat-based) Jeep Patriot can't come too soon.
FREEDOM DRIVE I (ON-ROAD PACKAGE)
For those facing seasonal road conditions, Freedom Drive I provides a full-time 4WD system designed to give year-round peace-of-mind. You won't be tackling the Rubicon Trail with Freedom Drive I, but you could tow your ATV to where the trail starts.
FREEDOM DRIVE II OFF-ROAD PACKAGE
For those preferring the road less traveled – or no road at all – Jeep offers the optional Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package. It includes a 2nd-generation CVT transaxle with low range, 17-inch all-terrain tires and an abundance of skid plates, tow hooks and fog lights.
Hard plastic surfaces aren't the most inviting but they are easy to clean, which is one benefit of the Patriot's utilitarian cabin. Still, there are some nice techy features to enjoy (a Uconnect media center with iPod interface, SiriusXM satellite radio and navigation with Sirius Travel Link) and a couple of truly clever ideas, such as the cargo-area lamp that pops out to become a rechargeable LED flashlight and the speakers that flip down from the raised liftgate to energize those tailgate parties.Exterior
Jeep's design team did an admirable job of sculpting traditional Jeep proportions onto economy-car, front-drive architecture. Requisite Jeep-family features show up, including the seven-slot grille and "can-do" fender flares. The Patriot's upright layout provides reasonable outward visibility as well as some visual character.
Despite its very affordable starting price of under $17,000 including destination, Jeep's 2014 Patriot Sport is well equipped. Standard features include electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, Hill-Start Assist, ABS, audio jack, fold-flat rear seats, deep tinted glass and roof side rails. Standard power is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine connected to a 5-speed manual transmission.
You want options? Jeep has supplied them, mostly in the form of upgrades in trim level or package selection. The move from Sport to Latitude adds air conditioning, power windows and door locks, 17-inch aluminum wheels, remote start, front heated cloth seats, body-color exterior door handles and leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio and speed controls. Opt for the top-line Limited and you'll enjoy the larger 2.4-liter 4-cylinder engine, leather seating, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS and Jeep's Electronic Vehicle Information Center.
Within its three trim levels reside two engine choices (2.0-liter and 2.4-liter fours) and three transmissions (5-speed manual, 6-speed automatic and the CVT2L with low range). The 158-horsepower 2.0-liter is standard on 2WD Sport and 2WD Latitude, while the 172-horsepower 2.4-liter is fitted to 4WD Sport, 4WD Latitude and all Limiteds. Patriots with the Freedom Drive II Off-Road package get the CVT2L transmission, which incorporates a low range for slow-crawling off road.
158 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
141 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/30 mpg (2WD, manual), 21/28 mpg (2WD, automatic)
172 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
165 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/28 mpg (2WD, manual), 21/28 mpg (2WD, automatic), 23/28 (4WD, manual), 21/27 mpg (4WD, automatic), 20/23 mpg (4WD, CVT automatic w/ Off-Road package)
Jeep claims you won't find a lower-priced 2014 SUV than the 2WD Sport Patriot, at just under $17,000, nor a lower-priced 4x4 than the 4WD Sport, at just over $19,000. At the top end, the 4WD Limited starts at just under $27,000. Given the car's econobox roots, you may feel hard-pressed to justify any of those prices. For a little more money (Kia Sportage, around $20,000; Subaru Forester, just under $23,000), legions of more modern choices open up, albeit without some of the Jeep's special equipment. But if your budget says no to that stretch, then the Patriot may be in play. Plus, a car at the end of its production cycle will likely carry generous incentives. To make your best deal, check our Fair Purchase Price, which reflects real-world transaction prices being paid in your area. And be ready for rapid depreciation; the Patriot's retained value will be well below those of Asian nameplates.
By mr.doering on Wednesday, July 09, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "2nd week I owned it -16 and fired right up"
Cons: "wish it did not have carpet so I could hose it out"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I have owned thus 2014 Jeep Patriot for 6 months and it is no nonsense SUV that will take me wherever I want to go; moreover, It truly is an all-purpose vehicle without all of the bells and whistles. Last week I drove it non stop for 800 miles each way and it was comfortable and got about 27 miles per gal. It is in the top 3 of the least expensive autos to insure."
4 people out of 4 found this review helpful
By Jeep Lover on Tuesday, July 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 113,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great gas mileage. Easy to Drive Handles Great."
Cons: "It does not have Power Windows or Doors."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"I love my Jeep Patriot. It has a Split Shift Transmission which makes it cheaper on Gas. Even though it is very cheap on Gas anyway. I had never took my Jeep any father than a 160 mile Round Trip. I left out of here back in October 2013 and went to Florida in it. I never had a problem with it. It took me on average $50.00 in Gas There and Back. I would recommend any type of Jeep to anyone. I love A JEEP."
3 people out of 5 found this review helpful
By imagoodgirl on Tuesday, June 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 134,000overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Comfortable, good on gas"
Cons: "Eats tires, front end needs work 24/7."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"I purchased this Jeep brand new in 2008, I drove it from Northern NY to Colorado and back three months after I purchased it, and drove it for one year back and forth to work 52 miles each way, five days a week. Otherwise it was only driven approximately 2 miles a day during the week and occasional local trips within 50 miles on weekends. I have faithfully had the oil changed, and had it serviced when necessary. The CONS: I have had to purchase a set of tires a year, had the front end replaced entirely, and have had three sets of balljoints put on the front end since I purchased it. I've also had a tie rod, and some sort of stabilizer arm replaced also. This thing eats tires like Cookie Monster eats macaroons. I have them rotated as recommended by the manufacturer, and finally put a different size on, as recommended by my local tire place, and those tires lasted me two years. At almost $200 a tire, it makes for a steep expense yearly. The tires always wear in the inside, specifically on the front tires, but since I have them rotated regularly, I have to replace all four. The stereo will NOT work in subzero temperatures, and never has since the first winter I owned it. If the mercury drops below -10, the weather has to warm up at least 10 degrees before the stereo will work, even if you leave it on the night before. Just a quirk for me, but a VERY annoying one. I will NEVER purchase a Jeep product again. The front end replacement came out of my pocket, despite the fact that it was within 16 months of purchasing the vehicle, as the manufacturer insisted there was no factory defect. I have more than $8000 in this car, after purchase price in parts, labor, and that doesn't include that someone side swiped me and I had to replace the mirror. The PROS: It's GREAT on gas, I averaged upwards of 34 miles a gallon while traveling across country. It's still great on gas today. I can fill it once a month and drive it around town daily and not have to worry about filling it again til the following month, but I usually top it off whenever it gets to 3/4 of a tank. It's comfortable to ride in. I have degenerative disk disease and three ruptured disks, and I have to admit, this is one vehicle that I can ride in the front or back seats without having to get out and walk around to loosen up my back. It heats up fast in winter. I live in an area where it's usually subzero temps from mid December until March, and I never have to worry about a cold car. It has NEVER not started for me. I've replaced the battery once. Other than the front end, and eating tires this vehicle is great."
6 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Boomer on Saturday, May 24, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 1,437overall rating 3 of 10rating details
Pros: "Good gas milage (what little I got to drive it)"
Cons: "Transmission issues"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2
"I bought this vehicle in March 2014. At 1,437, smoke poured from under the vehicle. Pulled over and trans fluid was all over the vehicle. Had it towed to the dealer. So far the shop has replace the gasket in the transmission, the transmission pump, and now they have had to order the Power Transfer Unit. Vehicle has been in the shop for 22 days straight now. Va Lemon Law become effective at 30 calendar days. It will be interesting to see how Jeep/Chrysler handles this."
16 people out of 24 found this review helpful
By sanwag on Thursday, May 22, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 26,400overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "Decent price, easy to drive, easy to keep clean"
Cons: "Might want it to get better mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This vehicle backs very well. Has a great turning radius. Sits well, plenty of room on the back for the product I need for me job. A/C works fine, sound is decent. LOVE the Bluetooth. I have not tried the 4x4, but I have had Jeeps before, and I know that it will be great."
1 person out of 3 found this review helpful
By Dino on Thursday, May 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 23,000overall rating 8 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4
"I have a few concens about the 2013 Jeep Patriot. From day one the brakes have squeeked. Have had trouble with all four Windows."
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful