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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.
This close to the end of the platform's life cycle, there is little investment going into upgrades. For 2013, some software recalibrations give the Jeep Patriot a slight boost in fuel efficiency and a couple of new colors join the paint palette. Sport, Latitude and Limited are the trim packages.
Aggressively freshened in 2011, the 2012 Jeep Patriot offers four new exterior colors, along with calibration improvements to the CVT (Continuously Variable Transmission). The retuned CVT improves launch acceleration and pedal responsiveness, while reducing engine noise.
The 2009 Jeep Patriot receives some interior improvements including a new instrument panel design, soft touch materials on the door and center console and increased sound insulation around the engine bay and floor pan. Front-wheel-drive models now offer the option of a 2.4-liter PZEV (Partial Zero Emissions Vehicle) engine.
The 2015 Patriot is the least expensive new SUV you can buy, and it's a Jeep to boot. That's the good news. Other aspects of this inexpensive 5-passenger Jeep are not so bright. It is aging, rather unrefined and not all that fuel-efficient compared to fresher crossover SUVs such as the Subaru Forester and Mazda CX-5. And while its starting price is tempting, be advised that a base 2015 Patriot wearing that sub-$18,000 tag lacks air conditioning, adjustable driver's-seat height and even power windows and power door locks. To get those features you'll have to pay extra, which diminishes the Patriot's value proposition. If there's any redemption, it's that a properly equipped Patriot with 4-wheel drive (4WD) offers decent off-road ability.