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2012 Jeep Patriot

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2012 Jeep Patriot Review

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KBB Expert Rating: 5.1

Porsche 911 enthusiasts have their Cayenne to bear/loathe/ignore (pick one or all); Jeep loyalists have their Patriot and Compass. No one, of course, suggested love of your off-road brand would be easy. Jeep's Patriot is the perfectly appropriate corporate response to a market (quickly) realizing that while gnarly SUVs might look the business, few in the consuming public are actually doing the business. In short, the public wants the "outdoorsy" look, but is rarely venturing off-road. For those users, car-based SUVs such as the 2012 Jeep Patriot are perfect, while for the Jeep loyalist this Patriot would more appropriately be labeled "Traitor."

You'll Like This Car If...

If all-season driving means you need power to each and every wheel, the Jeep Patriot with 4WD is a viable contender in the category. With enhancements to the drivetrain in 2011, Jeep's Patriot has received the "Trail Rated" designation. Those living in Utah, however, should note that Trail Rated is not the same as "Boulder Rated." Avoid large, round objects at all costs.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If your ideal Jeep provides both off-road capability and long-lived durability, buy a Wrangler. Based on Chrysler's Caliber platform, the Patriot is far closer to its econobox roots than anything emanating from Jeep's main plant in Toledo.

What's New for 2012

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.

Driving the Patriot

Driving Impressions The rework of the Patriot and its platform sibling, the Compass, in 2011 was significant. It wasn't, however, a clean-sheet approach, and at this point in the competitive segment a...

clean-sheet approach is what's needed. We're told one is coming, but in the interim anticipate the Patriot to provide benign handling on pavement, along with credible capability – with Freedom Drive II – off-road. Jeep loyalists won't understand four cylinders mounted transversely, nor the buzzy CVT transmission. But this one isn't for them; it's for those more timid souls wanting to be like them.

Freedom Drive I (On-Road Package)
For those venturing no farther off-road than a McDonald's drive-through, but confronting seasonal climate issues (at least) seasonally, Freedom Drive I provides a full-time, active 4WD system designed to give drivers year-round assurance in virtually all types of weather. You won't, to be sure, tackle the Rubicon with Freedom Drive I, but you could tow your ATVs to its trailhead.

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. The package is comprehensive, and includes a second-gen CVT transaxle with low range, a 19:1 crawl ratio, 17-inch all-terrain tires mounted on alloy wheels, a full-size spare and an abundance of skid plates, tow hooks and foglights.

2012 Jeep Patriot Details
Interior

Having benefited from much-needed interior upgrades in 2011, the 2012 Patriot soldiers on with those enhancements, along with a veritable cornucopia of available technology. Some of what Jeep terms "cool" available features include a Uconnect media center with iPod interface, SiriusXM satellite radio, navigation with Sirius Travel Link and a premium audio system with nine Boston Acoustic speakers. Very cool.

Exterior

Given what they had (the aforementioned Caliber) to work with, Jeep's design team did an admirable job of combining traditional Jeep proportions with a front-wheel-drive architecture. And unlike so many of today's crossover/car-based SUVs that attempt to imitate a 4-door GT, the Patriot's upright architecture provides reasonable visibility in combination with an unabashed "spunk" factor.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

Despite its very affordable starting point of under $17,000, Jeep's 2012 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 tint glass and roof side rails. Standard power is a 2.0-liter four connected to a 5-speed manual transmission.

Optional Equipment

You want options? Jeep's marketing team has supplied them, most of which are obtained via bumps in trim level or package selection. The move from Sport to Latitude provides the buyer with A/C, 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 upscale Limited and you'll enjoy the larger 2.4-liter four, leather seating, 4-wheel disc brakes with ABS, and Jeep's Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC).

Under the Hood

Within its three trim levels reside two engine choices (2.0- and 2.4-liter fours) and three transmissions (5-speed manual and two CVT automatics). The 2.0 liter is standard on 2WD Sport and 2WD Latitude, while the 2.4 liter is fitted to 4WD Sport, 4WD Latitude and both 4x2 and 4x4 Limited. Those Patriots with the Freedom Drive II Off-Road package are equipped with the CVT2L transmission, which incorporates a low range for aggressive off-roading.

2.0-liter in-line 4
158 horsepower @ 6,400 rpm
141 lb-ft of torque @ 5,000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/27 (2WD CVT2), 23/29 (2WD 5-speed manual)

2.4-liter in-line 4
172 horsepower @ 6,000 rpm
165 lb-ft of torque @ 4,400 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 23/28 (2WD 5-speed manual), 21/27 (2WD CVT2), 22/28 (4WD 5-speed manual), 21/26 (4WD CVT2), 20/23 (4WD CVT2L Off-Road package)

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2012 Jeep Patriot Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 437 Ratings for the 2007 - 2015 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.6/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.2/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.5/10

Great vehicle

By on Tuesday, August 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 21,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Price, interior size, fuel efficiency"

Cons: "not flashy"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"So I am a college student who drove a 2000 mitsubishi eclipse for the past 5 years. It finally died and I needed something affordable and reliable. I started researching jeeps because they are notorious for being good vehicles. The Patriot stood out among the rest because of its price, fuel economy, and size. I get better gas mileage with this Patriot than I did in my Eclipse. Runs smooth, sound system is really incredible. It's not a flashy interior but it's all you need! Very proud owner."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Trucky driving, nice features without being snobby

By on Sunday, July 12, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 5,500

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Versatility, durability, confidence."

Cons: "Needs a V6 option!"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought this Patriot being an old-school SUV fan on a working dad's budget (I had a Bronco back in the 90's). I've recently had trouble with sedans in the bad weather around Chicago, and this Patriot destroys deep snow and ice without any trouble. The Limited trim includes many nice features, such as touch-screen navigation, heated leather seats,defrosting mirrors, etc. I also have a power sunroof (can't live without one now), and the Boston Acoustics sound system (the stereo shakes the ground outside the vehicle has enough internal memory to hold all of my music, and has a subwoofer and flip-down speakers in the hatchback that are great for parties or working outside. On the radio you can watch DVD's while not moving, and the Blue Tooth integration with iPhones is flawless. The climate control system on the Limited trim is great; although the infrared thermometer by the front dome lights looks creepily like a camera (I assure you it is not). My Patriot actually holds more luggage in the cargo area than my wife's new Cherokee (which is probably attributable to the more square design that critics bash as outdated), and has life-saving hard plastic on the back of the driver and front passenger seats (parents, you know what I'm talking about). The engine has lots of smooth acceleration and low-end torque for the size (2.4L 4 cylinder with the 6-speed automatic), but I think the vehicle could use a mid-size 6-cylinder to really shine. Regardless, to have a 4X4 that has this many features AND gets 28 mpg on the highway, I can easily live with the powertrain. My wife has a Cherokee with a V6 and an 8-speed transmission, and I'd take the powertrain in my Patriot any day (6-speeds are so much smoother and less chaotic). In summary, I would highly recommend the Patriot to anyone that is looking for lots of flexibility and options in an SUV for less than $30K (though the sticker on mine was just over that). Please be advised that well equipped the Patriot is substantially more expensive than it's advertised base price, but you will know where that extra money went. I am a "car guy," and I would put my Patriot Limited 4x4 up against the Chevy Equinox or the Subaru Forester any day of the week, and the Jeep design makes it much sexier. If you try to build a similar vehicle with almost any other brand you will either far exceed the price of the Patriot or compromise on the ruggedness of the Jeep brand. I would buy it again!"

19 people out of 30 found this review helpful

Great ride, comfortable, reliable

By on Thursday, July 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,400

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Great Price, Smooth Ride, Zero defects"

Cons: "cloth cargo area, rearview mirror placement"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I just bought this vehicle in May and since then drove it cross country from Virginia to California putting 3400 miles on it in 6 days and in doing so realized it is super comfortable for long trips. I had zero issues with this vehicle and filled up 12 times along the way at an average price of $23 a tank. I brought 2 animals with me in the back with the seats down in a large dog crate. The back contained a large dog crate, 2 full size suitcases, 3 other hand bags, a safe, and miscellaneous items, they all fit perfectly. This Jeep handled temperature extremes ranging from 50 - 104 degrees in the 6 day timeframe with zero issues. I see some people complain about the performance/pickup of the engine; however, it is an SUV not a sports car and I think people know that going in. I would recommend this vehicle to anyone looking for a low priced SUV with great handling, smooth ride, and practical amenities. Our family also owns a 2x4 2011 Patriot that has had zero issues."

10 people out of 15 found this review helpful

Just bought it yesterday

By on Tuesday, July 07, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 100

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Almost everything"

Cons: "No Back up camera"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Enjoyed driving the Patriot so much on the first day I had to rush to review. After looking to buy a used car to replace my wife's lease I couldn't pass up the incredible deals offered on a new Jeep Patriot. $28,000 car for under $23000. I have to agree with many of the consumer reviews, I have no idea what the so called experts are talking about. First you can't beat the price by a long shot. The 4 cylinder engine is surprisingly peppy and strong. The transmission has been very smooth. I find the interior a fresh change from all the complicated looking star wars cockpits with too many buttons. Things on the jeep are mostly either on or off. I love that. Very roomy although at 6'0 my leg rests on the center console when driving, but its my wife's car and not a big deal for me. We drove through a winding road in a State Park and it handled the road like a European car. It was a joy. I was always intrigued but not a huge fan of the Patriot. It was purchased mostly because of the price and we figured how bad can it really be. We feel like we hit the jackpot. Love the patriot. OK a couple what the? One touch power window is only on the drivers side. It doesn't have avg mpg in the series of info data. That's it. Only disappointment is it doesn't come with a back up camera. I'm now a huge fan and want one of my own (but will never give up my Wrangler :) Don't listen to the experts, take advantage of the huge incentives and buy one today…."

7 people out of 10 found this review helpful

good vehicle

By on Thursday, July 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 45,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
7/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
4/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "comfort, style"

Cons: "engine power and transmission are poor"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"the only detraction to this vehicle is the cvt/engine....the transmission is horrible...the engine is weak at best...when I floor it I feel like I could get out and run faster than the car.......style, comfort, and reliability is good. If you don't mind having everyone else pass you, and being last in the line so to speak, then this is the car for you."

16 people out of 27 found this review helpful

Always reliable, great in the snow

By on Thursday, June 25, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 62,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Safe, reliable, easy to maintain"

Cons: "Gas"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I love my jeep. It uses more gas than a smaller car, but I can always make it to work, rain or snow. When we had -5 weather here in Ohio, a lot of peoples cars wouldn't start, but the jeep never hesitated. I would buy a jeep again."

13 people out of 23 found this review helpful

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