By KBB.com Editors
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."
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
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)
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."
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."
1 person out of 2 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."
4 people out of 11 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."
15 people out of 23 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