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.