The Jeep Patriot wins our 5-Year Cost-to-Own Award in its segment year after year because it's an SUV with a careful eye on value. The front-wheel-drive Sport comes in at under $18,000. Not only is it the most affordable Jeep on the market, but it's also one of the least expensive sport/utilities, period. In addition the Patriot is fuel-efficient, another important factor when it comes to the 5-Year Cost to Own Awards. Most important, it benefits from the Jeep brand's strong resale value, a critical factor that lessens depreciation costs.
But there is more to the Patriot than the numbers. It has plenty of character, too. Its boxy styling is a charming throwback to the original 1980s Jeep Cherokee. Also aligning it with other Jeeps is the fact that it can be Trail Rated. If you opt for the Freedom Drive II 4-wheel-drive system, the Patriot is capable of genuine off-roading, something that sets it apart from the rest of the compact SUV pack.
A few years ago, the Patriot's interior was updated. Changes like the use of a redesigned steering wheel, soft-touch materials and more padding throughout, plus a new center console and better cloth on the seats improve the daily driving experience.
While the Jeep Patriot lacks the refinement of other vehicles in its class, and the interior is noisier than in its competitors -- thanks in part to its CVT, an issue which can be solved by getting one of the other two available transmissions -- its excellent cost to own and its endearing ties to the Jeep brand are hard to ignore.