3/4 Front Glamour 2013 Jeep Patriot

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Expert's Rating

4.1Excellent

MPG 23 City / 29 Highway
Pros
  • Many standard safety features
  • Many available trim levels
  • Low base price
Cons
  • Substandard interior quality
  • Could use more power
  • Not as handsome as other Jeeps
, Automotive Editor -
The Patriot is the most affordable Jeep available but still features a bevy of safety features and excellent fuel economy.

Introduction

The Jeep Patriot - first introduced for the 2007 model year - shares the same platform found on fellow Chrysler group models such as the Jeep Compass and Dodge Caliber. Yet the Patriot provides much better off-road performance with similar exterior/interior dimensions when compared to its' Mopar mates.

Jeep Patriot trims are offered in three tiers named, from least- to most-expensive, the Sport, Latitude and Limited. The base trim is equipped with a standard five-speed manual transmission and available 2.0L or 2.4L inline-four (I4). The larger engine is an option for 4x2 models but standard on all 4x4 Patriots. There are two different four-wheel drive systems offered, one of which, named the Freedom Drive II, is for a continuously variable transaxle automatic transmission (CVT) that achieves impressive low-range power without the need of a transfer case.

Near the top of its class in fuel-economy, the Patriot achieves an EPA estimated 30 MPG on the highway with the 2.0L engine and manual transmission. However, this small engine demonstrates poor performance at higher speeds and sluggish acceleration; giving way to the 2.4L I4 as more suitable if power is a consumer's main concern. Despite its compact size, the Patriot still earns the “Trail Rated” badge that is Jeep’s way of letting consumer’s know the model “has been designed to perform in five categories of off-road conditions: traction, ground clearance, maneuverability, articulation, and water fording.”

Though they struggle to compete on the trail, the refinement offered by competing compact SUVs surpasses the Patriot in almost every other aspect. The most notable may be the quality of interior materials with the Patriot featuring hard and uninviting plastic that engulfs the cabin. Rivals such as the Mazda CX-5 and Honda CR-V receive praise for luxurious interiors akin to what more shoppers of this segment desire. These competitors, along with the Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and Kia Sportage, offer better on-road handling and more innovative cargo areas as well. The Suzuki Grand Vitara incorporates a similar mix of on- and off-road performance as the Patriot, but could prove difficult to find new with Suzuki recently ceasing production of their U.S. automobiles. Price is an important factor however, and Jeep claims to have “the best priced SUV in America” as a sparingly equipped Patriot can be had for under $16,000.

Falling between the Compass and Liberty in Jeep’s lineup, the Patriot is built to offer the automaker’s trademark off-road ability in a four-door compact SUV.

Which Style To Buy?

2013 Jeep Patriot
Starting price
$12,299

2013 Jeep Patriot Latitude

Recommended for: Shoppers seeking a competitively equipped compact SUV with a base price around $20k

Though leather is still an option, heated seats and plenty of other features come as standard equipment in the Latitude. Along with everything on the sport, Jeep equips air-conditioning, power windows and keyless entry. Appearance upgrades include 17" aluminum wheels, body color door handles and a body color liftgate applique. On the inside, the Latitude's front passenger seat folds flat and the backseat has an added reclining ability. Other notable interior standards are the leather wrapped steering wheel with mounted audio controls, a 115V power inverter and speed sensitive power locks. A remote start system is also added but this can vary depending on a destination's local regulations.

2013 Jeep Patriot
Starting price
$12,299

2013 Jeep Patriot Limited

Recommended for: Those wanting the Patriot's small size and rugged capability in its most luxurious offering

The Limited is undoubtedly the most equipped Patriot trim, starting with the 2.4L I4 and CVT automatic transmission. All Latitude standards are included along with anti-lock four-wheel disc brakes for additional safety. Media upgrades consist of a 6-disc CD/DVD changer and one-year of SiriusXM Satellite Radio service. The roof rails, exhaust tips and fascias are highlighted with matching bright accents. Limited owners also enjoy leather trimmed bucket seats, a manual drive lumbar adjust and automatic temperature control for the interior cabin. The driver receives a 6-way power adjustable seat and electronic vehicle information center that displays, among other things, fuel economy, trip distance and estimated distance to empty.

2013 Jeep Patriot
Starting price
$12,299

2013 Jeep Patriot Sport

Recommended for: Buyers hoping to take advantage of "the best priced SUV in America"

The Patriot's base trim has some available options but the list is far from long. Power windows, keyless entry, and air-conditioning do not come standard but are available. Helping garner a "top safety pick" designation from the IIHS are the standard roll mitigation/hill start assist, electronic stability control and side-curtain air bags. On the outside, roof rails and 16" styled steel wheels are equipped while the fascias are painted to match the body color. The interior has comfortable front seats and a 60/40 split folding backseat; cloth being standard. An auxiliary input jack is included with the AM/FM radio and CD player in the Sport trim's media center.

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