The Patriot keeps fooling us by bouncing back year after after. But we can now say with certainty that 2016 will be the last outing for the compact crossover, which has found plenty of buyers over the years with its low price and Jeep family resemblance.
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2016 Jeep Patriot Overview
What's New for 2016
For its final year in the lineup, the Patriot is essentially unchanged.
Choosing Your Jeep Patriot
The Patriot starts out with a 2-liter four-cylinder with 158 horsepower, matched to five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission. The available 2.4-liter provides 172 horsepower, which is more typical for this class. The bigger engine is required with the Patriot's Freedom Drive I, a conventional all-wheel drive system, and Freedom Drive II, which is designed for light off-road duty. Mandatory with Freedom Drive II is a continuously variable transmission (CVT), which is also available on certain other configurations.
As usual, the Patriot's trim levels cover a broad swath of territory, from bare-bones basic to surprisingly plush:
Before you get too excited about the Patriot's surprisingly low base price, remember that you have to pay extra for things like air conditioning and power windows. Unless your only concern is price (which is the case with many Patriot buyers) springing for the Limited makes the most sense in our view. It delivers some important mechanical and comfort upgrades without asking for much in return.
2016 Jeep Patriot Review
In its earlier days, Jeep focused on creating SUVs that made up for their lack of style with great off-road abilities. The 2016 Patriot harks back to these days with its simple, boxy look, toned-down interior, and Trail Rated capabilities with its optional Freedom Drive II system.
Pricing and Equipment
The Jeep Patriot continues to be one of the lowest-priced compact crossovers on the market. For 2016, the Patriot Sport at just $17,295. Standard features are decent for that low starting price, as they include:
- Cruise control
- Roof rails
- Fog lights
- Tilt steering wheel
For buyers looking for more in terms of features, there are four other trims: Altitude, Latitude, High Altitude, and Limited.
Despite its small stature, the Patriot is actually a pretty decent off-road vehicle. Add in the Freedom Drive II system, and it even earns a Trail Rated badge. It's also highly maneuverable and gets up to 30 mph highway with a manual transmission and front-wheel drive.
There's a lot we don't like about the Patriot's performance. The two biggest culprits are a base engine with only 158 horsepower, and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) that's required if you want the Freedom Drive II system.
- The Patriot's cabin provides lots of utility with plenty of cargo room and ample space in the rear seat.
- There are also plenty of premium features in higher trim levels.
- We think the cabin's utilitarian design is fairly bland.
- The fact that a crossover does not come standard with air conditioning in 2016 blows out minds.
The Most Pleasant Surprise
Most small crossovers do not have the greatest off-road capabilities, but the Patriot isn't like most small crossovers. In out experience, this small people-hauler is quite capable with the Freedom Drive II system, which includes a low range and additional skid plates.
The Least Pleasant Surprise
For such a small crossover, fuel economy is abysmal with four-wheel drive and the CVT. The EPA rates this version of the Patriot at 20 mpg city, 23 mpg highway, and 21 mpg combined. These are performance-car numbers, not compact crossover numbers.
The Bottom Line
As a small crossover with decent off-road capabilities, the Patriot fits a rather narrow niche. If you can get past the crummy fuel economy and utilitarian interior design, it can offer good value.