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.

Performance Pros

Jeep Patriot Rear Quarter

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.

Performance Cons

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.

Interior Pros

  • 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.

Interior Cons

  • 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

Jeep Patriot Front Interior

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

Jeep Patriot Driver

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.