With its square body, simple interior, relatively high ground clearance, and off-road-ready option packages, the 2017 Jeep Patriot endears itself to certain Jeep fans. But it isn’t without flaws that may turn off some more mainstream buyers.

Pricing and Equipment

In its base Sport trim level with front-wheel drive, the Jeep Compass starts at $18,040. That spartan offering might not appeal to some customers, who might instead lean toward the more well-equipped Latitude trim, which starts from $25,715 and includes:

  • Air conditioning
  • 17-inch alloy wheels
  • Keyless entry
  • Leather-wrapped steering wheel
  • Heated front seats

Performance Pros

  • Easy to zip in and out of city traffic, thanks to its small footprint.
  • The Freedom Drive II package makes the Patriot a decent off-roader, relative to its competition.

Performance Cons

  • Neither its 158-horsepower 2.0-liter nor its 172-hp 2.4-liter engines are powerful enough.
  • The continuously variable transmission doesn’t match up well with the 2.0-liter engine.
  • For such a small crossover, its base 22 mile per gallon city rating is poor.

Interior Pros

  • The Patriot’s interior is set up logically, making everything easy to find and use.
  • The front seats have plenty of space and 39.4 inches of rear seat leg room is good for growing children.
  • Cargo room is plentiful with 23 cubic feet of space with the rear seats upright.

Interior Cons

  • The interior isn’t stylish or luxurious in any way.
  • The second row is really for two people, not three.
  • The noise and vibration that makes it into the cabin are impossible to overlook.
  • Hard plastics give the interior a sense of cheapness.

The Most Pleasant Surprise

For a small crossover, the Patriot’s off-road capabilities (when properly equipped) are impressive. To get this capability, buyers need to opt for the Freedom Drive I or II package.

The Least Pleasant Surprise

With a three-star frontal crash safety rating from the NHTSA and a “Poor” small-overlap crash test rating from the IIHS, owning the Patriot could be a scary endeavor. This could be a deal-breaker for some families.

The Bottom Line

For buyers looking for cheap wheels that can handle a little off-road treatment, the Patriot may be a good option. But with its low crash test scores, dated interior, and unimpressive powertrains, it is likely not at the top of many shoppers’ lists.