With Jeep as the pioneers and innovators of the SUV from actual war vehicle to the current lineup that are rolled out by the manufacturer annually it’s surprising it wasn’t at the head of the pack when the compact SUV class came to be and gained instant popularity. Starting in 2007 Jeep offered its answer to the Honda CR-V and Kia Sportage with the Jeep Patriot. As a high performance off road vehicle the Patriot leads the way in this segment as would be expected of anything carrying the Jeep name.
Because much of the popularity of this class of vehicle stems from many owners who don’t desire the stamp of driving a minivan most of the competition fail to offer what the Patriot does offer, a manual transmission and full off road capabilities. Many keep their smaller SUV’s tied to the pavement and never venture off road for some fun, and that’s just fine for other, but this SUV is meant to take the challenges of the trails and succeed.
Added to the vehicle for 2014 is a six-speed automatic transmission however, similar to the Compass the Patriot still has the continuously variable transmission (CVT) on the highest off road package of the Freedom Drive II. Front seat side-impact airbags have now been added as a standard offering for all models starting this year as well.
The driving impression of the Patriot is that it truly is meant to be off road. As Jeep Patriot Ft Lauderdale puts it, anyone expecting a smooth ride on pavement needs to search elsewhere as the suspension and steering are geared toward the off road functions and not the daily commuter. Due for a remodel soon ,the Patriot is expected to improve these issues in the next generation, however for someone who knows they will head off road regularly the Patriot will make a great adventure companion.
The two engine choices are available on all three trim levels of the Patriot starting with the 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder engine that offers 158 horsepower and 141 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine is power enough for the daily driving and some light off road driving in the Sport and Latitude models. When matched with the five-speed manual transmission the fuel economy comes in at 23 city/30 hwy mpg and when set up with the six-speed automatic transmission and the fuel economy is set at 21 city/28 hwy mpg. Both of these transmissions are set with two-wheel drive for this powertrain.
Next up is the 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder engine that adds quite a bit of power coming in at 172 horsepower and 165 lb.-ft. of torque. This engine can be fitted with any of the three transmissions offered and is available for the four-wheel drive Sport, four-wheel drive Latitude and all Limited models. When partnered with the manual transmission and two-wheel drive the fuel economy comes in at 23 city/28 hwy mpg, with the automatic transmission and two –wheel drive the fuel economy is 21 city/28 hwy mpg. For the four-wheel drive and manual transmission the fuel numbers are 23 city/28 hwy and with the automatic transmission they come in at 21 city/27 hwy mpg. When the Freedom Drive II Off-Road package is chosen the transmission is a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT2L) and when set up in four-wheel drive the fuel mileage is 20 city/23 hwy mpg. All of this allows for the Patriot to be set up to please for this nice 2.4-liter engine.
On the inside the Patriot fills normal expectations with hard plastic surfaces that are very easy to clean after a stint off the pavement. With a technology package installed the interior becomes a well-equipped command center for anyone to enjoy the driving experience and for those off road enthusiasts the navigation system will become very handy indeed. A really nice touch is the cargo lamp that doubles as a rechargeable LED flashlight as well as a set of flip down rear speakers to enjoy music when partying outside the tailgate.
From the seven slot grill to the square shape of the body and the single eye round headlights this is a truly Jeep vehicle from start to finish. With pushed out fender flares that allow for wheel travel and the properly positioned fog lights this SUV is ready to take on the off road challenges. To continue the Jeep look overall is the beastly star spoked wheels that mean business on and off the pavement.
Even as an SUV that comes in with a great price tag, Jeep added several standard features for all to enjoy and make the drive that much better. These include electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, Hill-Start Assistance, anti-lock brakes, an audio jack, fold-flat rear seats, deeply tinted glass, and roof side rails. All of these features are meant to make any off road experience better and allow the owner to get their gear to the lake or campsite with ease.
A Jeep Patriot can absolutely be taken from a simple and plain light off roader to a very capable trail blazer with some of the many available options. Options that are available for this vehicle are mostly trim level situated. For a move from Sport to Latitude the additions are air conditioning, power windows and door locks, 17-inch aluminum wheels, remote start, front heated cloth seats, body-color exterior door handles and a leather wrapped steering wheel with audio and cruise controls. At the top of the line the Limited adds the larger engine, leather seating, four-wheel disc brakes with anti-lock braking, and Jeep’s Electronic Vehicle Information Center.
To validate Jeep’s claim of the lowest price SUV the price starts at just under $17,000 for a base model two-wheel drive Sport model. Even the four-wheel drive is the lowest ever at just over $19,000 offering great flexibility at a really easy to love price. The top of the spectrum brings a four-wheel drive Limited model at just under $27,000, a great price for a nice off-road champion.