Test Drive Notes Library
- When the Patriot first came out, it was the cheapest, most plastic-y car imaginable. To their credit, Jeep has upgraded the Patriot a bit, and the 2015 edition is better than prior models. Some of the rough edges have been smoothed out. You no longer see visible, cheap plastic pieces that don’t fit together in the cabin.
- The six-speed automatic worked well, and operated unobtrusively.
- It’s four-wheel drive, and will get you through snow, mud, or molasses.
- Feels pretty steady in highway driving.
- Ride is not terribly harsh or uncomfortable.
- The design is old on the inside, too—but every now and then that’s a good thing, such as the three large knobs for the ventilation system. There are heated seats, too, which are a nice touch.
- There’s adequate space in the back seating area.
- If you miss your old Jeep Cherokee from the 1980’s, this is your car!
Test Drive Notes Library
- Some Jeeps, like the Wrangler, grow old and manage to be cool. Other Jeeps, like the Patriot, grow old and just get old.
- This is an old Jeep design, and it’s on the cheap side, too. It’s simply not a modern vehicle, and it shows. The cabin feels narrow and from another era.
- The body leans in turns. Steering doesn’t feel terribly precise. Brakes can be grabby.
- The engine is a bit harsh and is certainly harsh-sounding, and it’s not hard to notice the engine straining a bit on the highway.
- Get onto any rough or rutted roads, and the Patriot’s ride seems to get thrown off.
- The rear seats feel a bit cheap, and they’re positioned low.
- The front of the car is ugly. The grille looks weak, and if there’s one thing a Jeep shouldn’t be, it’s weak-looking.
- The entertainment system looks like it’s ten years old—several lifetimes in the electronics industry these days. There’s no rearview camera, which it really should have.
- Fuel economy was average, but there’s no easy way to determine MPG on the dash. Maybe best not to know? Actually, we got about 20 MPG, which is not awful, but not great.
- The Patriot has an old-fashioned feel… and not in a good way. For $26,000, you’re in the ballpark of the nicely-equipped and much more modern Honda CRV-V, Toyota RAV4, or a Subaru Forester. And unless you’re looking for nostalgia or off-roading, the Patriot can’t compete with those vehicles.
- It’s not particularly expensive-- but it’s not very refined, either.
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