Ever heard of a macho compact SUV? You’re not alone, but that is exactly what Jeep wants to portray with the Patriot. The Jeep Patriot is based on the same platform as the pavement-bias Compass, but it has slightly better off-road ability, as well as a more rugged look.
The Patriot was first introduced in 2007, shortly after the Compass. Unlike it’s little brother, the Patriot can be had with a dedicated low ratio for back woods adventure. This, along with skid plates and other off-road items, earns the Patriot a “Trail Rated” badge.
Engine options include a 2.0L 4-cylinder or a 2.4L 4-cylinder. Initially, the Patriot only came with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT). Front-wheel drive is standard with optional all-wheel drive available.
For 2014, an optional traditional 6-speed automatic became available, as did front side airbags. Three available trim levels include: Sport, Latitude and Limited. Standard equipment includes roof rails, foglights, cruise control, a tilt steering wheel, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. As for safety equipment, all Patriots come with antilock brakes, traction and stability control, and full-length side curtain airbags.
If you’re looking for a hardcore off-road rig, buy a Wrangler. If you want a vehicle with the classic Jeep look and well-behaved street manners, the Patriot is your ride. Getting lost in the backwoods isn’t nearly as fun as cruising through the mall parking lot, anyhow.