The 2017 Jeep Patriot is a 5-seat compact crossover that offers both true 4-wheel drive capability and a low entry price. The Patriot is also very aged in its design and interior, and far less appealing once that entry-level base model price point is analyzed. Yet the Patriot soldiers on as a favorite in the segment, thanks to its nostalgic looks and Jeep credibility.
All of our concerns about the Jeep Patriot from last year carry over to 2017 as the Patriot is largely unchanged from the past several model years. We have learned that, given the total overhaul given to the Patriot's brother-in-arms, the Compass, the 2017 Patriot will be the last year for this model and will ultimately be discontinued after 2017.
The compact crossover segment sees several competitors with strengths that greatly outweigh those of the Jeep Patriot, yet the 2017 Patriot continues to be compelling because of its low cost of entry into the Jeep nameplate and its true off-road credibility when properly equipped. Those, plus its family-sized strengths in terms of interior size, are all high points.
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2016 Jeep Patriot
The 2016 Jeep Patriot continues with the model's nostalgic look and old-school styling. It's a 5-passenger compact crossover SUV with two trim levels and several engine and transmission options. Compared to most of the offerings in this segment, the Patriot is usually the lowest priced and is one of the very few with true 4-wheel drive capability.
Yet the Patriot, with all of its upsides, has a lot holding it back. Sub-par fuel economy is one thing and a very outdated and modest interior is another. Cargo space is only average for the segment, and the engines and transmissions can be loud to the point of disruption on the highway. Safety is also a concern with the Patriot compared with others in its class.
The Patriot is a holdover and most of its weaknesses are because of that. Yet the 2016 Patriot is continuing to draw customers because of its low price of entry for the Jeep nameplate.
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2015 Jeep Patriot
The 2015 Jeep Patriot is a throwback to a couple of decades ago when all sport utilities tried to look like the Jeep Grand Cherokee, with its square body and high ground clearance. Today, the Patriot stands out for that reason alone, but also has a bit of the legendary Jeep off-pavement prowess to go with that.
For the most part, though, the 2015 Patriot is a relic that is likely to be sent packing once sales for the new Renegade have reached their mark.
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What to consider in buying a used Jeep Patriot?
The Patriot was introduced in the 2007 model year as an entry-level crossover sport utility for the North American market. Structurally and stylistically similar to the Compass, the Jeep Patriot remains in its first generation build, though it did receive a facelift in 2011. The Patriot and Compass will be consolidated under one or the others' name by 2018.
The Patriot retains Jeep's nostalgic square box styling with rounded headlights and strong offroad capability. The Patriot is made in Illinois and is noted for its roomy, but basic interior and its stolidly capable drivetrain options. Both a 2.0-liter and 2.4-liter four-cylinder gasoline engine can power the Patriot in full-time front-wheel drive with a part-time four-wheel drive system engaging when necessary. Various transmission tricks, called Freedom Drive I and Freedom Drive II, can change gearing ranges for better off-pavement torque and power distribution. Traction control and torque vectoring is controlled primarily through braking.
Safety in the Jeep Patriot is a mixed bag with some crash tests resulting in poor results while others return excellence. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has always rated the Patriot well in crash testing, however, with most returns being four or five stars out of five.
The Jeep Patriot competes in a class of small crossovers that is abundant with options. The Jeep Renegade and Compass are obvious and close competitors, differentiating mostly with size and trail capability - the Patriot is generally more trail capable when the FDII package is included. The Honda HR-V is a best-seller in the class, offering more daily use ergonomics and road comfort, but at a higher cost. The Mazda CX-3 is also a good choice, again offering a better interior experience and roadworthiness. Slightly smaller, but almost as capable is the Subaru Impreza with its legendary all-wheel drive build.
In all, though, the Jeep Patriot is a favorite among Jeep enthusiasts who need an entry-level, low-cost, but still capable option.