Jeep Patriot Review:
Depending on your point of view, this is either one of the best Jeeps
ever produced, or one of the worst. If you're a Jeep purist who thinks
it's impossible to improve on the Wrangler, that off-road beast that
feels like it could drive right over your house, then you probably think
the Patriot is watering down your perfect brand. It's soft-spoken and
polite when everyone knows Jeeps are supposed to be fueled by adrenaline
and human blood.
But if you're a normal
person you'll love the Patriot. It's designed more for the urban jungle
than the Rubicon Trail, although it still comes with all-wheel drive
that can help with camping trips, bad weather and minor off-road
excursions. It also comes with the legendary Jeep look, so you're
getting the best parts of the Jeep brand, without all the drawbacks.
One of the biggest
differences between the Patriot and the more traditional, old school
Jeeps is in its basic construction. The Patriot is built like a car,
using unibody construction, so it feels better on the road and gets
better gas mileage. It's a surprisingly light vehicle, despite the
military styling, so it can get up to 29 miles per gallon on the
On the flip side,
because it's not built with a truck-like, body-on-frame design, it's
really not meant for people who want to go driving up mountains every
weekend. Some people would say it's not a "real" Jeep as a result. It's
just a Dodge Caliber in camouflage. Still, the Patriot is available with
three drive configurations to meet your needs.
One is front wheel
drive, which basically turns your Jeep into a boxy commuter car. Another
is called Freedom Drive I, which is a full-time, all-wheel-drive system
with a lockable mode for tough terrain.
configuration, and the most Jeep-like of all, is called the Freedom
Drive II Off-Road Package, which adds a 19:1 low ratio to the Freedom
Drive I system, giving it the extra ability to drive through worse
terrain. It sits an inch higher than other Patriots, and has been tested
to meet Jeep's standards for traction, maneuverability, ground clearance
and the ability to cross water.
Is it as good on the
trail as a Wrangler? No, but with the Freedom Drive II 4x4 option it's
still good enough to earn the Jeep "Trail Rated" stamp of approval.
For everyday driving,
which is really what the Patriot is designed for, it's not a bad way to
get around. It doesn't have the size or refinement of some of its
crossover competitors, but it does have that great Jeep look. With a
vertical face and sharp corners, its all-American styling provides a
sharp contrast to all the other look-a-like car-based SUVs on sale
today. It's definitely not trying to be a Lexus RX, and that's just
Inside, you'll find a
lot of thoughtful features, like a rechargeable LED cargo lamp that you
can pull out and use as a flashlight. It has an optional front passenger
seat that will fold into a flat table-like surface for writing, along
with a good navigation system than can store 30 gigabytes worth of music
and pictures. And, when you're in park, it can play DVD movies too.
All in all, the Patriot
is the best everyday Jeep to date. It may not have the Wrangler's
off-road credibility, but it does keep the best parts of the Jeep
experience without having to suffer with the bouncy, noisy ride of a
traditional off-road specialist.
What was tested?
The 2010 Jeep Patriot 4x4 Limited model with a base price of $24,550.
Options on the test Jeep: The Continuously variable transmission for
$1,050, the Media Center with navigation for $1,285 and the Sun and
Sound Group for $1,295. Total MSRP price as tested including the $630
destination charge is $27,760.
Why avoid it?
You can get more refinement and space from some of its competitors.
There are a lot of great crossovers out there if you don't need the
Why buy it? It
has the best parts of the Jeep brand without a lot of the drawbacks. It
looks handsome, drives well and comes with just enough off-road
capability to earn the Jeep name.
By Derek Price ©
AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
The Bottom Line:
The Patriot may look like a traditional Jeep, but it's actually built
very differently. It's designed as a car-based crossover vehicle and
it's available with an off-road package that helps it earn the Jeep
Some smart features,
like a rechargeable cargo lamp that you can pull out and use as a
flashlight, make the Patriot a good choice for people who like to go off
the main trail just a bit and still campout.
Review provided by: Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
“Tony the Car Guy”
is an automotive writer, editor and publisher in the San Francisco Bay
Area. If you have a question or comment for Tony send it to
TonyLeo@pacbell.net or visit AutoWire.Net at
And remember: “ You Are
what you Drive ”
Jeep Home Page
Column Name: Finally, a
Jeep for the real world
Topic: The 2010 Jeep
Patriot 4x4 Limited
Word Count: 905
Photo Caption: The 2010
Jeep Patriot 4x4 Limited
Photo Credits: Jeep
Patriot Internet Media
Series #: 2010 - 17
the Microsoft Word version here:
2010 Jeep Patroit
Download the Original Image File here:
2010 Jeep Patroit