Jeep has produced its Patriot since the introduction of the compact crossover SUV nine years ago this spring at the New York Auto Show. It, along with the Jeep Compass, is manufactured on what is called the MK platform. The Compass is designed to appeal to female motorists with the Patriot as a designated favorite of males. The Patriot, in its Latitude model offering, is the subject of this week’s review, one which was loaned to me by Rocky Mountain Redline in Dacono, CO.
My Patriot test car (crossover?) was painted Granite Crystal metallic with Light Pebble beige leather interior. The Latitude is stationed at the middle of the Patriot lineup, with a Limited model available for additional cost. The Latitude carries a base price of $24,395.00, and freight adds $995.00 to that figure. My Patriot had as options a preferred package (moon roof, power leather seating, etc.) for $1,095.00, a security package (security system, tonneau cover, etc.) for 695.00, a navigation package for $1,385.00, and a U-Connect/XM radio/Bluetooth technology package for $495.00. Total M.S.R.P., therefore, was $29,060.00.
Styling of the Latitude has been around for nearly a decade, but has aged well and looks good. “Patriot” and “High Altitude” badging on the car as well as the functional luggage rack gave it a “Jeep” look, as did the giant round headlamps. Firestone P215/60R 17 Touring mud and snow tires were mounted on five-spoke gunmetal gray alloy wheels.
Inside, comfortable leather buckets and a bench back seat provide five passenger seating, and a tonneau cover can conceal guns or golf clubs in the 23 cubic foot luggage compartment (which expands to 53.5 when the second-row seating is folded flat). Features included Bluetooth, air conditioning, power windows, liftgate speakers, keyless entry, remote start, a touch-screen audio system, the navigation, Uconnect Web with a Wi-Fi hot spot, satellite radio and a USB port. A lever-type hand brake is on hand, and the shift tower is mounted neither on the console, nor on the dashboard; kind of in-between, like a Prius. It worked fine with its duties to shift the six-speed automatic transmission, and an additional benefit of the interior is the space for odds and ends above the glove box in front of the passenger seat. I liked it for my stuff while making rounds in the Patriot for a week. A Jeep is the one brand of vehicle that I can name when entering blindfolded – that being a result of the husky, bold steering wheel grip.
The Latitude engine was a 2.4 liter, four cylinder with 172 horsepower (@ 6,000 rpm) and 165 lb. ft. of torque (@ 4,400 rpm). EPA fuel economy is rated at 21 city-mpg, 27 highway-mpg, and 23 combined-mpg. My observance was of 23.8 mpg for the week of driving the Latitude. The fuel tank holds 13.5 gallons of regular unleaded gasoline.
Ruth, my wife, made mention of the visibility of the Patriot, which was good. Driving the Jeep is pleasurable, with ride, guidance, and interior noise within tolerances. It’s not a hot rod, but with 9.1″ of ground clearance and four-wheel drive, highway driving is not its forte. All around utility is, and in that department I think the Jeep gets the job done, and for under $30,000.00, no less.