You know how your mother would tell you if you have nothing nice to say, say nothing at all. Well this being a vehicle review, that is an impossible task since I have to explain why or why not you should consider ‘x’ vehicle. The reason I bring this up is because I spent a week in the 2014 Jeep Patriot Latitude 4X4 and I found myself being very disappointed in the model.
Now before I go into the list of reasons of why I particularly didn’t like the Patriot, I should begin with the things I did like. First off, the Patriot looks like a Jeep. What I mean is that when you’re walking up to the vehicle for the first time, you can recognize it as a Jeep. This is due to the boxy shape which calls back to the XJ Cherokee. Not a bad choice at all. The other item I appreciated in the Patriot was the choice of two different all-wheel drive systems. My tester came equipped with the Freedom-Drive I system which essentially boils down to an all-wheel drive system with a locking differential. Optional is the Freedom-Drive II system which adds crawl range and extra skid plates. This means this Patriot can go a bit further in the rough than many other compact crossovers. Jeep also addressed one of the biggest problems in the Patriot by giving the interior better materials throughout such as soft-touch plastics on the dashboard.
Now on to the complaints. First off, the Patriot feels very small. I get the model is a compact, but with a low room and minimal glass area, I felt very boxed in. Those with the fear of enclosed spaces should pass on this. Also for a vehicle with a price tag of almost $27,000, the lack of Bluetooth was infuriating. Considering most, if not all of the Patriot’s competitors, either come with it standard or as an option; the lack of it is unacceptable.
Power comes from a 2.4L four-cylinder which makes 172 horsepower and 165 pound-feet of torque. Before I go any further, I need to stress this is the older 2.4 and not the one you find in such models such as the Dart I drove recently. This engine does a great job at producing NVH and not so much in power. I felt like I had to floor the pedal just to get the engine out of its leisurely mode. A six-speed automatic takes the place of the CVT that has been with the model since its introduction and does an ok job with the 2.4 with giving smooth shifts. Fuel economy isn’t the best either with EPA ratings of 21 City/27 Highway/23 Combined. I only saw 19 MPG during my week.
The ride is sits somewhere in the middle of comfort and firm. The Patriot’s suspension doing its best to isolate road imperfections and potholes. Steering is nicely weighted, which is a good thing if you decide to head off onto a trail or something. Wind and road noise are very noticeable when you’re driving/riding. I had the radio cranked just to try and drown out some of the road noise coming into the cabin.
Looking at Patriot as a whole, it just is completely outclassed by every other crossover in the marketplace. Sure, you can get a smoking deal on one, but is it really worth it? After spending a week in one, I can say the answer is no.
Disclaimer: Jeep Provided the Patriot Latitude, Insurance, and One Tank of Gas
Trim: Latitude 4X4
Engine: 2.4L DOHC 16-Valve Inline-Four W/Dual-VVT
Driveline: Six-Speed Automatic, Four-Wheel Drive
Horsepower @ RPM: 172 @ 6,000
Torque @ RPM: 165 @ 4,400
Fuel Economy: City/Highway/Combined - 21/27/23
Curb Weight: 3,359 lbs
Location of Manufacture: Belvidere, Illinois
Base Price: $23,795
As Tested Price: $26,875 (Includes $995.00 Destination Charge)
All Weather Capability Group - $795
UConnect 430 CD/DVD/MP3/HDD - $695
Security and Convenience Group - $595