2016 Jeep Patriot Tested &8211 Review &8211 Car and Driver

As the least expensive model in the Jeep lineup eligible to wear the trail rating badge, the Patriot has its work cut out for it. Released as a 2007 model, this compact SUV shares its platform with the Jeep Compass and the unloved and long-defunct Dodge Caliber, yet it does a good job of hiding those family ties under traditional Jeep-style boxy cues. While the compass point eludes many of us, the Patriot’s mission—to offer buyers a low-cost entry into the Jeep look and lifestyle—is crystal clear.

Both the patriot and compass are scheduled to be replaced by a single, as-yet-unnamed model for 2018. the patriot still sells well even as it enters its 11th model year (yes, there are 2017 patriots, essentially unchanged from the 2016 edition tested here), proving that product planners hit the mark when they decided to enter what later became one of the most popular market segments in the industry.

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an eye for an eye

As with our recent test of a 2016 Jeep Compass, the Patriot is nothing more than a collection of contradictions. includes cruise control as standard, but connecting a phone to the standard bluetooth system requires engaging in a lengthy two-way dialogue with the voice command system; the steering wheel tilts but is not telescopic; The 60/40 split rear seats have all the structure and bolstering of a park bench, but, thanks in part to ample foam padding, offer reasonable comfort for passengers of all sizes. The Jeep wisely resisted the urge to add some cheap zing to the instrument panel with a half-baked digital setup and opted for basic round white-on-black instruments, but the top of the dash—and much of the interior—is criminally constructed. . Cheap looking plastic that smacks of cost cutting priorities established in the thankfully short period when Cerberus owned Chrysler. In short, the Patriot team had to make tough decisions to bring a competitively priced SUV to market. The straight-line styling offers a fairly roomy interior and a generous cargo hold, practicalities that remain a strength for the Patriot compared to newer crossover SUVs in this price range.

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Patriots are now offered in just two trim levels: Sport and Latitude. Our four-wheel-drive sports car was equipped with the 75th Anniversary Package (called the 2GK Quick Order Package in dealer lingo; adds $1,430 to the price), which brings a recon green and bronze color scheme and a similar badge treatment to our aforementioned compass test car. Other niceties included with the package include a power moonroof, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, remote start, 17-inch bronze wheels, and the 178-hp 2.4-liter inline-four. The base engine is a 158-hp 2.0-liter four-cylinder. however, opting for the 75th Anniversary Package demands a few extra options, namely air conditioning ($1,375) and the Power Value Group ($2,045), which includes keyless entry, automatic headlamps, heated power mirrors. , illuminated entry and automatic lock. Finally, our test car also had a rearview camera ($995) and the six-speed automatic transmission ($1450) instead of the standard continuously variable drive.

The tested price, then, was $7,295 higher than the base price of $20,690 for a Patriot 4×4, or about the same as a similarly equipped 75th Anniversary Edition of the newer but smaller Jeep Renegade with Traction on the four wheels. (Front-wheel drive Patriots start at $18,990.) While we understand the marketing value of a flashy sub-$20,000 msrp ($19,695 before $995 destination fee), many of the features added to this Patriot as chunked “options” are included as standard kit at the price. basis of competitive vehicles. if we were to write the bill, we’d skip the anniversary package and its contradictory “must-have options” and instead opt for a sporty 2.4-liter se with air conditioning and a six-speed automatic for $24,310; The $3000+ difference is significant in this budget-minded price segment. Keep in mind, though, that the Patriot won’t be long in this world: The 2018 replacement is expected to make its debut at the Los Angeles Auto Show in November and hit dealerships in the first quarter of next year, after of which the remaining inventory of 2017 Patriots will be moved to the previous day rack. expect bargains.

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take him home?

If the price and packaging still look appealing on paper, it’s harder to rationalize the Patriot’s on-road behavior. he’s just old, and he feels that way. He puts his foot down and the six-speed automatic allows the inline-four to turn into the stands, keeping gears up to redline. The engine spent so much time revving at high revs that at least one staff member assumed it had the base CVT instead of the optional planetary automatic transmission. In this example, four-wheel drive came via Jeep’s full-time Freedom Drive i Active Electronic system that diverts torque to the rear wheels when front slip is detected. A selectable “lock-up” feature splits torque distribution between the front and rear axles, but low range is not included. For that, and the trail-rated badge, you have to go for the Drive Freedom II ($1250) with its off-road mode, but that locks you in on the CVT, since the base five-speed manual and six-speed transmission automatics are not offered with that system.

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Our sense of modest performance in traffic was confirmed on the track, where the 0-60 sprint took 9.7 seconds and the quarter-mile took 17.4 seconds with a trap speed of 81 mph. Those numbers are nearly identical to those produced by its fraternal Compass twin and slower than the last Jeep Wrangler Unlimited we tested (8.4 and 16.6 seconds), a vehicle that makes the Patriot look like an example of cutting-edge technology. The Patriot bested the Subaru Crosstrek 2.0i, a similarly priced vehicle that more or less fits into the same sub-segment, which required 10.3 and 17.9 seconds to complete the tests. Given the amount of time we spend with the throttle on the floor, we were mildly impressed with this Patriot’s observed fuel economy of 21 mpg, just 1 mpg below the combined EPA rating.

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Once brought up to date, the Patriot puts down the miles acceptably. With an interior sound level of just 70 decibels at 70 mph and no evidence of squeaks and rattles (not the case on some earlier model years), it’s easy to carry on a conversation, until the urge to pass arises and the whine of the 2.4 reaches per revs invades the cabin. The 265/65-17 Goodyear Wrangler SR A tires sing a little on thick concrete but ride quietly on asphalt. Likewise, the suspension displays the characteristic properties of the Patriot “good enough for some people most of the time”. While most pothole impacts are muted, if not completely nullified, hitting a main road crater resonates right through the passenger compartment as if the shocks just came off their top mounts.

Braking performance is average for a class where standout brakes are a rarity. Slamming down on the brake pedal at 70 mph reveals a firm initial bite but otherwise mixed pedal feel, while it takes 194 feet to stop. the subaru did it in just 186 feet; the anachronistic cowboy, on the other hand, took all 209 feet. Other dynamic traits like transient response, grip, and steering feedback remind us that this is a decade-old model. With just 0.73g of lateral grip, imprecise steering, and persistent understeer, this is not a mount that encourages the driver to brave freeway ramps. In true Jeep tradition, it’s best suited for dirt roads and trails.

In a rapidly expanding sea of ​​modern and versatile compact and midsize crossovers, the patriot stands out as a relic from another era. However, not everyone is in a hurry to adopt the latest trends; For them, this latest Patriot may represent an opportunity to get hold of a Jeep on the cheap.

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