The Jeep Patriot finds the right balance for anyone in need of the enhanced performance of the four-wheel drive, but wants to do without the bulky size of an off-roader. Although its appearance is less rugged, cheaper, and smaller than the Cherokee, it delivers in terms of being a family-friendly vehicle and a practical drive on different road conditions. But this model does have its drawbacks, such as the use of cheaply made plastics and the inclusion of a low rent finish. Read on to know how else the Jeep Patriot fares in terms of performance, handling, ride, and design.
The Jeep Patriot comes with two engine units. First, there’s the 2.0-litre CRD engine that has been derived from the Volkswagen. Although this isn’t as refined as the other alternative, the CRD impresses in terms of pulling power. Plus it’s able to reach a 62mph sprint from standstill in just 11 seconds. The diesel engine is just a few seconds slower than the 2.4-litre petrol at 168bhp. The diesel unit impresses in its quiet and smooth nature and includes an adequately performing five-speed gearbox as standard equipment. But the CVT automatic box also comes as a partner to the diesel engine.
The Jeep Patriot’s lower centre of gravity allows the vehicle to maintain enough body control. The four wheel drive system maintains traction by using a smart transmission. This feature is able to drive and operate the 4x4’s front wheels during the necessary situation. Plus there’s a floor-mounted lever to lock this system when going on four wheel drive mode. At the same time, this so-called soft roader 4x4 can still ride over rough surfaces such as rutted gravel tracks and slippery surfaces.
The Patriot offers enough room for both passengers and a bulk of luggage. Taller passengers will have no problems fitting into the available headroom. But expect a party of five to squeeze themselves in if necessary. As this is a family-oriented vehicle, groups of such size and variety will appreciate the reclining rear seats for longer journeys. Luggage room is enough at 536 litres and increases to 1277 litres when the rear seats are folded flat. Even the front passenger backrest can be folded away to accommodate longer objects.
Any of the Patriot models come with complete equipment such as air conditioning, 17-inch alloy wheels, stability control, power steering, folding mirrors, and remote central locking. Extra features are found in the Limited’s cruise control, full size spare, front fog lights, and leather upholstery.
Unfortunately the Jeep Patriot disappoints in its cabin interior design. There’s barely any color, just grey surfaces that are rough and hard in texture. The interior also feels low-rent with the door pockets having thin plastics and sharp edges. The driver’s seat isn’t very comfortable either, having no lumbar support and the steering only able to adjust for height. The driving position, however, makes up for this in terms of forward visibility and the adequate position. But expect the thick centre pillar to block your side vision; the large mirrors are what you’ll look towards for a wider view.
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