Jeep Patriot SUV (2007-2011)
"Value plus practicality and a strong diesel engine range make the Jeep Patriot a desirable small off-roader."
- Great value for money
- Strong, proven diesel engine
- Large boot
- Cheap interior plastics
- Relatively poor resale values
- Unproven reliability and safety
Value is the name of the game for the Jeep Patriot, and it puts rivals like the Chevrolet Captiva to shame with its low prices and generous equipment levels. Unlike the larger Wrangler and Cherokee, the Patriot isn't aimed at off-road drivers; It has less ground clearance and is better suited to life on-the-road than off it. The cheap feeling interior spoils ultimate appeal, but the diesel engine - borrowed from Volkswagen - suits the Jeep well and offers impressive economy.
MPG, running costs & CO2
The CRD turbodiesel model has very reasonable running costs with 42.2mpg and 180g/km, which means £200 per year road tax. The 2.4 petrol is considerably pricier at 33.2mpg and 196g/km, so you you will need to find £235 per year for road tax. Insurance is very low for a large car though, as the groups range from 16 to 19. Resale values are not great, however.
Engines, drive & performance
The 2.0-litre CRD turbodiesel engine is a real highlight, and offers 138bhp and strong overtaking performance. The gearshift is precise, and acceleration is impressive for a 4x4, with a 0-62mph time of 11 seconds. The 2.4-litre petrol engine, which has 168bhp and is offered with a CVT automatic gearbox is faster, but is also noisier and less efficient. With a lower ride height than other Jeeps the Patriot handles more like a car and there's much less body roll. The steering isn't very precise, though.
Interior & comfort
The ride is smooth and only large bumps upset the Patriot's composure. It's also very easy to drive. Wind and road noise aren't bad either, especially considering the size and brick-like shape of the Jeep. The seats are rather flat and the steering wheel doesn’t adjust for reach, so some drivers might have difficulties getting comfortable behind the wheel.
Practicality & boot space
Reclining rear-seats and a washable floor are proof that the practical Patriot is aimed at families. The 536-litre boot is impressive and there's a massive 1,357 litres of space available with the rear seats folded flat. The front passenger seats can also be folded forward to make room for longer items. The only downside is the lack of middle seat legroom in the rear, which is caused by a raised centre section in the floor.
Reliability & safety
The Patriot hasn't been crash tested by the Euro NCAP, but there's plenty of standard safety equipment including driver and passenger airbags, curtain airbags, stability control and anti-lock brakes. In the event of an accident, the doors unlock, the interior lights come on and the fuel supply to the engine is cut off. Reliability is hard to judge, as the Patriot didn't appear in the 2010 Driver Power results, nor was it included in the JD Power survey. The Volkswagen diesel engine has always been sturdy and reliable in other applications, though. The cheap, multicoloured plastic in the cabin is the Jeep's biggest failing in terms of perceived quality.
Price, value for money & options
The Patriot is considerably cheaper than the majority of its rivals and has generous amounts of equipment, so value is its strongest asset. Standard equipment on the entry-level Sport model includes 17-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, electric windows and mirrors. The Patriot Plus adds front fog lamps, tinted windows and cruise control, while top-of-the-range Limited versions include leather seats and extra body-coloured exterior trim.