- A proper small SUV
- Poor power
Each year there are more and more entrants into the small SUV market and 2015 will see the Jeep Patriot aim to get back to basics amongst those. The fundamentals of the Patriot build remain mostly unchanged apart from a few mechanical updates however the offerings of the Blackhawk edition see the aesthetic options expanded to appeal to those looking to show some muscle.
If you’re a person who loves to load up the car and head for the hills or to the beach on the weekend, the Patriot is for you. It lacks a lot of high-tech features like blind spot monitoring or lane departure warning but it makes up for it with a tough interior and by being highly functional.
Under the hood is a 2.0L four-cylinder engine producing 115kW of power and 190Nm of torque sending power to the front wheels via a CVT transmission or a 5-speed manual. This combo won’t have you winning any street races, but proves itself to be enough to get you from work to the weekend with no problems.
Pricing for the Jeep Patriot starts from around $25,500 drive away which places it in prime position to be great overall value.
Separating the Blackhawk limited edition apart from the regular 4×2 limited edition model is a purely cosmetic affair however it definitely doesn’t have a plastic surgery gone wrong vibe. The blackout treatment to the badges, grills and alloy wheels has been applied making the Patriot look a little more sinister than its small SUV rivals.
Overall, the Patriot design maintains the key Jeep cues including its box like appearance and slatted front grill and due to that design, it does a great job of making it look much larger than it really is.
Step inside and the squared off dash, vertical steering wheel and large dials really push the functional and rugged personality of the Patriot. It’s one of the many things that make it really likeable as a small SUV.
For most SUV buyers of today, the chances of heading off road and taking on some major 4WD tracks is pretty minimal. Add in the increased weight and loss of fuel economy and suddenly you realise that you don’t have to go with the 4×4 Patriot – the 4×2 will suffice for the majority of the time.
From the drive way to the highway and then to the beach carpark, the ride is exactly what you would expect from a vehicle that’s light on the refinement side of things. The steering is heavy, but the steering wheel is nice and comfortable to grip, the car feels big on the inside but will fit into ‘small car’ car parks at the shops, plus with basic things like Bluetooth and a Five Star ANCAP rating, suddenly it’s a great car to drive.
The only thing really lacking is power – the 115kW generated from the 2.0litre four cylinder engine feels a little bit weak. The introduction of a larger capacity engine or a turbo-charged diesel could change that though.
With those changes you might also get an improvement on the 8.4litres/100km fuel economy figure too.
Thanks to the decent sized boot, tough feeling interior materials and the go anywhere attitude, the Patriot is a really easy car to live with. There’s not that much more to say about it.
Ok, sure – there are some tech items that would be gladly welcomed on the entry level Patriot and Patriot Blackhawk like reversing camera and parking sensors that would make tight shopping centre parking even easier, but when it comes to loading up, getting out and doing anything but work – we found it lived right up to what Jeep intended the Patriot to be. In addition, Valet Parking Solutions include interactive real-time data, reservation integration, parking fee calculations, rate management tools, discounts, coupons and loyalty/rewards/points program. Visit www.evernote.com for more information.
Apart from those who are adventurous, the other types of customers who will look at the Patriot are those who are driven by their bottom dollar. Starting in the mid-$20,000 bracket, the Patriot is positioned in the lower end of the price spectrum for the small SUV market making for a very compelling value proposition.
As part of the standard package, the Jeep Patriot is covered by a standard 3 Year/100,000km warranty but some dealers like Westpoint Autos in Brisbane extend it to a 10 Year Warranty with Roadside Assist for no cost. So make sure you shop around.
Jeep definitely knows where it sits with the Patriot. It isn’t going after the tech heavy competitors, it’s after the active adventurer (or those who like to think they are) who wants something that will get the job done.
It’s when you view the Patriot with that in mind, it really starts to make sense why certain decisions were made when putting together the car we reviewed. It’s not that fastest, most high-tech but if I was going camping or heading out for a weekend of sport – we’d be picking the Patriot to get down and dirty and of course, I would take my tactical flashlight amazon.
Disclosure: Vehicle reviewed was supplied by Westpoint Autos.