2014 Jeep Patriot Latitude

A Jeep of a Different Caliber

Jeep's entry-level crossover has little to love.

By: David Merline

Web2Carz Contributing Writer

Published: June 24th, 2013

Who's side is Jeep on, anyway? If you're an iconic American brand and you're going to make a vehicle named the Patriot, shouldn't it be something every red-blooded flag-waver should be proud to own? Shouldn't it at least have some power? Or at least some swagger? Unfortunately, this little entry-level Jeep - built on the much reviled Dodge Caliber platform -- has less in common with Uncle Sam than it does with Uncle Vanya.

  • Exterior

    The Patriot's design has an understated classic Jeep-ness that's admirable. It's a car that doesn't try very hard, so its looks are not deceiving. It's small and boxy, but not in any way unattractive. From a distance, one could almost mistake it for a Jeep from the past.

  • Interior

    As an entry level car, the Patriot gets the full-on entry-level interior. Like the exterior it's bland and inoffensive. Things are where they should be and there's even a 120-V outlet, as well as a USB port (although we couldn't get our music to play via direct connection -- despite being plugged in, it always streamed via Bluetooth). There's a respectable amount of storage, especially with the rear seats folded over, but the must utilitarian thing about the Patriot is the rear dome light, which is actually a removable flashlight. It's a clever bit of design that we were surprised to come across in such a non-clever car.

  • On the Road

    Fortunately, Jeep ditched the CVT for the 2014 Patriot, replacing it with a normal 6-speed automatic. The bad news is if you want the trail-rated package, you still have to swallow the CVT. The Patriot performs like a champ around town. It's comfortable, easy to drive, and the steering is confident without being too stiff. If you're looking for quick acceleration, however, you're not going to find it.

  • Safety & Fuel Economy

    There is no safety rating as of yet for the 2014 Patriot, but the 2013 model got less-than-perfect marks from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), The Patriot does pretty well, mpg-wise, getting a respectable 27 miles per gallon on the highway and 21 in the city, for a combined rating of 23 mpg.

  • Conclusion

    The Jeep Patriot definitely falls under the time-honored "you get what you pay for" rule. As the cheapest car in the Jeep fleet, it's got little in the way of style, power, or off-road capabilities. And as is the case with most crossovers, it's difficult to see why someone shouldn't just buy a sedan instead. But if you just have to have a Jeep, but you can't really afford one, the Patriot may be right up your alley.

  • Features & Prices

    172 horsepower
    165 lb.-ft. torque

    4-wheel drive, 6-speed automatic

    21 mpg (city)/ 27 mpg (hwy)

    Price (as tested)

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