Car review: The Jeep Patriot competes as a crossover SUV

In truth, Jeep really is a name you can trust. Photo: Russell Dandridge

DALLAS, December 26, 2012 — It isn’t the most powerful option out there, but the 2013 Jeep Patriot has plenty of pluses that will turn your head just the same. In truth, Jeep really is a name you can trust. This new Jeep keeps the brand’s great off-road potential and all the other Jeep features you have grown to love.

The Jeep Patriot

The Jeep Patriot

There is nothing new on the 2013 model of the Patriot, but the price tag is still one of the lowest in its class.

The Jeep Patriot’s competition includes the Kia Sportage, Nissan Juke and the Hyundai Tucson. It’s not the fastest of the bunch, but it is a good off-road option for those who consider that important in a crossover SUV of this type.

Considered a compact crossover, the 2013 Jeep Patriot holds five passengers and comes in three trim levels: Sport, Latitude and Limited.

The Sport is the base option with 16-inch steel wheels, roof rails, fog lights, cruise control, cloth upholstery, and 60/40-split-folding seats in the back. If you add the Power Value Group, you get additional power accessories and heated mirrors. This trim also has optional air-conditioning, 17-inch wheels, and a higher-end sound package.

The Latitude trim includes the base options, then adds a height-adjustable driver’s seat, heated front seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, reclining rear seat, and steering wheel audio controls. The top-of-the-line Limited includes all of the other trim goodies and adds automatic climate control, rear disc brakes, leather upholstery, six-way power driver seat, and a trip computer.

The latter two trims have package options, like the Sun/Sound Group with sunroof and nine-speaker sound system, and the Security and Cargo Convenience Package which includes adjustable roof rail crossbars, remote ignition, tire pressure monitoring display, and a cargo cover.

With the Limited trim, you can also get a touchscreen audio interface with digital music storage, as well as a navigation system.

The Jeep Patriot is easy to navigate inside.

The Jeep Patriot is easy to navigate inside.

All-wheel-drive versions of the Jeep Patriot offer the optional Freedom-Drive II Off-Road Group. This comes with a four-wheel-drive, 17-inch alloy wheels, all-terrain tires, hill descent control, tow hooks, and an adjustable driver’s seat.

The 2013 Jeep Patriot comes standard with front-wheel drive, and both the Sport and Latitude trims have a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 158 horsepower and 141 pound-feet of torque. The five-speed manual is standard, with continuously variable automatic transmission as an option.

The Limited and Freedom-Drive I are all-wheel-drives with 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 172 horsepower and 165 pound feet of torque. The Freedom-Drive II option includes four-wheel-drive.

For safety, the 2013 Jeep Patriot comes equipped with antilock brakes, traction and stability controls, and full-length side curtain airbags. On the Limited you get rear disc brakes and an option of front side airbags and features from the Security and Cargo Convenience Group, or you can opt for these features as stand-alones.

The 2013 Jeep Patriot looks good, as all Jeeps do, and the interior is also nicely done, but very much the Jeep design. The entire look is about rough and tough, and plastics are included as part of that image.

Of course, the knobs and gauges also look like you would expect in a Jeep product, large and easy to read and navigate. No complaints on the user-friendly end of it, either, and it all works alongside a nifty standout cargo lamp that turns into a rechargeable LED flashlight if you need it.

The cargo space is 23 cubic feet without the 60/40-split rear seats, and 53.5 cubic feet with the seats folded down. The engine felt sluggish on the highway, but on off-road this one is a good option and fun to drive. Four wheelers will go with the Freedom Drive II.

Should You Need to Know: The base trim, called the Sport, does not come equipped with the usually standard power accessories or an air-conditioning system, bringing the price down and giving bang for the buck.

Miles Per Gallon: The 2013 Jeep Patriot Latitude 4X4 that I drove got 21 miles per gallon in the city and 26 miles per gallon on the highway.

Cost: The 2013 Jeep Patriot Latitude 4X4 that I drove around town had a price tag of $25,670.

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with has over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 13-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a radio show in Los Angeles called Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.

She also contributes travel and auto to the Anthony Duva show, which can be heard live from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. EST every Sunday at

Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association, writes for the Dallas Morning News Green Living Section as well as artist profiles and www.greensourceDFW and spends much of her time on the road traveling or working on books.

She recently received the 2012 Green Media Award from the North Texas Corporate Recycling Association.

Her latest book releases are both “Haunted Dallas” and “Haunted Fort Worth” from Her third book in the Haunted Series was released in October “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma.”  Follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.








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Rita Cook

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1000 articles to her credit in the past 10-plus years. She is the co-host of a radio show in Los Angeles; Insider Mag Radio at KPRO 1570 am and is on from midnight to 12:30 a.m. Monday mornings.  Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and also writes an eco-friendly column for the Dallas Morning News.


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