Car Review: Jeep Patriot still hard to beat for off-road driving

 The 2013 Jeep Patriot is a likely choice for those drivers who want the good quality a Jeep offers.

Photo: Photo: Russell Dandridge

DALLAS, March 26, 2013 — The 2013 Jeep Patriot is a likely choice for those drivers who want the good quality a Jeep offers, and in this case, it is also one of the most inexpensive options in its category of compact crossover SUV, but with some exceptions, depending on how you look at it.

The 2013 Jeep Patriot

The 2013 Jeep Patriot

Not as large as its competitor, including the Kia Sportage or the Hyundai Tucson, families might find it a snugger ride. However, this is still a Jeep brand and that means it takes the trails with aplomb.

Another noteworthy mention is that the bottom of the line base sport model is just that, bottom of the line and that means it lacks the likes of power locks and windows, which one can live without, but also there is no air-conditioning, which one cannot live without these days.

The 2013 Jeep Patriot is good for five passengers and comes in three trims; Sport, Latitude and Limited.

The base version is called the Sport and has almost no features, but there are 16-inch steel wheels, roof rails, fog lights, cruise control, cloth upholstery, a tilt-only steering wheel, and the 60/40-split-folding rear seat.

If you up the features that also means upping the cost. You can add the Power Value Group to get power accessories, heated mirrors, keyless entry, air-conditioning, and 17-inch alloy wheels.

On the Latitude trim you get the addition of a height-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, reclining rear seat, and steering wheel audio controls.

For the top-of-the-line Limited, you get all the optional features from the two lower trims as well as automatic climate control, rear disc brakes, leather upholstery, six-way power driver seat, and a trip computer.

There are also several option packages for the Latitude and Limited like the Sun/Sound Group with a sunroof added and better speakers as well as two drop-down liftgate speakers.

The Security and Cargo Convenience Group means adjustable roof rail crossbars, remote ignition, front side airbags, a cargo cover, Bluetooth phone connectivity, and an auto-dimming rearview mirror.

On the all-wheel-drive models, you can also opt for the Freedom-Drive II Off-Road Group and that will give you the additional four-wheel-drive system, all-terrain tires, full-size spare, hill descent control, tow hooks, skid plates, and a height-adjustable driver seat on the Sport trim.

Under the hood, the 2013 Jeep Patriot has standard front-wheel drive and both the Sport and Latitude engines offer a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 158 horsepower and 141 pound-feet of torque. The transmission on this one is a five-speed manual with a continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) an option.

On the Limited and “Freedom-Drive I” all-wheel-drives, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder pumps out 172 horsepower and 165 pound-feet of torque with the same transmission, but the Freedom-Drive II four-wheel-drive also has a low range as well.

For safety, the 2013 Jeep Patriot comes equipped with standard antilock brakes, including the front disc and rear drum, traction and stability control, and full-length side curtain airbags. With the top-of-the-line Limited there are also rear disc brakes, but the front side airbags are optional, depending on the add-ons you opt for, which does come with the Cargo Convenience Group package.

I have always liked the look of any Jeep, and the 2013 Jeep Patriot is no different. Inside, it’s what you would expect from Jeep and the seats in both front and back are comfortable, albeit the back seat is a bit sparse on the leg room.

The knobs and dials are large and easy to use and understand; standouts include the cargo area light that doubles as a rechargeable LED flashlight.

There’s 23 cubic feet of space with the 60/40-split rear seats; otherwise it is 53.5 cubic feet with both sections folded down and while you can get this vehicle rough and rowdy, it’s not going to be a good choice for hauling.

Should You Need to Know: Off-road capability gets high marks as it should on a jeep. In order to get this you must opt for the Freedom-Drive II Off-Road Group.

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

Cost:  The cost for the Latitude 4 X 4 was $25,670.

Rita Cook is a writer/editor with over 1300 articles to her credit in the past 15-plus years. She is a frequent auto and travel contributor on a national radio show called “The Duva Show” where her “The Insider Mag’s” I’m Standing Here segment can be heard weekly between 6:00 and 7:00 p.m. Monday evenings.

Cook is a member of the Texas Auto Writer’s Association and the North Texas Film Critics and writes for the Dallas Morning News, Focus Daily New, Living Magazine and Valley Scene Magazines as well as www.greensourceDFW. She also 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 release is “Haunted Bartlesville, Oklahoma” from and she will be publishing her ninth book this spring about Prohibition-Era cocktails in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Follow Cook at Twitter at @ritacook13.

This article is the copyrighted property of the writer and Communities @ Written permission must be obtained before reprint in online or print media. REPRINTING TWTC CONTENT WITHOUT PERMISSION AND/OR PAYMENT IS THEFT AND PUNISHABLE BY LAW.

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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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