Being the middle child is never easy, but the 2012 Jeep Patriot has played his role well. As the quiet younger brother of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, he has waited in the shadows, happy to take the back seat and let his dependable, award-winning big brother shine. Meanwhile, the ‘wild child’ baby of the family – the Jeep Wrangler – never stops getting attention for his free-spirited, ‘no-holds-barred’ way of living.
So what does the five-passenger 2012 Jeep Patriot crossover have to bring to the family?
With chunky proportions that are boxy but not too refrigerator-like, and detailing that keeps it simple but purposeful, the 2012 Jeep Patriot somehow manages to play both of those angles; there’s some softness and civility alright, but there’s also some rugged Jeep appeal, and influences from the Wrangler and Liberty in the sheetmetal—along with the Jeep slotted grille. We’re glad Jeep hasn’t tried to change a thing about the exterior in the Patriot, as it’s a design that’s aging well. On the inside, it’s a sturdy, attractive cabin from a few paces back, and some hints of brightwork added over the past couple of model years have spruced it up from the purely drab it had originally been.
Safety remains a strength for the Patriot; it’s again a Top Safety Pick for 2012. Standard safety features include ABS brakes, front and rear head air bags, passenger air bag sensing deactivation, child seat anchors, rear door child safety locks, engine immobilizer, emergency brake assist, stability and traction control, electronic brake force distribution, tire pressure monitoring and more. The boxy body of the Patriot brings good outward visibility.
The 2012 Jeep Patriot comes in three different models—base Sport, Latitude, and Limited—and the main difference between the three is in the level of interior comfort and convenience items. The interior provides a car-like driving environment combined with the driver and passenger sitting up as is customary in SUVs. The headroom and outward view is good in all directions. The dash and door materials and their fit and finish are good. The gauges are easy to read and the controls are laid-out for easy use. The SUV features a large center console with storage.
The Patriot provides 23 cubic feet of space with the rear seat up and 53.7 cubic feet with the rear seat folded down. Of note is that the front passenger seat also folds down thus providing 8.5 feet from the back thus accepting ladders, skies, surfboards, lumber, etc.
All Patriot models now include air conditioning, power windows, door locks and mirrors, cruise control, tilt (not telescoping) steering wheel, front and rear cupholders, a trip computer, overhead console with storage, retained accessory power, front reading lights, 12 volt front power outlet, interior air filtration, and a four-speaker sound system with AM/FM/CD MP3 playback stereo, pre-wired for phone, external temperature display and more, but you’ll want to move up to the Limited for conveniences like heated leather seats, keyless entry, cruise control, and a 115-volt power outlet.
The base engine is a 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder providing 158 hp and 141 ft. lb. Additionally, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder mill is available making 177 hp and ft. lb. of torque. The transmission is a five-speed manual gearbox or an optional (CVT) continuously variable unit. This Patriot’s 0-60 mph time with the 2.4-loter engine is in 9.8 seconds. The wheelbase measures 103.7 inches and it offers 8.1 inches of ground clearance. The maximum towing capacity is 2,000 lbs.
The brakes are discs at the front measuring 11.5 inches and drums at the rear. The Latitude and Limited models have disc brakes at all four corners measuring 11.5 inches at the front and 10.3 inches at the rear. The Patriot’s 60-0 mph stopping distance is in 121 feet. The standard tires measure 205 70 16 inch.
The suspension at the front includes MacPerson struts, coil springs, gas shock absorbers, and a stabilizer bar. At the rear the suspension setup includes multi-links, coil springs, gas shock absorbers and a stabilizer bar.
On the road the Patriot provides car-like handling and very good ride quality as it soaks up road imperfections. The steering feels solid and provides some of the best feedback in its class. On the highway, this vehicle is highly stable. The fuel rating of the Patriot is 23 city and 29 mpg highway.
The 2012 Jeep Patriot is one of the most affordable small crossover-SUV models, starting as low as $15,995. The middle of the line Jeep Patriot Latitude with the 2.4-liter engine is priced at $19,745, and it makes good sense for those who merely want a maneuverable, versatile, easy-parking, and affordable vehicle. And, as you might expect from a vehicle that carries the Jeep badge, the Patriot can be surprisingly deft on the trail, or in deep snow.
This SUV/crossover is quite straightforward. It gets the job done and it has Jeep’s customary durability. In these tight economic times, the 2012 Jeep Patriot has found its time to shift the spot-light in the family….obviously you can add patience to its list of attributes; and now its time has come.
Paint, Color and DIY Furniture
The sourcebook for modern living
The Art and Craft of Blogging