Monday, May 14, 2012
Jeep Patriot--Offroad Capability in a Crossover
With its available optional offroad option package the Patriot will hit the trail smartly because of its increased ride height, skid plates and 4-wheel drive with a transfer case that has dual-range gear ratios for low-speed crawling.
My test car, the top-of-the-line Limited, was $28,640 with options like the Customer Preferred Package and amped up sound system. This vehicle as equipped is not going to gooffroad. But, wait! I do go offroad. Whenever I can!
The Patriot's acceleration was on the sluggish side; it's powered by an 2.4 liter inline four-cylinder engine and the four may be just under what it needs. But for those who want to take to the wilderness on weekends it's better to have a vehicle that isn't as polite as the Kia Sportage or the Honda CR-V on the highway.
The Patriot has a good seating position--riding up high really makes you feel in command of your ride--and the interior has a wonderful Jeep attitude--it's not trying too hard to be cool. It just is cool. In its three trim levels you can upgrade-- alloy wheels, leather wrapped steering wheel and remote ignition.
EPA mileage on my Patriot Limited was 21/26 city/highway. I've been holding steady on my speed lately trying to get better mileage--mostly because I just wrote a story on ecodriving. Look for it next week a www.edmunds.com.