Vehicle Overview

Sharing a platform with the Jeep Compass and Dodge Caliber, the Patriot is supposed to be the most rugged of the three. It seats five people. To give its macho looks some teeth, the Patriot is available with two four-wheel-drive systems. The more capable of the two gets Jeep's Trail-Rated designation, meaning it's capable of meeting certain off-road standards for traction, water fording, ground clearance and more. Patriot competitors include the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester.

New for 2011
Minor front and rear styling tweaks distinguish the 2011 Patriot from its predecessor, and maximum ground clearance increases to 9.5 inches, when properly equipped. The Patriot's steering and suspension systems have also been upgraded for better ride and handling, according to Jeep.

Exterior
The Patriot has a seven-slot grille, rounded headlights and trapezoidal wheel-well openings. The crossover gets a new front bumper that repositions the standard fog lights. Around back, there's new rear bumper styling. Other exterior features include:

  • Standard side roof rails
  • Standard 16-inch steel wheels; 17-inch aluminum rims optional
  • Optional power heated side mirrors
  • Optional sunroof

Interior
Two rows of seats provide room for five. The 2011 Patriot has a new steering wheel, new climate controls, padded upper front-door trim and a new center armrest. Other interior features include:

  • Standard cloth upholstery; leather optional
  • Standard 60/40-split folding backseat
  • Standard outside temperature gauge
  • Standard CD stereo with auxiliary input jack
  • Optional flat-folding front-passenger seat
  • Optional heated front seats
  • Optional air conditioning
  • Optional touch-screen audio system with 28-gigabyte hard drive
  • Optional Boston Acoustics audio with speakers that swing down from the liftgate
  • Optional Garmin-based navigation system

Under the Hood
Two four-cylinder engines are available for the Patriot. Both come standard with a five-speed manual transmission. A continuously variable automatic transmission is optional.

Buyers have three drivelines to choose from: front-wheel drive; Freedom Drive I four-wheel drive with lock mode; and Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package, a Trail-Rated four-wheel-drive system. Freedom Drive II has a CVT that incorporates a low range for off-road driving. The package also includes 17-inch all-terrain tires, a full-size spare tire, skid plates and tow hooks. Mechanical features include:

  • Base 158-horsepower, 2.0-liter four-cylinder
  • Available 172-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder
  • Both engines use regular gas

Safety
Safety features include:

  • Standard side curtain airbags
  • Standard electronic stability system with electronic roll mitigation
  • Standard antilock brakes
  • Standard traction control
  • Standard tire pressure monitoring system
  • Optional side-impact airbags for the front seats