The Patriot is exactly that. Patriotic and as true to Jeep as you can get, all put together nicely in a practical car that just commands respect. Winner in 2008 for best 4x4, the Patriot is not only great off road, but fantastic on it as well.
Firstly lets talk exterior and styling. The industry is crowded with sleek lines, curves and 'kinetic' design, so it's nice to see a big boxy Jeep every now and then. True to Jeep's famous aggressive stance, the Patriot stands firm with that giant striking square grill and those huge bug-eye lights, complimented by the bulky geometric design, the only thing that isn't square are the wheels, and even then I think it would look great. The Patriot shouts 'Move over £*%€#' as you dominate the road ahead, and leave everyone behind with a view of your excuses as to why you deserve respect…the massive 'PATRIOT' signature on the bumper.
Moving to interior, and it's like sitting inside GI Joe's trousers, rugged, utilitarian, plenty of storage and lots of chunky knobs and buttons to keep you satisfied. Taking full advantage of the boxy design, Jeep have maximised space and storage, including cavernous compartments above the glove box and underneath the centre armrest is storage deeper than aforementioned Joe's voice. The seats are comfortable and leave plenty of leg-room too, available in cloth or leather and you can chose to have heated seats for those cold winter excursions. The Patriot also features the brilliant MyGig sat nav and stereo system and has a fantastic optional speaker system provided by Boston Acoustics which cannot be avoided, including the subwoofer and two flip down tailgate speakers, which are just designed for that perfect beach party or a relaxing camp out in the woods.
Now all this looks great, but how does it drive? Well…like a Jeep should, with so much more!
The 2litre CRD Limited I tested takes 11seconds from 0-62mph, that's 0.3seconds slower than the Sport, however for a car of it's size, it's brilliant. Handling is great too, so long as you don't go stupid, the wide body keeps the car planted and there isn't much body roll to complain about either. The engine sounds a little industrial, but any 4X4 diesel does, and you can't hear it enough to bother you in the cabin when you're driving about, but when your reaching around 51mpg you can't really complain, because this is one of the most economical Jeeps I have driven.
Last but by far no means least, off-road. The Patriot was indeed 4x4 of the year in 2008 and the reasons are clear. With an intelligent breaking system combined with the 4WD LOCK, means that you can tackle snow, rocks and even sand amongst many other low traction surfaces. Of course all these functions are able to be turned off while driving on common roads, or even if you're on a challenging course.
Overall, the Patriot is an outstanding vehicle and a capable one at that. Smaller than it's siblings, it fits perfectly into today's busy streets, and presents itself as much more than just a utilitarian 4x4. Personal recommendations for the Patriot include the booming Boston Acoustics stereo system, the faultless satellite navigation and finally the 2.0l CRD Diesel engine, offering the best fuel for the smallest compromise in power. To sum it up in three words : Practical, Stylish and Capable.