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2010 Jeep Patriot

About.com Rating 3.5 Star Rating

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2010 Jeep Patriot

2010 Jeep Patriot Limited.

Photo © Jason Fogelson

The Bottom Line

The 2010 Jeep Patriot is a compact crossover that can be ordered with a wide range of equipment and trim levels. The base Patriot Sport starts at just $15,365 with a 2.0 liter engine and 5-speed manual transmission, while the Limited comes with a 2.4 liter engine, a CVT and four-wheel drive, and can be loaded with accessories to easily top $30,000. A bargain in base trim, the Patriot's shortcomings are magnified as the price increases. Competitors like the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, Mazda CX-7, Ford Escape and Subaru Outback offer more refinement at the upper price ranges, but the base Patriot is a fun, retro crossover that is worthy of consideration.

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Pros

  • Cool retro looks.
  • Long powertrain warranty.
  • Base model available that gets great fuel economy.

Cons

  • Top of the line model gets bad subpar fuel economy.
  • CVT makes engine sound thrashy.
  • Tops $30,000 with extras.

Description

  • Base prices from $15,365 to $24,550
  • Engines: 2.0L DOHC I-4; 2.4L DOHC I-4
  • Horsepower: 158 @ 6,400 rpm (2.0L); 172 @ 6,000 rpm (2.4L)
  • Torque: 141 lb-ft @ 5,000 rpm (2.0L); 165 lb-ft @ 4,400 rpm (2.4L)
  • Curb Weight: 3,115 - 3,315
  • Fuel Economy: 23 mpg city/29 mpg highway (2.0L/FWD/5MT) - 20/22 (2.4L/4WD/CVT)
  • Wheelbase: 103.7” Vehicle Length: 173.6” Width: 69.1” Height: 65.7”
  • Warranty: 3 years/36,000 miles basic; 5 years/100,000 miles powertrain
  • Cargo: 54.2 cubic feet Luggage: 23.0 cubic feet
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual or CVT, FWD or 4WD

Guide Review - 2010 Jeep Patriot

When I reviewed the Jeep Patriot on its debut in 2007, I was quite taken with the compact crossover, despite its shortcomings. I liked the frugality and fuel-efficiency of the base model, and I was enchanted by the retro-cool exterior. This year, I took a look at the opposite end of the spectrum, a fully-loaded 2010 Jeep Patriot Limited 4x4 with a base price of $24,550 ($30,510 as tested). I was not quite as enchanted this time around, unfortunately.

I'm a sucker for retro. I love the new Mustang. I love the Dodge Challenger. I even love the Chrysler PT Cruiser. When it comes to retro SUVs, the Jeep Patriot hits the nail on the head. The Patriot doesn't reach back as far for inspiration as most of the other examples I've quoted -- it resembles the Jeep Cherokee of the 1980s and 1990s. Of course, there are also echoes of the classic Army Jeeps, especially the seven slot grille flanked by round headlights. The Patriot manages to look bigger in pictures than it does in person, where its actual dimensions are quite close to those of the class sales leader, the Honda CR-V.

Inside, the Patriot Limited gussies up the package with heated front seats, a power driver's seat, bright interior accents and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. My test vehicle also had the Sun and Sound Group of options ($1,295), which included a power sunroof, a Boston Acoustics speaker/subwoofer package and 2 articulating liftgate speakers. The Security and Convenience Group ($1,235) added Uconnect, iPod control, side airbags, a cargo cover and other features. The Freedom Drive II Off-Road Group ($825) beefed up the tires, added skid plates, tow hooks, an oil cooler and other dirt-friendly features. It made sense, then that somebody ticked the box for Continuously Variable Transmission with Off-Road Crawl Ratio ($1,050), and then piled on the Media Center CD/DVD/HDD/NAV Radio ($890). All in all, my Patriot was loaded to the gills.

And that was what killed the enchantment. When the 2007 Patriot was a rough-and-ready, five-on-the-floor, sub-$20,000 out the door kind of vehicle, I was able to overlook some flaws. The bland dash design, the harsh road manners, the noisy cabin and chassis, all became part of the bargain. At $30,000, I become a much less forgiving driver. I start to compare the Patriot with the whisper-quiet CR-V, the sporty Mazda CX-7, the positively peppy Subaru Outback, the appliance-like solidity of the Toyota RAV4, and the spell is broken. I no longer yearn for a Patriot.

Strip one down for me, though, and I might just fall in love again. With the smaller, 2.0 liter inline 4-cylinder engine of the base model, I could become addicted to 22 mpg city/29 mpg highway. I would not have the off-road potential that the loaded Limited offers, but at $30,000 there are many better off-roaders out there (like a Jeep Wrangler, for instance). Keep it simple, Patriot, and I'm all yours.

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