The 2014 Patriot includes plenty of updates over the 2013 model, including a new transmission and a new Freedom Edition for those looking for some extra features.
What better time to announce updates to the patriotically named Jeep than the Fourth of July weekend. This little model has plenty of Jeep image and even some of the capability of its bigger brothers via the available four-wheel-drive systems. Its boxy looks also house a roomy and versatile interior with fold-down seats and a wide tailgate.
The Patriot was the first to map out the mini crossover segment that is now exploding with new entries. The Hyundai Tucson , Mitsubishi Outlander Sport and the Subaru XV Crosstrek all compete for the same buyers.
Despite the low base prices, most of the volume for the Jeep Patriot comes from the better-equipped four-wheel-drive automatic models. How does little Jeep perform as both a lifestyle economy car and a light off-roader versus these rivals?
Click past the jump for the full review of the 2014 Jeep Patriot.
One look at the Patriot tells quite a bit about its origins and relatives in the Dodge Caliber and Dodge Dart family. The latest model carries over the exterior styling almost unchanged and looks quite dated. This Patriot arrived as a 2007 model year and shares the look of that era’s models.
The Patriot’s seven-slat Jeep grille is much more convincing than the cartoon-ish appearance of the Jeep Liberty . There’s more of the original Jeep Cherokee ’s boxy surfacing and charm about the grille face, the lamps and the fender housings. A little-known fact about the original 1984 Cherokee was that it carried styling by Guigiaro’s ItalDesign.
Some prominent new foglights show up for 2014 with an optional bright skid plate. Overall, the style of the Freedom Edition is the most current. It comes in red, white or blue colors that are all pretty rich metallic shades. They pair nicely with the grey wheels and help the Patriot look more at home with Jeep’s pricier models.
The Patriot is clearly a compact vehicle in its dimensions but looks tougher with the optional Freedom Drive AWD configurations that raise its ride height by 1.5 inches. The Patriot’s classic looks are becoming an asset versus the ultra-modern face of the latest 2014 Cherokee .
2014 Jeep Patriot – Exterior Dimensions:
|Height (in.)||65.5 (FWD), 66.8 (4WD)|
|Weight (Pounds)||3136 (FWD), 3378 (4WD)|
|Track - Front (in.)||59.8|
|Track - Rear (in.)||59.8|
2014 Jeep Patriot – Exterior Features:
- Deep Tint Sunscreen Glass
- Bright Side Roof Rails
- Outside Temperature Display in Odometer
- Rear Window Defroster
- Bright Exhaust Tip
- Sentry Key Theft Deterrent System
- Variable Intermittent Windshield Wipers
- Rear Window Wiper / Washer
- Fog Lamps
- 17-Inch x 6.5-Inch Aluminum Wheels
- P215/60R17 BSW All Season Touring Tires
The most accurate way to think of the Patriot’s compact interior is a smaller, hardtop Wrangler. The seating position and general level of comfort is very similar, with booming road and wind noise, narrow seats and a torture-chamber back seat.
Space is actually okay within the Patriot, with good dimensions all around. These mask serious comfort deficiencies. How is the back seat so uncomfortable? The rear seat base is extremely low and short with little thigh support and a knees-up position. The seatback, meanwhile, is thin and extremely firm and at a church-pew angle that is near vertical.
Overall, the compact rear seat does offer far better headroom than most economy cars, but suffers greatly versus the Buick Encore and XV Crosstrek in overall cabin NVH and comfort ratings.
Technology-wise, the interior of the Jeep makes everything optional. The optional power leather seats and Uconnect touchscreen stereo are really critical because of the poor standard-fit items they replace. The base stereo, for example, is a four-speaker setup that will barely drown out the droning engines. This optional system brings 230 watts of stereo power and (very limited) smartphone integration. It lacks the latest touchscreen and hardware from other Chrysler models.
The trunk and cargo areas are bright spots for this little Jeep . The cargo area behind the seats is a large 23 cubic-feet and extends to 56-plus with the rear seats folded. The Patriot also comes standard with a folding front seatback for long cargo like plywood or ladders.
2014 Jeep Patriot – Interior Dimensions:
|Front Seating Capacity||2|
|Rear Seating Capacity||3|
|Headroom - Front (in.)||41|
|Headroom - Rear (in.)||39.9|
|Legroom - Front (in.)||40.6|
|Legroom - Rear (in.)||39.4|
|Shoulder Room - Front (in.)||54.5|
|Shoulder Room - Rear (in.)||54|
|Hip Room - Front (in.)||52.3|
|Hip Room - Rear (in.)||51|
|EPA Cargo Volume (cubic-feet)||23|
|EPA Cargo Volume - Rear Seats Folded (cubic-feet)||53.5|
2014 Jeep Patriot – Interior Features:
- Optional Leather-Trimmed Bucket Seats
- Optional Heated Front Seats
- Optional Power 6-Way Driver Seat
- Optional Uconnect 230 6CD/DVD/MP3; SiriusXM Satellite Radio w/ 1-Yr Radio Subscription; 1-Year SiriusXM Radio Service
- Manual Driver Lumbar Adjust; Front-Passenger Fold-Flat-Forward Seat
- Rear 60 / 40 Split Recline Seat
- Steering Wheel Mounted Audio Controls; 4 Speakers
- Illuminated Cup Holders
- Tilt Steering Column
- Rear Seat Heat Ducts
- Leather-Wrapped Park Brake Handle; Leather-Wrapped Steering Wheel
- Hill Start Assist
- 115-Volt Auxiliary Power Outlet
- Air Conditioning with Automatic Temperature Control
Drivetrain, Suspension and Brakes
The Jeep has a variety of mechanical configurations that seem like a deliberate move to get a cheap base price. There are two engines available and two AWD systems. Jeep calls these “4x4” models but Freedom Drive 1 and Freedom Drive 2 – as the systems are called – is plainly on-demand all-wheel-drive with a heavy front bias.
As the price leaps with the addition of AWD and an automatic transmission, the cheapest model is suddenly $21,000 and not $16,000 for the manual FWD. The new six-speed automatic transmission can be paired with both the base 2.0-liter engine and the new 2.4-liter. The larger engine makes 172 horsepower and 165 pound-feet of torque for a projected 0-to-60 mph time of 9.1 seconds with the automatic.
The most trail-ready of the group is the top spec Freedom Drive 2 AWD that is paired exclusively with a CVT automatic. This CVT carries a special setting that replicates a traditional low range gear’s rock crawl and hill descent abilities.
As buyers move up the ranks in price toward $28,000 for this top model, fuel economy plunges dramatically. Highway miles-per-gallon drops from the 30 mpg in the headlines down to just 23 mpg for the CVT automatic AWD trim.
2014 Jeep Patriot – Mechanical Details:
|Trim Level||2WD Patriot Sport and 2WD Patriot Latitude||Patriot Sport 4x4, Latitude 4x4 and Limited (4x2 and 4x4)||Patriot Freedom Drive II Off-road Package 4WD with CVT2L|
|Engine Size and Type||2.0-liter 16-valve I-4 With Chain-Driven DOHC And Dual VVT||2.4-liter 16-valve I-4 With Chain-Driven DOHC And Dual VVT||2.4-liter 16-valve I-4 With Chain-Driven DOHC And Dual VVT|
|Peak power (Horsepower)||158||172||172|
|Peak torque (Pound-feet)||141||165||165|
|Transmission||5-Speed Manual (6-Speed Auto Opt.)||5-Speed Manual (6-Speed Auto Opt.)||CVT Automatic|
|0-to-60 mph||9.5 seconds, est||9.1 seconds, est||8.9 seconds, est|
|Top Speed||108 mph, est||108 mph, est||108 mph, est|
|Fuel Economy Estimates (City/Highway/Combined)||23/NA/30 est||22/NA/28||20/NA/23|
The Jeep Patriot is a 2013 Top Safety Pick by the IIHS and a four-star car from the NHTSA. The Patriot did well in the NHTSA’s side crashes but not as well in frontal collisions or rollovers.
2014 Jeep Patriot - Safety Features:
- Electronic Stability Control
- Electronic Roll Mitigation
- Anti-Lock 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
- Active Head Restraints
- Advanced Multistage Front Airbags; Seat-mounted Side Airbags
- Supplemental Side-Curtain Front and Rear Airbags
Jeep has not yet announced the prices for 2014 models. The automatic transmission is likely to be a stand-alone $1,500 option above the base prices, which are all for manual-transmission Patriots.
2013 Jeep Patriot Pricing:
The Tucson is a plucky little crossover with just a few well-equipped trim levels starting just above $21,000. The Tucson also has optional AWD but is actually better-prepared for off-roading via a lockable 50:50 torque split and hill descent control. Neither of these last features are available on the Patriot. The Tucson is slightly smaller inside than the Jeep but world’s more comfortable and with better tech like smartphone integration.
Gallery Hyundai Tucson
The Mitsubishi Outlander Sport starts just below $20,000 and is a far more road-biased package without the Jeep’s optional skid plates to protect the car off-road. The Outlander can be equipped with a CVT automatic with paddle shifters as well as AWD. The Outlander is also dated and compact (in the back seat especially) but offers far better front seats and overall refinement than the Jeep.
Gallery Mitsubishi Outlander Sport
The Jeep ’s combination of economy-car roots and limited off-road ability are a strange pair. They leave the Jeep with a cool persona in high school parking lots but a really basic interior that lacks any kind of modern sophistication in comfort or technology.
The Patriot is also playing bait and switch with its teaser base prices and economy figures. Jeep’s 2014 mechanical revision is a welcome change versus the previous automatic option that scored even worse economy ratings.
Unfortunately, the $16,000 to $20,000 ballpark is the only place the Jeep feels ahead of its competition. Adding the better engine, automatic or AWD brings the price well into the mid $24,000 range where the Patriot’s narrow, uncomfortable and loud interior becomes a liability.
The Patriot at $18,000 with the base engine and FWD automatic is the most logical configuration to maximize the huge trunk and image appeal.
|Driving||C-||Slow And Thirsty; Unrefined Cabin and Awful Seats|
|Performance||C||All Configurations Have Loose Controls And Thrashy Engines|
|Look||C+||Some Of The Original Cherokee’s Cool Flat Surfaces|
|Value||C||Must-Have Options Like Auto And AWD Very Expensive|
|Overall||C||If You Must Have An SUV Crossover For Scion Money|
- Big trunk and cargo area with seats folded
- Arguably has a cooler image than economy car like Dodge Dart
- Some of the original Cherokee’s rugged style
- Lack of exterior updates means car looks same as 2007 models
- Optional engine, trans and AWD take prices way too high
- Interior has Wrangler-esque levels of comfort and tech
Gallery Jeep Patriot
For 2014 the Jeep® Patriot boasts improved on-road performance, compliments of a new six-speed automatic transmission. With unmatched Jeep capability in all weather conditions, fuel economy up to 30 miles per gallon (mpg), more than 30 safety and security features and a starting U.S. Manufacturers Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $15,995, the 2014 Jeep Patriot is the best priced SUV in America.
The 2014 Patriot is unmistakably a Jeep, designed to appeal to compact-SUV buyers who want traditional Jeep styling with best-in-class off-road capability at an affordable price.
Patriot offers consumers segment-leading 4x4 capability and excellent fuel efficiency along with rugged exterior styling and clever interior features.
“Jeep Patriot delivers best-in-class 4x4 capability with an iconic Jeep design,” said Mike Manley, President and CEO — Jeep Brand, Chrysler Group LLC. “With a new six-speed automatic transmission for 2014, Patriot features improved on-road driving dynamics without sacrificing any of its best-in-class off-road capability. Best of all: Jeep Patriot is still the best-priced SUV in America.”
Packed with standard features that provide value and convenience for drivers and passengers, the 2014 Jeep Patriot standard features include: front seat-mounted side air bags, electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, Hill-start Assist, anti-lock brakes, illuminated cup holders, sunscreen glass, fog lamps, removable/ rechargeable flashlight, outside temperature display, rear fold-flat 60/40 folding seat, rear window defrost and wiper, tilt steering column, cruise control and sliding visors with mirror.
In addition to the standard features, the 2014 Jeep Patriot offers an array of clever features consumers will appreciate whether commuting to work, exploring out-of-the-way places or driving in challenging weather conditions. A Uconnect Media Center with iPod interface, SiriusXM Radio, navigation with SiriusXM Travel Link, power sunroof, a premium audio system with nine Boston Acoustic speakers, articulating liftgate speakers, and fold-flat rear seats are some of the available features that make the 2014 Jeep Patriot the perfect compact SUV, enabling drivers and passengers to enjoy any adventure.
For 2014, the Jeep Patriot continues to offer an All-weather Capability Group option which includes Goodyear 17-inch all-terrain tires, all-season floor mats, daytime running headlamps, engine block heater and tow hooks, making the Patriot the most capable compact SUV off-road and in all weather conditions.
6F24 six-speed PowerTech automatic transmission
Available for the first time in most 2014 Jeep Patriot models is the world-class 6F24 six-speed automatic transmission. Independently developed by PowerTech and refined for application in the 2014 Jeep Patriot, the six-speed automatic is fully electronic and designed for fuel efficiency and improved performance.
Compact and lightweight, the 6F24 eliminated many potential extra engineering efforts from a packaging standpoint with the chassis layout. Overall length of the transmission is 378.5 mm.
The six-speed automatic features a closely aligned 5.46 gear spread that provides nearly imperceptible shifting from launch through highway speeds. With a 4.21 first gear and standard Auto Stick for manual-like shifting, acceleration characteristics deliver fun-to-drive excitement.
With a 0.77 sixth gear, engine rpm is significantly reduced at highway speeds for optimal fuel efficiency. The stepped shift schedule across all six gears is designed for optimal fuel economy in city driving as well. Customers will notice extremely quiet operation throughout the gear ranges with the use of noise-resistant gears that effectively reduce noise, vibration and harshness (NVH).
The new six-speed transmission also helps reduce cost of ownership and maintenance costs with its fill-for-life design. There is no transmission dipstick, and transmission filter or fluid changes are not required under normal driving conditions. Low-viscosity fluid is used to improve fuel economy by enabling quicker operating temperatures on the transmission to reduce drag on internal components.