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Over the years, Jeep has spread its model line-up a bit wider. Early on, the brand only produced the CJ and FSJ models and slight variants, but when the sport utility craze hit, Jeep extended its model line-up quite a bit. The company stopped producing the classic Jeep Cherokee in 2001, but revived the idea with the introduction of the Jeep Patriot in 2007. The 2013 Jeep Patriot keeps the spirit of the Cherokee alive while changing it to fit the needs and wants of today’s consumers. While it does suffer from some of the issues that caused the Cherokee to be discontinued in the first place, a rather utilitarian exterior and slightly shoddy interior, it also maintains qualities that made the Cherokee popular, with off-road capabilities and year-round usability at a relatively low price. There are certainly better vehicles in the small crossover or small sport utility market segments, but few of them have the off-road capabilities and none of them have the nostalgia that comes with the Jeep Patriot.
New For 2013
Mechanically, the Jeep Patriot is a twin of the Jeep Compass, so it’s no surprise that the only changes for 2013 are the availability of winter chill and black forest green paint and a 30-mpg highway rating for the 2.0-liter, manual-transmission-equipped model.
Maintaining the traditional Jeep boxiness and angularity, the 2013 Jeep Patriot sticks out from the rest of the five-passenger sport utility vehicle crowd from the outside. The upright broad, seven-rectangle grille bordered by two circular headlights, sitting in front of an upright windshield, gives the Patriot a unique front look that separates it from the rounded, humped, rakish looks found in other vehicle. This is a look that, when placed side-by-side with Cherokees of past decades, presents a very clear family tie. The slab siding and trapezoidal wheel opening are a major difference from the curves of the rest of the class, and the big, flat rear liftgate highlights the utility of the vehicle. Side roof rails are standard to tie down cargo, with crossbars an available option. 16-inch wheels are standard, with 17-inch aluminum wheels as an option. A power sunroof and heated side mirrors are also options.
Interior & Cargo
The inside of the 2013 Jeep Patriot is a weak point, as the vehicle does not make good usage of its footprint and boxy shape, and the interior is unattractive, albeit utilitarian. The front row has plenty of space, but the second row suffers from tight leg room in the outside seats and nonexistent leg room in the middle seating position. The cargo room is not as great as it could be, providing only 23 cubic feet of space behind the second seat, which is lower than average for the market segment. Cloth upholstery is standard, with leather upholstery available along with a leather-wrapped steering wheel. The interior is built mostly of impact-resistant, extremely durable plastic that is great for cleaning but extremely unattractive and looks cheap.
As with all Jeeps, the base version of the 2013 Jeep Patriot does not get much in the way of interior amenities. Standard on the base Patriot is cruise control, a four-speaker sound system with a CD player, and manual accessories. With higher trim levels and independent options, the Patriot can be upgraded, but will never be confused with a luxury sport utility vehicle even when fully loaded. Full power accessories can be added, as can air conditioning, heated front seats, a height-adjustable driver seat, automatic climate control, a six-way power adjustable driver seat and an upgraded sound system that adds five speakers and a six-CD changer with satellite radio. A navigation system and voice-control Bluetooth connectivity are also able to be added.
The 2013 Jeep Patriot has the standard safety features found on all production vehicles today, with traction control, an electronic stability system, and anti-lock brakes. It has a full complement of airbags, including full side curtain airbags for both rows, and optional side-impact airbags for the front seats. The stability system also includes electronic roll mitigation to adjust for the high center of gravity and, on vehicles with manual transmissions, hill start assist to keep from rolling backwards when starting on an incline. Four-wheel drive models also get standard off-road brake traction control and hill descent control. The 2013 Jeep Patriot has not received crash testing, and likely will not, as it has not changed from the 2012 model, which received a Top Safety Pick rating from the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety.
Two different engines are available inside the 2013 Jeep Patriot, although there’s not a huge difference between the two. The basic 2.0-liter, four-cylinder engine provides 158 horsepower and 151 lb-ft of torque, while the slightly larger 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine produces 172 horsepower and 165 lb-ft of torque. The smaller engine is standard on the Sport and Latitude models, while the larger engine is standard on the Limited and all four-wheel drive models, and available under the hood of Sport and Latitude models. All models start life as front-wheel drive models and with a five-speed manual transmission, but two different and very capable four-wheel drive systems are available, as is a continuously variable transmission. The Freedom Drive I four-wheel drive system is basic and fine for poor weather climates, but it isn’t a good off-road system. The Freedom Drive II, however, is a throwback to the early days of the Cherokee, and is extremely capable on all terrains.
Handling is adequate on pavement, but the ride is not comfortable on the highway. Steering is precise and easy to maneuver around town, good at low speeds but iffy at high speeds. There is also an issue of noise and vibration at higher speeds. Braking is fairly decent, although there is a lot of travel in the brake pedal before the vehicle begins to slow.
Key Competitors For The 2013 Jeep Patriot
- Kia Sportage
- Chevrolet Equinox
- Mitsubishi Outlander
Expand full summary
2013 Patriot Latitude Sport Utility Vehicle Overview
Engine: 2.4L in-line 4 DOHC and variable valve timing
Fuel economy: Gasoline 21 MPG city, 26 MPG highway, 23 MPG combined and 311 mi. range
Fuel economy: Gasoline:,
Multi-point fuel injection
13.5gallon fuel tank
Power (SAE): 172 hp @ 6,000 rpm; 165 ft lb of torque @ 4,400 rpm