New for 2015
The Jeep Patriot adds optional Garmin navigation on the Latitude model and replaces Rugged Brown with Eco Green Clear Coat as an exterior color. A dome light replaces the removable flashlight, and a High Altitude package brings a more premium interior to 4WD models with the six-speed automatic.
The Jeep Patriot is a compact SUV that seats five and fits below the Cherokee and alongside the Compass and Renegade in the automaker’s lineup.
The 2015 Jeep Patriot is available with front- or all-wheel drive, and is one of the cheapest compact SUVs currently available. A five-speed manual is standard, but a six-speed automatic and CVT are optional for either available engine. The standard engine is a 2.0-liter I-4 that makes 158 hp and 141 lb-ft of torque, which gets an EPA-estimated: 23/30 mpg city/highway (five-speed manual); 21/28 mpg (six-speed automatic); and 22/27 mpg (CVT). Buyers who want 4WD must upgrade to the more powerful 172-hp 2.4-liter I-4 that makes 165 lb-ft of torque. The “Trail Rated” Patriot pairs the CVT with 4WD and a low-range transfer case. EPA-estimated fuel economy: 23/28 mpg (FWD five-speed manual); 21/28 mpg (FWD six-speed automatic); 22/27 mpg (4WD five-speed manual); 21/27 mpg (4WD six-speed automatic); 20/23 mpg (4WD CVT).
Although FWD is standard on the 2015 Patriot, there are two levels of available 4WD systems: Freedom Drive I, which is a full-time active system that can lock power 50/50 front/rear, and features an electronically controlled coupling that manages torque between the axles. Freedom Drive II upgrades the capabilities of the Freedom Drive I system by adding a selectable off-road mode, hill descent control, grade sensing, and a 19:1 crawl low-speed ratio. Before the introduction of the new Jeep Renegade, the Patriot has been one of the most capable compact SUVs in the segment. Compared to the new Renegade, the Patriot is an aging vehicle with regard to powertrain options, but it does provide more cargo capacity (23.0/53.5-cubic feet with the rear seats up/folded versus 18.5/50.8-cubic feet in the Renegade) and may command lower prices than the all-new model on dealer lots. Between the Patriot and the similar Compass (interior capacity and powertrain wise) the choice comes down to preferred styling among the three models, though we’re guessing the new Renegade may get better safety ratings, once it’s tested by the NHTSA and IIHS.
The 2015 Jeep Patriot received a three-star frontal crash and a three-star rollover crash rating from the NHTSA (out of a possible five stars), and in IIHS testing was considered a 2013 Top Safety Pick, but because of a rating of poor in the new – more difficult – small overlap front category the Patriot did not qualify for 2014 or 2015.
What We Think
The 2015 Jeep Patriot still holds the distinction of being the most affordable vehicle in the automaker’s lineup, but if buyers want power windows and locks they would be advised to avoid the base Sport and Altitude models, as those features are extra-cost options on those trims. When the Patriot launched in 2007, we liked it, noting that it was pretty good off-road, but that it didn’t need to be any better. The Jeep Renegade (all-new for 2015) is the replacement, and we’d recommend waiting for the new model to hit dealerships unless a low price is your absolute number-one buying priority in a compact SUV. Buyers can also compare the Patriot with the mechanically identical Compass that features Grand Cherokee styling in a compact package.
- Low purchase price
- “Trail Rated” option
- Simple interior
You Won’t Like
- The cheapest Patriot trim lacks power window and air conditioning
- Buying one with the similarly priced Renegade arriving
- Jeep Renegade
- Jeep Compass
- Honda HR-V
- Chevrolet Trax
- Mitsubishi Outlander Sport