The 2011 Jeep Patriot is a classic Jeep through-and through, boasting the best off-road capabilities in its class. The Patriot is also a thoroughly modern, compact people mover that has been given a rugged once-over for 2011. A starting MSRP under $16,000 and best in segment 4x4 mpg make the Patriot the best SUV value in the country.
Newly revised front and rear fascias carry the broad-shouldered geometric forms that have been associated with Jeep vehicles since the brand’s beginnings 70 years ago. The round headlamps flank a trademark seven-slat grille, which now features a mesh texture. The wheel openings are trapezoidal, another Jeep design trademark, and a new skid plate frames front foglamps that have been moved inboard for 2011. The 2011 Patriot can roll on available 17-inch alloy wheels and all-terrain tires.
With broad shoulders and a protective high beltline, the Patriot has a manageable size that makes it easy to drive, and its shape makes room for a spacious interior. Upgraded for 2011, the Patriot interior features door panels with soft-touch trim and padded upper surfaces to enhance comfort. A new center armrest also ups the comfort. Driver convenience is improved by a new Jeep steering wheel with integrated controls for radio, standard cruise control, hands-free phone and deeper vehicle functions. Having these controls at their fingertips helps drivers keep their hands on the steering wheel, instead of distractedly searching for something on the center console.
Front-seat occupants are treated to new premium bucket seats with standard premium cloth upholstery. Switches on the doors and for other ancillary controls are backlit to further enhance convenience for 2011, and the Latitude X trim level picks up standard automatic climate control.
There are four configurations for 2011 Jeep Patriot buyers to choose from - Sport, Latitude, Latitude X and Latitude X 70th Anniversary. The Patriot Sport (MSRP $15,995) carries standard front-wheel drive and is powered by a 158-hp 2.0-liter inline four-cylinder World Engine that spins through a five-speed manual transmission. Two second-generation continuously variable transaxles, which automatically find the proper gear ratio without any jarring shifts, are available. The CVT2L offers a 19.1:1 first-gear crawl ratio; the CVT2 features AutoStick® for either fully automatic operation or driver-selectable manual control with six simulated “stepped-gear” ratios.
The Patriot Latitude adds comfort and convenience items like standard air conditioning, heated foldaway power-adjustable mirrors, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and side roof rails. Remote Keyless Entry is also standard for Latitude buyers, and a 115-volt auxiliary power outlet is a handy feature that allows the Patriot to power household devices, even when you’re miles away from civilization.
The Patriot Latitude X trim increases the standard equipment again. A handy rechargeable LED flashlight, air conditioning with automatic temperature control, and an Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) are functional upgrades for Latitude X models. The exterior gets spiffed up with a bright exhaust tip, bright side roof rails and body-colored fascias as well.
A 70th Anniversary Latitude X adds luxury floor mats, Jeep 70th Anniversary Edition badging and a cargo-area floor mat as standard equipment. All Latitude X models feature a standard 2.4-liter inline four-cylinder World Engine that provides 165 lb/ft of torque and 172 hp. Variable valve timing delivers the torque over a wide rpm range, and the power doesn’t eat into efficiency. The Patriot Latitude in front-wheel drive trim can return up to 23 mpg city (22 for 4x4s) and an unsurpassed 29 mpg (28 for 4x4s) on the highway.
All 4x4 Patriot models are equipped with the 2.4-liter engine, and either of two capable four-wheel drive systems. Freedom Drive I™ and Freedom Drive II™ are both full-time, active 4x4 systems. A low range in the transfer case enables Freedom Drive II systems to tackle serious off-road terrain without breaking a sweat. Non-Trail-Rated Patriots have an additional inch of ride height for 2011, and all Patriot models have a larger rear sway bar and a retuned suspension. When equipped with Freedom Drive II, the Patriot picks up a Trail Rated® badge, signifying that it’s the most capable vehicle there is in the compact 4x4 segment. Impressive numbers come with the Trail Rated designation including 29-degree approach angle, 33-degree departure angle and a 23-degree breakover angle, plus 19-inch water fording ability.
With Freedom Drive II comes the CVT2L transmission to provide the low range gearing when Off-Road Mode is activated, and 17-inch all-terrain tires, a full-size spare tire, extra skid plates and tow hooks are also part of the deal. Off-road Brake Traction Control keeps the Patriot moving forward, even when it’s climbing over awkward obstacles or on surfaces where traction is compromised. Going downhill is managed by Hill Descent Control (HDC), which uses the antilock brake hardware to keep the speed at a controlled level.
For day-to-day tasks, the 2011 Jeep Patriot is accommodating, easy driving and comfortable. Its unmatched pricing makes the Patriot perfect for buyers looking for a smaller SUV with cargo space and best-in-segment economy. When equipped with one of the 4x4 systems, the Patriot adds a surefooted stability to the mix, no matter the terrain or weather. The 2011 Jeep Patriot is one of the brightest stars on the planet.