2012 Jeep Patriot SUV (921)


This week we’re looking at the 2012 Jeep Patriot SUV – unquestionably the grand daddy of off road vehicles. Forgive my bias, but I have been driving Jeeps over the past from the military years, in the Philippines, to touring New England and even to today. That, in spite of the fact that it is a part of the Chrysler Group but at the same time because it IS a part of a company redeemed by time… and good decisions in and by management, most recently by Lee Iacocca to save the company. Daimler / Mercedes-Benz also had a great affect on the Chrysler we see today. God Bless America.

General Information:

Parts from the US/ Canadian 70%, Mexico 19%. It is assembled in Belvidere, IL, U.S.A., Classification is SUV. Cars from Jeep: Compass, Grand Cherokee, Liberty, Patriot and Wrangler.


OK, I have a question: Where are our brave men in blue when they are ‘really’ needed to assist drivers using our highways? When there is a ladder or couch or other debris on the road I rarely see a CHP officer clearing the danger. But exceed the speed limit and the magically appear.

Another assist is needed when it comes to keeping traffic moving at a reasonable pace. – The situation: you are driving on a two lane road and there are turn-outs for slower traffic to use when they prefer to drive slower than the rest of those using the same road. Hey, there is nothing wrong with driving slower than others as long as you don’t insist on doing it a.) during rush hour b.) when holding up 5 or more cars who want to drive closer to the speed limit.

When you refuse to pull over and let others pass you, it a.) endangers others on the road when that frustrated driver tries to pass. b.) you are being an inconsiderate jerk.

I’ve never been cited for going too slow and I suspect none of you have either.

Some of those frustrated driver will make their displeasure known right there and then as they finally get the chance to pass you. Others will refer to that as ‘road rage’ which is very dangerous to all.

Try this: Be considerate and that will make us all safer on the highways and by-ways.

Handling & Performance:

Very good. Turning radius is not as good as I like to see, but if that’s all there is to criticize, most will be able to live with that.


Classic. What else can I say, except to say thanks to Chrysler / Jeep for keeping the classic look to remind us of by-gone years past when men were men, women were women and ‘happy people’ stayed in the closet… and cars were cars, and we loved them with all their warts.

Fit and Finish:

Quite good fitting of seams and joints. There was a time when it could be said ‘it ain’t necessarily so’. Reminds me of the lyrics of a gospel song of times past as well.


Competitive pricing with the entire field in this segment.

Conveniences and comfort:

Finally common sense prevails with a Bluetooth set up that is allowed while driving for the passenger to do – that’s a first, and it is done by voice command.

Another thing I appreciate is the speed sensitive door locking, but in the beginning I was startled by the klunk as the doors locked automatically as I drove off. It occurs to me that would be helpful if you are going through South Central Los Angeles, Watts or Compton, so you don’t have to remember to lock the doors – and trust me, that is no place to leave anything unlocked. God help the poor people who have to or choose to live there.

I’ll list options here because they are conveniences that are not high on my list of things you need – like tire pressure monitor, remote start, auto dimming rearview mirror, additional speakers, ‘autoStick transmission’ (like paddle shifters). There are a few others just as unnecessary not noted but I believe they are things that most of us don’t care to spend another $2,500 to have.

ONE exception for me is Bluetooth connectivity that should not be an option – it should be like seat belts or air bags.

Consumer Recommendation:

What a great list of competitors. I have test driven them all and my foreign car repair business in Southern California has serviced most of them over the years. On such an equal playing field, you will find your personal preferences have more to do with which you buy. Patriots will buy the Patriot, youth will buy the Asian offerings. Both groups will buy based on emotion. But that is ok, since they are equally as good. Japanese and American are the tried and true cars and the Korean brands are the new kid on the block. So far, even the new comers have had no really bad press.

The patriots who buy American are not the consumer of the long term, but the youth of today tend to be anti-American and wonder why they are out of work. If the parents throw them out, they may evolve and return to products made in America so they can work. Whatever your reasons are this is a good group of quality cars.

Save American Industry – throw your kids out or better yet don’t let them move back home after college. Then they will rethink what car they buy.

Recognized Competition:

Jeep Patriot $25,000, Dodge Nitro $24,000, Honda Element $24,000, Jeep Compass $26,000, Mazda 5 $22,000, Honda CR-V $28,000, Kia Sportage $22,000, Chevrolet HHR $21,000, Dodge Caliber $19,000, Ford Escape $27,000, Mitsubishi Outlander $25,000, Nissan Rogue $23,000, Subaru Forester $28,000, Suzuki SX4 Crossover $19,000, Toyota RAV4 $23,000, Toyota Matrix $22,000.
Good News:

Competitive, made in the USA, fair fuel economy for an SUV, classic styling dating back to the WWII Jeep – and if you are ever in the Philippines you will likely spend some time in a Jeep-ney which is their version of a taxi. To my readers who insist on a HONDA, consider this –Those Jeeps are left over from the 1940’s and they are still running, thank you! Let’s see if the Honda is still running after 72 years of hard driving.

Bad News:

None worth mentioning. I have to tell you (from experience) of time and owning an auto repair shop, there was a time when I wouldn’t buy a Chrysler product, but that is simply not true today. The great influences of Lee Iacocca and Daimler Mercedes Benz has made this company worthy.

Standard Equipment:

2.4 liter inline 4-cylinder 172 horsepower engine, continuously variable transmission, electronic stability control, 4-wheel anti-lock power disc brakes, front side and side curtain airbags, theft deterrent system, remote keyless entry, speed sensitive power locks, power windows, cruise control, power heated mirrors, removable LED rechargeable flashlight, rear window piper / washer and defroster, 115 and 12 volt outlets, heated front seats, power 6-way driver seat, 60/40 split folding back seat, audio with SIRIUS radio, audio input jack for mobile devices, climate control, information center, leather wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, tilt steering column, 17 inch aluminum wheels, fog lights and roof rails.

Gas Stats:

$4.11/ Gal avg. May 11, 2012
for more information.

21 City and 26 Highway MPG

MSRP $25,330.
Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2012 – An Automotive Love Affair

Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@autolove.com
Copyright © 2014 – An Automotive Love Affair.

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