The Patriot has been surprisingly resilient in the twilight of its career, finding plenty of new customers over the past few years. The Patriot trades on Jeep's "Trail Rated" toughness, it's only a legitimate off-roader with the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Group, which yields dismal fuel economy and requires the speed-sapping continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) besides. Otherwise, you choose between front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive, as with any other crossover.
2015 Jeep Patriot configurations
The 2015 Jeep Patriot is a five-passenger compact crossover SUV. It is available in Sport, Latitude and Limited trim levels. There are two notable sub-trims -- Altitude Edition and High Altitude Edition -- that add features to the Sport and Latitude, respectively, but come only with front-wheel drive, the base 2.0-liter engine and the CVT.
The Sport has an equipment roster that matches its modest price, comprising 16-inch steel wheels, roof rails, foglights, manual exterior mirrors, crank windows, manual locks, cruise control, cloth upholstery, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack.VVV
All Patriots can be equipped with Bluetooth as a stand-alone option, while Wi-Fi hotspot capability (subscription required) is a dealer-installed extra.
Also available across the board are the Freedom Drive I all-wheel-drive system and the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Group. The latter requires the CVT and adds low-range gearing, hill-start assist, hill-descent control, tow hooks, all-terrain tires, a full-size spare tire, skid plates and, on the Sport, 17-inch alloy wheels and a height-adjustable driver seat.
In Edmunds performance testing, a Patriot with Freedom Drive I and the six-speed automatic went from zero to 60 mph in 9.4 seconds, which is comparable to a Honda CR-V (9.5 seconds) and Toyota RAV4 (9.2 seconds) tested separately. However, a Patriot with Freedom Drive II chugged to 60 mph in 10.3 seconds, a leisurely time for a small crossover SUV. Properly equipped, the Patriot can tow up to 2,000 pounds.
The front-wheel-drive Sport and Latitude trims (including the Altitude and High Altitude variants) come standard with antilock brakes that include front discs and rear drums. The front-wheel-drive Limited and all Patriots with Freedom Drive I or Freedom Drive II get disc brakes front and rear. Traction and stability control are standard regardless, as are front side airbags and full-length side curtain airbags.
In Edmunds brake testing, the Patriot came to a stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, an average distance for this class.
In government crash testing, the Patriot earned an overall rating of four out of five stars, with a five-star rating for side impacts offset by a rather alarming three-star rating for frontal impacts. The independent Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Patriot its highest rating of "Good" in the moderate-overlap frontal-offset, side-impact and roof strength tests. The Patriot's seat and head restraint design was rated "Good" for whiplash protection in rear impacts.
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