I was hesitant to buy this model because of the negative reviews. I test drove the Subaru Forrester because it was so highly rated. It was an Ok ride, but it just felt like I was driving a nice car not an SUV. As soon as I got behind the wheel of this Patriot I knew it was the vehicle for me. That is one solid vehicle! Holds the rode well and stops on a dime. I wanted a vehicle that was tough, durable and will get me around in the snow. I found it. I did not get a lot of fancy options because they are not important to me. This is basic model, no frills. It's a Jeep for goodness sake! I got mine for about $21K after rebate. Not a bad price for a 4 wheel drive vehicle IMO.
On demand 4WD (simple flip of a lever), the power stick (not sure correct name) that allows me to downshift to a lower gear by simply tapping it to the left. Will come in hand this winter decending the hills near my house.