2011 Jeep Patriot SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2011 Jeep Patriot SUV

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Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) is a category of used car. Often late-model vehicles, they have been inspected, refurbished, if necessary, and are under warranty by the manufacturer.
Jeep Patriot Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 172 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 23/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2011 Jeep Patriot

  • Those needing a cheap way to travel off the beaten path might want to consider the 2011 Jeep Patriot. Otherwise, steer clear of this out-classed compact-car-based Jeep SUV.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Low base price; Jeep-lite styling; above-average off-road ability compared to most car-based crossovers; several clever features.

  • Cons

    Sluggish acceleration; poor braking distances; disappointing base engine fuel economy; power-sapping continuously variable transmission (CVT); low-budget interior; limited cargo capacity.

  • What's New for 2011

    The 2011 Jeep Patriot gets updated exterior styling and a few better-quality interior trim pieces, plus standard cruise control. All models also get reworked steering and suspension hardware, while four-wheel-drive versions benefit from increased ride height. New options include 17-inch alloy wheels and a voice-control system for audio functions.

Full 2011 Jeep Patriot Review

What's New for 2011

The 2011 Jeep Patriot gets updated exterior styling and a few better-quality interior trim pieces, plus standard cruise control. All models also get reworked steering and suspension hardware, while four-wheel-drive versions benefit from increased ride height. New options include 17-inch alloy wheels and a voice-control system for audio functions.


Everyone's seen the classic comedy setup where the indecisive hero has one foot on the dock and one on the boat as the gap between the two grows wider by the second. Well, in an odd way, that turns out to be a fairly apt analogy for the 2011 Jeep Patriot.

You see, this compact SUV's problem is that it doesn't seem able to make up its mind what it wants to be. So in the process of trying to split the difference between traditional Jeep ruggedness and mild-mannered suburban-friendly runabout, it ends up not filling either role particularly well.

Despite its distinctive Jeep styling, the Patriot's off-pavement capabilities are relatively modest by true four-wheeling standards, even if you opt for the available Off-Road package with its increased ride height, skid plates and 4WD system with low-range transfer case. The same can be said for this Dodge Caliber-based compact SUV's on-pavement performance, which is hamstrung by lackluster powertrains and disappointing handling.

For 2011, Jeep engineers have at least tried to address this last issue with revised suspension and steering hardware. The automaker's design team has also taken a stab at patching over the Patriot's other glaring weakness -- a cabin filled with cheap-feeling hard plastics -- by adding some softer-touch materials to the door panels and center armrest.

The Patriot's real problem, however, is that it's up against a number of more appealing compact crossovers. While it's true that a properly equipped 2011 Jeep Patriot is more capable on a rugged trail than other comparably priced small SUVs, it pales in comparison to fully committed off-roaders like the Nissan Xterra, Toyota FJ Cruiser and Jeep's own Wrangler.

As for more direct competitors, the Subaru Forester also offers a robust all-wheel-drive system and respectable ground clearance, making it capable of satisfying occasional off-road needs while providing a superior everyday driving experience. Similarly, buyers simply looking for some added peace of mind when road conditions turn ugly will find AWD versions of small crossovers like the 2011 Chevrolet Equinox, 2011 Honda CR-V, 2011 Kia Sportage and 2011 Toyota RAV4 to be more refined alternatives.

In other words, unless you have the rather specific need for an inexpensive SUV with a true 4WD system that includes a low-range transfer case, we'd suggest you give this Patriot a crisp salute and look at competitors that concentrate on doing one thing very well.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2011 Jeep Patriot is a compact SUV that's offered in three trim levels. The entry-level base model comes with 16-inch steel wheels, foglamps, rear privacy glass, roof rails, cruise control, outside temperature display, a tilt-only steering wheel with audio controls, 60/40-split-folding rear seatbacks and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio input jack. The Power Value Group adds keyless entry, full power accessories and heated fold-away mirrors.

The midrange Latitude model includes the Power Value Group and adds 17-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning (available on base), heated front seats, a fold-flat front passenger seat, 60/40-split-folding rear seats with recline, keyless entry, remote ignition, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, a 115-volt AC power outlet, a trip computer and an upgraded sound system with a six-CD changer and satellite radio (available on base). The Latitude X adds the bigger engine standard, plus chrome-like exterior trim, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a six-way power driver seat, manual driver lumbar adjustment and a six-CD changer (optional on base).

The Latitude trims are available with a number of option packages. The Security and Cargo Convenience Group adds front side airbags, adjustable roof crossbars, remote ignition, daytime running lamps, a cargo cover, an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Bluetooth (available separately) and an iPod/USB audio interface. The Sun and Sound Group adds a sunroof and a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics sound system with satellite radio (base), subwoofer and two fold-down speakers in the tailgate. This sound system is available separately. There is also an upgraded stereo head unit that includes a touchscreen interface and 30GB of digital music storage.

Available on all 4x4 models is the Freedom-Drive Off-Road Group, which includes a more advanced four-wheel-drive system with low-range gearing, skid plates, hill descent control, hill start assist, all-terrain tires and tow hooks. On the base model, this Group includes 17-inch alloy wheels and a height-adjustable driver seat.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2011 Jeep Patriot is offered with one of two four-cylinder engines. The 2.0-liter version, which is standard on two-wheel-drive Sport and Latitude models, puts out 158 horsepower and 141 pound-feet of torque. The 2.4-liter engine, which comes under the hoods of Sport and Latitude models equipped with four-wheel drive and all Latitude X models, ups that output to 172 hp and 165 lb-ft.

Both engines come fitted with a five-speed manual gearbox; a continuously variable automatic (CVT) is available as an option. Front-wheel drive is standard, but there are two different four-wheel-drive systems offered. The Freedom Drive I system is intended for light-duty conditions like snowy roads, whereas the Freedom Drive II is a more traditional 4WD system with a low-range transfer case that makes it much more capable off-road.

In Edmunds testing, a 4x4 Patriot with the 2.4-liter and a CVT went from zero to 60 mph in 10.3 seconds, a slow time for this vehicle type. Patriots with the smaller 2.0-liter will be slower still.

EPA fuel economy estimates are 23 mpg city/29 mpg highway and 25 mpg combined for the 2.0-liter FWD Patriot with the manual transmission and 23/27/24 with the CVT. The 2.4-liter engine gets almost the same fuel economy with front drive and CVT (21/27/24), and 21/26/23 with all-wheel drive. Those with the Off-Road package return a relatively poor 20/23/21.


All 2011 Jeep Patriots comes standard with stability control with rollover mitigation, traction control, whiplash-reducing active front head restraints, and side curtain airbags. Four-wheel antilock disc brakes are standard on all 4WD models and the Latitude X, while others have antilock front discs and rear drums. Front-seat side impact airbags are optional on all models. In Edmunds brake testing, a 4x4 Patriot came to a stop from 60 mph in a poor 143 feet, which is about 20 feet worse than average.

While it hasn't been rated using the government's new, more strenuous 2011 crash testing procedure, the Patriot's 2010 frontal crash test scores (which aren't comparable to the new tests) were four stars out of five for driver protection and a perfect five stars for passenger protection in frontal impacts, and five stars for both front and rear passengers in side impacts with the optional front-seat side-impact airbags.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Patriot its top "Good" rating in its frontal-offset crash test. The Patriot was deemed "Good" in side impact testing when equipped with the optional side impact airbags, but without those bags, it was rated a second-to-worst "Marginal."

Interior Design and Special Features

The Patriot's cabin gets upgraded materials on the door panels and center console this year, but that does little to offset the rest of the hard plastics and poor fit and finish that give the interior a distinctly cut-rate feel. About the best we can say about this design is that the gauges and controls are straightforward and the front seats are reasonably comfortable.

There are a few bright spots, however, including a cargo area lamp that doubles as a removable LED flashlight and available premium audio systems with a 6.5-inch touchscreen and 30-gigabyte hard drive that can hold thousands of your favorite songs. Another clever idea is the optional Boston Acoustics speakers mounted in the liftgate that can be flipped down to provide a soundtrack to your next picnic.

Loading up the grub and other supplies for that alfresco dining adventure will be a bit of a challenge, though, due to the fact that the Patriot's cargo hold offers just 54 cubic feet of room. That's on par with smaller crossovers like the Hyundai Tucson and Kia Sportage, but far less than a GMC Terrain or Subaru Forester. An available fold-flat front passenger seat at least allows you to carry long items, while the removable easy-clean cargo floor should make life a little easier.

Driving Impressions

Even when fitted with the 172-hp 2.4-liter engine, the 2011 Jeep Patriot feels sluggish under hard acceleration. The CVT doesn't help any, as it's slow to respond to throttle inputs and tends to allow the engine to rev noisily at the redline when it finally figures out you want full power. Fitted with the available Off-Road package, which provides a healthy 9.0 inches of ground clearance, skid plates and a low-range transfer case, the Patriot is certainly better in the dirt than most compact crossovers. That said, the vehicle's less robust unibody construction and pavement-oriented tires means you'll want to think twice before taking it on any particularly gnarly trails.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

Please review nhtsa.gov website...this vechile

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Vehicle: 2011 Jeep Patriot Sport 4dr SUV (2.0L 4cyl 5M)

I own a 2011 Jeep Patriot and it stalled on HWY. I have in 30 years never replaced a transmission at 123K miles (HWY miles) I have already replaced my transmission. In addition, each time I have taken it in to get tires rotated and new tires I am told the treads are not "wearing down consistantly" this cause load noise with each rotation, even with new tires the same problem happened. I have replaced sway arm, ball joints, wheel bearing. I live in WI, it's cold, but never had I had a window crack from the cold and I've lived her my whole life. Please if you are looking to purchase this vechile I beg for your saftey go to:nhtsa.gov web site to see saftey problems with this Jeep!

1 of 1 people found this review helpful

Engine overheats

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Vehicle: 2011 Jeep Patriot Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

This Jeep is not made for going thru mountains. When still under warranty and 4 different trips, traveling from Phx to Flagstaff AZ to see family in the hot summer, would lose ALL power, coasted to side of road, wait till engine cooled and. nothing they could but but add another raditaor under front bumper, but I had to pay for it $300. My husband is a disabled vet. The V.A. in Prescott az bought a fleet of these jeeps, and the V.A. is not happy. When they had to travel thru mountains to do in home care, overheating, V.A. contacted Chrysler, sorry theres nothing we can about the problem ! 13 gal tank don't get far. V.A. uses different, cars now & bolts to remove, air cleaners!

2 of 2 people found this review helpful

Was i surprised

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Vehicle: 2011 Jeep Patriot Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I bought this car because it was the cheapest 4x4 with some off road capability on the market. I was not expecting much from Chrysler/Jeep & really didn't want to buy anything from them. I test drove it & was impressed so I bought it. WOW!!! Have I ever been surprised & pleased. I had bought a Honda CRV & a Toyota RAV4 a year earlier & wish I had purchased two Patriots instead. The Patriot has performed better than expected, well under all conditions & is a solid vehicle. The only problem I have had was the transmission overheated, but I blame Jeep & the dealer for not notifying me about a needed update for the CVT. Gas mileage is not great & it is geared low.

Gets you from a to

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Vehicle: 2011 Jeep Patriot Latitude X 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

Bought this brand new to replace my TL that died. Just had a kid so I decided to get an SUV, but on a limited budget since a new car wasn't planned. Not the smoothest ride (it is a jeep) & not a lot of power. Going uphill is a lot of work & the gas mileage is horrible (15mpg) I'm guessing because of design. Not aerodynamic at all. Cabin is very small. My sedan had more interior room. With a car seat in the back its a tight fit for other passengers when they can actually fit. Cargo area is small so transporting large items is out. Even with seats folded. Tried to move a playhouse & it wouldn't fit through rear opening. Loaded same playhouse into my brother in law's CR-V with ease

1 of 6 people found this review helpful


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Vehicle: 2011 Jeep Patriot Latitude X 4dr SUV 4WD (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

What seemed to be a great purchase. Soon turned into quite a different thing!

4 of 4 people found this review helpful

Keeps getting better

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Vehicle: 2011 Jeep Patriot Latitude X 4dr SUV (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I have just past the first year anniversary on my 2011 Patriot. At first I was simply in need of a new vehicle. Moving from a minivan to a jeep was difficult. I needed to get something smaller and affordable. The price was right. We used to own a Cherokee Sport 4X4 and I loved it. The Patriot is close in some respects so I went for it. At first, I was not too impressed. but as time went by I really came to enjoy it. Going on vacation really made me realize how nice it is. It gets good gas mileage, especially on the highway. It handles great and I like the auto stick feature for both manual upshifting and downshifting. I will buy another one when the time comes.

Talk About The 2011 Patriot

2011 Jeep Patriot Discussions See all Started By

In August 2011 I bought a 2008 Patriot auto-trans w/58,000 miles; now it has 61,500. Check engine light's come on and per my mechanic code says tran's in "limp" mode. In much kinder words he...

Gas Mileage


  • 23
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
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