For the money, I just donít think anything can compete with the new 2011 Patriot.
I purchased a sport 2WD model with the 2.4l upgrade and power package with a manual 5spd for under $18 grand.
Now I understand that I am not going to be off-roading or rock crawling with this vehicle, but as a very nice small hauler and weekend fun machine it fits the bill perfectly.
Now I would definitely recommend the manual, because the CVT transmissions really suck the fun out of the vehicle.
However the 5spd with the 2.4l is peppy and can easily handle highway merges and quick maneuvers.
The vehicle feels competent at speed and never seems to want for power even when overtaking.
The new updated styling really seems to hail back from the good oleí Cherokee days.
It has that classic Jeep Cherokee shape and the new front just seems more sophisticated than the earlier models.
The 5spd manual mated to the 2.4l engine makes for an enjoyable driving experience for those who actually like to row through the gears.
The shifts, while a little long, are nice and solid with a little snick at each upshift.
The headroom and general interior space is fantastic.
Iím 6.1í and there is no problem with entry or exit and driving feels great and completely unencumbered.
The back seat could be a bit more ergonomic, but even that is hard to complain about for the price.