2012 Jeep Patriot SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2012 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 Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 172 hp @ 6000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 22/28 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No

Review of the 2012 Jeep Patriot

  • Those wanting a cheap way to travel off the beaten path might want to consider the 2012 Jeep Patriot. But in most other areas, the Patriot is outclassed.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Low base price; Jeep-lite styling; above-average off-road ability; clever features.

  • Cons

    Sluggish acceleration; poor braking distances; disappointing fuel economy; limited cargo capacity.

  • What's New for 2012

    The 2012 Jeep Patriot has had its available continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) recalibrated for improved performance.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

2011 latitude 4x4 cvt

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Vehicle: 2011 Jeep Patriot

I bought the 2011 Patriot as a program car in the spring of 2012. I have been pretty satisfied until now, it has 83,000 miles and I am replacing the first set of tires. noticed some wear issues and have been informed that it needs left and right front control arms and rear tow links....that's around $500 dollars in parts before labor. I am told this is very common for the Patriot, NAPA says they sell lots of these parts. This is my first Jeep and it may very well be my last. It gets good mileage,24-26.5 mph, it is driven 72 miles a day and babied for mileage. If I were trading vehicles today it would be a very uphill sale for Jeep.

Please review nhtsa.gov website...this vechile

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Vehicle: 2011 Jeep Patriot

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

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

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

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

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

Gas Mileage


  • 22
  • cty
  • 28
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2012 Jeep Patriot Review

What's New for 2012

The 2012 Jeep Patriot has had its available continuously variable automatic transmission (CVT) recalibrated for improved performance.


The 2012 Jeep Patriot is caught between a vision of Jeep-style off-road authenticity and suburban-style everyday utility. It's a difficult mix to make, and the process is complicated by the demands of a low sticker price and high fuel economy.

A car-type unibody platform like the Patriot's can be made to deliver trail-rated performance, as the Jeep Grand Cherokee has proven for several decades, so we shouldn't be surprised to see that the Patriot can be fitted with an optional off-road option package. It gives this small crossover surprising capability in the dirt thanks to increased ride height, skid plates and a four-wheel-drive system complete with a transfer case that has dual-range gear ratios for low-speed crawling.

It's the Patriot's highway personality that has been the obstacle that has kept this Dodge Caliber-based crossover from getting much respect. The combination of a small four-cylinder engine and a CVT makes for great fuel economy but relatively unimpressive performance — an issue that plagues many compact crossovers, not just the Patriot. Last year the Jeep engineers brought more personality to the Patriot with revised suspension and steering hardware, and now the CVT has been recalibrated for 2012. The automaker's design team has also added some soft-touch materials to its easy-to-clean, industrial-style cabin.

The Patriot's real challenge, however, lies in the quality of its competition, because this segment of compact crossovers is one of the most competitive in the market. Buyers simply looking for some added peace of mind when road conditions turn ugly will find all-wheel-drive versions of small crossovers like the Chevrolet Equinox, Honda CR-V and Kia Sportage to be more refined alternatives.

As compact crossovers go, the Jeep Patriot is indeed the one meant to get dirty, whether it's simple weekend sport or real all-terrain mobility. But if you're just looking for a people-friendly transportation box, you probably want to give this Patriot a crisp salute and look to its more well-rounded competition.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2012 Jeep Patriot is a compact SUV that's offered in three trim levels: Sport, Latitude and Limited.

The entry-level Sport model comes with 16-inch steel wheels, foglamps, rear privacy glass, roof rack side rails, cloth upholstery, 60/40-split-folding rear seatbacks, cruise control, outside temperature display, a tilt-only steering wheel with audio controls, and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. Options include air-conditioning and the Power Value Group, which adds keyless entry, full power accessories and heated mirrors.

The midrange Latitude trim level adds the Sport's above optional items. plus 17-inch alloy wheels, remote ignition, heated front seats, a height-adjustable driver seat, a fold-flat front passenger seat, 60/40-split-folding and reclining rear seats, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, a 115-volt AC power outlet and a trip computer.

The top-of-the-line Limited model adds a few extras including a larger four-cylinder engine, four-wheel disc brakes, automatic climate control, leather upholstery, a six-way power driver seat and an upgraded sound system with a six-CD changer (optional on Sport) and satellite radio.

The Security and Cargo Convenience Group available on the Latitude and Limited adds daytime running lights, front-seat side-impact airbags (available separately on the Sport), roof rack crossbars, remote ignition, a cargo cover, an auto-dimming rearview mirror and Bluetooth (available separately on all trims). The Sun and Sound Group also available on the Latitude and Limited adds a sunroof and a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics audio system with two fold-down speakers in the tailgate (which is also available separately). The Off-Road Group available on all Patriots with Freedom Drive I adds the Freedom Drive II all-wheel-drive system, all-terrain tires, skid plates, tow hooks and hill descent control.

Powertrains and Performance

The 2012 Jeep Patriot Sport and Latitude models come standard with front-wheel drive and a 2.0-liter four-cylinder rated at 158 horsepower and 141 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a CVT is optional. EPA-estimated fuel economy is 23 mpg city/27 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined with the CVT and 23/29/25 with the manual.

A 2.4-liter four-cylinder is optional on the front-drive Sport and Latitude, and standard on the Limited and all Patriots equipped with the "Freedom Drive I" all-wheel-drive system. It produces 172 hp and 165 lb-ft, and also features the five-speed manual and CVT (standard on Limited). The optional "Freedom Drive II" is a more traditional four-wheel-drive system with a low-range transfer case that makes it more suitable for off-pavement exploration.

In Edmunds testing, a four-wheel-drive Patriot with the 2.4-liter engine and CVT went from zero to 60 mph in 10.3 seconds, a slow time for this type of vehicle. EPA-rated fuel economy ranges from a decent 23/28/25 with the manual and front-wheel drive to 20/23/21 with Freedom Drive II.


All 2012 Jeep Patriots come standard with antilock brakes, stability and traction control, active front head restraints and side curtain airbags. Front-seat side-impact airbags are optional on all models. In Edmunds brake testing, a four-wheel-drive Patriot came to a stop from 60 mph in a poor 143 feet -- about 20 feet longer than average.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Patriot its top "Good" rating in frontal-offset crash tests. Results were mixed in the organization's side impact tests, however, with the Patriot earning a "Good" rating when equipped with the optional side-impact airbags and a second-to-worst "Marginal" without them.

Interior Design and Special Features

At first glance the Patriot's interior looks nice enough, if a little utilitarian. On closer examination, however, the extensive use of easy-to-clean but hard plastics in the off-road style keep the interior from feeling comfortable. Almost every compact crossover is nicer. The front seats are comfortable enough, but rear seat legroom is tight in the outboard seats and virtually nonexistent in the center position.

Large, easy-to-read gauges and user-friendly controls reinforce the Jeep's off-road heritage. Other positives include clever ideas like the cargo area lamp that pops out to become a rechargeable LED flashlight and the optional Boston Acoustic speakers that flip down from the raised liftgate to provide tunes for your next tailgate party.

Which brings us to the Patriot's undersize cargo hold, the interior's notable weakness. With just 23 cubic feet of space behind the 60/40-split rear seats and 53.5 cubic feet with both sections folded down, it's significantly smaller than those in crossover competitors like the Honda CR-V and Subaru Forester. That said, the standard fold-flat front passenger seat makes it possible to squeeze long items inside and still get the tailgate closed.

Driving Impressions

Of the 2012 Jeep Patriot's two available engines, even the larger 2.4-liter is underwhelming when it comes to highway power, but the availability of a five-speed manual transmission makes this vehicle very capable for off-road adventure.

Since the available Freedom Drive I all-wheel-drive system is really only meant to provide added peace of mind when roads turn slippery, it's the Freedom Drive II system you'll want if you expect to be spending much time in the dirt.

At the same time, this dimension of off-road capability also has consequences in the calibration of the suspension, so the comfort quotient in the fast lane on the freeway might not be what you expect. Then again, a Jeep is meant to deliver a certain amount of toughness.

Talk About The 2012 Patriot

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