2012 Jeep Patriot
Left In The Weeds, But Okay With That
Seventy years ago, the Jeep Patriot would have been amazing. In 1941, the year the original Jeep was drawn up, the power windows, air conditioning and automatic transmission in this Patriot Latitude were features only available in cars like Packards.
The Patriot has features and dynamic capabilities unheard of back when the Jeep was an idea, not a brand. Seventy years of progress, perspective and turmoil has a way of turning the formerly amazing into the mundane. Since its introduction, along with its Compass close relation, this Illinois-built crossover has been viewed as the Fauxlex of Jeeps. It’s based on the defunct Dodge Caliber, which itself shares the Mitsubishi GS platform, ensuring a complete lack of underlying Jeep DNA. The only link back to Karl Probst and his seminal design is some squared-off styling and the impression that the Patriot was also designed over a marathon weekend, just like that first Bantam proposal.
There have been a couple rounds of updates to the Patriot to address previous foibles including its former horror chamber-like interior, along with moves to banish the traces of econobox from its styling. We wanted to sample these changes and see just how far the Patriot can go on its reserve of charm.