Long time Jeep Wrangler fan Lisa Curtiss tries out one of the company’s new babies for size: the all-American sounding ‘Patriot’
I still half expect all Jeeps to be filled to the brim with surfboards, bronzed, tousled-haired beach bodies (including plenty of my lovely ‘pink posse’ boys), and bikini babes clogging the roads down to Newquay each July. Just as I imagine that other iconic 4×4, Defender, to be weighed down with horse feed, Hunter and Barbour-bedecked country set sorts in the Cotswolds with their mandatory accompaniment of slobbering labs or hyperactive, utterly loopy border collies.
Okay so the Nitro I also tested just before the Patriot was definitely, shall we say “different”. Instead of beach babes, you’d be forgiven for imagining half of the R&B fraternity rocking up in one, strangely, but compellingly drawn to its wonderfully OTT ‘bling out baby’ looks. But the Patriot? Well, it seems this could be just the model for more mainstream sorts. In fact Jeep tells me it’s for young families who, and I quote MD Peter Lambert here “want a vehicle that looks different but still offers plenty of room and practicality, together with great performance and fuel economy”. I wholeheartedly concur with all these points, but even though the performance is fine for the type of car it is, I’d not be so bold as to agree that it is ‘great’. Although, alas, I’m still lacking in the baby department, I can certainly see the appeal of the Patriot to thismarket. It is definitely roomy enough for a brace of kiddies – and half their playroom in the back or boot. It’s light and airy, really economical (42.2mpg comb), and for the money (£18,795), is well equipped as standard. Actually, it seems more so than its competitors.
There are also lots of safety features as standard, including side-curtain airbags, anti-lock brakes (ABS), Electronic Stability Program (ESP) with Electronic Roll Mitigation, and the Freedom-Drive I which is a full-time, active four wheel drive system. This new four-wheel drive system automatically switches from front to four-wheel-drive as you drive round a bend, or if you lose traction. The one thing I would say, is that in the unlikely event of you doing any serious off-roading in this, unless you’re 6ft tall, take a booster cushion. The driving position is higher than your average family hatch, but it’s not elevated enough to truly give you the ‘command’ driving position you need for ‘proper’ off-roading.
On tarmac, the ride itself is good: firm enough for you to feel relatively planted, while being comfortable. The engine feels willing, but alas a tad under-powered, but nevertheless bowls along motorways quite happily. Refreshingly, there’s not an irritating amount of road or engine noise.
On sale: Now // Price: £18,795 OTR
- Price: £18,795
- Engine: 1968cc,VW-sourced turbodiesel with direct injection
- Max Power: 138bhp @ 4,000 rpm
- Max Torque: 229 lb ft @ 1,750-2,500 rpm
- Towing Weight: 1,500 kg
- Combined Consumption: 42.2mpg
- CO2 Emissions (taxband): 180g/km ( E )
- 0-62mph: 11 secs
- Max speed: 117 mph
Well equipped, economical, roomy and a practical change from a standard family hatch, at a good price
It’s a tad under-powered, and the driving position is not suited to serious off-roading. The looks will not appeal to everyone