Jeep Patriot loaded with technology, safety features

Jeep Patriot has familiar square design, round headlights, sevenslot grille.

With its rugged styling, 4×4 off-road capability, excellent fuel economy and interior versatility, the Jeep Patriot is a popular SUV with American consumers and many claim it is the best-priced compact SUV on the market today.

The Patriot was re-styled in 2011 and it continues much the same in the 2012 model year, with its familiar square design, round headlights and seven-slot grille. It’s offered in three levels: Sport, Latitude and Limited. All are available with front-wheel drive, the Freedom Drive I full-time, active 4×4 system or the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package with low-range capability.

Patriot Sport — powered by the 158 hp 2.0-liter I-4 World Gas Engine (23/29 mpg) mated to a continuously variable transmission (CVT2) or a five-speed manual transmission. Standard features include electronic stability control, electronic roll mitigation, Hill-start Assist, advanced, multi-stage front and passenger air bags, anti-lock front disc and rear drum brakes, audio jack, fog lamps, illuminated cup holders, removable/ rechargeable flashlight, floor mats, outside temperature display, fold-flat 60/40 folding rear seat, rear seat heat ducts, rear window defrost and wiper, front sliding visors with mirror, tilt steering column, cruise control, deep tint glass and roof side rails.

Patriot Latitude — has all the standard features of the Sport and more. It adds air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, power heated exterior mirrors, illuminated keyless entry, 17-inch aluminum wheels, remote start, front heated cloth seats, rear 60/40 seat recline, driver seat height adjuster, fold-flat front passenger seat, 115- volt power inverter, body color exterior door handles and liftgate brow and a leatherwrapped steering wheel with audio and speed controls.

Patriot Limited — top-of-the-line; powered by the bigger 172 hp 2.4-liter I-4 World Gas Engine. Has all the standard equipment of its siblings and more; comes with leather seats, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, driver’s seat manual lumbar adjust, leatherwrapped parking brake handle, six-way power driver’s seat, Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC), AM/FM/six-disc CD/DVD/MP3/HDD radio, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, automatic temperature control, bright exhaust tip and bright accents on the front and rear fascias.

The 2012 Jeep Patriot offers an array of technological and consumer features for communication and navigation. They include a Uconnect media center with iPod interface, SiriusXM Satellite Radio and SIRIUS Travel Link navigation, along with a power sunroof, a premium audio system with nine Boston Acoustic speakers, liftgate speakers, illuminated cup holders and fold-flat rear seats.

Standard features include illuminated cup holders, sunscreen glass, fog lamps, removable/ rechargeable flash light, outside temperature display, rear fold-flat 60/40 folding seat, rear window defrost and wiper, tilt steering column, cruise control and sliding visors with mirror.

The 2012 Patriot can tow up to 2,000 pounds, so it’s a nice choice for a family with a small boat on a trailer. Base price on the 2012 Jeep Patriot is $15,995.

Ron Beasley is the automotive editor for Miami Community Newspapers. He may be contacted by calling 305-662-2277, ext. 261, or by addressing email correspondence to LetsTalkCars@aol.com

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