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2014 Jeep Patriot Limited


CHERYL JEEPby Cheryl Eldridge and wire reports

I am avid Jeep lover! So when I was delivered a one-week test drive with the Patriot Limited, it made life a little easier.
It’s easier for seating, traveling with elderly people and children. Now, I am a busy mother of three, and also transport my mother on a daily basis while running errands. There’s nothing like the adventure of good conversations while driving with these  group of people. Most seniors have a hard time with entering and exiting the car, but my mother didn’t need any assistance with travel when it came to the Patriot.
Thanks Patriot for looking out for the more mature audience.
Technically speaking, the 2014 Jeep Patriot receives a newly optional six-speed automatic transmission. Front-side airbags are now standard rather than optional.
My $26,055 tester  is a compact crossover SUV that seats five people. It is available in Sport, Latitude and Limited trim levels.
The base Sport level is sparsely equipped with standard 16-inch steel wheels, roof rails, foglights, cruise control, cloth upholstery, a tilt-only steering wheel, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat and a four-speaker sound system with a CD player and an auxiliary audio jack. The optional Power Value Group adds full power accessories, heated mirrors, keyless entry and additional body-color exterior pieces. Air-conditioning and 17-inch alloy wheels are also optional.
The Latitude gets the above features as standard, plus a leather-wrapped steering wheel, a height-adjustable driver seat, heated front seats, a fold-flat front passenger seat and steering-wheel audio controls.
My tester, the  Limited, adds automatic climate control, rear disc brakes (versus rear drum brakes), upgraded exterior trim, leather upholstery, a six-way power driver seat (plus manual lumbar adjustment), a six-CD changer and a trip computer.
The Latitude and Limited are eligible for several option packages. The Sun and Sound Group adds a sunroof and a nine-speaker Boston Acoustics sound system (with two drop-down lift-gate speakers) and satellite radio. The Security and Cargo Convenience Group adds adjustable roof rail crossbars, remote ignition, a tire pressure monitor display, a cargo cover, Bluetooth, a USB audio jack and an auto-dimming rearview mirror. A 6.5-inch touchscreen audio interface that includes digital music storage is also available, and on Limited models, it can be equipped with a navigation system as well.
All-wheel-drive models, regardless of trim, can be equipped with the Freedom-Drive II Off-Road Group. This includes an enhanced four-wheel-drive system, all-terrain tires, a full-size spare tire, hill descent control, tow hooks, skid plates and, on the Sport, a height-adjustable driver seat.
When equipped with standard front-wheel drive, the 2014 Jeep Patriot Sport and Latitude are powered by a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that produces 158 horsepower and 141 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is optional.
EPA-estimated fuel economy with front-wheel drive and the six-speed automatic is 21 mpg city/28 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined.The manual version does slightly better with mpg ratings of 23/28/25.
Optional on the front-drive Sport and Latitude is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produces 172 hp and 165 lb-ft of torque. This engine is standard on all-wheel-drive models and all Patriot Limited models. You can choose between the five-speed manual and six-speed automatic transmission. The optional Freedom-Drive II Group provides a more serious four-wheel-drive system with low-range gearing and hill descent control, but requires that you also select the available continuously variable transmission (CVT).
EPA-estimated fuel economy with the 2.4-liter engine, the five-speed manual and all-wheel drive stands at 23/28/25. Picking the automatic drops these numbers to 21/27/23. With the CVT, fuel comes in at 20/23/21.
In Edmunds performance testing, a Patriot Limited with Freedom-Drive II and the CVT needed a lengthy 10.3 seconds to go from zero to 60 mph: one of the slowest times of any small crossover SUV.
On the safety side, the 2014 Jeep Patriot comes standard with antilock brakes (front disc, rear drum), traction and stability control, and full-length side curtain airbags. The Limited gets rear disc brakes. Front side airbags were optional last year but are now standard across all Patriot trim levels.
In government crash testing, last year’s Patriot earned an overall rating of four out of five stars, with three stars for total frontal-impact protection and five stars for side-impact protection. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Patriot the highest possible rating of “Good” in the frontal-offset, side-impact (with the side airbags) and roof strength tests.
At first glance, the Patriot’s interior looks nice enough, if a little utilitarian. Large, easy-to-read gauges and user-friendly controls are at least in keeping with Jeep’s off-road heritage, though the available touchscreen electronics interface is antiquated, as it lags behind competitors’ systems in both ease of use and smartphone-integration features. It’s a little complicated when trying to pair phones; however, I figured it out with its voice recognition tutorial. There are a couple of clever features such as the cargo area lamp that pops out to become a rechargeable LED flashlight and the optional Boston Acoustics speakers that flip down from the raised liftgate to provide tunes for your next tailgate party. You’d better not plan to bring a lot to that party, though. With just 23 cubic feet of space behind the 60/40-split rear seats and 53.5 cubic feet with both sections folded down, the cargo area is significantly smaller than that of most crossover SUV competitors, save for the Sportage. The Escape offers 68.1 cubic feet of capacity, while the Honda CR-V has more than 70 cubic feet of cargo volume.

Until next week, buckle up, drive safe, don’t text and drive and enjoy life.