The Jeep Patriot is a trendy hit song that the band never wants to play, but is more than happy to continue accepting royalty checks for. The media loves to bash it; yet consumers continue to buy it.
The Sport SE is the first time (that I can remember) that the Patriot has had an exclusive trim level not shared with Compass or copied from a Wrangler package (the mini Oscar Mike). Is the SE a final push before putting the Patriot to bed, or a way to freshen it up for another few years of production?
The SE is based on the entry level Sport model and adds standard features like tow hooks, mineral gray wheels and exterior accents, SE badging, exclusive cloth/vinyl seats, heated front seats, leather wrapped steering wheel, floor mats, and the ever so popular black hood decal. Being a Sport model, air conditioning and power windows and locks will cost extra, and set you back $1,375 and $2,000 respectively. Still, the availability of a small fuel efficient 4X4 SUV with a decent group of options for around $25,000 is a pretty sweet deal.
Search the vast interwebs for articles about the Patriot and you’ll find loads of reviews claiming that the little XJ styled Jeep is nothing more than a cheap budget vehicle, it’s underpowered, unrefined, too simple, too boxy, boring and outdated. Yet, figures released by FCA recently showed the Patriot continuing to outsell both Compass and Renegade; as well as selling nearly as many vehicles in 2015 as the other two models combined. Not all Jeep buyers want the fancy tech filled Cherokee or Renegade models and would much rather have a simple box that works.
The more I look at it, the more I want to go back and buy it; like many, I prefer a simple boxy Jeep.