2010 Jeep Patriot Review

Consumer Reviews
0 Reviews
2018
The Car Connection
See the nominees and vote »
2018
The Car Connection

The Car Connection Expert Review

Bengt Halvorson Bengt Halvorson Deputy Editor
December 10, 2009

The 2010 Jeep Patriot is unlike any other vehicle on the market, with good safety, a spacious interior, and city-friendly maneuverability, plus just enough Jeep-ness for weekend campers.

TheCarConnection.com has researched a range of published road tests from top-tier sources in order to bring you all the most useful information on the 2010 Jeep Patriot. Editors from TheCarConnection.com have used their firsthand impressions of the Patriot to compile our own authoritative take in this Bottom Line.

With the shift to crossovers and smaller SUVs, it is appropriate that the 2010 Jeep Patriot sits on a car platform. It is mechanically similar to both the more softly styled Jeep Compass and the more carlike Dodge Caliber, but the Patriot gets boxier, chunkier styling that both looks better and is more functional than either of its platform-mates.

For 2010, the Jeep Patriot remains relatively untouched compared to last year’s model. For this year, we see the return of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 158 horsepower in the base Patriot Sport 4x2, but it still provides barely adequate performance. The 172-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that's included in the rest of the line is considerably more energetic but not peppy. Both are offered with a five-speed manual or CVT automatic, and the Patriot can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive. Both engines can be very loud during hard acceleration with the CVT, as it allows the engine to rev near redline for a sustained period. This is still the case, even though the Patriot received a number of small changes last year to combat this issue, including a new engine compartment and interior floor insulation to reduce noise.

Parking an off-roading SUV can be the stuff of nightmares, but with clearly defined corners, the Jeep is easy to park and fits into small spaces, thanks to its compact-car size. Dynamics and maneuverability, surprisingly, are strengths. The 2010 Jeep Patriot has good, communicative steering, and although the body leans some, it doesn't seem out of place on a curvy road.

Review continues below

The Patriot’s seating is well laid out; the front seats aren't that supportive, but due to the boxy shape, there's plenty of headroom in front, plus enough headroom and legroom in the back for adults. Just two adults will fit comfortably in the backseat of the 2010 Jeep Patriot, due to the narrow body and lack of shoulder room inside. When it comes to the interior, it's hard not to mention the word "plastic" when describing almost any item. In this way, the Patriot's interior is basic and sturdy—looking—though not wholly unattractive. The plus side of all this plastic trim is that if you do take it off-roading and track mud everywhere, it’ll be a lot easier to clean than carpet or leather. Additionally, the cargo floor is rubberized and cleans up easily. Other standard features include a rechargeable flashlight stored in the rear cargo area and speakers that can fold out from the back hatch (i.e. facing away from the car) for tailgating entertainment.

To prove that the Patriot is not just another urban runabout hiding underneath a big SUV body, Jeep is offering a Trail-Rated package for the 2010 Patriot. This includes a low-range transmission, skid plates, heavy-duty cooling, and hill descent control. Buyers opting for this package will also get an extra inch of ground clearance, thanks to the trail suspension system.

When it comes to safety, the 2010 Patriot fares well in the federal government's crash tests, with four- and five-star ratings for frontal protection and five stars for side impact. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awards the Patriot with "good" scores in frontal and side tests. Roof strength testing also yields a result of "good." The 2010 Jeep Patriot comes with a very generous list of standard safety features for the price, including electronic stability control with electronic roll mitigation, front side airbags, and side curtain airbags.

The base-level Sport model comes rather simply equipped, with manual-winding windows, but air conditioning and a CD sound system are standard. For power accessories, heated leather seats, keyless entry, cruise control, a 115-volt power outlet, and other extras, you'll need to step up to the Limited.

8

2010 Jeep Patriot

Styling

Unlike the mechanically related Jeep Compass and Dodge Caliber, the boxy style of the 2010 Jeep Patriot has broad appeal.

The 2010 Jeep Patriot is mechanically similar to both the more softly styled Jeep Compass and the more carlike Dodge Caliber, but the Patriot gets boxier, chunkier styling that both looks better and is more functional than either of its platform-mates.

When it comes to looks, Kelley Blue Book refers to the 2010 Jeep Patriot's styling, with its square lines and boxy stance, as one that "evoke[s] the purpose-built style of the now-defunct Cherokee and, to a lesser degree, its Grand Cherokee successor." Automobile Magazine states that the Jeep Patriot "looks far more like a tough-guy off-roader than its curvaceous urbanite rivals." This is especially noticeable when putting the Patriot alongside the Compass; while the Compass has rounded corners and a more carlike presence, the Jeep Patriot wears a boxier, utilitarian look. Motor Trend describes it as "more palatable Jeep styling" that is more rugged-looking and truer to the no-nonsense, trailblazing silhouette of the older Jeep models.

Last year, we saw the Patriot get a new interior refresh, which added some style to the purposeful interior. The shiny enhancements still don't especially impress Edmunds, who complain that the "cabin features large gauges and simple controls but is ultimately defined by a sea of hard, low-quality plastic." The Patriot's interior on the base Sport model is equipped with vinyl seating for five that shows some big expanses of plastic on the dash but with large, easy-to-read instrumentation. While basic, the interior is attractive and sturdy-looking.  Automobile Magazine says "the Patriot's upright dash and flat expanse of hood make you feel as though you're in something substantial—more truck than minivan—and the simple controls are logically laid out."

6

2010 Jeep Patriot

Performance

If you can live with the unsophisticated and rather sluggish powertrain performance (or skip the CVT), there's a lot left to like about the 2010 Jeep Patriot; it handles well, and there's some off-road capability.

For 2010, the Jeep Patriot remains relatively untouched compared to last year’s model. For this year, we see the return of the 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 158 horsepower in the base Patriot Sport 4x2, but it still provides barely adequate performance. The 172-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine that's included in the rest of the line is considerably more energetic—but still not peppy. Both are offered with a five-speed manual or CVT automatic, and the Patriot can be had with either front- or all-wheel drive.

In fact, acceleration can be a chore, rather than a joy with the CVT powertrain. Edmunds explains that "when equipped with the CVT, the Patriot accelerates sluggishly compared with other compact SUVs, and the lack of fixed ratios keeps the revs on a noisy boil." ConsumerGuide concurs, reporting that there is “adequate pull from a stop with either transmission, though models with the CVT struggle in passing and merging."

For most people, the 172-horsepower, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine included in the rest of the line will be much more appealing—it’s more energetic, although still not peppy. Both engines can be very loud during hard acceleration with the CVT, as it allows the engine to rev near redline for a sustained period of time. Automobile is ultimately not impressed by the CVT, describing it as "less work but also less amusing" than the five-speed manual transmission available on the 2.4-liter Patriot. Edmunds also prefers the manual transmission available with the larger engine, noting that the "power delivery feels more energetic and linear with the manual gearbox."

Unlike some SUVs and larger vehicles in general, the 2010 Patriot is easy to drive and park, thanks to its compact-car size and well-defined corners. Although the body leans some, it doesn't seem out of place on a curvy road and offers good, communicative steering. According to Edmunds, "the 2010 Jeep Patriot shows some body roll, but overall the Patriot takes corners confidently with a firm and controlled ride." ConsumerGuide describes the on-road ride as "comfortable and stable" and the steering as "accurate” and “natural-feeling."

When it comes to off-roading performance, once again this depends on how much money you are willing to pay on top of the Patriot’s basic asking price. The Freedom Drive II option available with the CVT gives the Jeep Patriot a plethora of off-road-oriented features like low-range gearing, hill descent control, and extra ground clearance. A Trail-Rated package for the 2009 Jeep Patriot adds a tougher suspension and boosts ground clearance by an inch. Furthermore, it brings a low range for the transmission, skid plates, heavy-duty cooling, and hill descent control. Automobile refers to the Patriot equipped with the Freedom Drive II package as "not Rubicon-ready, but...actually pretty good off-road." Edmunds goes on to say that with the optional off-road package, the Jeep Patriot can "tame trails and hills that would be off-limits to most competitors in its class."

The 2010 Patriot line offers an EPA-estimated 23 mpg in the city and 27 mpg on the highway when equipped with the 2.0-liter engine and automatic transmission. Meanwhile, the 2.4-liter powerplant ranges from 19/21 mpg with the "4WD, automatic, off-road package" to 23/28 mpg when equipped with "2WD, manual,” says Kelley Blue Book.

6

2010 Jeep Patriot

Comfort & Quality

The 2010 Jeep Patriot has plenty of interior and cargo space, thanks to the boxy shape, but it lags behind virtually all vehicles in this class due to its plasticky interior and unrefined feel.

The Patriot’s seating is well laid out, with ample space for four adults and good cargo space to boot. However the 2010 Patriot still isn't quite up to the standards of other vehicles in this class for interior materials.

According to Cars.com, "Two rows of seats [that] provide room for five occupants" are offered. ConsumerGuide says, "High-mounted seats contribute to generous legroom," while Edmunds remarks, "those of taller stature will appreciate this SUV's voluminous headroom." Seating is well designed; front seats aren't that supportive, but due to the boxy design, there's plenty of headroom, plus even more headroom and legroom in back for adults. However, the Patriot won’t be perfect for taking five people on a long trip; just two adults will fit comfortably in the 2010 Jeep Patriot, due to the narrow body and lack of shoulder room.

Although it has the style and proportions of larger Jeeps, the 2010 Jeep Patriot still can't compare to bigger sport utilities when it comes to cargo capacity. Edmunds simply refers to its cargo capacity as "subpar,” while Cars.com explains that "with the front passenger seat and rear seats folded...the Patriot can hold an 8-foot ladder." Thus, with its folding rear seat and folding passenger seat, the Jeep Patriot does provide cargo space, but at the temporary expense of passenger room.

When it comes to the interior, it's hard not to mention the word "plastic" when describing almost any item. In this way, the Patriot's interior is basic and sturdy—looking—though not wholly unattractive. The plus side of all this plastic trim is that if you do take it off-roading and track mud everywhere, it’ll be a lot easier to clean than carpet or leather. Kelley Blue Book describes it as “among the least interesting interiors in the category,” while Edmunds is more scathing, disappointed by the fact that the Patriot "suffers from low-grade materials" and (even with optional upgrades to the interior) is "ultimately defined by a sea of hard, low-quality plastic and inconsistent fit and finish." On the plus side, ConsumerGuide lauds the vehicle for its easy-to-clean surfaces that are "appropriate to [the] Patriot's rugged pretenses," but they complain about "hard, unyielding plastic [that] dominates the décor." Other standard features include a rechargeable flashlight stored in the rear cargo area and speakers that can fold out from the back hatch (i.e. facing away from the car), for tailgating entertainment.

Last year’s additions of an upgraded engine compartment and interior floor insulation helped to reduce noise somewhat, while ride quality was also improved last year, thanks to a new suspension system.

8

2010 Jeep Patriot

Safety

The 2010 Jeep Patriot gets high, though not perfect, ratings for safety, in a class of high achievers.

Standard safety features abound on the 2010 Jeep Patriot, and crash-test scores are good from both insurance groups and the federal government.

When it comes to safety, the 2010 Patriot fares well in the federal government's crash tests, with four- and five-star ratings for frontal protection and five stars for side impact. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety awards the Patriot with "good" scores in frontal and side tests. Roof strength testing also yields a result of "good."

The 2010 Jeep Patriot comes with a very generous list of standard safety features for the price, including electronic stability control with electronic roll mitigation, front side airbags, and side curtain airbags.

ConsumerGuide states that for the occupants of the Jeep Patriot, "Visibility is good all around." Cars.com adds that four-wheel-drive Jeep Patriots get hill descent control and off-road brake traction control.

9

2010 Jeep Patriot

Features

If you're willing to spend a little extra money, the 2010 Jeep Patriot offers some very useful options.

The 2010 Jeep Compass doesn't come with much standard equipment, especially at the base Sport level, but most reviewers zero in on its intriguing list of options.

The base-level Sport model comes rather simply equipped, with manual-winding windows, but air conditioning and a CD sound system are standard. For power accessories, heated leather seats, keyless entry, cruise control, a 115-volt power outlet, and other extras, you'll need to step up to the Limited.

People looking for luxury features will want to note the less than enticing standard manual windows and locks as pointed out by Cars.com on the Sport Jeep Patriot. Edmunds calls the standard Sport Patriot "pretty basic" and highlights the upscale features available in the more expensive Limited package, such as 17-inch aluminum wheels, fog lights, privacy glass, and chrome exterior accents.

Edmunds reports that both the Sport and Limited trim levels can be optioned with such gizmos as a six-disc CD changer and a Boston Acoustics premium audio system with satellite radio and flip-down speakers in the liftgate. Kelley Blue Book comments that "outdoorsy Jeep types will find it an especially alluring option." The 2010 Jeep Patriot Limited also features a 115-volt outlet, power accessories, cruise control, and remote keyless entry in its list of standard equipment. Edmunds specifically mentions that the 2010 Jeep's option list for the Patriot Limited includes a navigation system, skid plates, and even hands-free phone connectivity.

In terms of more unusual options that are targeted to the outdoors-oriented Jeep customer, ConsumerGuide likes the Patriot’s rubber-coated floor since it’s “easy to clean, perfect for carrying dirty, messy cargo." Cars.com also appreciates the ability to order a removable cargo area dome light that serves as a handy rechargeable flashlight, as well as a chilled glove box.

Continue Reading

The Car Connection Consumer Review

Rate and Review your car for The Car Connection! Tell us your own ratings for a vehicle you own. Rate your car on Performance, Safety, Features and more.
Write a Review
USED PRICE RANGE
$4,900 - $13,995
Browse Used Listings
in your area
7.4
Overall
Expert Rating
Rating breakdown on a scale of 1 to 10?
Styling 8.0
Performance 6.0
Comfort & Quality 6.0
Safety 8.0
Features 9.0
Fuel Economy N/A
Compare the 2010 Jeep Patriot against the competition
Compare All Cars
Looking for a different year of the Jeep Patriot?
Read reviews & get prices
Related Used Listings
Browse used listings in your area
See More Used