The Patriot does reveal its car-based layout with an especially low front seating position; it's high enough for most to be able to see the front corners of the vehicle, yet not so high to feel tipsy as in more traditional SUV designs.
Cargo space is where the Patriot shines not only compared to the related Compass but to most other very compact utility vehicles; the tall roofline and boxy proportions make the cargo space behind the backseat more usable, and rear seatbacks fold forward neatly. The front passenger seat also folds forward to accommodate long items (an eight-foot ladder, for instance).
While the overall design of the interior hasn't changed, Chrysler has given the Patriot a subtle (yet still significant) set of trim and material upgrades for 2011. The new soft-touch door trim panels (front only, oddly); new padded center armrest; a new steering-wheel design, and thin chrome rings around climate control switches give the Patriot's cabin a lift. That said, it's still one of the most plasticky interiors of any utility vehicle. Admittedly, some will like this; it's probably one of the easiest interiors to clean up and keep clean, and the wet-wipe-friendly cargo floor is rubberized.
Thanks to recent engineering improvements—including more floor padding and better underhood noise isolation—the Patriot is quieter inside than it originally was; however it remains one of the noisier choices inside, and while road and wind noise are reasonably well-damped, the engine noise (especially with the CVT) is obtrusive.