The 2012 Jeep Patriot might seem like an affordable and useful vehicle for suburban errands or the commute, but before you sign up you should be aware that it gets several miles per gallon less than some of its somewhat larger alternatives.
EPA fuel economy ratings for the Patriot vary from 20 to 23 mpg in the city and 23 to 29 on the highway, with the 2.0-liter front-wheel-drive model (with manual transmission) getting the best rating of 23/29. A number of roomier crossovers now get over 30 mpg on the highway.
Models with the Freedom Drive II package are the least efficient, with ratings of just 20/23. But compared to serious, more truck-like off-roaders, the Patriot could be seen as one of the more frugal picks—especially if the Patriot could do the job instead of, say, a Wrangler or Xterra. For those who don't need trail ability, there's also a Freedom Drive I system—a more carlike all-wheel drive setup—that doesn't sap mileage in the same way.
Our best advice here is that if you're considering one of the four-wheel-drive models, that you crunch the numbers and consider how much more fuel you'll be using for occasional trail crawling.