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STYLING | 7 out of 10
distinctive Jeep styling
the Patriot got a new front fascia with a new grille and foglamps, new rear end, and new side cladding, and the muffler is now painted black...but in all honesty, it would take a Patriot fanatic or someone with a great eye for detail to see the difference.
The improved cabin, combined with styling tweaks, new wheels, and a raised ride height for models with 4WD, help the Patriot convince buyers that it is a faithful reinterpretation of the long departed and much loved Jeep Cherokee.
With chunky proportions that are boxy but not too refrigerator-like, and detailing that keeps it simple but purposeful, the 2012 Jeep Patriot somehow manages to look rugged and trail-ready yet not over-the-top macho. It fits right in on city streets as well as it does getting out to the campsite.
In the crisp sheetmetal of the Patriot, we see plenty of rugged Jeep appeal, and influences from the Wrangler and Liberty in the sheetmetal—along with the Jeep slotted grille. We're glad Jeep hasn't tried to change a thing about the exterior in the Patriot (the closely related Compass got a refresh last year), as it's a design that's aging well. About the only tweak Jeep has done is in extending the front and rear fascias, helping to accent the wheel arches.
On the inside, it's a sturdy, attractive cabin from a few paces back, and some hints of brightwork added over the past couple of model years have spruced it up from the purely drab it had originally been, but there's still a lot of hard, dull plastic up close.
The 2012 Jeep Patriot has boxy styling that looks in place almost anywhere, whether that's parallel-parked in the city or crawling to a trailhead.