Jeep Patriot: At home in the city or off road

Friday May 29 2020


By Mark Kawalya

What kind of man or woman drives a Jeep? What metrics do they use to come to their purchase decision? First, spares are not common and skilled mechanics to handle the cars are but a handful. Well, in our market, I believe Jeeps are driven by people who will not settle for less.

The kind that you tell, “Boss there is no solution to this problem,” and they will tell you “Find it anyway.” A people that will drive the car they want regardless of how much it costs and what obstacles they have to face to keep it running.
The Jeep Patriot is a mid-sized SUV that shares the same boyishly handsome looks as its bigger brothers such as the Commander. For many years, Chrysler which owns the brand, has followed a design philosophy that has created cars with simple yet bold and boxy looks. Looks that have become very characteristic of the brand.
The Patriot has a pair of round headlights that sit in between an aggressive grill and this set-up covers the entire front of the car. A pair of rectangular indicators seamlessly joins the cross-sectional body of the car to the front.

Three versions of the Patriot were produced and these are the Limited, the Latitude and the Base Sport. The main difference between these variants has to do with the level of interior comfort and convenience extras they have. The Limited has the most features, which include heated seats, cruise control, keyless entry and a 115-volt power outlet for powering small appliances.

Model specifications
The Patriot codenamed MK74, comes with two drive train configurations. The first is a front wheel drive option for drivers that are not keen on 4x4 power while the second is the four-wheel-drive set up that can go anywhere.
The MK74 comes with an inline-four petrol engine that is 2.0 litre that makes about 158 horsepower. You also have a 2.0 litre and a 2.2 litre diesel engines available for those who are not too keen on petrol. Additionally, a 2.4 litre four-cylinder engine is also available that is capable of making 172 horsepower.

The model has three transmissions available. The first is a 5-Speed T355 manual while the option for a 6-speed BG6 manual was mated to only the diesel engines. Lastly, you also have a six-speed automatic with Continuous Variable Transmission technology.
The Patriot weighs in at 1,485Kg which is light compared to other larger SUVs and has a fuel tank capacity of 51L. It also has a wheelbase of 2,634mm and a cargo capacity of 651L. This is quite substantial and the car comes with the option of collapsing the back sweats for extra room.

The interior is handsomely laid out with a beefy three-spoke steering wheel that has a silver ring highlight in the centre hub. The Jeep logo sits in the centre of the steering with button controls included in both the right and left spokes. The centre console has your climate controls along with music change buttons and a pair of AC vents sitting right at the top of the console.
The passenger side of the dashboard has a storage space left out in the place of the glove box and you have compartment right below it where you can store more items. The seats are comfortable and there is plenty of legroom for tall people. The car comfortably seats five people and comes with five doors.

General use
The Patriot is a great car for daily driving and is quite comfortable. It is especially suited for those that want to make a statement but are not willing to spend substantially to acquire the most expensive Jeep models suchas the Cherokee.
However, spares for the car are not easy to come by. This is because the Patriot is not a common car on our roads so very few dealers are willing to put money in the car’s spares. The few people that have spares for the Patriot sell them rather expensively and I would recommend that you ship in service parts such as brake pads, filters and spark plugs since you are likely to replace some of those often.
Although its spare parts are rare, there are readily available online from websites that deal in parts for American cars and at good rates.


There are a few mechanics that claim they can fix the Patriot and Jeeps in general but you will have to ascertain the quality of their workmanship.
Like many uncommon cars you should take care of your Jeep MK74 to minimize instances of unnecessary breakdowns and mechanical trouble.
The Patriot has a good driving position and one of its standoff features is that the car is very easy to park. The steering is very responsive and stable and gives off a premium driving experience.

Common problems
The Patriot interior has plastics that are and are a subject of complaint from several buyers. The engine can be quite noisy which can be an issue if you normally drive for long distances.
The 2012 Jeep Patriot has had three recalls with some of the vehicles’ airbags failing to deploy and the engine stalling. There have also been reports of the CVT transmission overheating during normal driving and the vehicle communicates this with a transmission overheat light on the dashboard. This appears to be a common problem with many models with the CVT transmission.
Some drivers also complained of loss of power while driving where the accelerator fails to register foot pressure.