Used Car Review

2011 Jeep Patriot: Used Car Review

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Used 2011 Jeep Patriot 4WD
Used 2011 Jeep Patriot
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author photo by Ron Sessions May 2016

As one of the first car-based vehicles from the fabled SUV maker, the 2011 Jeep Patriot blends traditional Jeep styling with a compact-car chassis. As a result, the Patriot's ride, handling, step-in height and fuel economy are more akin to a car than an SUV.

Along with the Compass, the Patriot was the first Jeep available with front-wheel drive (FWD). Being a Jeep, two all-wheel-drive (AWD) systems are also offered. Freedom Drive I is a full-time active system that can be driven year-round. A lock mode for the center coupling provides extra traction in deep snow and sand. Freedom Drive II is a trail-rated off-road package with an extra inch of ground clearance for traversing steep terrain and fording water up to 19 inches deep. Skid plates, 17-in all-terrain tires, tow hooks, Hill Descent Control, brake traction control and a continuously variable transmission (CVT) are included.

The 5-door hatchback will carry five passengers (only four comfortably) and contains 23 cu ft. of cargo space, increasing to 54.2 cu ft. with the rear seat folded flat. For 2011, the Patriot gets more aggressive-looking front and rear bumpers, a more stylish steering wheel, updated climate controls, a new center armrest, padded upper-door trim, revised steering and improved ride control.

What We Like

Decent fuel economy; traditional Jeep styling; choice of two AWD systems; Uconnect infotainment system; fold-down front passenger seat; standard stability control

What We Don't

Buzzing engine; disconnected feel of the CVT; numb steering; side airbags aren't standard

Fuel Economy & Engine Specs

The 2011 Patriot is available with a choice of two engines. Standard on FWD Latitude X models and all AWD versions is a 2.4-liter dual-overhead-camshaft 4-cylinder that produces 172 horsepower and 165 lb-ft of torque. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rated the FWD Patriot at 23 miles per gallon in the city and 28 mpg on the highway with the 5-speed manual transmission and 21 mpg city/27 mpg hwy with the CVT. AWD models get 22 mpg city/28 mpg hwy with the 5-speed manual, 21 mpg city/26 mpg hwy with the CVT or 20 mpg city/23 mpg hwy with the combination of the CVT and the Freedom Drive II package. All models use regular unleaded fuel.

Standard only on the Patriot Sport and Latitude with FWD is a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder rated at 158 hp and 141 lb-ft of torque. This drivetrain combo is intended for buyers who won't venture off-road and are willing to trade acceleration for improved fuel economy. EPA estimates are 23 mpg city/27 mpg hwy with the CVT and 23 mpg city/29 mpg hwy with the 5-speed manual transmission. It also runs on unleaded regular fuel.

Standard Features & Options

The 2011 Jeep Patriot is available in Sport, Latitude and Latitude X trims.

The Sport trim comes standard with just the basics: cloth seats, a carpeted cargo-load floor, a 4-speaker AM/FM/CD/MP3 audio system, cruise control, a tilt (no telescope) steering wheel, a nifty rechargeable and removable cargo-area flashlight, a 60/40-split folding rear bench seat, 16-in steel wheels, fog lamps, deep-tinted sun-blocking rear glass, black side-roof rails, a rear-window wiper and manual windows, mirrors and door locks. Standard safety features include dual front airbags, overhead airbags, electronic roll mitigation, stability and traction control and 4-wheel anti-lock brakes. Popular Sport options include heated front seats, SiriusXM radio, Bluetooth with voice command, 17-in alloy wheels and front-seat side airbags. Most Latitude features are available as options on Sport models.

Moving up to the Latitude trim adds air conditioning, 17-in alloy wheels, a driver's-seat height adjuster, a fold-flat front passenger seat, heated front seats, a reclining 60/40-split rear seat, a 115-volt accessory outlet, remote keyless entry and power windows, mirrors and door locks. Popular Latitude options include a 6.5-in touchscreen infotainment system, a 9-speaker Boston Acoustics sound system with two flip-down lift-gate speakers, a cargo security cover, a HomeLink garage-door opener and a power moonroof.

The Latitude X trim brings leather seat trim, automatic climate control, a power driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with auxiliary audio controls, a 6-disc CD/DVD changer, SiriusXM radio, map lights, bright roof rails with adjustable crossbars, bright bumper trim and 4-wheel disc brakes. Navigation is available as an option only on this trim.

A 2,000-lb Trailer Tow package is only available on Latitude and Latitude X models. It includes a 2.4-liter engine, engine-oil cooler and a rear wiring harness.


Seldom accepted by the traditional Jeep crowd, the Patriot doesn't enjoy the resale value of a Wrangler or Grand Cherokee. Therefore, previously owned examples can be used-car bargains, and since these are rarely taken off-road, they're less likely to be banged up from trail damage.

For a good idea of the prices of 2011 Jeep Patriots, check out the used-car values at You can also search the Autotrader Classifieds to see what models are for sale in your area.


The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) has announced the following recalls for the 2011 Jeep Patriot:

A software error may delay or cancel deployment of the side-curtain airbags and seat-belt pretensioners, increasing the risk of injury in a crash.

Some Patriots were built with a missing or improperly installed steering-column pivot rivet, which may impair the ability of the steering column to support the weight of the driver in a frontal collision, creating an injury risk.

Recall repairs are required by law, even if the vehicle is out of warranty. Your dealer can check to see if the repairs were performed, and if not, they'll fix the car at no charge to you.

Safety Ratings & Warranties

NHTSA did not rate the crashworthiness of the 2011 Patriot.

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the 2011 Patriot a Poor rating in the small-overlap front crash test and a Good rating for moderate-overlap front impacts, head restraints, seats and roof strength. As for side impacts, it rated the Patriot as Marginal without the optional seat-mounted side airbags but Good when equipped with that feature.

The Chrysler Group covered the 2011 Patriot with a 3-year/36,000-mile basic warranty, including roadside assistance, a 5-year/100,000-mile corrosion-perforation warranty and 5 years/100,000 miles of powertrain coverage.

Jeep certified pre-owned cars cannot have more than 75,000 miles on the odometer and must be 5 years old or less. Those that pass a 125-point inspection receive a 3-month/3,000-mile bumper-to-bumper warranty, plus a 7-year/100,000-mile powertrain warranty from the car's original date of sale. Also included is a Carfax report, 24-hour roadside assistance, a car-rental allowance and a 3-month trial of SiriusXM radio.

Other Cars to Consider

2011 Ford Escape -- This top-selling urban runabout is offered with a 171-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder or a 240-hp 3.0-liter V6. There's also a hybrid version with an EPA rating of 34 mpg city. The Escape has carlike road manners and a roomy interior. Both FWD and AWD are offered. HD Radio is new for 2011.

2011 Subaru Forester -- All Forester models come with standard AWD and have a good reputation for all-weather traction and durability. The roomy crossover wagon is available with a regular-fuel 170-hp 2.5-liter 4-cylinder or a premium-fuel 224-hp 2.5-liter turbo.

Autotrader's Advice

The Patriot has always been the red-haired stepchild of the Jeep lineup, shunned by loyalists, but it's a good all-around transportation buy with a lot of interior room for its size and decent fuel economy. Few were sold with the 5-speed manual, so make sure you extensively drive any model you're considering to determine that you're satisfied with the somewhat disconnected feel of the CVT automatic. To ensure you have air conditioning, keyless entry and power windows, mirrors and door locks, look for a Latitude or a Sport with an upgrade package.

Always have a Carfax vehicle-history report done, and look for a Jeep that's seen obvious care, staying away from modified examples. And check with the dealer to make sure the Patriot you're looking at has had all safety-recall items addressed.

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Used 2011 Jeep Patriot 4WD
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2011 Jeep Patriot: Used Car Review - Autotrader