Look, I know you Wrangler fanboys all just groaned at this title. I’m not here to spit insults at your ride. So don’t dis this one, okay? Because the fact of the matter is, there are actually good reasons to buy a used Jeep Patriot. I have three of them right here. Number one: a great price. Number two: a design that mimics the classic Cherokee that we all know and love. Number three: above-average off-road capability, despite its smaller size. At the end of the day, it’s still a Jeep, which means it was built with Jeep parts, and tested for quality.
So, if you don’t want to use your retirement fund to buy a used Jeep Wrangler (okay, one burn), then a used Patriot might be for you. Just understand that even though it does have above-average off-road capability, that doesn’t mean it will even come close to competing with a Wrangler Rubicon.
Reason Number One: Price
Since no one wants a used Jeep Patriot (hey, their loss) you can benefit greatly from this lack of popular demand. Depreciation hits these models hard, and its not uncommon to see a low-mileage model from 2012 sold for under $10,000. Yeah, find me a Wrangler at that price. Oh, and I do mean low mileage model. I’m sitting here right now, looking at a used 2012 Jeep Patriot Sport on CarGurus with 34,000 miles for $8,500.
“But, it doesn’t have maximum off-road capability on that trim.” Yes, almighty Wrangler super fan. You’re right, it doesn’t. I’ll go over that later. The fact of the matter is it’s still going to be cheaper than a used Wrangler, even with off-road capability. Simply because they aren’t as in demand as the Wrangler models.
Alternatively, you don’t have to get a Jeep for off-roading. While that comment was mainly to weed out the fanatics in the Jeep world who believe that if your Jeep doesn’t hit the trails at least three times a weekend and isn’t equipped with over a life-savings worth of mods, it’s not a real Jeep. It was also to tell you that it would make a great car for a first-time driver, or if you need a quick mode of transportation.
Honestly, $8,500 for 34,000 miles? I’d take a cardboard box with wooden wheels for that price if it had low enough mileage.
Reason Number Two: Reincarnation of the Classic Cherokee Design
Any fanatics still with me? Good, because this next point is for you.
The Jeep Patriot has that old-school, classic Cherokee look to it. You know, the one from the ‘90s that ruled the off-road trails with the Wrangler side-by-side. With the new Cherokee model looking like a splitting wedge going down the road, thanks to that hideous front-end, everyone can appreciate a reincarnated classic Cherokee design.
On top of that, the overall design of the Patriot is small, which means it’s still a good option for those living in a city.
Reason Number Three: Above-Average Off-Road Capability
Depending on what type of model you decide to buy, it is possible to experience above-average off-road capability. Especially with the recent models, which are equipped with Jeep’s Freedom Drive II package, providing you with the right type of gearing, transfer case, and axles required to conquer the off-road trails. That’s the same Freedom Drive II package found on the Wrangler, by the way. (Just a smaller version).
When that package is equipped, the newer ones are even considered Trail Rated — and they have the badging to prove it. That badging means the Jeep Patriot was taken out on the Rubicon trail (by Jeep personnel) and successfully completed it. You know, the Rubicon? One of the most famous and difficult off-road trails in the world? Yeah, I think the Patriot is fine when it comes to off-roading.
Bottomline: if you’re looking for a cheaper, classic-Cherokee-looking, off-road capable Jeep, then a used Jeep Patriot is a good choice. But, keep in mind its small size limits its potential. Not to mention, you won’t find nearly as many mods for it as you would a Wrangler. But for the casual off-roader who just likes Jeeps, the Patriot is damn near perfect.