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First drive: Jeep Patriot – on sale now



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Jeep has always had strong credibility as a brand and its newest offering, the Patriot, has everything that a customer will want and expect from the badge – authentic looks, four-wheel drive and a utilitarian interior.

Based on the concept first seen at the 2005 International Motor Show in Frankfurt, the Patriot has a footprint similar in size to the Ford Focus.

Jeep also aims to make the car similar to its competitors in the C-segment with its performance, handling, fuel economy and price.

The Patriot has adequate room inside for five passengers to sit comfortably and there is plenty of luggage space. An added bonus is that the boot comes with easy-to-clean vinyl flooring – a bonus for families.

In terms of trim, the Patriot offers a basic package that does not go beyond grey plastic. Though this may bother some fussier customers, it should not put buyers off what is essentially a compact SUV.

Despite its utilitarian-looking interior, finding a good driving position is easy. Although the steering wheel does not adjust for reach, it is the high seating position that will really attract customers to this car.

It gives a level of road visibility and a feeling of safety that traditional C-segment cars can’t match.

In terms of safety, the Patriot has a first for a Jeep model: curtain airbags.

Adding to the safety features are ABS and electronic stability programme (ESP), brake traction control system and electronic roll mitigation, which all come as standard.

Helped by the electronic 4x4 system, which drives the front wheels but operates all four when necessary, the Patriot handles well on B-roads and motorways.

It channels drive through to the wheels that have the most grip, a feature the car demonstrated expertly on an off-road course in rainy Wales.

The Patriot’s engines are sourced from Volkswagen and deliver a reasonable fuel economy, which will appeal to the environmentally conscious buyer.

Price: £15,995 - £18,795
Engines: 2.4-litre petrol, 168bhp ; 2.0 CRD, 138 bhp
Transmission: Five-speed manual, six-speed manual/automatic
Performance: 2.4-petrol 0-62mph 10.7sec, 112mph top speed; 2.0 CRD 0-62mph 11.0sec, 117mph top speed
Efficiency: 2.4-petrol 32.5mpg, 206g/km CO2; 2.0-CRD 42.2mpg, 180g/km CO2
Cap RV 3yr/30k: £7,625 - £8,575 (43-46%)
Rivals: Toyota RAV4, Honda CR-V
Strength: Desirable alternative to traditional family hatchback
Weakness: Monotone trim
Opportunity: Buyers looking for an affordable Jeep
Threat: SUV backlash
USP: Authentic looking accessible SUV

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