Friday, June 4, 2010

2010 Jeep Patriot Limited - Butterface?


Ever hear the term butterface? I never heard it before a year ago - there was this woman who worked at the office. She was blonde, drove an M3 and from about 10 yards away she looked like a teen blogger's definition of hot. This creepy guy named Glenn was all over her - I thought, no way, she's five steps over his head. Creepy, balding single guys in their 40s who spend lots of time with mother have little feel for what league they're truly a part of. Anyway, one day I saw this woman up close and was later told about butterface - everything is totally rockin' but her face. Yikes!

As the months went on ol' butterface realized even she was out of Mr. creepy, winebar stalker, pseudo-intellectual, wannabe movie expert's league and she started to ignore him. Good thing, she probably would have ended up in mother's basement.

That's just a long and draw out way to say the 2010 Jeep Patriot is sort of like a butterface - looks great, works well on paper and seems to offer a good dose of Jeep-ness for a low price. But up close and personal things start to get unattractive. The drone from the 172 hp, 2.4 liter inline four is bothersome and the CVT feels kinda clunky. Still, 172 hp isn't bad for a four banger and the Patriot is good looking when compared to the generic Honda and Toyota compact SUVs.

The Patriot doesn't have much rear seat legroom and the quality of materials inside isn't anything to get excited about but the darn thing starts at about $16,000. Opt for the Limited and your well into low $20,000 territory. For that price you'll get leather seating, 17-inch polished aluminum wheels and monochrome paint. Even in 4 wheel drive trim, the Jeep Patriot delivers best in class fuel economy - 28 mpg highway is the best you'll get in an SUV that drives all four wheels and the Patriot does have an off road mode and hill descent control for the the 4x4 version. Much has been made of the Chevy Equinox's 32 mpg on the highway but that's for the front-wheel drive version.

Yes, the Jeep Patriot may be a butterface of sorts but just like that semi-attractive woman with the M3, someone will marry her and think he won the lottery - nothing wrong with that. The Patriot is the same way, it will have plenty of takers simply because it looks like a real deal Jeep from 50 paces - the low price doesn't hurt either. But look a little closer and the flaws become obvious.

9 comments:

  1. I'm wondering whether you drove the same car that I own. Mine is a 2010 Limited 4x4 with the off-road package. I've had it a couple of months and still feel that I made a fine decision. The blogs complain about engine noise. Yes, I hear the rumble when I accelerate hard--but the Patriot is surprisingly quiet in normal cruise. Noise is a non-issue in my Pat. I bought this Jeep to go off-road on soft beach sand. Take the tires down to 14 psi and it is a real trooper. Previous vehicle was a Liberty, and the Pat seems to go handily where the Lib went. I am over 6 feet and keep the seat near full back on the track. Plenty of leg room behind--knees do not touch seat back. Rear seats recline backwards nicely for additional roominess. I have the impression that the bloggers read each other and there may be a copious amount of comment hanging in there from older models. The 2010 is a fine vehicle.

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  2. I just drove this Limited 4x4 last week - you're right, the CVT keeps engine noise down when cruising but under anything but light accel it's just too noisy. The ride is less than stellar too - still, reading between the lines in your comment it's clear this SUV is appealing b/c 1) no one in a RAV4 is airing down the tires and doing ANY off-roading. 2) You're probably a guy and no guy would drive a RAV4 or CR-V unless his girlfriend lent it to hime and 3) It's a Jeep and you just like that - nothing wrong with that.

    BTW, I forgot to mention the reclining rear seats, that's a nice feature and the deep floor makes for an unusually comfortable postion but there's still not enough knee room for me when sitting behind a tall driver.

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  3. I feel that the ride in the Pat is far superior to the 2002 Lib that got replaced--and better than the '95 Tahoe before the Lib. 4X4's are trucks and they drive like one. However the Pat drives more like a car--and I like that. Off-road on the dunes is high priority for me--but the vehicle spends most of the time on-road. The leather heated seats are comfortable and have high backs good for tall people. I did a lot of tape-measuring during the buying process. The Pat has lots of cargo room and golf clubs can fit crossways flat on the deck. Most small SUV's do not have the space of the Pat. I feel that the Pat has gotten a bum rap that continues to build on itself. Want to hear from other 2010 owners who use it off-road.

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  4. i have an 08' limited,i've got over 30 mpg many times;it's a great vehicle....

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  5. I have a 2010 Black 4x4 5 speed and absolutely love her looks. I do however think the Patriot is a slightly less-attractive version of the Liberty...kind of like the slightly less attractive kid sister. But the kid sister puts out, has a better personality and is a cheaper date than the older sister. Which sister would you rather date...?

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  6. Nice jeep man! The color actually looks like the butterfly's color. LOL. But overall, the build of the jeep has a strong aura. It's like the aura of a strong man like the Armada of Nissan. Redding CA., had a fun car show last summer. My eyes got big with those big boy's toys! It was a lot of fun, and I am pretty sure to attend next year's show again in Redding, CA. Nissan cars were awesome. I wish Santa would give me the Sentra!

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  7. If you want to go off-road and don’t want to spend a lot of money, the Patriot makes sense.

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