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.