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Jeep tweaks Patriot

Facelift: Jeep has made some minor alterations to its Patriot compact SUV model.

Patriot compact SUV gets more equipment, subtle styling and suspension changes

25 May 2011

JEEP has introduced its facelifted Patriot compact SUV, with exterior styling tweaks, more interior features and claimed improvements to its dynamics.

Externally, the trademark Jeep seven-slot grille has a new mesh finish and the round headlights have gained clearer lenses. The front and rear bumpers get a more aggressive, angular appearance and fatter lower-body cladding on its flanks.

The tough trapezoidal wheel arches house redesigned 17-inch aluminium wheels, while the top-spec Limited variant gains a chrome-tipped exhaust.

Inside, the diminutive Patriot gains welcome new soft touch front-door trim with padding on the upper surface, a new centre armrest, new steering wheel with audio, cruise and phone controls, different seat cloth and new interior backlighting for door window, mirror and locking switches.

Cruise control is now standard on all variants, while the Limited gets automatic temperature control.

The new Patriot has an increased ride height and suspension upgrades including a larger rear sway bar. The powertrain is unchanged, with the 2.4-litre four-cylinder petrol engine mated to a standard five-speed manual or optional continually-variable transmission (CVT) automatic with six-speed ‘AutoStick’ manual-shift mode.

9 center imageUnlike other markets including Europe and the US, full-time all-wheel-drive remains the only drive configuration in Australia, with Jeep’s local outpost not yet joining the raft of rival manufacturers to offer more city-oriented two-wheel-drive versions of their compact SUV models.

Pricing is unchanged, meaning the entry-level Patriot Sport retails for $30,000 in manual guise with the optional CVT available for $2000 extra. The top-spec CVT-only Limited is $35,000.

Earlier in May, Jeep unveiled special ‘Anniversary Editions’ of its model line-up to celebrate its 70th birthday, adding exterior flourishes and various equipment upgrades across the range.

The Patriot Limited 70th Anniversary, which is based on the top-spec Limited, has 18-inch Mopar aluminium wheels and stainless steel mesh grille, a power sunroof, leather seats and steering wheel with chestnut accents.

The special edition model also gets ‘Berber’ floor and cargo mats, a dark green cluster overlay and 70th anniversary logos. Stock is still available, from $37,500.

Jeep’s Australian arm has added a facelifted Wrangler range and an all-new Grand Cherokee so far this year, while the previously discontinued Compass compact SUV is mooted to make a return Down Under at some point in the near future after a revised version was launched in the UK last month.

Patriot sales are down 16 per cent so far this year, just 61 sales in April representing a decrease of 39 per cent compared to the same month last year. Overall, Jeep has performed well so far in 2011, with year-to-date sales growth of 6.1 per cent.

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