From Towcar Awards 2008

List price: £19,005 (when tested)
Kerbweight: 1645kg
85% Match: 1398kg
Max towing weight: 1425kg
Towball limit: 75kg

THE PATRIOT LOOKS like a seven-eighths scale version of one of Jeep’s larger off-roaders. Smaller can be better – with a price of well under £20,000 and a combined cycle economy of 42.2mpg, ownership costs have also been shrunk. When Practical Caravan took the Jeep around our towing economy route, it managed 24.9mpg.

Being smaller isn’t such a virtue inside. There’s not as much rear-seat space as in a Kia Sportage, for example, and the boot struggled with our holiday load.

Soft suspension

On the test track, the Jeep put in an okay performance. Although the soft suspension took some time to recover from bumps and sharp steering inputs, it coped quite well with the lane-change test. There are plenty of quicker and quieter cars to choose from, however.

You’d expect four-wheel drive and a torquey diesel engine to make hill-starts easy, but the handbrake needed a firm pull before it would hold the outfit.

The armrest got in the way when releasing it, too. It took plenty of revs to clear the top of the hill.

We say

Towing: 3/5
Solo: 3/5
Practicality: 3/5
Buying & owning: 3/5

Verdict: 3/5. Good value for money, but noisy and not very spacious.

Braking 30-0mph: 11.4m