From May 2008 issue

List price when tested: £18,795
Kerbweight: 1645kg
85% match: 1398kg
Max towing weight: 1425kg
Towball limit: 75kg
30-60mph: 13.3seconds
30-0mph: 11.8m

JEEP KNOWS a thing or two about building 4x4s. It ought to – Jeep has been around for seven decades. Most of its recent models have big, bold, brash and heavy.

The world is moving on, though, and Jeep doesn’t want to be left behind. Hence the Patriot. It’s lighter and more economical than the cars which normally wear the Jeep badge, but does it still make a decent towcar?
With some reservations, yes. The 2.0-litre diesel engine is strong, and pulled the Patriot and an Abbey Expression 480 from 30-60mph in 13.3 seconds. That’s quick enough for confident overtaking. The stopping distance of 11.8 metres is less impressive, though, especially as the test track was bone dry.

Our emergency lane-change test is sometimes a struggle for 4x4s, and the driver could feel the Patriot being pushed and shoved by the caravan. The car always won the argument, but it wasn’t a pleasant experience.

More composed

In a straight line the Jeep felt more composed, even at the legal limit, and the Patriot coped well with the hill start test aside from needing a firm pull on the handbrake before it would hold the outfit still.

However, the engine is noisy, there’s lots of road noise and the gearshift is stiff and awkward. While we’re complaining, the cabin feels like it was designed ten years ago and isn’t very roomy in the back seats. Boot space could be more generous, too.

The low purchase price and good fuel economy make the Patriot cheap to run for a 4×4, but you can buy better.

We say
Towing: 3/5
Solo: 3/5
Practicality: 3/5
Buying & owning: 4/5

Verdict: 3/5 – A solid towcar but the cabin is cramped and feels cheap.

Find out more about this car at