Pros: Affordable pricing; available 4-wheel-drive systems deliver true off-road prowess (when properly equipped); decent cargo room for the size; numerous personalization options
Cons: Dated basic design; weak acceleration; copious engine and road noise, bargain-grade cabin appointments
CG Says: The Jeep Patriot gets an available 6-speed automatic transmission for 2014. While most drivers will prefer the better on-road manners and refinement of class competitors such as the Honda CR-V or Mazda CX-5, few compact SUVs can match the Patriot’s impressive level of off-road prowess–when properly equipped. A judiciously optioned Jeep Patriot can be a decent choice for shoppers who value the Jeep brand’s unique character and/or have a need to do some serious off-the-beaten-path trekking. That said, we strongly recommend test driving other vehicles in this class before committing to a Patriot purchase.