The Jeep Patriot and the Jeep Compass debuted in 2006 during the New York Auto Show. Jeep built the Patriot as a five-door, front-engine compact SUV. The Jeep Patriot model remained unchanged throughout its production, which ended in 2017. Before getting to the Jeep Patriot towing capacity, let us first look at the Jeep Patriot.
The Jeep Patriot had a stroke of lousy luck surviving through time. It was launched in 2007 and progressed through eleven years of production with not a single redesign ever since. It was a capable SUV back then, but the Jeep Patriot 2017, with its annoying road-noise, plastic interior, and rough ride quality was not worth spending a decade later.
The previously available four-cylinder engines lagged way behind in fuel economy and performance. The optional Freedom Drive II package was available with the Jeep Patriot, which provided a decent amount of off-roading capability, which was also one of its key selling points. Overall, this package gave a combined EPA of 21 mpg while other models stood near 30 mpg.
The Jeep Patriot simply is not for people seeking class-leading fuel consumption, a comfortable ride, a modern interior, or the latest technology. On the other hand, it does offer a few benefits. For example, the Patriot will tackle off-road obstacles much better than competitors with the previously mentioned Freedom Drive II package.
Moreover, it is relatively cheaper than other competing SUVs by a couple of thousand dollars when bought new. But by being affordable, it does cut on some features people usually take for granted, such as air-conditioning and power accessories, which need to be added as options.
If you are looking for a small SUV, we recommend quite a few competitors. The Jeep Renegade is the modern alternative to the Patriot; it is also much more stylish. The Trailhawk version can effectively take you across the beaten path if you want to go off-roading. On the contrary, if you are more into fuel economy and efficiency, the Honda HR-V is the perfect crossover for you, though it is a little smaller than the Patriot. You can also check out the Mazda CX-3, which offers impressive interior materials and sport handling. These alternatives might cost you a little more money than the Jeep Patriot, but in return, you get what you pay for.
The FWD Jeep Patriot Latitude and Sport trims get antilock brakes with rear drums and front discs. All Jeep Patriots with Freedom Drive II or Freedom Drive I package get disc brakes at both front and rear. Full-length side airbags, front airbags, and traction and stability control are standard.
The Jeep Patriot scored four stars out of five for overall protection concerning government crash testing. The side crash protection stood firm with five stars; however, the front crash protection was poor with only three stars. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gave the Jeep Patriot the highest rating of Good in head restraint, side impact, roof strength, and moderate-overlap front crash tests. In contrast, it only gave the Patriot a Poor rating in small-overlap front-crash.
The Jeep Patriot can come to a complete stop from 60 mph in 121 feet, an average stopping distance in this class.
Jeep Patriot Models
As a five-passenger compact SUV, the Jeep Patriot was launched in two main Jeep Patriot trims; Sport and Latitude. Later during the production, unique sub-trim models were also released, such as the 75th Anniversary Edition and Sport SE under the Sport trim and High Altitude Edition under the Latitude trim.
The Jeep Patriot Sport is the basic trim that integrates standard equipment, which is fair for its modest price. It includes roof rails, fog lights, 16-inch steel rims, manual roll-down windows, manual locks, manual exterior mirrors, cloth upholstery, cruise control, tilt-only steering wheel, tinted rear windows, Bluetooth connectivity, folding rear seat, satellite radio, an auxiliary audio jack, a USB port, and a 4-speaker audio system.
The Jeep Patriot Sport SE package gets a glossy grey exterior trim, 17-inch alloy rims with particular grey color, heated front seats, upgraded vinyl and cloth upholstery, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated media controls. The all-wheel-drive models get tow hooks, and the front-wheel-drive models get increased ride height.
The Jeep Patriot Sport 75th Anniversary Edition package gets bronze exterior touches, bronze-painted 17-inch alloy rims, a sunroof, a cargo cover, mesh upholstery, and remote engine start.
The optional upgrades for the Jeep Patriot Sport include alloy or black steel rims, air-conditioning, and a 6-CD upgraded stereo system. The Power Value Group is another optional package that upgrades exterior trim and adds heated mirrors, power locks, automatic headlights, and remote keyless entry.
The Jeep Patriot Latitude is an upgrade over the Sport. It includes all Sport features and the Power Value Group, air-conditioning, remote keyless entry, 17-inch alloy rims, heated front seats, a 115-volt power outlet, reclining rear seats, and a leather-wrapped steering wheel with integrated media controls, and a driver seat with height adjustment.
The optional upgrades for the Jeep Patriot Latitude include the Premium Sound Group, which adds a total of nine Boston Acoustics speakers, with two that slide downwards from the tailgate. The Sun and Sound Group upgrade consists of the Premium Sound Group and a sunroof.
The Security and Convenience Group gets an auto-dimming rearview mirror, a cargo cover, and adjustable roof crossbars. The High Altitude package gets special 17-inch alloy rims, a sunroof, chrome exterior finishing, manual lumbar adjustment, and power-controlled driver seat, and leather upholstery.
There are also a few optional packages that can be installed in the Jeep Patriot Sport and the Jeep Patriot Latitude. These include the All-Weather Capability Group, which adds daytime running lights, all-season floor mats, 17-inch alloy rims, and an engine heater for the four-wheel-drive models.
The Trailer-Tow Prep Group package, which is only available with the 2.4-liter engine trims, includes an oil cooler, a full-size spare wheel, and a trailer wiring harness. The Freedom Drive II Off-Road Group, which is also only available for 2.4-liter trims, gets Trailer-Tow Prep Group along with skid plates, hill-start control, hill descent control, tow hooks, body-sealing to allow maneuvering through greater water depths, a low-range 4WD CVT, and height-adjustable driver seat.
Options include an infotainment system with a 6.5-inch touchscreen. The Jeep Patriot Latitude features an optional navigation system and a rearview camera.
Regarding performance figures, the Jeep Patriot’s base engine is a four-cylinder 2.0-liter which produces 141 pound-feet of torque and 158 horsepower, which is only available with the front-wheel-drive trims. The 2.4-liter four-cylinder is a better option here which pumps out 165 pound-feet of torque and 172 horsepower, which is available in front-wheel-drive trims all-wheel-drive trims (Freedom Drive II or Freedom Drive I).
The standard transmission for both engines is a five-speed manual. For automatic transmissions, the 2.4-liter gets a conventional 6-speed, whereas the 2-liter engine gets a continuously variable transmission. However, if you choose the Freedom Drive II package, it gets a unique CVT that features the special low-gearing coupled to the 2.4-liter engine.
The Jeep Patriot’s fuel economy depends on the type of powertrain you have. Sadly, not all setups can be called fuel-efficient. The 2.0-liter engine with the CVT provides a combined fuel economy of 24 mpg with 26 mpg on the highway and 22 mpg in the city, whereas the 2.4-liter engine with the 6-speed automatic and front-wheel-drive gives a combined fuel economy of 23 mpg. This further drops to 21 mpg with the Freedom Drive II package.
The Jeep Patriot can go zero to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds with the Freedom Drive I package and 6-speed automatic, which is comparable to a Honda HR-V, which does the same in 9.7 seconds. Jeep’s Renegade also does zero to 60 mph in 9.3 seconds. On the other hand, the Jeep Patriot with Freedom Drive II package does zero to 60 mph in a poor 10.4 seconds, which is as dreadful as the fuel economy of this package.
The Jeep Patriot turns out to be slow with its 2-liter engine, and even the slightly 2.4-liter barely makes a difference when equipped with the painful CVT under the Freedom Drive II package. This would have been bearable if the Patriot was fine on gas, sadly it is not. Moreover, none of the engines is refined. The 2-liter is full of harshness, vibration, and noise. The 2.4-liter coupled with a 6-speed automatic provides decent engine performance, lifting it to class-competitive levels despite slow gear shifting.
The Jeep Patriot suffers from tire and wind noise racing into the cabin on the road. These days the trend is toward better soundproofing at speed, even among economically-priced vehicles, but the Jeep Patriot barely makes it. Similarly, the ride quality is also unimpressive, as the Jeep Patriot struggles with its suspension over broken pavement, providing a disturbing drive on streets.
The Patriot’s compact footprint offers adequate handling under normal circumstances, but cornering at any speed brings significant body roll. The Freedom Drive II is recommended for off-roading, which provides low-gearing and is way better than the Freedom Drive I’s conventional AWD system; however, it is similarly thirsty and slow.
Although the Jeep Patriot went through some interior upgrades during its lifetime, it still has a basic layout. The interior comprises hard and cheap plastics and a tilt-only steering wheel, which some users can find uncomfortable. The worst offender in the Jeep Patriot lineup is the Sport, which does not include air-conditioning or power accessories.
Even the Latitude trim does not make any significant difference when you consider your paying price. However, on the bright side, you get comfortable front seats which prove to be great for long commutes. The Latitude’s reclining rear seats offer tight legroom with a low seating position which maybe not be so pleasing for passengers sitting in the rear.
The Jeep Patriot gets large, clear primary gauges that are easy to read, and the control buttons are ergonomically placed to aid the driver when moving at high speeds. The outdated 6.5-inch optional touchscreen is available on the Jeep Patriot, whereas other Jeep models get a much larger 8.4-inch system. The only exciting feature is the flip-down speakers, which lift your mood and get the party started.
Cargo capacity is weak with 23 cubic feet of space behind the rear seats with maximum stowage of 53.5 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. This stowage value is offered from subcompact crossovers such as the Mazda X-3 and the Honda HR-V. However, competing models such as the Honda CR-V and the Mazda CX-5 offer much greater cargo capacity.
Getting on to Jeep Patriot’s towing capacity, let us first look at the terms associated with towing.
- Curb Weight: The Curb Weight is the unloaded weight of the vehicle. This does not include cargo or passengers.
- Tongue Weight: Very critical for towing safely; the tongue weight is the amount of force the trailer puts down on the vehicle’s hitch (rear of the car). The tongue weight is dependent on the weight distribution on the trailer and its total weight. If the tongue weight is too low or too high, it will cause your vehicle to become unbalanced when moving. The sum of tongue weight, passengers, and cargo should be less than the vehicle’s GVWR.
- Gross Vehicle Weight Rating (GVWR): The Gross Vehicle Weight Rating is calculated by adding the vehicle’s weight with the cargo and passenger. If a trailer is attached to the car, the tongue weight should also be added to the Gross Vehicle Weight.
- Gross Combined Weight Rating (GCWR): The Gross Combined Weight Rating is the sum of the vehicle’s weight, cargo, passengers, and trailer. The maximum GCWR can be calculated by the sum of the towing capacity and the curb weight, which means that if your vehicle is fully loaded with passengers and cargo, then your actual towing capacity will be less than the maximum listed.
- Payload: The total weight of the load the vehicle can carry is called Payload. This includes cargo and passengers. This is calculated by subtracting the curb weight from the GVWR. Keep in mind that tongue weight will also add to payload if a trailer is hooked.
- Tow Capacity: Tow Capacity is the total amount of weight the vehicle can tow. It is determined by subtracting the curb weight from the GCWR. But do not take for granted the weight of the cargo and the passengers; they also add when considering the GCWR, therefore, reducing the maximum tow capacity. You can undershoot this issue if you keep a trailer you tow to be about 25 percent less than the maximum capacity.
The tow capacity integrates these values; therefore, you should consider how one changes when you alter the other. Moreover, you should also strictly follow the manufacturer’s guidelines to tow your vehicle safely. The Jeep Patriot model 2017 has a maximum towing capacity of 1000 pounds; however, if you upgrade to an optional tow package, this value increases to 2000 pounds.
If 1000 pounds is not enough for you, you can upgrade to the optional Jeep Patriot Tow Package and double the capacity. Let us have a look at what the Jeep Patriot Tow Package offers.
Engine Oil Cooler
The engine oil cooler is the only single unit that increases the Jeep Patriot’s towing capacity. When the engine must tow greater than 1000 pounds, the engine oil cooler kicks in to keep the engine temperature from exceeding a specific value, which keeps it working safely. In turn, the extra weight towed demands more work from the engine, which heats the engine oil to dangerous temperatures.
If this temperature keeps rising, it will cause significant damage to the engine by warping the pistons and cracking the engine block. Therefore, before you tow more than the standard limit of 1000 pounds, ensure you have an engine oil cooler installed.
Full-sized Spare Wheel
Although a full-sized spare wheel will not increase the Patriot’s towing capacity, it will help you in case you have a blown tire. Towing causes stress over tires; therefore, their service life decreases, and the chances of getting flat are greater.
Trailer Wiring Harness
The trailer tow wiring harness does not increase any towing capacity; however, it synchronizes the trailer’s lights with the Jeep Patriot’s wiring system. This provides the turning signals and brake lights on the trailer to work with those on the Patriot.
How to Increase Towing Capacity?
You can do several modifications to your Jeep Patriot to increase the overall towing capacity. Let us discuss some of the upgrades.
Installing the Jeep Patriot with more durable shocks will allow better protection against potholes. Furthermore, installing weight-rated, heavy-duty axles will enable you to tow more weight since standard axles will warp or even break if they are tested beyond their limit.
As discussed before, installing an engine oil cooler will prevent your engine from reaching dangerous temperatures, which is lethal for the engine; similarly, installing a more prominent radiator will allow the vehicle to cool the coolant further to assist in maintaining the engine temperature.
In total, these upgrades will allow you to increase the towing capacity of the Jeep Patriot up to 25 percent. However, getting your vehicle inspected by a trusted licensed mechanic before towing more than the standard limit is recommended.
Towing at Maximum Weight
You can tow at the maximum towing capacity as long as you strictly follow the manufacturer’s guidelines. But you must keep in mind that if your Jeep Patriot is full of passengers, you will not be able to tow the maximum tow capacity listed according to the gross combined weight rating. Negligence in towing the safe amount of weight can be disastrous on the highway; therefore, be aware of the weight on board.
Towing Over Maximum Capacity
Exceeding the manufacturer’s listed towing capacity will not only decrease the service life of your vehicle but will also compromise your safety and the safety of people on the road. Dragging more than the maximum capacity will cause increased wear to the engine, suspension, and brakes, which will all start to fall apart soon. It may also cause the tow hook to break any time or even fail the braking system, both of which pose a severe threat to your life and the life of others.
Now let us look at some of the most frequent questions people ask regarding Jeep Patriot’s towing capacity.
Question: What Happens If You Tow More Than Capacity?
Answer: Towing more than rated capacity not only puts lives at risk but also strains the transmission, engine, tires, brakes, and warps the chassis. This could lead to catastrophic failure and cause injury while driving.
Question: Can a Jeep Patriot Pull a Trailer?
Answer: The Jeep Patriot is capable of towing a trailer up to 1000 pounds, which can be a boat trailer or a small box trailer. This limit increases if you add a tow package or if the trailer has brakes.
Question: Can I Add a Tow Package to My Jeep Patriot?
Answer: The Jeep Patriot can be upgraded with a tow package which increases its towing capacity from 1000 pounds to 2000 pounds.
Question: Does a Tow Package Increase Towing Capacity?
Answer: Tow packages usually add the required standard equipment for safely towing trailers. However, some tow package comes with special equipment, increasing the towing capacity.
Question: Can a 2017 Jeep Patriot Tow?
Answer: The 2017 Jeep Patriot can tow 1000 pounds with a maximum of 2000 pounds when equipped with a tow package.
Question: What is the Difference Between a Tow Package and a Trailer Package?
Answer: A trailer package comprises standard equipment specifically designed for towing a trailer. In contrast, a tow package is designed to add special equipment to your vehicle to improve its towing capacity.
Question: Can I Increase the Towing Capacity of My Jeep?
Answer: You can increase the overall towing capacity of your Jeep by adding some upgrades. These include engine remapping, installing a bigger radiator and an engine oil cooler, and upgrading the suspension, axles, and braking system.
Question: How Do I Upgrade My Towing Capacity?
Answer: You can start by getting the right hitch for your vehicle, followed by vehicle upgrades such as engine remapping, enhancing the engine air intake and exhaust system, installing a bigger radiator and an engine oil cooler, replacing the existing axles with heavy-duty ones, and upgrading the suspension setup.
Question: What Can a 2015 Jeep Patriot Tow?
Answer: The 2015 Jeep Patriot can tow small and lightweight trailers up to 1000 pounds. However, if you have a tow package installed, you can double this capacity to 2000 pounds.
Question: Which Jeep Patriot Model Can Tow the Most?
Answer: The Jeep Patriot’s towing capacity has remained the same during its production years. Starting from 1000 pounds on the standard trim to 2000 pounds when equipped with a tow package.
Remember to take great caution when hauling or towing your vehicle. Be mindful of the trailer’s weight, the weight on your car, the trailer cargo weight, and the weight distribution on the trailer. Loading the trailer at the rear will cause very high instability even on the lightest maneuvers. Similarly, a high positive or negative tongue weight will also put towing at risk. It would be best to keep in mind that only those vehicles should pull with all their equipment working correctly and are in good shape.
A twenty-year-old SUV with a rusty chassis and worn brakes should not be even permitted to drive on the road, let alone be allowed to tow. Always look at your vehicle’s towing capacity before attaching a trailer. Pulling above the listed capacity can result in damage to your car and put the lives of your family and others on the road at risk. You can have a look at your Jeep Patriot’s owner’s manual to learn more about your towing with your vehicle.
Jeep Patriot Alternatives
Since the Jeep Patriot was discontinued in 2017, you can only buy a used one now. Alternatively, many other compact SUVs compete with the Jeep Patriot. For example, the Jeep Compass is Jeep’s compact SUV, which can be bought as an alternative to the Patriot. The Jeep Compass features an improved suspension, a rigid chassis, and a better interior.
Other options include the Mazda CX-5, which has a larger storage capacity, a more efficient engine, and a sporty feel. You can also look at the Honda HR-V, known for reliability, cargo space, and excellent fuel economy.
Now that you have all the information regarding the Jeep Patriot’s towing capacity and features, you can go ahead and decide to buy the model which fulfills your needs the best.
If you want to tow up to 1000 pounds, with no requirements of an air-conditioner or other creature comforts, you can pick a Jeep Patriot Sport. Whereas if you want to add some luxury to your Patriot, you can look at the Latitude trim, which offers various features.
If you need to tow more than 1000 pounds, you need to upgrade your Patriot with a tow package which will allow your vehicle to tow up to 2000 pounds.
Lastly, you can get the range-topping Freedom Drive II package, which offers the best off-roading capability and the best drive. However, if you are looking forward to buying a brand new vehicle, you can choose between the Mazda CX-5, the Honda CR-V, and the Jeep Compass in case you want to stick to the Jeep brand. I hope this guide will help you in making a better decision. Happy towing!