In the early to mid-2000s, I think Jeep threw a lot of things at the wall to see which sticks. The Jeep Liberty and Patriot, in particular, were hurled at the proverbial wall, held on for a few years, then slid off – a moment of silence for them.
2010 was the height of the Patriot’s run, and it was the final year of this compact SUV’s first generation. There’s no avoiding the Wranglerness in the Patriot’s looks – perhaps the company sought to replicate the success of the Wrangler in the compact Sport Utility Vehicle segment. No matter, there’s nothing similar about these two vehicles; a closer comparison would be between the Patriot and the Cherokee.
Before writing this 2010 Jeep Patriot guide, I pored through the scores of online reviews of this vehicle and learned a lot about the Patriot’s highs and lows. In this piece, you’ll find out about the 2010 Jeep Patriot’s on-road and off-road performance, its main quirks, and whether it’s worth buying in the 2020s.
Bottom Line Up Front
I recommend the 2.4-liter 4-cylinder Jeep Patriot with a 5-speed manual transmission as the CVTs are sluggish and they push the engine to high RPMs. If you’re planning to only drive on pavement, the front-wheel drive model is perfect, as it can also handle basic offroad tracks. It also offers the best fuel economy.
Overview of the 2010 Jeep Patriot
The 2010 Patriot had three trim levels:
The main difference between the three was the engine and transmission options, which we’ll talk about later, as well as luxury features like leather trim. As standard, all models got steering-wheel-mounted controls, power mirrors, and keyless entry, among other features.
If you get a top-spec model, you’ll enjoy climate control, cruise control, Bluetooth connectivity, and leather seats.
But, is it worth getting a Limited?
If I were buying the Jeep Patriot back in 2010, I would have saved the extra cash and gone for a Latitude or a Sport trim. However, we’re not in 2010 and the price difference between these models has diminished, but it’s still apparent. I would, however, recommend looking for a Jeep Patriot Limited today as it has a slightly better interior. I’ll dive deeper into the Patriot’s current value below.
I’ll be honest, I don’t think the Jeep Patriot can win any awards for looks, at least not in my books. Its Wrangler-like front notwithstanding, the Patriot’s length and boxy shape don’t blend well with its lower ride height. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not an ugly car – that title goes to its bigger brother, the Jeep Commander – the Patriot just isn’t pretty, in my opinion.
Still, the low ride height serves a purpose; the Patriot’s handling is stable, and its ride is smooth. It helps that it has a long wheelbase for a compact SUV, measuring 103.7 inches. This gives it the stability it needs to handle curvy roads without sparking the fear of God in you.
MSRP and Current Value
The 2010 Jeep Patriot’s base price was among the most affordable in its class but the top-specced models cost as much as or more than the competitors.
The Patriot had an MSRP of $17,795 for a Sport with two-wheel drive. The most expensive model cost $24,550 without the extra optional features that would push the price to over $30,000.
Currently, according to Kelley Blue Book and Edmunds, you can get a two-wheel drive Sport or Latitude model for as low as $3000. Of course, these ones have over 100,000 miles on them. Meanwhile, the Limited models cost about $8000 to $10,000.
Read also: What’s different in the 2011 Jeep Patriot?
The Patriot’s interior looks and feels cheap in the lower trims. For a more luxurious interior, choose the Limited models, which have leather seats. The company opted to use hard plastic on the dash, center console, and armrest to keep the vehicle’s price low. There are even some plasticky bits in the Limited trim, which was a disappointment to those who chose to splurge.
This vehicle is quite spacious for a compact SUV, with 40.6 inches of legroom in the front and 39.4 inches in the rear. Headroom is also decent: 41 inches in front and about 40 inches in the rear.
However, the Patriot is a narrow vehicle that Jeep built to be a city car. As a result, the shoulder room is restricted to 54 inches in the rear, making it a tight fit for three in the back seat.
2010 Jeep Patriot Features and Specs
There are two engines available for the 2010 Jeep Patriot: a 2.0-liter 4-cylinder with 158 horsepower and 141 lb-ft torque and a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with 172 horsepower and 165 lb-ft of torque. The smaller engine is only found in the base model with the rest of the lineup getting the 2.4-liter engine.
Both engines are underwhelming as they struggle to haul the vehicle. Acceleration is slow and will make for some nail-biting moments when overtaking. In fact, you’ll hear the engines struggling most of the time, resulting in lots of engine noise seeping into the cabin. Avoid the 2.0-liter engine if you want a bit more of a punch.
However, let’s not rest all the blame on these engines; the transmission also deserves some condemnation. More on this below.
The engines can either be mated to a CVT transmission or a 5-speed manual. The CVT makes no sense in these engines if you ask me. It’s slow to respond to throttling and pushes the engine to full RPM before advancing, particularly in the 2.0-liter engine. It pairs better with the larger engine but still doesn’t do the Patriot justice.
If you want the Patriot to feel more like a Jeep, stick with the standard 5-speed manual transmission. With this, the engine doesn’t make as much noise, and you get better acceleration if you time the shifts correctly.
There are front-wheel and four-wheel-drive Jeep Patriot models across all trim levels. Interestingly, reviewers agreed that the 4WD Patriot was an excellent offroader for a compact SUV, a clear sign of the Jeep DNA. In fact, Jeep offered an optional Trail Rated package that included hill-descent control, skid plates, higher ground clearance, better angles of approach and departure, and all-terrain tires.
If you’ll mainly drive your Jeep in the city, I recommend choosing a front-wheel-drive Patriot and enjoy better fuel economy, especially if you choose the manual transmission as well.
Read also: How to Find the Best Jeep Terrain Tires.
As standard, all models got ABS, brake assist, traction control, and stability control. Jeep also gave the Patriot both front and side airbags, but the side airbags were optional. Rear passengers also got head airbags.
The NHTSA’s (National Highway Traffic Safety Administration) crash tests earned the 2010 Patriot five out of five stars in front passenger protection, and four stars for the driver. The vehicle also got five stars in side crash tests for both the driver and rear passengers.
The IIHS (Insurance Institute for Highway Safety) safety ratings were mixed, with ‘Good’ ratings in side impact, roof strength, and head restraint, but poor ratings in the front overlap crash tests. Check out the link to find out more about these results.
Cargo and Towing Capacity
The Patriot boasts 23 cubic feet of cargo capacity, and this can be extended to 54.2 cubic feet if you fold down the second row of seats. The 2010 Jeep Patriot can tow up to 1000 lbs, which is lower than its competitors like the Chevrolet Equinox, Ford Escape, or the Rav4.
According to fueleconomy.gov, the 2010 Jeep Patriot with 4WD and a manual transmission consumes 23 mpg in the city and 28 mpg on the highway. Its 2WD counterpart manages 23 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway.
If you opt for a CVT in the 4WD model, you’ll get 21 mpg in the city and 24 mpg on the highway. The 2WD with a CVT consumes 21 mpg in the city and 25 mpg on the highway.
Therefore, for the best fuel economy, consider the 5-speed manual transmission, but I told you that already, didn’t I?
Common Problems with the 2010 Jeep Patriot
Sadly, many first- and second-gen Jeep Patriot owners have experienced issues with the vehicle’s transmissions, both the manual and CVT.
In the case of the CVT, users complain of a whining sound when driving. The vehicle then loses power and struggles to accelerate to speeds as low as 40 mph. In extreme cases, there’s a grinding noise heard from the transmission.
In most cases, letting the transmission cool gets the Patriot moving again, but this is just a temporary solution. Other users have replaced the transmission fluid and driven for a few thousand miles before the issue starts again.
According to Repair Pal, the only solution is to replace the transmission; otherwise, the problem keeps recurring.
The Patriot’s manual transmission isn’t spared from its own issues. There are complaints about this transmission becoming difficult to shift with problems ranging from grinding noises when shifting into gear or the gear popping out when shifted into.
The solution, according to RepairPal, is to replace the gear synchronizer rings.
Just like the Wrangler, the 2010 Patriot is likely to develop leaks, but this vehicle has its leaks seeping through the sunroof. According to complaints listed on carcomplaints.com and RepairPal, owners notice the water mainly leaking through the dome lights in front and in the cargo area.
Some have been able to mitigate this issue by clearing the drain holes in the sunroof to prevent water from collecting and leaking into the cabin. The problem may also be fixed by replacing the roof seals and drain tubes.
Engine Start Difficulty
Many owners have complained of difficulties cranking the engine although all the car’s accessories power on fine. This issue doesn’t present any error codes, and it happens intermittently in some cases.
According to Repair Pal, the problem is caused by a faulty wireless control module, which would need to be replaced in order to fix the issue.
There are many reports of Jeep Patriots overheating when driving at highway speeds before the temperature warning light powers. The overheating starts because coolant doesn’t flow to the engine due to a blockage. All you need to do to solve this is to clear the debris that has built up in the thermostat housing.
2010 Jeep Patriot Recalls
According to the NHTSA website, there are three recalls of the 2010 Jeep Patriot. I’ve broken these down in the table below.
|September 2010||Affecting first-gen Jeep Patriots, among other vehicles, the problem involved third-party seat covers manufactured by Marathon Seat Covers Inc. The said covers were heavy and were likely to prevent the deployment of side airbags.||The manufacturer initiated the recall and replaced the seat covers at no extra cost to the owners.|
|June 2013||Some Jeep Patriot models, including the 2010 model, had a software error that would prevent the side airbags and seatbelt pre-tensioners from activating in the event of a crash.||Affected vehicles had this software error corrected.|
|September 2016||Some Chrysler Group vehicles (including the 2010 Patriot) had a faulty Occupant Restraint Control module that was likely to short circuit. This would lead to the failure of safety features like front airbags, seat belt pretensioners, and side airbags.||Dealers replaced the OCR in the affected vehicles.|
Here’s a deeper dive into the Jeep Patriot recalls.
2010 Jeep Patriot Accessories
There are many accessories that you can buy for your Jeep Patriot, depending on how and where you intend to drive your vehicle. Here are there accessories that I would add to my Patriot to make it more utilitarian.
I would get a roof rack for my Patriot and enjoy the extra cargo real estate on the roof. Although the Patriot’s cargo area is spacious, sometimes you just need to carry more items and don’t want to fill up the interior.
It’s best to get a crossbar for the Patriot and mount the roof rack on it when you need one or other accessories like bike racks.
Remember that the Jeep Patriot shouldn’t carry a load of more than 150 lbs on the roof, so factor this when choosing a roof rack and accessories. I recommend the Rhino-Rack Vortex SX Bar.
The Patriot may not be a powerhouse when it comes to towing, but with a good trailer hitch, you should be able to tow a medium-sized trailer. Since the Patriot’s towing capacity is rated at 1000 lbs, consider a hitch that can handle at least this.
Compact SUVs require Class I hitches, which are designed to pull up to about 2000 lbs. I recommend the Reese Towpower Class I 1-1/4 in. Trailer Hitch.
An inexpensive way of raising your Jeep Patriot’s ride height is by installing lift kits. These accessories will make your vehicle more off-road capable, even though they add just a few inches to the ground clearance.
I recommend the Rough Country lift kits, which add 2 inches, enabling you to use larger tires on your vehicle.
2010 Jeep Patriot Competitors
2010 Chevrolet Equinox
Unlike its competitor, the Patriot, the Equinox lives on to the 2020s; it’s not in its third generation. The 2010 model was the final year of the first generation, and it was almost as popular as the monstrous Silverado.
This compact SUV neither has the rugged looks of the Jeep Patriot nor the off-road prowess, but it makes up for this with excellent ride quality and handling.
There are four trim levels: LS, 1LT, 2LT, and LTZ, and you can get both front-wheel and all-wheel drive across all trims. The engines are also impressive, with the standard one being a 2.4-liter 4-cylinder with 182 horses under the hood. For more oomph, go for the 3.0-liter V6 that boasts 264 horsepower.
For city driving, I recommend getting a front-wheel-drive version with the smaller engine and enjoy a decent fuel economy of 22 mpg in the city and 32 mpg on the highway. If you’re looking for a grand tourer, consider the V6 version with all-wheel drive.
2010 Ford Escape
I know I may have been a bit harsh on the Patriot’s looks, but with competitors like the 2010 Ford Escape, surely you understand. This SUV has a look that, I think, isn’t out of place in the 2020s. Granted, there’s nothing that stands out about the Escape’s look; it’s a safe design choice that Ford went with, and I’m not complaining.
However, the Escape has more to offer than just aesthetics; it came packed with either a 2.5-liter 4-cylinder engine or a 3.0-liter V6 engine. The smaller motor could churn 171 horsepower, and the V6 managed 240, both of which are less powerful than their Equinox counterparts but more than what the Patriot offers. Ford also offered a hybrid model with a 2.5-liter engine for those looking for maximum fuel efficiency.
Three trims were available for the 2010 model: XLS, XLT, and Limited. Those who chose to splurge got fancy features like self parking and leather upholstery, among others.
The 2010 Ford Escape got an upgraded transmission – a six-speed automatic. Buyers could also opt for a five-speed manual mated to the smaller engine.
2010 Toyota Rav4
Toyota’s reliability is undeniable, making this the most dependable compact SUV on this list, and even in the market. Based on how much the Rav4 can take, the 2010 model is just like new; these SUVs are known to run for well over 200,000 miles.
Toyota’s design language is unmistakable in the 2010 Rav4, and this also translates to basic interior quality. Speaking of the interior, the 2010 Rav4 has a roomy interior with three rows of seats. However, the third row is where you put adults you don’t like – the seats are cramped and uncomfortable even on short distances. Kids will be fine back there, though.
However, I would choose the five-seater model for a compact SUV such as the Rav4.
Under the hood, Toyota offered either a 2.5-liter four-cylinder engine or a 3.5-liter V6. The former was rated at 179 horsepower and the latter 269 horsepower, competing stiffly against the Patriot’s engines.
There are also two drivetrain configurations in the 2010 Rav4: four-wheel, and front-wheel drive.
Frequently Asked Questions
Question: Is Jeep Patriot the same as Jeep Compass?
Answer: No, Jeep Patriot and Jeep Compass are different vehicles. Although they’re both compact SUVs with similar engines and transmissions, the Compass has a more rounded shape, and it’s slightly shorter than the Patriot.
Question: Did they discontinue Jeep Patriot?
Answer: Yes, the Jeep Patriot was discontinued in 2017 because it didn’t sell well.
Question: Are Jeep Patriots good in snow?
Answer: 4WD Jeep Patriots with the Freedom Drive offroad package are able to handle snow situations well.
Should You Consider a 2010 Jeep Patriot?
Yes, I would recommend a 2010 Jeep Patriot to anyone looking for a capable all-rounded compact SUV. The Patriot’s value has dropped significantly over the years, so you can get one for as little as $3000 or even less. However, I would only buy a manual-transmission Patriot and would avoid the CVTs as they were problematic.
If you’re looking for a fancy interior, the Patriot may not be the best option for you. Consider the Chevrolet Equinox or Ford Escape for better interior quality.
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