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If the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, Cherokee or four door Wrangler 4X4’s are above your price line and with each a little too much off-road capability, then look to the new 2014 Jeep Patriot with the Latitude Package.
The Patriot stays true to the iconic Jeep styling with its seven-slot grille with black mesh backing, the two round halogen headlamps, round lower foglamps, stand-up windshield A-pillars, horizontal flared fenders, pull-out body-color door handles, black contrasting lower bodykit, front skid plate/rear diffuser and a flat roof with black roof rails. The 2014 Patriot is unmistakably a Jeep and is designed to appeal to compact SUV consumers who want its traditional Jeep styling with best-in-class off-road capability at an affordable price. The Patriot offers consumers segment-leading 4X4 capability and excellent fuel efficiency along with the above-mentioned styling and clever interior features. The Patriot Latitude 4X4 with the upgraded powertrain starts at just $23,795.00.
The new Patriot Latitude is powered by the 2.4 liter inline-4-cylinder all-aluminum engine with DOHC’s, a tuned intake manifold with electronic active charge motion control valve and dual variable valve time (VVT) on both the intake and exhaust camshafts which helps optimize the torque curve at all speeds and produces more power, better fuel economy and smooth, quieter operation than engines without VVT. It generates 172hp at 6,000rpm and 165lb.ft. of toque at just 4,400rpm. This potent four-banger is mated, for the first time, to the world-class 6F24 six-speed automatic with AutoStick sequential shifting, standard. Independently developed by PowerTech and is refined for application in the 2014Patriot. Compact and lightweight, the 6F24 eliminated many potential extra engineering efforts from a packaging standpoint with the chassis layout. Overall length of the transmission is only 378.5mm. The six-speed features a closely aligned 5.46b gear spread that provides nearly imperceptible shifting from launch through highway speeds. With a 4.21 first gear and standard AutoStick for manual-like shifting, accelerating characteristics deliver more fun-to-drive excitement. With a 0.77 sixth gear, engine rpm is significantly reduced at highway speeds for optimal fuel efficiency. The steeped shift schedule across all six gears is designed for optimal fuel economy-21mpg/city, 27mpg/highway. I really noticed the extremely quiet operation throughout the gear ranges with the use of noise-resistant gears that effectively reduced noise, vibration and harshness. This new six-speed also helps reduce cost of ownership and maintenance costs with its ‘fill-for-life’ design. There is no transmission dipstick, and transmission filter or fluid changes are not required under normal driving conditions. Low-viscosity fluid is used to improve fuel economy by enabling quicker operating temperatures on the transmission to reduce drag on internal components.
My 2014 Jeep Patriot 4X4 Latitude came equipped with the Freedom Drive I 4X4 that is a full-time, active four-wheel drive system with lock mode designed to give me year-round assurance with the ability to handle rough weather and lower traction conditions. This active four-wheel-drive system is recommended for daily use, including slick conditions that come with rain and light snow. Freedom Drive I also features a lockable center coupling giving me the ability to put the Jeep Patriot in four-wheel-drive lock mode to handle deep snow, sand and other low traction surfaces.
The fun-to-drive attitude comes from the fully independent suspension, the hydraulic power assist precise rack & pinion steering system, the power-assisted steel disc brakes, Hill Start Assist and electronic stability control. The new Patriot rides like a refined Jeep Wrangler 4X4 four-door with the more comfortable fully independent suspension. Up front are MacPherson struts, coil springs over gas-charged shocks and a solid stabilizer bar. The rear multi-link setup features coil springs, link-type stabilizer bar and gas-charged shocks. Mated to the proven hydraulic power assist rack & pinion steering I felt more precision and quick reaction when cornering, a smooth, solid, and quiet ride at highway speeds.
My confident when driving at high speeds or when going into a curve was heighted by the powerful all-steel disc brakes with standard ABS and BA. Up front are 11.5 inch vented rotors clamped with single-piston calipers and 10.3 inch solid discs clamped with single-piston calipers in the rear. When slowing down from high speed or when traveling around slow city traffic the feel is very linear, the more I push on the pedal the more stopping power I felt. The 2014 Jeep Patriot 4X4 Latitude rides on 17X6.5 inch five-spoke, painted aluminum wheels wrapped with Firestone 215/60R17 inch Affinity tires for excellent grip and a smooth, quiet ride.
The interior is roomy, comfortable with the latest in connectivity features. Tasteful use of chrome trim around the round air-vents, door handle, shifter gate and the open storage bin just above the deep and wide glovebox. The premium cloth/heated front bucket seats are very comfortable and cut to keep my snug with cornering. Both are manual adjustable with my seat height adjustable for the perfect fit. The leather-wrapped/tilting, 3-spoke steering wheel feels great in my hands and features controls for the audio system and cruise control. The gauge cluster is retro designed with black background with white lettering and orange needles. More standard equipment includes interior removable/rechargeable rear lamps/flashlight, dual map lights, dual vanity mirrors, grab handles above each door, illuminated entry, variable speed wipers/washers/rear wiper/washer, keyless entry, 12-volt power plug, 115-volt power plug, programmable retained power, driver personalization, A/C, rear 60/40 split reclining seats, power windows with driver’s-side express down, programmable power door locks, front-passenger fold-flat seat, Jeep signature front floor mats/rear floor mats, illuminated front dual cupholders, center armrest with dual-tiered storage box, rear dual cupholders, power-remote/heated sideview mirrors, self-dimming rearview mirror and dark tined rear side windows/rear window.
The optional Customer Preferred Package that my test Patriot came with includes a one-touch power sunroof, 9-Boston Acoustic speakers and two articulating speakers mounted to the inside of the rear liftgate, Sirius Satellite Radio, electronic vehicle information center, universal garage door opener, tire pressure monitor system, soft tonneau cargo cover and U-connect handsfree Bluetooth phone with iPod connectivity, 6.5-inch touch screen 40GB hard drive with 28 GB available, AM-FM-CD/DVD/MP3/HDD audio system.
Standard safety features include advanced multi-stage front and supplemental side-curtain front/rear airbags, supplemental front seat-mounted side airbags, active front head restraints, height-adjustable 3-point safety belts up front with pretensioners/load limiters, 3-3-point rear safety belts, front/rear crumple zones, steel beams in each door and electronic roll mitigation.
The new 2014 Jeep Patriot 2.4 liter 4X4 Latitude edition comes with the right amount of Jeep signature styling, power, performance, and a comfortable interior with all the connectivity that a young consumer is looking for starting well under $25,000.00, and $26,380.00 not including destination charges that can vary with dealers.
COPYRIGHT: 2014: HARVEY SCHWARTZ
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