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Old 10-02-2011, 04:11 PM   #136
jackd OP
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As I might have posted last year on this thread, I tried the Patriot and the Ford Escape. The Escape reminded me of an old Ranger that I used to drive at work - size wise. The rear seats were archaic, but that might have changed on the most recent models. Patriot and Escape drove very similarly but I still preferred the Patriot because of the simpler cockpit. And then I tried the RAV4..... Hands down twice the vehicle of either the Ford or the Jeep from a driving comfort standpoint. Your size is going to decide what you get. I would make sure that you go for the 2.4 L world engine in the Patriot if that's what they have now - I don't know if they have a good service record or not. 5-speed or CVT? I wanted an automatic so the CVT was what any Patriot would have. The internet talk about CVT failures and sudden extended warranties kind of spooked me on that issue. The Ford Escape had a 6-speed automatic which worked well, but do you really need 6 gears? I only needed 4 so the RAV4 it was. Any other brands out there you would consider?
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Old 10-02-2011, 04:51 PM   #137
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Original Poster here. As the posting at the top of the page shows, I decided against the Jeep and went with the RAV4 in the end. It's a 2WD with a 2.5 4-speed automatic unit. The wife loves it. She took it skiing all last winter with the stock Toyo's on it and she never got stuck once - great vehicle in snow it would seem. The fit and finish is far above the Jeep. Zero problems so far and the gas mileage is very good. 4-wheel disc brakes all around adds to the pluses and the inside features such as the folding mechanism for the rear seats is very handy. I do see lots of these Jeeps around but up here in Vancouver, the place is overrun with these great Toyota products. The Dealer that I've been using for service is also hands down superior to the crappy Chrysler mega dealer that I was dealing with for a Patriot - I know how bad their service department is because I bought a Dodge Caravan from them a few years previous. That will be the last Chrysler product that I will purchase after 33 years of brand loyalty. Toyota all the way from now on.
JackD what kind of gas mileage are you seeing in the 2wd 4cyl RAV?

This has been an interesting thread.
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Old 10-02-2011, 07:58 PM   #138
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Good question Jurgen. I hadn't even figured it out till now, but by my figures I'm getting around 22.8 mpg (U.S.). That to me up here in Canada with our old system is 27.3 mpg Imp). This is mostly city driving. I imagine that the mileage really improves when you hit the open highway, probably in the mid 30's. These 2.5 VVTI engines pull quite nicely - I don't miss not having a V-6 at all anymore. We've only put around 6500 miles on it in the last year so it's barely broken in - I imagine that the mileage will improve with time.
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Old 10-02-2011, 08:50 PM   #139
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As I might have posted last year on this thread, I tried the Patriot and the Ford Escape. The Escape reminded me of an old Ranger that I used to drive at work - size wise. The rear seats were archaic, but that might have changed on the most recent models. Patriot and Escape drove very similarly but I still preferred the Patriot because of the simpler cockpit. And then I tried the RAV4..... Hands down twice the vehicle of either the Ford or the Jeep from a driving comfort standpoint. Your size is going to decide what you get. I would make sure that you go for the 2.4 L world engine in the Patriot if that's what they have now - I don't know if they have a good service record or not. 5-speed or CVT? I wanted an automatic so the CVT was what any Patriot would have. The internet talk about CVT failures and sudden extended warranties kind of spooked me on that issue. The Ford Escape had a 6-speed automatic which worked well, but do you really need 6 gears? I only needed 4 so the RAV4 it was. Any other brands out there you would consider?
I was really looking at the price point as a significant concern. The RAV4 is more money, so I will have to see what it breaks down to as far as a monthly payment, and how it fits into my budget. The RAV4 is very nice, but they start at $22k, whereas the Patriot starts at $15k, $7k is a big difference, and I don't feel like I will have any more negotiating power with Toyota, ie, how ever much discount I can get on a RAV4 I can probably get on a Patriot, which will make the RAV4 still significantly more expensive. I still have a lot of research to do, but honestly, if I was going to spend RAV4 kind of money I would probably go a whole different direction and get a Jetta TDI Wagon. I definitely want a manual, it gets better mileage, and I simply prefer it. I have owned a number of manual (4) and automatic (2) cars, and I have always preferred manual.

I have been looking around, a LOT, and the Patriot has quite a bit going for it. It is the lowest price, best mileage (I think, if not it's close), and it seems a little roomier then similar compact SUV's. The only big issue I see with the Patriot is a very low tow rating, but I can work around that. I have also looked at the Escape, because it has a decent tow rating with a V6 (3500lbs) but the Patriot is still cheaper, and gets better mileage.

Cost and mileage are my biggest concern, offset by a desire for useful space. "Budget" cars (Sentra etc) are too small, and not much cheaper then the Patriot. I enjoy traveling, and having a truck with limited space and crappy mileage (18-19mpg highway) is kind of limiting. I live in Tucson now, and a 5-hour drive to San Diego costs me more then a flight because of the cost of gas.
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:02 PM   #140
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Has anyone on this thread cross shopped the Kia Soul? Too small? Seems like it hits a bunch of the requirements.--Fuel Effecient, Reliable, Able to haul some stuff...
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:38 PM   #141
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Price was also the big driver for me when I was in the market. The base price for the Patriot, up here in Canada where things always cost more was around $18,500. Everyone was having their end of the year clearout sales at the time, so I did some comparing. Many were showing base models in the $20,000 range. Unfortunately, my wife will only drive an automatic and so we were suddenly looking at a major jump in price because this was not an entry level transmission. The Ford dealer would not listen to my requests for a basic vehicle and said the best they could do was $24,000 - I walked away and bought the RAV4 for much less. I wish you all the luck in your search - and no I'm not trying to convert you into buying a Toyota. The fact that you want a manual transmission should make your search easier, is my guess.
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Old 10-02-2011, 09:45 PM   #142
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Price was also the big driver for me when I was in the market. The base price for the Patriot, up here in Canada where things always cost more was around $18,500. Everyone was having their end of the year clearout sales at the time, so I did some comparing. Many were showing base models in the $20,000 range. Unfortunately, my wife will only drive an automatic and so we were suddenly looking at a major jump in price because this was not an entry level transmission. The Ford dealer would not listen to my requests for a basic vehicle and said the best they could do was $24,000 - I walked away and bought the RAV4 for much less. I wish you all the luck in your search - and no I'm not trying to convert you into buying a Toyota. The fact that you want a manual transmission should make your search easier, is my guess.
I know other poster's may be... but I'm not (yet) actively shopping. Just kicking tires. Will be for a few years hopefully. Another poster wrote that he was mainly interesting in the $15k to $24k (US) market. I agree, but would go to $30k think interesting things are happening these days in value the bottom end of the market... Though, as with everything, those prices seem to keep creeping upwards.

I currently drive a 4cylinder manual everything GMC Canyon. When I do buy the debate is between keep the canyon and add a sporty/effecient/practical car or sell the pickup and get something like a RAV4 or Subaru Forrester.
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Old 10-02-2011, 10:10 PM   #143
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You've got some deciding to do there before you start focusing on your final purchase Jurgen. My wife just mentioned to me that she was the prime force in the decision to buy the compact SUV, which we finally did. Even though this is only partially true, I will nod my head in agreement to keep peace. Hell I even had to show her that these bloody things were the same size as her old beloved Dodge, before she would agree to one! Thank god, it will be many years before I have to go through this ordeal again....

If you've got a few years before your plan to purchase, I would suggest that you start checking out the various offerings out there. The only unfortunate thing is that all these vehicles are gettng so complex and fancy - even at the bottom end of the price line - that some of the features that you enjoy now might be gone in two years. I've even been hearing about manual transmissions being dropped from some designs. I still think that bare bones is the way to go - unfortunately the driving public doesn't share my belief. Maybe that's why I drive an old GS.
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Old 10-03-2011, 05:41 PM   #144
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Just shy of 18,000 miles on it (2010 Jeep Compass 4x4 2.4 liter 5 speed) now and still like it just as much as I did a year ago. Mileage has gone up to averaging 27mpg on my 20 mile (one way) commute. Never did do the power lock or cruise installations, I like the simplicity of it all.

I've taken a few 300 mile (one way) trips and even being in the Jeep for 5 hours I'm not tired or sore like I was with the car.

Every weekend we lay the seats down and load it up for a day of racing the RC trucks at a track 40 miles away. The back gets pretty full with 2 trucks (my girlfriend races too), work table, toolbox, 2 chairs, EZ-up canopy, cooler, 2 gallon water jug, and misc. other stuff for the day. It is easy to clean out at the end of the day, the fabric seems to be fairly stain resistant.


Last winter it was a riot in the snow, the AWD just plain works and there is no transition from slip to grip, the 4x4 lever seems a bit silly for poor road conditions. The 4x4 lever is beneficial though when the snow is higher than the bumper and you don't feel like shoveling. The computer "thinks" too much and you won't get far in AWD with ESC on. Turn off the switch on the console, flip the 4x4 lever and motor away no problem. I think part of the traction control is torque management and if you have plenty of traction but heavily loaded pushing snow it will cut the engine and you will stall. Hit the magic button and you're golden.



The basic Firestone all season's that come with the 17" wheel package worked better than the Firestone Winterforce snow tires I had on the Stratus, I'd love to see how it performs in the snow with good tires.....but that might diminish some of the "fun" of winter driving in abandoned parking lots.

In that same line of thought, the stability control works well up to a point. I have a 90 degree turn onto another street I take every day, it is a side street and the plowing isn't that great. If I overcook the corner the stability control/traction control activates cutting power and applying the brakes to the wheels individually and will stop a slide......however if you keep your foot in it it will start to spin the tires and it can get away from you. It is not a perfect system if someone didn't already know how to drive in the winter.
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Old 10-03-2011, 07:38 PM   #145
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I wish you all the luck in your search - and no I'm not trying to convert you into buying a Toyota. The fact that you want a manual transmission should make your search easier, is my guess.
It's amazing how hard it can be to find a car at it's advertised base price! I actually do like the RAV4, it's a good vehicle, and it would be a very serious contender if I find the same issue you do, that it's very comparable in price with the Patriot. We'll see, I have a co-worker who is very good friends with the family that owns a Dodge/Jeep dealer in Sierra Vista, so I look forward to checking them out. Not sure when, though, my work schedule is pretty crazy right now.
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Old 10-03-2011, 08:49 PM   #146
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Dealers will always try to upsell you, much to my dismay. I guess many just fall for it - not this guy. What I found is that if the model that I wanted wasn't on the lot, they seemed to have access to other Dealer's inventories or the manufacturer had a storage facility in the regional area which might contain what I wanted. So don't fall for the 'we don't have any' bullshit. Stand your ground. This is also the end of the 2011 lineup and so they are more than willing to bend to your needs.
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Old 10-04-2011, 07:58 AM   #147
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We have a '09 Jeep Patriot that we traded in a 200,000 mile plus Jeep Cherokee in on, now with about 30,000 miles. 2.4 engine, CVT auto and 4WD. It is actually a little larger inside than our Cherokee was. with the seats folded down, I can load 10' 2x4's and close the rear door. 26-27 MPG with my lead foot. 4WD works great in the snow and mud.
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Old 04-12-2012, 05:45 PM   #148
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Question

Bringing this one back as I'm shopping used Patriots (the Compass cargo area is too small for our needs). I'm pitting the 'riot against the Forester as we currently have an '02 that is getting long in the tooth. This is my wife's car but I drive it frequently since my company car is covered in cartoon graphics and an embarrassment to be seen in.

The Forester and the Patriot are darn near identical in many ways. We looked at the Patriot at the auto show as kind of a joke and came away going "Dang, that thing would work pretty well for us". Nothing inherently wrong with the Subarus, but I'm kind of tired of them and the mileage is nothing spectacular. Upsides are the resale value is incredible even with a gazillion miles on them and they are easy to find in a 5 speed. Not so the Patriot. I've found a couple, but they are 2wd.

So I'm torn. I mean, we don't need a 4x4 for the couple snowfalls a year we get here, but having it has spoiled us a bit. We don't go off road; that's what the dual sport bike is for. We mainly need a vehicle of this type for dog hauling duties. So we could live without the 4x4, but there are two concerns: one, resale value (because I run these things to 180,000 or more and sell them, never trade), and two, I just am bothered by the notion of something with 'Jeep' on it that isn't 4wd. Try convincing me the 4x4 version isn't worth the $1500 price premium.

We're shopping 2007-2009 vintage with a price ceiling around $10k (hey, I own a KLR, what do you expect?). A manual trans is a must on multiple levels, so no CVT is in the cards. I know not to get a sunroof, and that the ball joints are crap. Aside from that, they seem awfully reliable and possibly moreso than my head gasket and catalytic converter needing Subaru. Still need to drive one to see if they are comparable in performance and handling to the Subaru. I'll admit some reluctance to going with a domestic product, but all the long term reviews seem to support the 'riot having a long lifespan.

Oh, and if anyone can get me a membership on the Patriot forum I'd be thrilled. Multiple attempts to join and two unanswered emails to the admin have gotten me nowhere.
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Old 04-12-2012, 06:17 PM   #149
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I still havent bought a car. I was seriously pissed when I went to a Jeep dealer and couldn't touch a Patriot for less than 150% of MSRP. I may end up with a Jetta TDI Sportwagon. The mileage of the Patriot was ok, but now my gf got a job in Phoenix, and I'd like something with better then 30mpg, otherwise she's burning her paycheck in gas going there and back.
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Old 04-12-2012, 07:30 PM   #150
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I still havent bought a car. I was seriously pissed when I went to a Jeep dealer and couldn't touch a Patriot for less than 150% of MSRP. I may end up with a Jetta TDI Sportwagon. The mileage of the Patriot was ok, but now my gf got a job in Phoenix, and I'd like something with better then 30mpg, otherwise she's burning her paycheck in gas going there and back.
OP here. If I was going for the Patriot, I would go the 5 speed route as well. I'm not sure how the 'world engines' hold up - their design hasn't been tested by time yet. As I posted previously, we went for the 2wd RAV4 and it does amazing service climbing up to the local ski hills. Lot's of pep and we have had zero issues so far. There is a RAV4 T.V. ad running up here in Canada saying how something like 75% of all RAV4's are still on the road - I believe it. I personally run a '07 Dodge Caravan and I had to replace the heater fan on it yesterday at 28K miles - I will not be buying domestic again. Good luck on your hunt.
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