The Patriot has chunky looks, is attractively priced and strikes a good balance between comfort and control. It's good both on- and off-road, too.
It's not as practical as the class best and is uncomfortable for a fifth passenger. The driving position could be better and the cabin feels cheap.
On the road
What it’s like to drive, and how quiet it is
Most buyers will choose the 161bhp 2.2-litre diesel, which has plenty of pull and gives strong acceleration The only other engine on offer at the moment is a 168bhp 2.4-litre petrol unit, which comes with a CVT automatic gearbox on Limited-trim versions, but its relative lack of pulling power means it's not a patch on the diesel.
Ride & Handling
Looking at the chunky styling, you'd be forgiven for thinking that the Patriot drives like a big, heavy off-roader. Not a bit of it. True, the steering isn't full of feel, but the Patriot stays reasonably composed in corners and grips well. It also rides smoothly, with only large bumps unsettling the car. In normal conditions, power goes to the front wheels only, but it's automatically sent to the rear wheels as well when more traction is needed.
The diesel engine is gruff and noisy compared with the best rivals, although it does settle down when cruising. Little wind noise enters the cabin and, despite the upright windscreen and large door mirrors, wind noise isn't overly intrusive.