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Text and photos by Cor Steenstra
We recently drove the 2011 version of the Jeep Patriot. After all the struggles the Chrysler Group has gone through, and the problems with design and fit and finish we found over the past few years, we were interested to find out what had changed, if anything. On the plus side, the interior of the Patriot seemed of a much higher quality standard than before, more with the times than the designs we found most recently, but we can’t go and call it anything more than that.
More importantly, on the exterior side of things, the part that attracts initial customers to the showroom, it just fails in all areas. Admittedly, it was was a bastard to begin with, neither meat nor fish, but the cramped way Jeep typical brand identity themes were forced onto it, and then given some sort of more modern interpretation, just shines a really negative light on all departments involved. Somebody should have stopped this, but they did not.
We did drive the new Grand Cherokee following this experience, and that lets us hope that the next iterations of Jeeps will actually come out well, and makes us forget about this very quickly.