Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

Only two engines are available in the Patriot. The petrol choice is a 2.4-litre with 168bhp but while it's smooth and quiet, it needs to be worked hard in order to get decent performance plus it isn't very economical either, returning just 33mpg. It comes with a decent five-speed gearbox as standard, while a CVT automatic is also available. However the latter is best avoided as while it provides smooth changes, it saps the engines power, spending most of the time at high revs.

The diesel is easily the better choice. The 2.0-litre CRD engine (borrowed from Volkswagen) may not be particularly refined, but it offers good in-gear pulling power and manages the 0-62mph sprint in 11 seconds, only marginally slower than the petrol.

Thanks to a lower centre of gravity than traditional Jeep models, the Patriot handles fairly well with decent body control. Unfortunately it's let down by the lifeless steering which ensures the car is dull and uninvolving to drive. Traction is impressive though thanks to the four-wheel drive system - all versions have a ‘smart’ transmission that drives the front wheels but operates in 4x4 mode when needed.

Pulling a floor-mounted lever locks the system in four wheel drive mode. The Patriot may rank as a 'soft-roader', but it's still capable over slippery surfaces or rutted gravel tracks.