We are looking at the Patriot (only with the FDII package) as it is "Trail Rated" and is said to be "...Most Capable Vehicle in its Class."
It also has a little more cargo capacity than the Compass (62.7 cu. ft. vs. 61.8 cu. feet)
We both prefer the overall look of the Patriot over the round Compass.
...This all-new Jeep technology includes the CVT2L’s best-in-class 19:1 low ratio, which is ideal for crawling over obstacles. Off-road Brake Traction Control maintains forward mobility during heavy articulation or on split-friction surfaces where one wheel loses traction. Hill-Descent Control modulates brake hydraulic pressure without driver intervention for downhill assistance at a safe and controlled rate of speed. Three-mode ESP and off-road anti-lock brakes (ABS) also add to the Patriot’s off-road capability.
The Trail Rated Jeep Patriot sits 1 inch higher than non-Trail Rated versions and meets Jeep off-road capability requirements for traction, water fording, articulation, maneuverability and ground clearance, including 9 inches of ground clearance, a 29-degree approach angle, a 33-degree departure angle and a 23-degree breakover angle. This version of the Patriot also has additional body sealing and high-mounted drivetrain vents to support 19-inch water fording capability. In fact, the Jeep Patriot’s body and chassis were developed and tested over numerous rugged off-road terrains to meet the requirements of the enthusiast Jeep customer.
We plan on actually putting it to the test during our normal use, which is why we are mostly looking to the Jeep line for our next vehicle. The Patriot is not a heavy-duty rock crawler... but that's not what we want it to do. We are looking for a daily commuter vehicle with good gas mileage that can take the family of 5 back up the mountain trails to get away from pavement and people for a relaxing campout on the weekends. There are a few trails we won't be able to go down, sure. Most we should make it without issue in the Patriot.
8-inches of ground clearance, 21.1-degree approach angle, 32-degree departure angle and 21-degree breakover angle.
9-inches of ground clearance, 29-degree approach angle, 33-degree departure angle and 23-degree breakover angle... with 19-inch water fording ability! (that's a plus in the Pacific Northwest.)