We currently own a 2013 Patriot, it is my wifes car, its 4wd with the CVT trans. It has about 3,000 miles on it, so we cant talk much about long term experience, but here is what I currently think. First of all, it replaced a 2001 Chevy Tahoe, with the 5.3 V8. In the household, we also have a 1995 Cherokee 4WD with the 4.0, had a 96 Grand Cherokee with the 4.0 and 4WD, and have a 96 Grand Cherokee with the 5.2 and all wheel drive. The Patriot was bought as an inexpensive all wheel drive car that gets decent gas mileage, for general run around town use, plus the ability to travel in snow without using chains. It was not bought for offroading, and neither were the other 2 jeeps, though the Cherokee has seen mild off road use. The Patriot gets between 17 and 25 mpg, depending on driving conditions, much better than either of the other jeeps. It is more comfortable than the Cherokee, not as plush as the Grand Cherokee, but more fun to drive around town, it also handles better with more precise cornering. The Patriots power is fine, not as good as either of the other jeeps, but better than the 96 grand cherokee with the 4.0 that we used to have. In terms of reliability of the CVT, I hope that after several years of having that trans, they have worked out the bugs (they continue to use that trans in the 4wd with low range). The new 6 speed automatic is new in this platform with no track record, new offerings usually have bugs to work out. The Patriot is offered in a few different trim levels, and I like our Latitude, and more importantly, so far, my wife absolutely loves her car, and has taken it on 3 trips of 400 to 500 miles each, with 3 passengers and their luggage. Is it as good as the XJ offroad? no, but its better at what we use it for. Is it as comfortable as our Grand Cherokee? no, but its close, gets much better mileage, and its easier to drive around town.
1995 XJ 4.0
1996 ZJ 5.2