So I test drove a Patriot today. I'm in the military in Korea, going to be here for a few years, and I'm hating the '99 Kia that I bought simply because it was cheap. Cheap in sooooo many ways...
Anyway, I wanted something nicer than the Kia, bigger inside, AWD for these NASTY winters (or at least FWD with traction control and I'd buy some winter tires), but reasonably-sized so I can still get down the alleys to my apartment and fit it into the garage.
Drove a Ford Focus...meh. Did absolutely nothing for me. Drove a Ford Fusion Sport...very nice, quick, but honestly kinda long and wide for the alleys around here.
Then I drove the Patriot. I almost didn't drive it because the reviews that I've read haven't been terribly kind...they focused in on the interior (updated since most of the reviews were written), and the CVT...the reviews I've read have panned it as being unresponsive and slow. The one I drove was a FWD, CVT, pretty much a base model. I was stunned...I really liked it! The new dash is nice, it would fit nicely in the garage and down the alleys here, it's very maneuverable, and it just felt good from behind the wheel. I did kinda feel like I was driving it from inside a bunker looking out the gun port, but I could still easily see all the corners of the vehicle and didn't notice any huge blind spots. What really surprised me was the CVT. I was prepared to dislike it based on the reviews I had read, but I found it to be endlessly entertaining! I like that even in Drive there is some engine braking available, and I'm sure the autostick would help out even more. I didn't find it to be sluggish at all, and I liked the fact that you're never in the wrong gear for going up a hill. I walked away from it glad that I had driven it, and stunned at how much I liked it!
There's a Limited AWD arriving at the end of January that I think I'd like. It's a pretty well loaded limited (most everything but nav and the low-range gearing). I'm still mulling it over, but that CVT really won me over on the test drive. And I'm a die-hard manual transmission lover.
Anything I should look for or look out for? It should be fairly fresh off the assembly line so I'd assume any TSB's or earlier issues would have been corrected.
I've had my 08 for almost two years and love it. The cvt really grows on you and I enjoy it more than other trannies. I love how I can be cruising at 60+ and just give it alittle gas and it climbs till your going way to fast. I'd buy another in a heartbeat.
I put a hold on the silver limited, and it should arrive on Thursday. I've got about 10 days before I either have to buy it or the hold gets removed. I just have to get a few things in order before I can buy it...biggest thing is I have to sell the Kia because the military here limits you to one car per person at a time. So Thursday or Friday I'll take a close look at the Patriot I have on hold, and if I like it, then the Kia will go up for sale that day. Unfortunately I won't have it in time to deal with the roads right now...got some snow today, it turned to a light rain, and now the slush is freezing all over the roads. Looks like tomorrow I'll be walking to work again and hopefully not slipping too many times!
Soldierguy, first things first. Thanks for your service. Say Hi to SFC Soriano for me if you see him.
The Patriot is on my list toi consider for replacing our 1999 Cherokee that has over 180K miles.
My problem, that the Patriot seems to resolve, is that I am 6' tall and my wofe is 5'10". My 14 year old son is 6'2" and not done growing yet.
I sat in the drivers seat and for the first time in years, all the way back was just a little too far. With the front seat set for me, I tried to sit in the seat behind the driver. No go. Knees in the back of the seat. So no way my son will fit.
So I set the passenger front for me and therefore my wife who has longer legs than me.
When I sat behind, there was enough room for my son. Well, until he hit 6'5" anyway.
I checked the specs on the much touted Chevy Traverse. 3" less rear leg room and over $30K. Are you sheeting me?
So, Bottom line, it appears the Patriot meets most of my criteria. <$25K. Fits my family. Has a 2" Hitch available, and it reporting 30MPg highway even if the rating is only 25.
so on the way home today in the Kia, all the sudden it decides that it doesn't want to run unless I keep my foot on the gas all the time. Now I'm facing the choice of spending money on the Kia to fix it before I sell it, or junking it. There's a guy around here who advertises that he'll give a minimum of $100 for any car, any condition...right now I'm thinking that may not be a bad thing. Ahh the joys of driving an 11 year old Kia of unknown history...lol!
And fishgutz...thanks very much! Don't know SFC Soriano, but there's a whole bunch of people around here I don't know...lol! The Patriot is surprisingly roomy....unexpected because it is several inches shorter in height than its competitors.
I took a close look at the silver Patriot limited 4X4 yesterday...a lot nicer than I expected. The black leather interior looks great, and because the vehicle is silver, the limited model's silver trim on the front & rear bumpers and on the sides blends right it, which is a good thing in my book. So hopefully I'll be driving the Patriot by the end of next week, once I get the Kia out of my name and get the money straight for the Patriot.
There is no trade-in here. You sell your current vehicle and get it out of your name. Only one vehicle allowed per person here so the existing vehicle must be out of your name before being able to register the new one. There are exceptions, but to have more than one vehicle generally requires a spouse...not going to get one of those anytime soon!
Unfortunately I'll be driving the Kia a bit longer. I had a rather substantial unexpected expense, which pretty much killed the down payment on the Patriot. I could do it with little to no money down and have no problem affording the payments, but I do not want to do it that way...I never put myself in the position of being upside-down on a vehicle loan, so the Patriot purchase is on hold for now.
I'd leave the Kia running with the keys in it somewhere, but I seriously doubt it would get stolen! lol!
^^^^ I guess you'd have to leave a brick on the gas pedal since you said it needed to hold the gas or it would stall out.
I suggest a block of ice, and pop it in drive - by the time the police and insurance get there, the ice is melted, the car is a write off, and since you are in Korea, they would understand why the Kia is a write off.
I'm back on my court mandated Rx. Other than the drool shorting out my keyboard, I'm here to help!
lol at the insurance possibilities. The Patriot really is a great vehicle. I can fit comfortably in the back, and I am not small. I can't even reach the windshield leaning forward in the passenger seat. My friend has it, and that autostick CVT really is a great tranny. Good luck getting rid of the kia in some great offer.
I hope all pans out for you, and thanks for what you do.