2011 was a big year for the Patriot, receiving its first facelift since it came on the market back in 2007. Jeep gave the Patriot a full exterior makeover, consisting of updated front and rear bodywork, for a more rugged outward appearance. Jeep also introduced a new lineup of trim levels available, including the base Sport, mid-level Latitude, and the high-end Latitude X models. A 70th Anniversary special edition model of the Patriot was also offered in limited quantities, and can still be found as a used option for interested buyers. Inside the cabin, new and enhanced materials were abundant, giving the Patriot a more streamlined and high-end feel. The 2.0-liter four-cylinder is still standard on the base Patriot Sport in 2011, and is capable of producing a 158 horsepower rating. The more powerful 2.4-liter engine, capable of delivering 172 horsepower, is standard on both the Latitude and Latitude X trim levels. Drivers were able to opt for the standard front-wheel drive, the more capable all-wheel drive, or the fully trail-rated four-wheel Freedom Drive II system, designed exclusively by Jeep. Thanks to the addition of Jeep’s Freedom Drive II, the 2011 Patriot was the first to receive the capable Trail Rated designation from the rugged brand. Ranked in the top 20 most affordable compact SUVs by US News and World Report, the 2011 Jeep Patriot started at $15,995, and topped out at a MSRP of $23,895.
Out with the new, and back to the old, the 2012 Patriot was once again offered in three basic trim level packages: Sport, Limited, and Latitude. Each was available with either front-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, and the same two engine options from previous model years were still on the docket in 2012. With up to 172 horsepower and 165 lb.-ft. of torque, the Patriot has plenty of performance-ready power under the hood for a crossover, without going overboard. The EPA estimated fuel economy for the 2012 Patriot reached up to 29 miles per gallon on the highway, and 20 in the city. Liftgate speakers, halogen headlights, and heated seats gave the Patriot a higher-end feel, without the matching high-end price tag. The 2012 Patriot brought back the Freedom Drive II off-road package, as well as the Freedom Drive I on-road package, that was designed to perform well in inclimate weather conditions, but not necessarily navigate off-road trails.