Can You Go Off-Roading With a Jeep Patriot?

Photo Credit @thejeeppatriotpage

The Jeep Patriot is a four-cylinder SUV that provides a safe and functional ride. It’s the perfect family vehicle, but can this reliable chariot go off-roading, too?

You can go off-roading with a Jeep Patriot. The 4×4 option is a trail-capable Patriot that sits on 17-inch tires and has a ground clearance of 8 inches, making it perfect for conquering rocks, slight inclines, sand, and snow. For intense terrain, other vehicles are more suitable.

Read on to learn more about what the Jeep Patriot is capable of, including what kind of trails you can expect to take it on and what type of terrain you should avoid.

The Jeep Patriot: An Overview

Let’s take a closer look at what the Jeep Patriot has to offer.

The Jeep Patriot was technically discontinued in 2017, but while it was in production, it was offered in three different models: the Sport, Limited, and North Edition.

The vehicle also had two options for engines. The first was the mediocre 2L, four-cylinder engine that offered 141 lb-ft torque and 158 horsepower. The second model was a more impressive 2.4L engine with 175 horsepower and an upgraded torque of 165 lb-ft. 

Photo Credit – @thejeeppatriotpage

However, it’s important to note that even the most recent 2017 Patriot is only rated to two 2,000 lbs- not very impressive for an adventure ride. If you’re hoping to tow any large toys, trailers, or boats, the Jeep Patriot is not for you.

Both engines were available in three different models: FWD, AWD, and 4X4. 

The Front Wheel Drive model is not the edition to go for when it comes to off-roading. While it can probably power through some sand and mud with the right tires, you’ll lose traction quickly when it comes to the front-wheel drive. It’s better suited for warm climates where you won’t need traction on ice and snow every year.

The All-Wheel-Drive has a little more to offer, with the standard mode operating in front-wheel drive and the back wheels engaging at 50% when necessary to supplement the vehicle’s traction. You can also lock the 50-50 mode when traveling below a certain speed. 

The “4×4” option is typically an engageable mode on an FWD vehicle. Most 4×4 capable vehicles operate as FWD most of the time and include a 4×4 mode that you can engage when necessary. This allows you to keep a higher mileage rating on your daily commute and only engage the power of 4×4 when you need it.

Needs for Off-Roading

If you’re looking to use the Jeep Patriot as an off-road vehicle, you should consider some of the general needs for the hobby before you commit.

The following are some of the key criteria you should keep in mind while looking for an off-road vehicle:

  • Ground clearance is the distance between the ground and the bottom of your vehicle. This determines how large of things your SUV can drive over.
  • Lift potential. By increasing the lift of your vehicle, you increase the ground clearance.
  • Towing power is important for bringing your adventure accessories around and also for getting out of sticky situations.
  • Tire size makes a difference when you’re looking at mileage and off-roading rubber available to you.

Some of what you will need will come from accessories such as winches, tires, lights, and emergency gear, but a lot of what you need also stems from the machine’s abilities itself.

Let’s take a look at what the Patriot is capable of.

The Capabilities of the Patriot

The Jeep Patriot 4×4 can travel over dunes, mud, snow, and rocky slopes. The engaged four-wheel-drive mode can provide traction when driving on slick, icy roads or through messy mucky trails.

The 17-inch tires keep the Patriot off the ground with 8 inches of clearance to conquer most dirt trails and terrain. The skid plate protects the undercarriage from jagged rocks and hidden stumps. This Jeep model also has an approach angle of 26.4 degrees, which gives it an ascent angle of 24 degrees and a decent angle of 29-degrees.

The air intake on the Patriot is placed high enough that the vehicle can cross streams and conquer puddles easily. Waterways up to 19 inches deep are no issue for the Jeep Patriot.

There’s also off-road traction control, which helps to compensate in muddy, snowy conditions. There’s a Hill Start Assist that prevents you from sliding backward and can help you climb steep slopes. The Hill Descent Control, on the other hand, keeps the vehicle in a low gear to control the descent speed of the SUV.

The Jeep Patriot’s ride is mostly comfortable on both roads and trails, but it doesn’t produce the best feeling for either. Because it’s a crossover vehicle, you can expect to compromise a little bit when it comes to both categories that it tries to fulfill.

Terrain to Avoid With the Patriot

The Jeep Patriot is a fairly capable off-roading vehicle. However, it’s not ready for intense alpine events. You shouldn’t expect to climb over large cliffs or huge boulders; the vehicle’s clearance and the towing power are simply not enough for the vehicle to get itself out of tricky situations.

Deep backwood adventures are risky in the Jeep Patriot unless you’ve set yourself up with a front bumper winch and have the knowledge of how to use it properly. Rivers deeper than 19 inches shouldn’t be forded in the Patriot, and the size of the vehicle makes it harder to fit through tight trees and trails.

Jeep Patriot Off-Roading FAQs

Let’s address some of the most common questions when it comes to off-roading with a Jeep Patriot:

  • What is the clearance of the Jeep Patriot? The 2017 Jeep Patriot has an 8-inch ground clearance, which is high enough to handle mild trails and rocky terrain.
  • What is the wheel size of the Jeep Patriot? The Jeep Patriot sits on 17-inch tires. This is a common measurement of tire for which you can find many off-road ready models of rubber.
  • Can you lift a Jeep Patriot? You can lift a Jeep Patriot, but not too much. About 1-1.5 inch is as high as you can go for the Patriot before you drastically compromise the mileage and alter the center of gravity.
  • Does the Jeep Patriot have a skid plate? The Jeep Patriot does have a skid plate. This protects the undercarriage from being punctured by sharp boulders and stumps hidden under mud and snow.
  • Can I go off-roading with a Jeep Patriot? You can go off-roading with a Jeep Patriot. However, you should be prepared with lights and a winch kit to conquer more aggressive terrain.
  • What is a Jeep Patriot meant for? The Jeep Patriot is a crossover SUV designed for daily family life and weekend adventures. The vehicle can take you and the kids on road trips through mountain passes and national parks and suitable for your daily commute.
  • What is a Jeep Patriot meant for? A Jeep Patriot is fully capable of driving through snow, especially when equipped with proper winter tires. The 50-50 tire lock engages all four tires at low speed, and the off-road traction control helps the Jeep grip slippery terrain.


The Jeep Patriot is a great off-roading vehicle for weekend warriors that want the freedom to access more secluded spots. However, it is not the ideal vehicle for big backcountry excursions. The low towing capacity, medium ground clearance, and inability to be lifted very high make this SUV more of a part-time off-roader than an intense adventure-mobile.


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