Safety

When equipped with the optional front-seat-mounted side-impact airbags in addition to the standard side curtain airbags, the Patriot is one of the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety's top-rated compact SUVs, behind only the Honda Element. That means it ranks above every other model mentioned in this review, and it's one of only four Top Safety Picks among small SUVs. Along with Good scores in front-, side- and rear-impact crash tests, the Top Pick distinction requires a Good rating in the roof-strength test, which all five best-sellers lack. Jeep ought to go ahead and make the optional side airbags standard, because the side-impact rating is Marginal without it; at least they're available as a stand-alone option for $250.

Antilock brakes are standard, but the front-drive Sport trim level has rear drums. All other Patriots have four-wheel discs. An electronic stability system with traction control is also standard. To see a list of all the Patriot's safety features, click here.

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    System Activation
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    Towing This Vehicle Behind Another Vehicle
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    Rear License Lamp
    1. Use a screw driver to gently pry against the side of the snap tab to remove the license lamp lens. 2. Pull bulb from socket. 3. Replace bulb. 4. Reinstall lens. ...