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Jeep Patriot - Still Ok for the School Run

Aug 15, 2008
Let's be honest, the days of the large SUV are beginning to look numbered. Every day now TV reports are saying that fuel prices will continue to rise due to the sheer demand for oil especially from the developing nations. A few minutes on the internet will tell you that even the US motorist is being hit with rising fuel costs (some say not before time) and the new car buyer will have to make some tough decisions before their next purchase.

I watched a programme on TV the other night about a guy who has traded-in his 40k BMW for an electric car and he uses it to commute into central London everyday. I thought this was very laudable as he was making a big sacrifice for his executive car status. He was quite a big guy as well and was crammed into this thing and looked rather awkward a bit like when you were a kid and your Dad forces himself into your pedal car as you look on in anguish. The guy did reckon though that on average he was saving himself around 9k a year and benefited from free parking and no congestion charge and simply drove into a tiny underground parking space and plugged his car in for recharging. I guess if he got drunk after work he could pretty much take the car home on the train.

I thought all this was fine if all you needed for the day was a lunchbox and a copy of the Financial Times (perhaps with a Harrods lingerie catalogue tucked between the pages) but as anyone with young kids will know when it comes to transporting your little darlings even to the end of the road nothing short of a removal lorry will suffice in order to cart around all their stuff!

Being serious for a minute if I can the government seems to be determined for everyone to whiz around in little electric micro bubbles without making any considerations for the average family with their 2.5 kids and the poor old dog. When we went away for an overnight stay a while back our car was packed to the roof with stuff and knowing that my luggage consisted of a toothbrush and a pair of underpants (well you might need them) I realised that the rest belonged to our 17 month old daughter.

We have an ancient Land Rover Discovery and I feel fairly justified in owning it as we live in rural Warwickshire where if you drove a small car it would either disappear for ever down one of the numerous potholes or be written off colliding with a badger. However when dropping off my daughter at nursery I have noticed people downsizing their vehicles and although unlike in parts of London where you are met by a baying mob of anti-4x4 protesters hurling abuse at you I have noticed a few raised eyebrows which is tantamount to the same thing in these parts.

If you really can't survive without some kind of SUV then help may be at hand from something like a Jeep Patriot. Although the name is a tad nationalistic the car itself is fairly understated unless of course you go and put privacy glass and 18" alloys on it.

The Patriot has a lower ground clearance than a lot of bigger SUV's and you only need to engage the four wheel drive when you need it so when people say "look at them in their 4x4" you can say "well actually it's two wheel drive most of the time" and then laugh as they get marooned on a soggy camp site as you calmly drive off. The Patriot's trump card however is its fuel economy which is around 50mpg extra urban and 42mpg combined for the diesel model which I would go for, also the C02 emissions are respectable at around 180 g/km for the diesel. The insurance group is fairly low too.

So if you need room to go somewhere and actually take your family with you then the Patriot might be the vehicle you have been looking for and you'll still be able to turn up at the School gates without hanging your head in shame!
About the Author
Jon Barlow discovers that it is still possible to buy an SUV without needing your own oil field to run it. See your Chrysler Jeep Dealer for more details.
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