Jeep Patriot Extreme
Here's something you don't see every day: a Jeep Patriot with practical off-road capability. That makes it an affordable, 30-mpg highway compact 4x4 with some entertainment value. In stock trim, the limiting factor on the Patriot is ground clearance, so they added a little lift (two-inch Rocky Road Outfitters kit), and larger, P225/75R16 BFG KM2 Mud Terrain tires on 16-inch TJ wheels.

The combination raises ground clearance to an estimated 10 inches, without use of a tire so large as to require installing lower axle gears. The greater ground clearance did improve the standard angles of approach and departure--to 29 degrees and 33 degrees, respectively, but just in case protective rock rails cover the rocker panels and stout bars guard the front and rear, where the Patriot might drag on steep entries or exits. Also in place is a factory Freedom Drive II off-road package, which includes 19:1 low range gearing, underbody protection, full-size spare, tow hooks and foglights. Power is supplied by a 172-horse, 2.4-liter 16-valve I-4 engine. That might not make the Patriot Extreme a hard-core trail machine, but it did make it fun on sand dunes, and surprisingly able on trails around Moab.