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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
So, have been seeing a big trend lately in SUV commercials of manufacturers mostly with FWD and AWD models showing some sort-of-rugged tires and wheels splashing through maybe 10" of water, 3" of mud, or sliding around on snowy roads. Granted, an AWD vehicle with a decent set of the right off-road tires can get you through a lot of places. But, because most of them do not have a true 4WD option, and the latest "trendy" thing now seems to be people wanting to do "overland" or some light off-road travel, most of them are trying their damnedest to show how tough and rugged their SUVs are and can play in that market. Truthfully, most buyers of something like a Kia or Honda are never going to go rock crawling, or even do anything of a serious off-road nature. The even more hilarious part of those commercials is the ending, where they then show said vehicles with a cheap monthly price - based on a FWD model🤣. Good luck trying to forge those creeks, mud puddles or drifts of snow in one of those.

I know our Patriots aren't a serious off-roader, but I think I would feel way more comfortable locking mine in 4 X 4 mode with a good set of off-road capable tires any day over those AWD vehicles. A truer test would be to show those AWDs STOPPING in a 3" mud puddle, then trying to get moving. Oops! Stuck!
 

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2014 Sport 4X4 FD2 Off-road, Falken Wildpeak A/T, All weather & convienance group, EVIC, ATC, Hitch
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I've got my Patriot and my wife has a 4WD RAV4. The other week when we had 6 feet of snow here in Buffalo, we never even considered taking her Toyota anywhere. A couple of years ago she got stuck in the snow in the middle of an intersection about 1/2 mile from home. I had to go pull her home with my Pat. That was only a couple inches of snow, and with snow tires.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow. I remember for a number of years, before we got our '21 Durango GT Plus AWD last year, the wife would normally drive the '15 Pat', and I daily drove my '06 Hemi Daytona. If it was predicted to get 6" or more of snow, my wife would often tell me to take the Pat' to work, but many days I drove in 6" or more of snow with a high HP, RWD car, and although I never had dedicated snow tires on it, with just a very decent set of A/S performance tires I would be cursing at the little FWD cars/SUVs, and even many AWD SUVs and 4 X 4 pickups in front of me that couldn't get traction and get out of my way! I remember one snowstorm a few winters ago taking the Pat' to work while it still had the crappy OE Firestones that were getting pretty worthless. I was still able to plow through drifts in the right lanes where few AWD SUVs and even some 4WD pickups dared not go. I saw tire tracks for maybe 100 ft., or saw them try in front of me, only to get back in the left lane which was clearer. I pulled the 4WD lever in the Pat', and cruised straight through the right lane, tracking straight as an arrow with no wheel spin! When I replaced those crappy tires, the handling and stopping was even better.

You are right about other AWD or 4WD SUVs, that even with great tires, I see some pathetic traction and handling in bad weather with most of them. While the Pat' isn't the most luxurious, most expensive, or most high-tech vehicle out there, with even a 1/2-way decent set of tires, it is a very capable vehicle. I haven't driven the '21 Durango in anything super challenging yet, but even with its lousy Bridgestone "Ecrapia" tires, its AWD system seems like it could outperform a lot of other AWD or 4WD SUVs just based on driving it in a couple/few inches of snow last season. Just not looking forward to the day I need to upgrade those, as they are huge 265/50/20s, and a really decent A/S costs upwards of $250 each! Oddly, a lot of other larger premium SUVs are not only using the same size but make/model tire on theirs, and don't have near the traction or performance.
 

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Indeed, some would ask why make this post when the Patriot is "the same thing" and the new Fiats and all those Japanese vehicles(WRX and whatnot aside) with AWD being "jUsT aS gOoD" or however the terminology is these days. But, we know what the little Patriot can do, how it's arguably the last of the properly simple yet capable Jeep heritage, etc. Mine feels even more stable than my '98 Suburban K2500, believe it or not.
 

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Discussion Starter · #6 ·
Yeah, I wanna see ya try THAT in yur Kia Telluride and say "Gee, we drove too high!". ANY, I repeat, ANY decent RWD vehicle can climb dusty mountain trail roads. You don't even need FWD or AWD. Geez, the places I should have never gone, but did, in my old RWD '70 Dart Swinger 318 on old bias ply tires through some trips to Colorado years ago on mountain roads. Granted, they weren't snow covered at the time, but totally gravel or dirt roads and I got through with no issues, other than constantly bottoming out my mufflers. Gee, I guess that makes it a tough off-road, overlander vehicle. Lol.
 

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IDK if you've ever seen the review Scott Brady from Expeditions West did on the FDII Patriot when it first came out, but it's at the link below if you want to read it:

Of course they took one with all the things on it, haha. Buuuut, at least they gave it a fair shake, didn't complain about "but it's not a wrangler" when they arguably didn't have one(ya know I had to say it), AND bonus for me is the pictures reminded me that happened just before the Michigan license plate color scheme I grew up with was phased out. Pure Michigan blue with white lettering. I kinda miss it, though the new ones are nice.
 
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