Sheesh, it's about time... Pricing on the Dodge Caliber-based Jeep Patriot has been announced, with the first Patriots rolling off the line in Belvedere set to arrive in dealerships around January 1. The news, which comes a little later than the fall launch plans Chrysler announced previously, finally satisfies those of us who have been eagerly awaiting the little ute's arrival since its launch at April's New York Auto Show. As promised, the Patriot starts at under 15 grand -- $14,958 including shipping, to be exact. The Patriot Limited 4x4 rings in at $23,530, still at the low end of its class in terms of price.

Sharing a platform with the Caliber and Jeep Compass means Patriot is available with the option of a continuously variable transmission (CVT), as well as DaimlerChrysler's 2.4L World Engine. Die hards need not be disappointed by the non-truck platform, however -- in the upper-level trims, the vehicle still comes "Trail Rated," complete with four-wheel-drive, tow hooks and skid plates, and its design hearkens back to the Cherokees of the 90s. No word on the nature of the marketing push yet, but Jeep should roll that out by the end of first quarter when dealerships are all stocked up.

[Source: Automotive News]