2011 Jeep Patriot – Click above for high-res image gallery

Quick – what's the least expensive new SUV on the market in America? Did you guess something from Hyundai or Kia? Or perhaps from Suzuki? Guess again. As a matter of fact, the answer is the Jeep Patriot, which sees its first major update since its introduction for the 2007 model year. Full details of the changes can be found here.

For 2011, the Patriot carries a base price of $15,995 (plus $700 for destination) and comes equipped with a 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine with 158 horsepower and a five-speed manual transmission. Stepping up to four-wheel drive will cost you $17,695 and opting for the larger 2.4-liter mill will cost $300 and offer up 172 ponies.

For just a hair under $20K, buyers can snag a Jeep Patriot Latitude and be rewarded with heated seats, steering-wheel audio controls, 17-inch aluminum wheels, remote keyless entry and even air conditioning. That's right; amazingly enough, A/C isn't standard on lower-trim models, it's a $895 option that we imagine will pretty much always be selected. Guess that's how you earn the lowest-cost title...

At the very top of the range sits the Jeep Patriot Latitude X, which we optioned up to just under $30,000 with such desirable features as a leather interior, sunroof, navigation and a premium audio system with internal hard disk. Naturally, we also selected the Freedom Drive II Off-Road Package, which forces the inclusion of a CVT automatic transmission with a low range for off-road work.

Click here to build your own 2011 Jeep Patriot.

[Source: Jeep]

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