I bought my 2011 Patriot on December 20, 2010, in large part because of the advertised gas
mileage. The window sticker for my 2.4L, CVTII, 4WD is 21 mpg city and 26 mpg highway. Thus
far, while driving in very light city conditions and then on a highway trip to Pittsburgh
(from Erie, PA), I have been getting 17-18 mpg and 21-22 mpg, respectively. That is far below
the advertised mileage, and that's with only a couple miles of 4WD driving time, and I do not
let the vehicle sit idling at ATMs nor do I let it idle a long to warm up (kept in a partially
heated garage). On my last vehicle (2007 Cobalt) I routinely beat the sticker mpg by 5-7 mpg,
so my driving habits are not at fault.
When I called the dealer's service department (Gary Miller Chrysler-Jeep. Erie, PA), I was told
it's because of winter fuel mixture, the engine not being broken in yet, and even that the fan motor
from the heater are the cause. The guy was serious about the fan motor on the heater. The EPA is
very stringent about the conditions under which mileage ratings are published, so I don't buy the
line. Modern engines are built to very close tolerances and require almost no break-in period. The
winter fuel blend might be responsible for a little of the bad mileage, but this is 20% below
advertised. It's at the very bottom of the range that factors in worst-case conditions like full
load of passengers and cargo, hilly terrain, windows down, etc. My conditions are about as close to
ideal as possible.
With gas heading for $4 per gallon, this is very distressing. I specifically chose the Patriot
over the Ford Escape because of the gas mileage. My 4-cylinder Patriot is getting the gas mileage of
the 6-cylinder Escape - totally unacceptable. BTW, mileage calculations are via the Vehicle
Information Center (VIC) computer that I ordered with it, so the values are not subject to filling
at the same gas pump each time, tracking miles accurately, etc; the VIC calculates the values
real-time, and I monitor them closely.
For the first-ever Chrysler product in my 52 years, I'm not impressed.