What do you guys think of the new Jeep Patriot? I think it's pretty nice actually, and got a lot of really cool features (like the flip-down liftgate speakers and ipod holder). I think their off-road model also has a rear locker.
I test drove one of those Patriots, but ruled it out fairly quickly--it was the most affordable of my potentials, so I really wanted to like it. However, the view from the rear-view mirror is 15-25% blocked by the backseat headrests, and the back window is very small or is really far back or something. You can barely see out the back.
Also I just couldn't get past Jeeps jingoist marketing thing--Liberty, Patriot (with engines called Freedom Drive I and Freedom Drive II). All a bit too Orwellian-sheeple-mobile-ish for me.
lifeinthesouth, I too have salivated over that new Rubi. But it's underpowered and doesn't handle like our X. And I'm really starting to like the fact that I don't have a Jeep and I don't have a Toyota! A capable X really raises eyebrows: Jeeps are a dime a dozen.
They start at 14k?! Looks like a dodge caliber to me, which is a dodge neon with a new body. But hey, i bet if you get one that is "trail rated" it will jack up the price about 5k and then you can drive to picnic areas with it.