The introduction of the FWD configuration is accompanied by reduced prices, cutting between $2000 and $5000 from the Patriot's sticker price, depending on the model (and excluding on-road costs).
The 2WD model is now priced at $25,000 for the manual version and $27,000 for the automatic, while the 4WD 2.4 Patriot is marked down to $28,000 and $30,000 respectively.
As with the entry-level variants in the Compass range, the 2WD Patriot is offered with a 2.0 litre petrol engine producing 115kW and 190Nm of torque.
The 2.0 litre engine can be had with either a five-speed manual transmission or a CVT automatic, with fuel consumption listed at 7.6 l/100km and 8.2 l/100km respectively.
It joins the 4WD version's existing 2.4 litre petrol engine, which delivers marginally greater power at 125kW and 220Nm.
A five-speed manual and CVT auto are the transmission choices in the 4WD models, and fuel consumption is listed at 8.4 l/100km and 9.1 l/100km.
Features for the Sport models include 17-inch alloy wheels, roof-rails, manual air-conditioning, leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, and auxiliary audio connectivity.
Upgrading to the Limited spec includes fog-lights at the front and rear, silver roof-rails, tinted windows, climate control, leather trim in the interior and heated front seats (with a six-way power-adjusted driver's seat), nine-speaker Boston Acoustics audio system, a 6.5-inch touchscreen with 30gb music storage, and Bluetooth/USB connectivity.
Standard safety features include driver and front-passenger airbags and side curtain airbags. Supplemental driver and front-passenger seat-mounted side airbags are available as an option.
The updated Patriot also gets four-wheel ABS disc brakes, hill-start assist and electronic stability control with brake assist, traction control, electronic roll mitigation and brake lock differentials.
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In March, the larger Cherokee will get a rear-wheel-drive option for Australia, powered by a V6 petrol engine - likely the same 151kW/315Nm 3.7 litre engine offered in the US (it has yet to pick up the new 210kW/347Nm Pentastar engine).
Pricing for the updated Cherokee range has yet to be revealed, but with its debut only weeks away, more should be revealed soon.