I kind of like the Patriot. But mostly because it's a surprisingly good off road vehicle, and a handsome car. http://www.expeditionswest.com/equipmen ... /index.htm
If I had to buy a Chrysler, that would be the first one I'd look at. The '13/'14 models have their stuff sorted, and have quality interiors. I'd say you could expect similar or worse mileage in a Patriot (compared to the Vibe). However, the Sport 4x4 you can get with 4wd and a stickshift... That's a big plus in my book. The Renegade might be an interesting car too, and I really like it. If my mom weren't so dedicated on getting something big I'd for sure have her try a Patriot or Renegade. Just be prepared for the scoffs and "holy than thou" attitude that "true" Jeep enthusiasts might give you. I like Jeep, but their biggest problem is the people who believe the last great Jeep was with an AMC straight-six and solid axles.