After a quick look at the Jeep site, neither the Patriot or Liberty has as much cargo space as the Rav4 or Element (over 10 cubic feet less, surprisingly!)
The Patriot gets excellent gas mileage and is extremely well-priced for a 4x4 SUV, but we gotta have that cargo space. The Liberty doesn't get very good gas mileage.
Honda Civics are definitely not expensively outfitted cars; they used to be the very bottom of the Honda line years ago; not sure they are now. But they sure are reliable, or at least used to be. My father got well over 200K miles on his.
Honda Elements are also very "plastic" inside, but that makes them easy to clean and inexpensive. I've never cared about having a luxury car or adding "appearance packages", stuff like that. I want comfortable seats for driving and a good driving position for a petite gal like me, but aside from that, I'm really looking for function over form and reliability over bells and whistles. I am what you'd call a very "basic" car buyer, I guess. Never had anything fancy, so I don't know what I'm missing.
I forgot to mention that I also had a Subaru Forester that I loved before the Element, but bikes had to lie down in the back, and the transmission gave out after only four years, so I traded it on the Element. I also really disliked the service department folks in my area after many failed attempts to fix the "check engine" light issue, so I am boycotting Subies, even if they did have one that would fit a herd of bikes!
2011 Jamis Dakar XC "Toto" - Selle Italia Ldy Gel Flow
2007 Trek Pilot 5.0 WSD "Gloria" - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow
2004 Bike Friday Petite Pocket Crusoe - Selle Italia Diva Gel Flow