KBB Editors' Overview
By KBB.com Editors
Jeep's Liberty is the smallest body-on-frame SUV. Although it faces some stiff competition from the new Jeep Compass and Jeep Patriot, the Liberty can still best both vehicles in the areas of off-road capability and towing. The Liberty makes a good choice for true off-road enthusiasts who are looking for a low-priced compact SUV, but require a vehicle a bit more civilized and secure than the boyish Jeep Wrangler. Unfortunately for Liberty fans, it appears Jeep is not planning a long run for the little SUV. The diesel engine option and Renegade trim level have been eliminated, and there are no significant improvements or upgrades for 2007.
You'll Like This Car If...
If you like the Jeep brand and you want a small SUV that performs well off-road, is easy to maneuver, can accommodate four people comfortably and gets reasonably good gas mileage, the Liberty could easily fill the bill.
You May Not Like This Car If...
For some the Liberty might be a bit too "cute" to carry off the image they want from a Jeep, even though the model is very capable off-road. The small rear cargo area may also persuade some to look for a bigger vehicle.
What's Significant About This Car?
The Renegade trim is no more, leaving only the Sport and Limited models. The CRD turbodiesel engine is also sent packing.
On the road, the Jeep is a competent performer. Our test vehicle was equipped with the 3.7-liter V6 that produces 210 horsepower. This engine exhibited peppy performance, with quick off-the-line acceleration and plenty of pulling power for towing or venturing off road. On smooth pavement the Liberty returns a fairly comfortable ride, due to an outstanding suspension that was engineered to deal with the great outdoors as well as the wide-open highway. Still, the Liberty is a Sport Utility Vehicle, so you shouldn't expect it to glide over bumps and broken pavement like a luxury car. You should also not expect the Liberty, with its tall body and high ground clearance, to handle like a sports car, especially when executing high-speed maneuvers.
The Limited Edition Trim
The Limited Edition trim adds a touch of uptown polish to the Liberty, showing its ability to be tough and gentle.
Infinity Sound System
The optional Infinity sound system fills the cabin with powerful bass and clear highs.
The Liberty's tall roof makes for a very roomy interior. The front seats are marvelously comfortable, as is the rear bench. You sit upright in the Liberty, similar to sitting in a tall chair. The rear door opening is on the narrow side, especially for your trail boots but, once inside, you'll find plenty of room for long legs. The rear cargo area is adequate, but not huge. The Liberty's rear-mounted spare tire makes it difficult to use the flip-up rear glass panel because you have to reach over the tire to access the cargo area floor.
The Liberty is a tall vehicle with rounded corners and edges that stand in stark contrast to the sharp angles and rough look of the Wrangler. Short front and rear overhangs make the Liberty ideal for bouldering and climbing steep terrain. The Liberty strikes an upscale pose when outfitted in the Limited trim, a fact that may appeal to those who use their SUVs primarily for urban transport.
Notable Standard Equipment
The Liberty Sport is equipped with a 3.7-liter V6 engine, a six-speed manual transmission, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes, rear defroster, auto-off headlamps, AM/FM stereo with CD, tilt wheel, 16-inch steel wheels and rear wiper/washer. The Limited adds power locks, power windows, keyless entry, dual power mirrors, speed control and aluminum wheels.
Notable Optional Equipment
Options include Command-Trac part-time four-wheel drive or Selec-Trac full-time four-wheel drive, heated leather seats, power driver's seat, six-disc CD changer, skid plates, tow package, navigation radio, front side-impact airbags, four-speed automatic transmission and UConnect hands-free phone hookup.
Under the Hood
The standard V6 is the perfect fit for the Liberty, with lots of power and reasonable fuel economy. Some may find the noise levels a bit high, especially at full throttle, as the engine's overall feel is in keeping with the Liberty's rough and tumble image. Finally, it's rare to find a manual transmission teamed to a V6, another point in the Liberty's favor.
210 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
235 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/22 (manual), 17/22 (automatic)
The two-wheel-drive Liberty Sport has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $22,025, while the two-wheel-drive Limited trim is $25,660. Before you set off to begin negotiating your best price, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price, as it shows the typical transaction price paid for a Liberty in your area. You'll also want to check the Incentives tab to see what deals may be on the table. The Liberty is projected to retain an average residual value over 24-, 36-, 48- and 60-month periods. The Liberty Limited holds its value better than the Nissan Xterra, Kia Sorrento and Suzuki XL-7, but falls behind the Toyota RAV4 and Honda CR-V.