By KBB.com Editors
Die-hard Jeep fans may have worried that the redesigned Jeep Liberty would go soft in an attempt to appeal to a wider audience, but that didn't happen. Last year's complete makeover saw the Liberty become more civilized, thanks to a long list of features, improved ride and handling and better fuel economy. At the same time, a pair of very capable four-wheel drive systems, a highly functional interior and a more rugged styling theme allow the Liberty to retain its off-road roots. While it's difficult to meet the various needs of modern SUV buyers, Jeep fans can rest easy knowing the redesigned Liberty still embodies all that the Jeep brand has come to represent.
You'll like the Jeep Liberty if you want a mid-size SUV with rugged good looks, room for five and go-anywhere off-road capabilities. Plus, the Sky Slider Roof lets you have open air fun without the added noise and security concerns of owning a soft-top Jeep Wrangler.
You may not like the Jeep Liberty if you don't plan to venture away from paved roads. By focusing strictly on on-road handling, many newer crossover SUVs offer more comfort and efficiency than the Liberty while still offering SUV roominess.
The 2009 Jeep Liberty receives more standard content, while improvements to the vehicle's suspension and steering round out the major mechanical changes.
Driving Impressions The 2009 Jeep Liberty must contend with both on- and off-road driving situations and it manages to perform admirably in both. At freeway speeds, the revised suspension provides a smooth...and quiet ride, yet on winding roads the steering is responsive and body lean is well controlled. However, it is away from paved roads where the Jeep Liberty really shines, with two highly capable four-wheel drive systems, All-speed Traction Control, Hill Descent Control, Hill Start Assist and anti-lock brakes with rough road detection giving the Liberty truly impressive off-road credentials. The Liberty's V6 provides plenty of power for tackling demanding trails, but on the open road it feels lethargic, requiring frequent downshifts to maintain speed when traveling uphill.
Sky Slider Roof
Opening the optional Sky Slider Roof lets the sun shine in and the breeze waft around the cabin, yet with the soft-top closed interior noise is on par with the standard metal-roof Jeep Liberty.
uconnect tunes Infotainment System
Combining a hands-free phone system, voice-recognition, 30 gigabyte digital music storage, GPS navigation and real-time traffic information, the Liberty's uconnect tunes option offers lots of information, communication and entertainment resources in one easy-to-use device.
The interior of the 2009 Jeep Liberty offers the clean, functional simplicity one expects from a Jeep. From the perspective of off-road enthusiasts, the Liberty's easy-to-clean, hard plastic interior is ideal, but those who enjoy a bit of panache from a vehicle's interior should opt for either of the Limited trim's "Premium Group" packages . Head room is good in all seating positions; however, with the front seats adjusted for normal-sized adults, rear-seat leg room can be tight. Cargo space behind the second row is good, but those needing more space will appreciate standard 60/40 flat-folding rear seats and the optional folding front-passenger seat.Exterior
The 2009 Jeep Liberty reverts to the squared look of the original Jeep Cherokee while also presenting a modern take on classic Jeep styling cues. A box-like profile and prominent fender flairs create a solid purposeful stance, while its signature seven-slot grille and hexagonal headlamps with round lighting elements give the Liberty a face that looks distinctly Jeep. In back, the spare tire resides beneath the vehicle, allowing easy access to the tailgate's flip-up rear glass.
The 2009 Jeep Liberty is offered in two trims: Sport and Limited. The standard equipment list for the base Sport trim includes air conditioning, body-colored bumpers and fender flares, MP3-capable CD player with auxiliary audio input jack and power windows, mirrors and door locks. The Limited Edition Liberty adds an auto-dimming rearview mirror, Stain Repel stain-resistant seat fabric, premium Infinity speakers with subwoofer and 368-watt amplifier, chrome exterior accents and steering wheel-mounted audio and cruise controls. Standard safety features for both trims include anti-lock brakes (ABS), stability control with roll-over mitigation, traction control, front airbags and two-row side-curtain airbags.
There are several option packages available to further outfit the Jeep Liberty, including the Sport trim's Popular Equipment Group, which features a six-speaker stereo, fold-flat front passenger seat, fog lamps, cruise control, tinted glass and a two-pronged power outlet. Available for the Limited Edition Liberty is Premium Group 1, which adds leather-trimmed heated seats, remote start, automatic headlamps and memory functions; and Premium Group 2, which adds automatic climate control, ParkSense rear park assist, 18-inch wheels and rain-sensing wipers. A tow package with Class-III hitch, seven-pin wiring harness and trailer sway control can be added to either trim.
The 2009 Jeep Liberty is powered by a 3.7-liter V6. It offers plenty of power when tackling rough trails but the on-road acceleration is underwhelming. The Liberty features a standard four-speed automatic transmission, which replaces the previously available six-speed manual transmission. The Liberty is offered with a choice of Command-Trac II part-time four-wheel drive or Selec-Trac II full-time four-wheel drive. Both systems include a low-speed transfer case which multiplies engine torque to help traverse challenging terrain at very low speeds.
210 horsepower at 5200 rpm
235 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 (2WD), 15/21 (4WD)
By Chris on Wednesday, January 07, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 69,000overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Pros: "good 4x4?"
Cons: "lack of company required recall"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Everything else you can figure out with some test drives, photos, and generic reviews... what Jeep refuses to announce is that the Sky Slider roof has a severe design flaw which basically guarantees the roof will mechanically fail and either be stuck open or stuck shut destroying the value of the vehicle and making it basically impossible to drive. And since it's a hundreds for a mechanic just to look at it and a LOT more to fix sticking you with a monthly bill for the life of your loan on a vehicle that you'll be unable to sell without throwing thousands of your own money into the mix"
4 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By Doug on Tuesday, January 06, 2015
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 25,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great to drive in the back woods. Fun fun fun."
Cons: "Bad gas mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7
"This is my second jeep liberty and performance is great. My only complaint is the gas mileage. It's built to withstand the toughest of conditions."
1 person out of 1 found this review helpful
By GP on Tuesday, November 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "Looks, Comfort, Quiet ride, Great Price, Drive"
Cons: "Gas Mileage"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Wish Jeep still made this Style. The only downfall with the 6cyl is mileage per gallon about 19 on highway. Other then that I LOVE THIS CAR"
2 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Scott on Sunday, November 23, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000overall rating 9 of 10rating details
Pros: "The price was fair , I feel safe in it"
Cons: "could use a little more headroom"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"This is my second Jeep and it handles amazingly. Driving in snow and ice, it is truly awesome. I don't slide going stoping or even turning. When I bought it I new it's fuel mileage was going to around 18 to 22 mpg. It's the trade off you have to accept for power and safety. No it doesn't ride like a Lincoln, but it's comfortable for where it can go. Will I buy another, absolutely yes."
5 people out of 8 found this review helpful
By B.D. on Saturday, November 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 28,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"It will go nearly anywhere in nearly any type of weather. Those who complain about the 21 mpg should try driving a Prius in the woods. Haven't had a problem with the vehicle since new (almost 4 years ago). Jeeps are the only way to go in northern Wisconsin."
7 people out of 13 found this review helpful
By Ed on Saturday, October 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 7 of 10rating details
Pros: "Great Price as a leftover"
Cons: "Too many minor issues, and no updates on the dash"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3
"I take car of all my cars for exception of all my fishing stuff I keep in the rear, but otherwise keep up with all service needs as required. But I got really annoyed at the little things that began to go wrong after only a few years. For example, the rear brak cover plastic started to get water in it eventually shorting out the brak light on one side, the lighter holder kept falling out of the dash almost immediately after plugging my phone into occassionally. The door window seals must Hve allowed window to leak wter causing window to slide down no longer operable by the electric window motor. That cost about $700 to fix which required n entire door assembly. The in bord computer went just under 60,000 miles. Expensive to fix. One of the brake locked up causing the wheel rotors nd lol other parts of the wheel to be replaced again t round 56,000 (just after warranty...go figure). Though I like th way the jeep handles in snow in 4 wheel drive, and I. Various rugged conditions, I'm not sure I'd buy another one despite their reputation. Too many Nicole and dime service issues."
8 people out of 11 found this review helpful