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2011 Jeep Liberty

Overview
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2011 Jeep Liberty Review

By

KBB Expert Rating: 6.4

It was, as this is written, the best of times - and the worst of times. If you're a fan of Jeep, you know an all-new Grand Cherokee has been turnin' the showroom turnstiles. Also, the Jeep's Patriot and Compass have been recently massaged for their brief spot in the sunshine before a wholesale redesign - probably on a Fiat platform - takes place. That leaves only the Liberty, on sale in its current guise since the 2008 model year, needing the "amore" from the Chrysler/Fiat product team. Happily, the Liberty remains one of but a handful of compact SUVs possessing real off-road capability. The bad news: Jeep's Wrangler will do off-road far better, and Jeep's new Grand Cherokee - at least in Laredo trim - isn't a great deal more expensive.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you enjoy the Jeep brand and its outdoorsy image, and appreciate a footprint easy to handle both at the mall and on the trail, the Liberty constitutes one of the better on-road/off-road compromises. And with two trail rated 4WD systems - Command-Trac II and Selec-Trac II - you can climb any mountain, ford any stream.

You May Not Like This Car If...

If you're looking for true off-road capability - boulder-hopping capability - the Jeep's limited ground clearance directs you to other choices, some of which are on the same showroom floor. And if you want true on-road composure (along with a modicum of efficiency), Jeep's Patriot and/or Compass probably cope with large expanses of asphalt more comfortably.

What's Significant About This Car?

Most significantly, Jeep introduced the Liberty Jet at last fall's Los Angeles Auto Show. It marries the Liberty's upright, off-road posture with a decidedly urban street vibe. Beyond that addition, 2011 brings a series of minor tweaks: A new steering wheel with audio controls and three new media centers. And let's not forget new colors - Blackberry Pearl, Bright White Clear and Deep Cherry Red Crystal Pearl.

Driving the Liberty

Driving Impressions The 2011 Jeep Liberty platform - shared (as noted) with the more urban-spec Dodge Nitro - is compromised off-road by relatively low ground clearance, and is marginalized on-road by a...

conventional live axle in back, along with a relatively high center-of-gravity and wheezy V6. As a 4-door Jeep the Liberty - and the Cherokee before it - made far more sense when the Jeep lineup had only a 2-door Wrangler. Once the Wrangler's 4-door variant was introduced for the 2007 model year, all bets were off. Buyers have scrambled for the Wrangler, and left the Liberty to its own market-driven devices. Thankfully, Jeep hasn't fully abandoned the off-road enthusiast. A genuine off-road capability is maintained by its two 4-wheel drive systems, hill-descent control and hill-start assist, skid plates and reasonably short overhangs front and rear.

Sky Slider Full Open Roof
We wouldn't buy a Liberty without it, as the Sky Slider is arguably the most unique option in the Liberty's segment. When open you can let the sun shine in; with it closed you have a serene sense of quiet typically available only with a metal roof over your head. If the Wrangler ever evolves into a fully enclosed 4-door, it will need a Sky Slider to complete it.

Selec-Trac II Active Full-time 4WD
For under $500, Selec-Trac II upgrades the Liberty's standard 4WD to AWD, while still providing you boulder-hopping Jeepers with the necessary 4WD Lo. And with the Liberty's front:rear weight ratio biased toward the rear, so is Selec-Trac's torque split. You won't find that on a CR-V!

2011 Jeep Liberty Details
2011 Jeep Liberty photo Interior

If the point of the Liberty's indoor environment is to get you to your favorite outdoor environment, it will do the job just fine. The greenhouse is expansive, but front seat passengers will be more comfortable than those relegated to the rear seat. And while the standard cloth has an appropriate amount of wipe-it-off functionality, we'd opt for the available leather in the Comfort Seating Group, comprising heated front seats, leather-trimmed buckets, memory package and power windows. Although many Chrysler products received a mid-cycle refresh, the Liberty wasn't one of them - and in the fourth year of its product cycle probably should have been. Storage is good, offering 25 cubic feet behind the rear seats and over 60 cubic feet with those rear seats folded.

Exterior
2011 Jeep Liberty photo

The Liberty employs as many nostalgic styling cues as its platform - shared with the Dodge Nitro - allows. A commendably tall greenhouse and relatively vertical grille and windshield convey quite a bit of what we liked on the original Cherokee, but the overall result is a tad heavy-handed; whereas the Cherokee might have been formed with a scalpel, the Liberty's design team used an axe. It simply isn't very sophisticated in either its basic shape or execution. That said, we love the Sky Slider sunroof. Using cloth, and opening up a vast expanse of available sky, this is as close as you'll come to the open-air delights of VW's old Microbus or Citroen's 2CV. In a Jeep(!).

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The Renegade, situated between the basic Sport and premium Limited, is targeted at the Jeep enthusiast with a very real desire to do at least some off-roading. With that, it boasts a bevy of standard off-road attributed, including skid plates, and tire-pressure monitoring, along with hill-start assist and hill-descent control. Additionally, the Renegade features unique color fender flares, fascia and headlamps. In the compact SUV segment (while weighing over 4,000 pounds) a standard V6 certainly isn't the norm, but the Liberty has one. And despite its very average (21 mpg) EPA rating on the highway, the Liberty's 19.5 gallon fuel tank provides acceptable range on-road and off.

Optional Equipment

For this model year three media centers are available; two include navigation, and one includes Sirius Traffic and Sirius Travel Link. Those going 4WD can enjoy the standard Command-Trac II, or opt for the Selec-Trac II, featuring full-time AWD, 4WD Lo and a rearward-biased torque split. And to commemorate Jeep's 70th anniversary, the Liberty receives an Anniversary Edition, featuring unique 18-inch wheels, badging, brightwork and Dark Olive with Chestnut accented leather seating. Select the Sky Slider sunroof and you'll open yourself to at least three possibilities: The moon, the sun and/or the stars. And the Sky Slider is available for a one-time charge of but $1,075, a figure entirely too cheap for its limitless potential.

Under the Hood

Although many cars and trucks in the Chrysler lineup benefited from an all-new 3.6 liter V6, the Liberty isn't among them. Instead, it's saddled with a 3.7 liter V6 that - despite the benefits of an extra six cubic inches - develops just over 200 horsepower, while the 3.6 is delivering just over 300. If the Liberty weighed 3,000 pounds its horsepower deficiency could be kept in context; at a curb weight of just under 4,000 pounds (4X2) or over 4,000 pounds (4X4) the difficulty is compounded. And - of course - the situation isn't helped by Jeep offering but one transmission, a 4-speed automatic. We might overlook the underperforming V6 if it were offered with a manual transmission - but we said might.

3.7-liter V6
210 horsepower at 5200 rpm
235 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 16/22 (2WD), 15/21 (4WD)

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2011 Jeep Liberty Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 234 Ratings for the 2008 - 2012 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.4/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.7/10
    Performance
    8.3/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Enjoy driving the vehicle except ...

By on Sunday, August 24, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 33,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Good reliable vehicle brand"

Cons: "The legroom width on Driver side."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"I have been driving Jeep brand vehicles for well over 18+ years. I love them. I haven't had any major mechanical issues with any of them. I began leasing Jeep's in late 1995 and have driven mainly the Jeep Grand Cherokee. However, in 2011 after losing my job I switched to the Liberty as a money saving lease option. The main and probably only complaint I have about the Liberty is the driver side roominess. I am 6 feet tall and the drivers area has plenty of length to stretch the legs BUT, it's the width. At my height I have to place my left foot up against the door frame to keep it out of the way of the brake pedal. Several times when I first took the car out of the showroom I hit the brake pedal and my foot got in the way. I nearly hit cars stopped in front of me. It takes getting used to."

No more Jeep Vehicles for me

By on Sunday, August 10, 2014

I owned and sold this car

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
5/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
1/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "None"

Cons: "Poor performance, terrible electronics"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1

"I swapped from a 2002 Liberty with 200,000 miles to the 2010. The performance of the 2010 versus the 2002 is dramatically worse. Acceleration for passing was non existent with the engine revving up to redline conditions and absolutely no increase in speed for several seconds... long enough to really make you overly concerned about being able to pass a vehicle at all. The famous U-Connect system was the absolute worst handsfree connection feature ever. I had to purchase an external mobile speaker in order to use handsfree while driving. The Universal Home-Link required 7 to 10 presses before it would work. The clock lost time everyday so that you were constantly resetting it. I usually put 180,000 to 200,000 miles on a vehicle, but after 44,000 miles, I had taken all I could and traded this pile of junk."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Cool Jeep

By on Monday, July 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 36,300

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Really Fun to drive,"

Cons: "None"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I bought mine used and I'm hooked. It looks good and rides good. It drives like a truck, sits as high as the big ones, with an incredibly smooth and quiet ride. It has plenty of power to get on the highway with it's V6. My Artic edition is fully loaded to included CD/DVD/SAT, heated and memory seats, home link, auto dimming rear view mirror and much more. Don't buy if it's your only car or you don't like to buy gas or else you would be disappointed with the gas mileage. Remember this isn't a crossover but a Super hot truck at a decent price, others small SUV's don't compare. Ignore the experts, test drive one and see for yourself!"

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Excellent and very reliable one owner vehicle.

By on Monday, July 28, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,083

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"This vehicle was purchased new by me in 2008. I live 1 mile from work, this vehicle has never been driven in rush hour traffic. This vehicle has a 30GB Hard drive that copies all your CD music for instant playing. It has a factory Navigation system with AM, FM, and Satellite radio. New tires and spare tire has never been used. It has front heated seats and AC outlet for charging computers and tablets."

Love my Liberty

By on Sunday, July 13, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 11,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Moon roof,navigation"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"The perfect car for me. Comfortable seats. Back has ample room for three people comfortably. Great in bad weather--rain or snow!"

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Exactly the vehicle for me.

By on Friday, May 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 55,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "performs perfectlly"

Cons: "no cruise control"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

On the beach, Ocracoke Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina.

"I have used this Liberty for everything. It's very comfortable to travel in, or drive to work. The off road capabilities are amazing. I have taken it into deep sand, beach sand, mountain trails, extremely steep hills, and everything else. I use it to pull a boat and launch it, sometimes in extremely steep and slippery conditions. It has performed perfectly in all situations. This is just a great vehicle."

6 people out of 13 found this review helpful

On the beach, Ocracoke Island, Outer Banks, North Carolina.

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Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

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