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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 239 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

my first jeep

By on Saturday, September 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "4x4 fully loaded for a reasonable price"

Cons: "tire wear, fishtelly in snow"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I did a ton of research before buying any vehicle because I have a beater car. I knew I was looking for a 4wd that got around 20 mpg. We get a good amount of snow where I live and I always have to go to work in it. I looked at all kinds of jeeps and other name brands before I came across the jeep I bought. Be patient while buying one of these because some dealers have them way over priced and are trying to get you for every penny. This website said I should pay about 18 thousand for the fully loaded 09 jeep I bought. At the end of the day I only paid 15,500. It does drive a little more off roady then some other suv or cross overs I drove in the search for my new 4x4.One of the things I read about is the front tires wear easy which the dealer also told me. I have yet to use it in the snow which was what made me most nervous about this jeep is that most consumers say it can get fishtelly in the snow. that I will update you on but for now it has been a great jeep."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

My 7th Jeep. An excellent vehicle.

By on Tuesday, September 23, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,500

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
8/10
Comfort
8/10

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

"Best Jeep I ever bought. I have the tow package and it can haul, this Jeep is mighty with great gas mileage and excellent in the snow and great city driving as well. Hightly recommend!"

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Feels as a much bigger/taller vehicle than it is.

By on Monday, September 22, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 19,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "High visibility, 4WD"

Cons: "Front suspension during turns chews tires really f"

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

"When you turn wheels all the way rubber is getting scraped off really fast, you can feel it. And it feels as wheels are trying to lay down on the ground. Very unstable on the slippery roads"

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

I'm very pleased with this vehicle

By on Wednesday, September 03, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 54,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Very good ground clearance, handles great."

Cons: "Gas mileage could be better."

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

"This is our third Jeep, 2 GC prior to the Liberty. Our Liberty is the Trail Rated version. Very please with the way it handles off road and on snow and ice. We've haven't had any problem with the vehicle."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

I love the way this jeep feels on and off road

By on Saturday, August 30, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 68,000

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
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Jeep comfort and driveability"

Cons: "none"

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

"very comfortable,no bad blind spots, rides and handles great on and off road. owned 4 years and driven 68k, no problems except TPMS switch $$$$ over all love it!"

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

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."

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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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