Vehicle Research

New Jeep Liberty Offers Versatility

November 2007, Automotive Fleet - Feature

by Lauren Colin

Since its inception in 2002, the Jeep Liberty has sold 1.3 million units. It’s considered the “middle child” of the Jeep family of seven vehicles (as of 2007). However, according to a Jeep spokesperson, the 2008 Jeep Liberty is “all-new from the ground up” and “lives up to Jeep DNA.”

The Liberty’s focus is on utility, without a purely utilitarian look and feel. According to the manufacturer, Jeep had three fundamental goals in the redesign: making the vehicle fun and functional, improving its “rugged appeal,” and conveying the “Jeep experience.”

Available in Two Models
The all-new 2008 Jeep Liberty is available in two models, Sport and Limited, differentiated by powertrain selections, features, and option selections. Offered with two Jeep Trail Rated four-wheel-drive systems — Command-Trac and the all-new Selec-Trac II — on-road ride and handling have also been improved and refined with a new independent front suspension, new five-link rear suspension, and rack-and-pinion steering.

Liberty is powered by a refined 3.7L V-6 engine, which delivers 210 horsepower and 235 lb.-ft. of torque. Mated to a 6-speed manual or 4-speed automatic, the 3.7L engine offers a balance of power and efficiency that helps Liberty maintain up to 5,000-lbs. towing capacity when properly equipped. Standard safety features include side curtain airbags, ParkSense rear park assist, hill descent control, hill start assist, and Trailer Sway Control. Liberty also features standard Electronic Stability Program, which includes electronic roll mitigation and all-speed traction control. One notable change is the removal of the spare tire from the rear of the vehicle. The spare is now stowed beneath the vehicle, providing 3.3 additional inches of cargo length. In addition, a liftgate replaces the previously used swing gate.

Changed from the Inside, Out
The interior of the all-new Jeep Liberty provides ample storage and organizational space. Updated with what Jeep calls a “lifestyle” interior, this vehicle is ready for anything — from contracting to hauling applications.

Adjustable rear seats come standard with YES Essentials stain-resistant fabric. Added thigh support in the seats increases comfort for long drives.

Jeep stretched the Liberty’s wheelbase by 1.8 inches and increased the overall vehicle length by 2.5 inches. Available fold-flat front passenger and 60/40 fold-flat rear seats provide easy hauling and loading.

A Vehicle with a View
Making its world debut, the new optional Sky Slider is an industry-exclusive full-open canvas roof. Four times the size of a typical sunroof and made of reinforced- acrylic cloth, it is similar to a weather-resistant, leak-proof convertible top. The top panel nets into a weather strip seal to minimize wind noise.

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