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Liberty2008 Liberty Debuts
Posted by mike on 2007/4/4 7:24:56 (3507) reads


Autoblog got the jump on everybody with the full press release and photos of the 2008 Liberty.

The '08 Liberty is powered by the same 3.7L V6 producing 210 hp and 235 ft-lbs. of torque, available with either a 6-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission. Thus, we expect this new ute that has grown in most dimensions to be a tick or two slower than the current model. It should handle better, however, thanks to an all-new independant front suspension and new five-link rear suspension. Jeep faithful shouldn't fret, however, as the Liberty's Trail Rating is in tact, regardless of whether you choose the hard core Selec-Trac II full-time four-wheel-drive system or Command-Trac part-time four-wheel-drive system.

Check it out.

UPDATE: Here's the official press release and photos:
The Jeep® Liberty has remained a leader in the mid-size sport-utility vehicle (SUV) market since its introduction in 2002. The popular mid-size SUV gives off-road enthusiasts and owners their own sense of personal freedom and capability that only defines the Jeep brand.

All-new from the ground up for 2008, the Jeep Liberty remains true to its legendary 4x4 heritage by offering two Jeep Trail Rated® four-wheel-drive systems – Command-Trac® and the all-new Selec-Trac® II. On-road ride and handling have been improved and refined with the new independent front suspension, new five-link rear suspension and rack-and-pinion steering.

The Liberty’s exterior has been redesigned, and takes on a more rugged, classic Jeep look that is sure to captivate the attention of current Jeep Liberty owners and broaden its consumer appeal. Inside, cargo and storage space increases and seat comfort improves. Making its world debut is the new Sky Slider™ full-open canvas roof, an industry-exclusive; giving the Jeep Liberty that “Only in a Jeep” open-air experience. Remote start, rain-sensing wipers, memory seats and mirrors, and express up/down windows are added to the vehicle’s ever-growing list of available features and options. There are two models – Jeep Liberty Sport and Jeep Liberty Limited.


“The all-new 2008 Jeep Liberty stands out from the competition by offering customers classic Jeep design, two four-wheel-drive systems, refined on-road ride and handling, cargo and utility, as well as features that are not typically found on vehicles in the mid-size SUV segment,” said George Murphy, Senior Vice President – Global Marketing, Chrysler Group.

The all-new Jeep Liberty is designed to appeal to customers who are looking for Jeep 4x4 capability as well as comfort and convenience. It is targeted to young couples and new families, as well as professional, young single men and women between 30 and 40 years of age, balanced male to female. Jeep Liberty owners will balance day-to-day responsibilities with their passion for adventure as well as the outdoors. They are athletic, and pursue activities that combine their various interests with their active lifestyle. The Jeep Liberty will be available at Jeep dealerships starting in the third quarter of 2007.

Engineering
The all-new 2008 Jeep Liberty offers a balance of off-road capability and on-road refinement.

* All-new independent front suspension, all-new five-link rear suspension, and a power rack-and-pinion steering system contribute to the all-new 2008 Jeep Liberty’s blend of on-road ride comfort and nimble, confidence-inspiring handling
* Two four-wheel-drive systems – all-new Selec-Trac II, full-time four-wheel-drive system and Command-Trac, a part-time four-wheel-drive system – both are Jeep Trail Rated
* The 3.7-liter SOHC V-6 engine provides the 2008 Jeep Liberty with competitive peak power and torque while providing smooth, quiet operation and proven durability. It produces 210 hp (157 kW) @ 5,200 rpm and 235 lb.-ft. (319 N•m) of torque @ 4,000 rpm. Fuel economy has been improved and now achieves an estimated *16 city (18 mpg using 2007 EPA standards), and *22 mpg on the highway (23 mpg based on 2007 EPA standards).
* Two transmissions are offered on the Jeep Liberty in the United States: a six-speed manual transmission and a four-speed automatic transmission
* The 2008 Jeep Liberty was designed and engineered under the Chrysler Development System (CDS), the comprehensive, coordinated and disciplined product creation process that improves quality and speed-to-market while reducing costs and encouraging practical innovation in new products

Design
In its first redesign since its introduction, the all-new 2008 Jeep Liberty embraces its roots by taking on a more rugged, classic Jeep design that is guaranteed to strengthen its draw to current owners and broaden its appeal to a new audience.

* Jeep classic exterior styling and functional interior space are designed to broaden its consumer appeal
* Industry-exclusive Sky Slider full-open canvas roof brings “Only in a Jeep” open-air experience to mid-size SUV market
* Cargo capacity increases and front and rear passengers will notice the improved seat comfort along with added space

Safety and Security
The 2008 Jeep Liberty has a full range of active and passive safety systems. Among the vehicle’s standard equipment are Electronic Stability Program, Electronic Roll Mitigation, All-speed Traction Control, Brake Assist, advanced anti-lock brakes, rain sensing wipers, Tire Pressure Monitoring, and side-curtain air bags.

Technology
The 2008 Jeep Liberty offers the MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment System™ a completely integrated audio, navigation, entertainment and hands-free communication system. MyGIG allows customers to use touch screen or voice commands to control features, and includes a 20-gigabyte hard drive where music and photos can be stored. The system also includes a voice-memo recorder feature. MyGIG supports real-time traffic information, available through SIRIUS Satellite Radio, and can provide an alternate drive route based on traffic conditions. All of these functions can be controlled through voice commands and by utilizing a touch screen.

SIRIUS Satellite Radio provides U.S. customers with 130 channels, including 100 percent commercial-free music, sports, news, talk, entertainment, traffic and weather. And the UConnect® hands-free communication system uses Bluetooth® technology to provide wireless communication between the customer’s compatible mobile phone and the vehicle’s on-board receiver.

Manufacturing
The 2008 Jeep Liberty will be built using Chrysler Group’s modern production process, called the Flexible Manufacturing Strategy (FMS). FMS allows multiple products to be produced at one plant in a time-efficient manner that are a higher quality for lower cost. At the core of the new manufacturing process is the heavy use of robots at the Toledo (Ohio) North Assembly Plant.

The Jeep Brand
Today, with the all-new 2008 Jeep Liberty mid-size SUV, Jeep offers customers the freshest, most capable and widest range of sport-utility vehicles under one brand in the industry.

The Jeep vehicle family consists of seven SUVs that represent four distinct vehicle segments. In late 2006, production began on the newest member of the lineup, the all-new Jeep Patriot. Earlier that year was the debut of the redesigned Jeep Wrangler two-door, the icon of the brand; the all-new Jeep Wrangler Unlimited, the first-ever four-door Wrangler; and the all-new Jeep Compass. The Jeep Commander – the first Jeep vehicle with seven-passenger seating – was introduced one year earlier. It shares its platform with the Grand Cherokee, a descendent of the Wagoneer and the legendary Grand Wagoneer.









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Poster Thread
highdesert
Posted: 2007/4/11 10:25  Updated: 2007/4/11 10:25
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
Nice evolution. But, I'll keep my Cherokee until a diesel becomes available with manual tranny. Bluetec ... is someone listening?

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jason
Posted: 2007/4/7 11:59  Updated: 2007/4/7 11:59
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From: glendale,az
Posts: 93
 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
I like the simple look of the sport model. Looks like the limited is alot nicer than the KJ and very close to luxury as a grand cherokee. Look for the Grand/commander to merge as one vehicle 2010 "Tahoe sized". I won't have a problem selling these as all!!! I was hoping for a 4.0v6 or better yet a CRD in the future..I will not buy another gas burner...I don't mind spending extra $$$ on the CRD.

Jason

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trevorj
Posted: 2007/4/6 17:17  Updated: 2007/4/6 17:17
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
Am I the only person who likes these interiors? I actually prefer that Jeep keep their interiors square, plain and utilitarian!! I think anyone who was weened on an XJ will understand where I'm coming from.

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Josephus
Posted: 2007/4/6 16:39  Updated: 2007/4/6 16:39
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From: Pennsylvania
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
I like it. This is truely the replacement for the XJ Cherokees I loved in the 80's and 90's. I'm not so sure about the accordian skylight top. I like that it's there - I'm just worried it'll leak worse than the Freedom Top on the JK Wrangler.
It looks good tho'. Let's see the Lil' Cummins in it, with a little less chrome.

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Renegade
Posted: 2007/4/5 0:50  Updated: 2007/4/5 0:50
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
Well, it's not girly and round anymore. Not with that Calib--er... I mean, Compass around.

I agree that this should've been a Nitro's cousin instead of a fraternal twin. The Nitro looks better from a distance than it does close up and I'm wondering if it won't be the same way with this. I'll have to see it on the street. Wouldn't be so bad if the front bumper wasn't so ugly. Perhaps DCX'll take a year or two to fix it like last time.

Canvas top? Noice...

I don't care for the specs; I wouldn't buy this anyway. If there was a spare tire on the back I'd say it's an improvement in overall look without a doubt. But just looking at it... I don't know. I'm on the fence about this one.

Certainly won't replace my XJ...

Poster Thread
salesguy
Posted: 2007/4/5 19:37  Updated: 2007/4/5 19:38
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From: Sydney, Australia
Posts: 6
 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
I like what they have tried to do with the Cherokee ( sorry, Liberty ). Obviously, they want to keep the female buyers, but they wanted to reduce the cuteness factor to win the fellas back. I think they've succeeded.
From a Jeep salesman's point of view, I think the good points are:
1. More cargo area;
2. More 'substance' to the styling - it looks tough without being macho;
3. Added safety features like trailer sway control, hill start assist etc are things that buyers are actually asking for;
4. Sport no longer looks cheap and nasty;
5. I can see a memory switch on the dash !

Things that have been forgotten or could have been done better:
1. No a/c vents in the rear - someone should get sacked over that oversight;
2. Interior design has lost some of the funkiness that made the KJ stand out in the market;
3. Centre console design very unfriendly for RHD markets. Jeep won't spend the $$ to get the park brake over to the right side. We'll lose lots of sales on this point alone;
4. No centre rear fold-down armrest.

I'm not really worried about the 3.7/4speed auto. The CRD is so easy to sell, the new Panther CRD in the JK is awesome. Why would anyone buy a slower, thirstier petrol (gas) engine ?

Interesting that Jeep say that the IFS is all-new. I wonder what they changed? The rear end wasn't bad before, the new 5-link should be nice.

Can't wait to get this baby in the showroom, although KJ is still going quite well for us.

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jpsmith
Posted: 2007/4/6 8:14  Updated: 2007/4/6 8:14
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
I'm not really worried about the 3.7/4speed auto. The CRD is so easy to sell, the new Panther CRD in the JK is awesome. Why would anyone buy a slower, thirstier petrol (gas) engine ?


Because the CRD isn't available in the US. There is no '07 KJ CRD. There will be no '08 KK CRD. There is no JK or JKL diesel in the US. US consumers are slow to accept diesel as an option, and the US Gov't has stringent emissions standards that do not allow many diesels to pass.

FWIW, I have the 3.7L 4speed auto in my KJ. The engine is fine, but the transmission sucks. It's awful. It doesn't have enough gears, and there is a dead zone between 2 & 3 that causes dramatic bogging down when climbing hills at 43mph. You'll be going along fine at 43mph/2300rpm when it starts to bog. It should downshift right away, but it doesn't. The RPMs fall to 1100 and your speed drops to about 34mph *and* you have to mash down on the gas pedal for it to downshift. It's a horrible transmission and if it's the same in the KK, then that's just lame. I once couldn't back out of a dry, paved steep driveway. It was very steep, yes, but any other truck could get out. The engine kept bogging down before the car would move. My father-in-law had an older Dakota with a 3.7L and the same trasnmission that had all same bad behavior.

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Josephus
Posted: 2007/4/6 16:42  Updated: 2007/4/6 16:42
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
Hey SalesGuy,
Can you tell us more about the Panther CRD?
See even though most of us reside in the same country that makes the JK's you sell - we can't actually get the JK's you sell - like the Panther CRD (?).

Poster Thread
Dak
Posted: 2007/4/4 23:33  Updated: 2007/4/4 23:35
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From: Maryland
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
I do and I don't like it. It's definitely an improvement over the old style. But, there's something too off about the nose. The lights/grill are too flat looking in the 1/4 shot. (the first pic in the story) Like it's missing something that should have been there. And the lift of the lights to the hood give it a surprised look. Maybe it will be better in person. At least they are going towards more of what a Jeep should be. Still, I'll stay with my Wrangler Unlimited Chromium.

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jeepxk
Posted: 2007/4/5 9:50  Updated: 2007/4/5 9:50
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
I think my main issue with it is the headlights. They seem too large for the grill. The chrome trim around them makes them even seem larger. I was reading somewhere the reason they did that was something to do with the scale of the Liberty, maybe to make it look bigger than it was or smaller or something??
I remember how odd the KJ looked when it first came out. Took some a long time to get used to it. It seems that some Jeeps don't really catch on until they are at the end of their model run. I am sure this will grow most after awhile.

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GregB
Posted: 2007/4/4 20:27  Updated: 2007/4/4 20:30
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Joined: 2005/7/16
From: Central IL
Posts: 70
 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
Great move with the window controls. By the way, the '02-'04 KJ also has window controls on the center console, just in a slightly different spot.

However, I hate the interior. Way to modern or Urban looking. It may grow on me, but I like my round air vents.

Speaking of round, I prefer the spare to be on the back, and I like my headlights ROUND or SQUARE, not both. They are way to similar in general shape to the nitro. A little sheet metal with a round or square cut out and different tail lights would make it more of a cousin to the nitro rather than a twin.

I admit it's getting way to close in size to the Grand. If it weren't for the fact that you can't get anything bigger than a V6 in a KJ/KK, I'd say DCX should drop the Grand rather than possibly drop the Commander like had been rumored.

There are some things I like, but it's much more fun to point out what I don't like

... really?, a button for 4-wheel-drive, how sophisticated, "PUKE".

Poster Thread
xjken99
Posted: 2007/4/4 17:12  Updated: 2007/4/4 17:12
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
One more thing, this new larger Liberty must be getting close to the Grands interior space. Anyone have any numbers on the interior demensions?

Poster Thread
Jeepin
Posted: 2007/4/5 10:43  Updated: 2007/4/5 10:59
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From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
You can find specs and dimensions on the new '08 KK's at http://jeepin.com/news/08liberty/specs.asp

As far as the KK getting bigger than the KJ, the Grand have never been THAT much bigger than the Cherokee line (yes, I know it's near-heresy to consider the Liberty as part of that line, but let's face it, it is as far as DCX is concerned, ie: more people/countries will know this vehicle as the 2008 Cherokee than the 2008 Liberty).

Anyway, as I said, the Grands have never been substantially bigger than their "smaller" brethren. My mother-in-law has a WJ, and it doesn't seem like it's got much more overall interior room than my XJ does. Shoot, the new JK Wrangler Unlimiteds have by far more cargo room than any Jeep vehicle in the line-up.

And now that I've looked at the specs, it looks like the new '08 Liberty actually has less overall cargo room than the outgoing KJ... Here's some specs for reference, numbers are in cubic feet.

Model.......behind 2nd row.....behind 1st row (backseat folded)
WK................35.0.......................68.5
XK................36.3........................68.5
KJ.................31.0........................69.0
KK................31.5........................64.2
JKL...............46.4........................82.0
XJ*............~33-34.......................~69

* XJ data is approximate because I can't seem to find definitive/consistent specs, and because DCX liked to change the numbers for the XJ from year to year

Poster Thread
xjken99
Posted: 2007/4/4 17:09  Updated: 2007/4/4 17:09
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
My first reaction is that I Iike it better than the current model, I will reserve my final decision on how it looks in person. Not being a fan of chrome I would have to go with the non limited version. The thing I like the most is the canvas top, the opening over the front passenger compartment is huge. The increased length definitely helps with the overall proportions, the current model always seemed to have a bobtail look to it IMO. Why do
all of Chryslers dash boards seem to look alike Charger, Sebring, Comander or now the Liberty. Its hard to tell what vehicle you are looking at just by looking at the dash.

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sylvanis
Posted: 2007/4/4 16:11  Updated: 2007/4/4 16:11
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
Yeah....what's with that canvas top? Wasn't this part of the Dakar concept years ago? I thought that Jeep wrote it off.

I'm not sure I like it, the front fenders and bumper look like they are sticking out too far for my taste....More and more I like the KJ's.

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Jeepin
Posted: 2007/4/4 12:01  Updated: 2007/4/4 12:01
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From: TX
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
It looks a lot more like the Nitro than I thought it would. As much as I prefer the boxy designs, somehow, for now anyway, I think I like the old KJ better. The new KK is definitely more upscale, but to what end? They moved the lock/window controls to the door where they should have been from the start, but they did away with the lever-shifted t'case in favor of an electronic switch. And they went to the oh-so-trendy-and-oh-so-annoying zig-zag gate for the transmission shifter. What's so bad about a nice, regular straight shifter gate?

I like the fold-flat rear seats, and the fold-flat front passenger seat. I also like that the rear cargo space has increased at bit as far as floor area goes.

I think DCX would have been wise to go with the Nitro's more powerful 4.0L V6, but that would probably only further the public's view of the new Liberty being little more than a rebadged Nitro.

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jpsmith
Posted: 2007/4/4 13:10  Updated: 2007/4/4 13:10
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
I totally agree about the t-case shifter. My '06 Tacoma has an electronic 4x4 knob. I much prefer the manual lever in my KJ. With electronic 4x4, there's a chance it's not going to engage. The system tries to save itself and won't go in if it encounters resistance. On a brand new truck, you have to break it in. The first few times it doesn't want to go into and out of 4wd. As for 4Lo, you really have to fight it (read: wait for it to decide it's ready to go in or out).

I did notice that the KK will still come with Command-Trac. That's fantastic. I'm really glad they kept a proper part-time 4wd option, and didn't go to full-time only.

I've never been in an '02-'04 KJ, but didn't they have the window controls on the doors? I think they moved them into the console in '05.

Regarding the zig-zag shifter, if it had more gears I'd like it. Since it's just 1,2,D with an OD button on the stick like the KJ has, the zig-zag is lame. If it were a 5 speed with L,2,3,4,D like my Tacoma, which has a zig-zag, I'd be happy with it. The Tacoma tranny is a properly designed auto - it's made to be shifted into 3 or 4 for towing and engine braking. I shift gears a lot in my Tacoma, and the owners manual even suggests doing so.

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jeepxk
Posted: 2007/4/4 10:11  Updated: 2007/4/4 10:11
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From: Peoria
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
I am not sure about the chrome grill on this one. I like the body color trim and the grey grill much better. Too much chrome and bling on the Limited's whether it's the Liberty, Commander or Grand Cherokee.
I think this will sell well though. Wish the interior was a little nicer. Hope they do make a "Renegade" type offroad package.
That cloth roof is interesting.
We are going to Camp Jeep again this year. I am sure they will have them to drive on the trail.

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RUBICON
Posted: 2007/4/4 10:14  Updated: 2007/4/4 10:15
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
The grilles can always be swapped for the a colored one if you don't like the "bling" (um seriously, that word is so overused... chrome has been part of American cars for decades). Lots of the XK guys have swapped grilles back and forth... chrome for painted, painted for chrome.

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jpsmith
Posted: 2007/4/4 9:28  Updated: 2007/4/4 9:32
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
I like it, too. When I saw the camouflaged spy pics, I wasn't thrilled. But now that they've taken off it's undies, I really like it.

It's a shame, though, that it still has the same crappy 3.7L V6 from the current gen. I think we'll see an engine upgrade before long. I'd heard it would have a 4.0L as an upgrade option, but I didn't see that in this article or in the rockcrawler.com preview that I read.

I like how the base sport model has color-cued overfenders & fascia. No more gray plastic fenders. I grow more and more tired with gray plastic as the years go by and more models have it. The Nitros with gray plastic look just awful.

I think we'll see another trim option for MY09 - a more offroad-ready model. I don't think it will be called Renegade, since that's a throwback to the Wrangler from which the KJ took it's cues. I can picture it to be called "Liberty Overland," since the new lib is going for the mini-commander look.

Edit: I guess "Overland" means cushy with leather and backup assist and crap like that. Do you think they'll release an offroad-ready version like the KJ Renegade was? Or do you imagine the KK will nevery try to be as rugged now that the JKL exists?

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RUBICON
Posted: 2007/4/4 10:12  Updated: 2007/4/4 10:12
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
I like the design. The new baby-Commander front keeps it differentiated from the 4-Door Wrangler. The back end is definitely reminiscent of the old Cherokee's.

It is now definitely more upscale than the current KJ.

I wouldn't be surprised to see a third trim level appear in the next year or two. I think that MY09 will also see a 4-cylinder diesel engine option.

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MarkH
Posted: 2007/4/4 9:12  Updated: 2007/4/4 9:12
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Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
I like it!
Seems like JEEP designers can't decide which motif they like better, cubic or bug-eyed. With the MY07, it was like there was a small/medium/large sized bug-eyed line-up with the Compass/Liberty/GC. The MY07 cubic line-up is the Patriot/JK/Commander. Looks like the Liberty has officially switched sides and can no longer be considered a "girlie-Jeep". Well, not as much, anyway!
And how about those >13000 JKs sold in a month. GO JEEP! Now if they'd just take some of those JK profits & bump up that engine.

Poster Thread
tkmd
Posted: 2007/4/4 8:36  Updated: 2007/4/4 8:36
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 2006/4/27
From:
Posts: 23
 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
Bigger, heavier and less fuel efficient. Wow Jeep would like to prove how to alienate the core customer base of the Liberty. I now give Jeep 5 years before its shut down for good.

Poster Thread
MarkH
Posted: 2007/4/4 9:02  Updated: 2007/4/4 9:02
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
Spoken like a true CR-V lover

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RUBICON
Posted: 2007/4/4 10:09  Updated: 2007/4/4 10:09
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
Less fuel efficient? The 2007 EPA numbers are practically the same.

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loner
Posted: 2007/4/4 20:10  Updated: 2007/4/4 20:10
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 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
Some interesting gimmicks in the interior that would be more interesting on a more interesting vehicle. Too much bulging crap around the front bumper. Even GM is stopping with the glue body effects crap all over a vehicle motif.

Yawn. No big failure. Slow slide to average continues.

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steve-oh
Posted: 2007/4/7 3:07  Updated: 2007/4/7 3:07
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Posts: 4
 Re: 2008 Liberty Debuts
If I wanted to buy a Mini-Tahoe I would buy a Commander. Too many AUDI fads to go wrong on this. Electro-mechanical shift, ABS, Traction Controll, Electro-ROPS, Keep It Simple-Stupid. Toyota does.
The headlights are too big, the cow-catcher bumber is fugly, and the Renault/Buick/Geo Tracker Hood-vents look bad. The NASCAR spoiler needs to go.
The good news is the Germans will be gone soon.
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