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Liberty2008 Liberty Officially Debuts
Posted by mike on 2007/9/3 20:58:00 (2090) reads

The 2008 Jeep Cherokee Liberty was officially announced by Chrysler LLC - here's the official press release and photos.

The Jeep® Liberty has remained a leader in the mid-size sport-utility vehicle (SUV) segment 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 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, and seat comfort improves. Making its world debut is the new Sky Slider™ full-length open canvas roof, an industry-exclusive – giving the Liberty that “Have Fun Out There” open-air Jeep brand experience. Remote start, rain-sensing wipers*, memory seats, mirrors and radio controls, 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 standard and optional features that are not typically found on vehicles in the mid-size SUV segment,” said John Plecha, Director – Jeep Brand Marketing and Global Communications, Chrysler. “And, the Jeep Liberty Limited sets the bar high with the most combined comfort and convenience features available in its segment.”

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, the most advanced four-wheel-drive system available in its segment, 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 mpg* 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-length open canvas roof brings “Have Fun Out There” open-air Jeep brand experience to the mid-size SUV market 

  • Cargo length increases and front and rear passengers will notice the improved seat comfort along with added space 

  • Jeep Liberty Limited offers the most combined comfort and convenience features available in its segment


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 (ESP), Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM), All-speed Traction Control, Brake Assist, advanced anti-lock brakes, rain-sensing wipers**, Tire Pressure Monitoring (TPM) and supplemental 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 up to 1,500 songs 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 or 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’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, and at 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 its customers the freshest, most capable and widest range of sport-utility vehicles in the industry – under one brand.

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.



*Based on new 2008 model year EPA methods.

**Late availability.




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Poster Thread
Renegade
Posted: 2007/9/8 10:39  Updated: 2007/9/8 10:39
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2005/8/11
From: Atlanta, GA
Posts: 80
 Re: 2008 Liberty Officially Debuts
You're right, some people can't be happy.

There was wailing and gnashing of teeth when the Liberty entered the Jeep lineup in the Cherokee's spot. Then MORE complaining at the Commander debut (which was clearly an attempt to address the desire for a XJ-looking Jeep).

This should've been the design that followed up the Cherokee. I can see my XJ having evolved into this look eventually. And they shouldn't have renamed it but I digress. I agree, this should've preceded the Nitro (and they shouldn't look so flocking similar). But with the Compass as a Pokemon version of a Jeep to attract the bobblehead crowd, the Liberty can get a more rugged make-over.

We've had a number of legitimate complaints over the years. Gripes about not building the Dakar. Gripes about killing off the Cherokee and replacing it with the Liberty. Gripes about no Gladiator. Etc, etc.

Well, now we have a 4-door Wrangler and no more cutesy, cuddly Liberty.

2 out of 3 ain't bad, fellas (and there's still a distinct possibility that we'll get a Wrangler-based pickup)...

Poster Thread
YellowRubi
Posted: 2007/9/6 22:16  Updated: 2007/9/6 22:16
Just popping in
Joined: 2006/5/7
From:
Posts: 7
 Re: 2008 Liberty Officially Debuts
Hey Chrysler,
Add two Dana 44's with two lockers and 32inch tires and this (Liberty) too will sell as well as the Rubicon.

I see more modified XJs where I live than any other modified Jeeps. Remember the XJs had solid axles. Dana 30 front and Crysler 8.25 in back. (Some had 44 or 35 in back also) Not as good as Dana 44 front and back but better than IFS.

I test drove a Unlimited Rubicon earlier this year and it drove smooth on road. So, don't try to say that IFS is better onroad.

We were replacing the wifes car 99XJ and I couldn't talk the wife in to the Unlimited Rubicon, so we ended up with a 4Runner (I know defector). Chrysler you need to make a solid axle SUV besides just the Wrangler (not refined enough for the wife). We loved the XJ and would have bought annother. It appears to have had a nice balance between on/off road, rugged yet somewhat refined.

Poster Thread
jerryjeep
Posted: 2007/9/5 15:38  Updated: 2007/9/5 15:38
Quite a regular
Joined: 2006/8/28
From: Southeast, Michigan
Posts: 49
 Re: 2008 Liberty Officially Debuts
The "NEW" Liberty is really a pretty dramatic departure from the old "grasshopper in a bubble" look of the KJ. Some will play up the mini-Commander or XJ Cherokee relationship which doesn't hurt the Liberty image. This vehicle has all the potential to be a real Jeep with the wide appeal to the traditional Jeep buyers that was lacking in the old KJ and yet still appeal to the younger buyers who might not feel the Patriot and Compass are worthy of the Jeep nameplate. I do believe you will see more interesrt in the off-road crowd with the New Liberty than we did with the KJ. Jeep is back on the right track with this vehicle and the prospects look good for its success.

Poster Thread
Jeepin
Posted: 2007/9/4 16:35  Updated: 2007/9/4 16:35
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/11/28
From: TX
Posts: 190
 Re: 2008 Liberty Officially Debuts
So what's new here?? Aside from new product photos? Full press releases about the 2008 KK Liberty came out last April...

Honestly I like the styling better than the KJ's, though I had to admit that the last Renegades really started to grow on me, with their flat-top grilles and Bushwackeresque fender flares. Add a small lift and a set of Rubicon rims and tires and it's a pretty sharp rig.

I think one problem DCX... er, Chrysler LLC, will face is popular opinion that this is nothing more than a rebadged Nitro. They really should have kept the Nitro back until AFTER the release of the new Liberty. I think people seeing the Nitro as a rebadged Liberty would be better for both vehicles than people thinking of the Liberty as a rebadged Nitro. Funny thing is, the Grand Cherokee and Commander have more in common than the Liberty and Nitro (which aren't even the same wheelbase).

Poster Thread
RUBICON
Posted: 2007/9/4 11:03  Updated: 2007/9/4 11:04
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/13
From:
Posts: 377
 Re: 2008 Liberty Officially Debuts
Some of y'all just can't be happy. First you don't like the KJ because its a cute yute. Then Jeep returns to the boxy Cherokee look and you don't like it. Goodness, whiners!

I'm not in the market for another four door SUV (already have a Cherokee and a Commander) but if I was I would take a look at the Liberty.

I don't think it will have any problem with sales.

My only question is -- is that photo on the upper right rotated? If not, that is a sick angle to be coming down a hill.

Poster Thread
jeepxk
Posted: 2007/9/4 11:15  Updated: 2007/9/4 11:15
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2005/7/13
From: Peoria
Posts: 150
 Re: 2008 Liberty Officially Debuts
I totally agree with above. The design of the Commander, Liberty, Patriot are all boxy and have traditional Jeep styling but yet since they don't look exactly like a Cherokee XJ you won't be happy. I love our Commander and I love my XJ. Saw the new Liberty at Camp Jeep. I like it but I like my Commander a lot better. My only issue with the Liberty is the awkward front end and headlights but i am sure I will get use to them. It's funny how over at the KJ forum they are talking trash about the new model. I think what this all means is everybody has their own idea of what a Jeep should look like. Now that they have seven models there should be a least one that you like.

Poster Thread
MarkH
Posted: 2007/9/4 12:07  Updated: 2007/9/4 12:07
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: 2008 Liberty Officially Debuts
I think they should call it a Cherokee in the U.S. and end the charade! Betcha it would be great for sales, too.

In the downhill photo, it looks rotated, judging by the vegetation growing at a 40-degree angle...

Poster Thread
MarkH
Posted: 2007/9/4 8:37  Updated: 2007/9/4 8:38
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/7/20
From: The Great White North
Posts: 494
 Re: 2008 Liberty Officially Debuts
I got to see 4 of 'em yesterday, at a dealership. Very striking appearance, very reminiscent of the Cherokee (which it's called in other markets). Looks a lot better than the "bug-eyed" Libertys, but will it have broad appeal? (excuse the pun) We'll see.

Then again, the Commander & Patriot look like supersized & subsized Cherokees!

For the options I'd choose, this comes in about $6K less than a 4-door JK, so I'm going to consider buying one.

They look a lot better in person than in photos.

Poster Thread
tkmd
Posted: 2007/9/4 0:23  Updated: 2007/9/4 0:23
Not too shy to talk
Joined: 2006/4/27
From:
Posts: 23
 Re: 2008 Liberty Officially Debuts
cant agree with you more - it looks just like a commander: blocky.

So Jeep can kiss the strong female following to the liberty goodbye. I wonder how fast this model is going to tank....

Poster Thread
Brian_R
Posted: 2007/9/4 14:01  Updated: 2007/9/4 14:01
Quite a regular
Joined: 2005/11/28
From:
Posts: 47
 Re: 2008 Liberty Officially Debuts
Actaully it will do better than the dead grasshopper front of the KJ... if people thought the original KJ fit in, they were mistaken.

Poster Thread
bkcurtis
Posted: 2007/9/4 17:26  Updated: 2007/9/4 17:26
Home away from home
Joined: 2005/10/8
From: NW Indiana, USA
Posts: 154
 Re: 2008 Liberty Officially Debuts
My wife and I saw one up close and personal at the Jeep Go Anywhere, Do Anything event held in Downers Grove, IL a couple weeks ago. We both like it, and as someone else said, it looks better in person.

It is definately better looking than the outgoing design. While looks are important, performance is what matters most. We are looking forward to taking this puppy for a test drive before making any purchase decision.

Get over the Nitro/Liberty comparison. Most people won't even know the two are made on the same platform.

Poster Thread
yankee1903
Posted: 2007/9/3 23:47  Updated: 2007/9/3 23:47
Just popping in
Joined: 2007/7/20
From: Upstate NY
Posts: 20
 Re: 2008 Liberty Officially Debuts
Yep..mini commander. wow. I'll pass thank you.

Poster Thread
jeepxk
Posted: 2007/9/4 11:18  Updated: 2007/9/4 11:18
Just can't stay away
Joined: 2005/7/13
From: Peoria
Posts: 150
 Re: 2008 Liberty Officially Debuts
The only thing the Commander, new Liberty and Patriot have in common are the 7 slot grill and boxy styling. Yes they are all boxy but so is a Hummer. I say you either love boxy styling or you don't, I happen to love it. I never did like my 2000 WJ's styling as it looked more like a Lexus than a Jeep.

Poster Thread
Brian_R
Posted: 2007/9/4 14:05  Updated: 2007/9/4 14:05
Quite a regular
Joined: 2005/11/28
From:
Posts: 47
 Re: 2008 Liberty Officially Debuts
Well since the point is to have brand styling similarity, a mini Commander was what you were going to get all along, and all the cues can be seen from the Nitro for the past several months. The last "bubblejeep" is the Compass, and who knows how long that will last. Hopefully sooner than later.
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