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LibertyA Jeep Liberty Review From The Toledo Blade
Posted by mike on 2001/5/23 0:00:00 (2010) reads



Okay, so this review might be a bit biased seeing how DaimlerChrysler builds the Jeep Liberty in Toledo, and it seems that it is in the best interest of the newspaper to post a good review, but the review was written by a reporter with the San Antonio Express-news and last we checked, there's no Jeep facilities in San Antonio. Here's a snippet:

After driving the Liberty over a variety of roads throughout central Virginia's scenic green hills, I can tell you that Ford, Mazda, Honda and Toyota have a lot to fear from this formidable new competitor.

Of the competing brands, only the Xterra and Rodeo have off-road capabilities that approach those of the Liberty, and even on the highway the Liberty outshines most of the competition in performance, ride quality and handling.

First of all, unlike the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute, Liberty is a true sport utility with a steel underframe, not just a car chassis converted to an SUV.

Jeep designed the Liberty to be, first, a Jeep. That means it is a rugged vehicle capable on taking on Northern California's rugged Rubicon Trail through the Sierra Nevadas.

Using the "uniframe" construction that Jeep pioneered on the Grand Cherokee nine years ago, the Liberty has a body that is mounted to a partial frame that makes use of hardened steel. Jeep officials say the Liberty's body is two to three times stiffer than that of the Cherokee and is the stiffest ever in a Jeep vehicle. That translates into less noise, vibration and harshness in the passenger compartment and a more rugged vehicle for off-road use.

Check out the entire review here.

We're starting to get sporadic reports of Jeep Libertys showing up on dealer lots all over the country. Have you seen the Liberty? Let us know by emailing us at jeepnews@OneToMany.com or posting your comments in the Reader Reaction area.

 

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: nemesis
im still shocked at how jeep is willing to alienate some of its long time buyers. i think that both the cherokee and the liberty should have been sold together ( i bet you the cherokee would outsell the liberty anyday though). the liberty has a look only a teenage girl could love. and scramblerken is right bring back the scrambler

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: nemesis
im still shocked at how jeep is willing to alienate some of its long time buyers. i think that both the cherokee and the liberty should have been sold together ( i bet you the cherokee would outsell the liberty anyday though). and i agree BRING BACK THE S
AMBLER!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jerry C.
None of us are auto/mechanical engineers (right?) , so let's give it a chance, what say? Dillinger, I'm not sure where your(at bottom of diff.) ground clearance of 6"? is coming from. There's no way.I'm going to go measure again.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: schmack
I'm 6'4" and just sat in a Liberty for the first time. I can tell you I am more comfortable in the Liberty than in a Cherokee. Can't test drive the Liberty until tomorrow, but I'm looking forward to giving it a try.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: DILLINGER
scramblerKen...
I agree!
Well, I finally got to drive one, and inspect it closely...(I'm one of those guys that gets right under it ...up close!)

What you got...is a no go on the motor...as I predicted. Got it to the bottom of a steep hill (paved) and nailed it....Nothing.Nada...compared to my 10 year old 4.0L Inline 6.

And to beat all, in spite of the sensors in each cylinder bank...I definitely heard pinging!

They built this from the ground up? Why did I see the same old unsupported slip shaft..sticking out from the lone bearing a good 12-14" before it comes in contact with the driveshaft?! You know all that vibrations that accompanied Cherokees off of showroom floors in 97-2001 ? Well expect them to rear their ugly heads in this model as well...at just about the time the warranty ends, if not before.
And a rumored first recall...for tranny mishaps! One was seen on a towtruck already. Stuck in Park, and not ready to budge. The tranny is a direct transplant from the plagued WJ model that it spoiled. So DCX has had since 1998 to fix this...but it went into Liberties unchanged.

New unichassis design? Where? I think it looked about the same if not thinner than a 1998 unibody I investigated last week. Don't stick a jack directly under the uniframe...you'll dent the unichassis if you do.

Does the exaust double as a skidplate? I mean if it's going to dangle under the vehicle that low, this should have been the thinking.

The front "Dana 30" doesn't look like one I've ever seen. I bet it won't accomodate any locking devices out there until one is developed for it.

6" of clearance at each wheel? 7" at the differential support? My XJ clears 9" at the very lowest point under it's differential.

Aluminum halfshafts? On a 4200 lbs. vehicle with increased torque figures...running in 4-lo? Aluminum carrier inside of that aluminum casing?
Can you say WJ Dana Aluminum 44?

Breaking new ground....I think not. It's dragging an awful lot of baggage from previous DCX blunders. And in order to be as great as they say it is, you think they'd have addressed the bigger components first.

It's all DCX "spin" and "hype". First year buyers will be duped out of some serious cash for this loser, if they don't investigate and avoid it like the plague. DCX is willing to bet that most buyers won't be concerned with these issues until it's to late and we've bought them....

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: mr jeep
here is my comment

First off I agree with the last statement-bring back the scrambler-and I have heard that a four door wrangler is indeed going to come out.

I am an avid Jeep Person and own Jeeps from 1945 to a 2001 Cherokee Limited. I bought my Jeep a few weeks back and am very happy with it! The other day I went into the dealership and had a chance to go for a spin in a new Liberty Limited Edition-with the cloth seats and selec trac and nothing else. Anyway, it is a very smooth shifting vehicle, yes a V-6 that had lots of whine and pep-but a V-6 not the hearty whine of the 4.0 straight six, but sounded as if it was yanked out of one of the Sebrings-(yeah I know it is a 4.7 with 2 cylinders yanked off-blah blah).

Headroom was very good, and front legroom fair. Rear entry into the back seat was good-however for a 6-2 guy, getting out was quite a chore-matter of fact forget it if you want to any person in the back seat that is 5-2 and overi "IT's tight and very tight".

Rear cargo door great swings out and rear window will swing up witha 'tap of the rear handle'.

Front suspension-well hoaky, but it is suppose to be fairly tough-we'll have to see.

Dash was very very 'Suzuki-ish' and if you didn't see the Jeep tag-well you get the picture.

All and all it'll fit a 5-2 24 year old girl who wants to feel like she's on top of the world listening to the latest hip hop on the 'Euro radio'. Matter of fact several females were involved with the suspension design as well as engine I hear-and so that's why 'us' purists 'Jeepers' have the V-6 and IFS front end.

Anyway, judge for yourself, it'll probably be reliable, but as 'Dodge' says as their logo-'Different'.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: MalcomXJ
You make some excellent points.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: rich
Well said!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: ScramblerKen
I have enjoyed all of the discussions on the controversial new Jeep. Whether you love or hate the new vehicle, at least it has gotten everyone talking. There have been some wonderful discussions on the technical differences between this new Jeep, but I think there is another important aspect to consider. For most buyers, styling is actually what makes the decision on what to purchase.

A few days ago, I was at our local Jeep dealer to take our Grand Cherokee (WJ) in for service. My favorite salesperson greeted me and we started to have a conversation about the new Jeep. He just got in 5 new Liberties, so we went out to take a look. These vehicles were parked next to both a Cherokee and a Grand Cherokee, so I had the opportunity to make some comparisons.

The General styling of the Liberty is very close to the Grand Cherokee (WJ). The Liberty is a tad shorter, but it has the same curved look. The odd thing is how tall the Liberty is. Once in the vehicle, the massive headroom seemed way out of place. After seeing the vehicle in person, and having it next to the Grand Cherokee and Cherokee, I realized the proportions donít look right. With the 3 different Jeep vehicles next to one another, I came to another realization.

To me, Jeep has always been the no-nonsense workhorse style SUV. The Wrangler, Cherokee, and the original Grand Cherokee (ZJ) are all a bit boxy, but I always thought of them as a classic timeless look. The 2nd generation Grand Cherokee was the start of this new trend that seems to get away from what my vision of Jeep has always been. The Liberty just takes that trend to another level.

I know, many would say that you have to keep up with the times. Do you really? Jeep had a niche with what they had, and in reality, there was no competition. When you see a Wrangler or Cherokee, you quickly know these are Jeeps. When I see a Liberty, unless I see the front end, Iím not sure if it is a Toyota Rav4, Honda
-V, or what ever. If you think about the clothing market, clothing designs constantly change, but what item is still in style today? How many of us buy blue jeans? Blue Jeans have been around a long time, and why? They are a classic style that is timeless.

On another point, I donít see the Liberty as a replacement for the Cherokee, but as a substitute for the Grand Cherokee. After driving both a Liberty and a Grand Cherokee (WJ), I could buy a Liberty for a lot less money and still get about the same vehicle. The Liberty and Grand Cherokee space and styling have a lot of similarities. Daimler-Chrysler may have actually killed Grand Cherokee sales by building a low cost substitute for the Jeep flagship vehicle.

Since styling really plays the major factor in the purchase of a vehicle, Iím very concerned where DC is taking Jeep. The Jeep line is looking more like everyone elseís SUV line. If you think about it, many of us buy the Wrangler not for the off-road worthiness, but because we like how it looks. Donít misunderstand, I donít want Jeep to compromise the off-road capabilities of the Jeep line, but I would also like them to continue the other part of the Jeep heritage. Iím sure many of us would not have purchased a Wrangler if they kept the rugged under-carriage of the Wrangler but put a car body on top.

Personally, after seeing and test driving the Liberty, I think this is a fine vehicle, but it should have had a Dodge name not Jeep. For me, and Iím sure there are many others, the Liberty is not the vehicle for me. I would have been much happier to see the Dakar replace the Cherokee. And with that final note, I will put my standard plug in: If DC is listening, please bring back the ScramblerÖÖ

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: nemesis
what the hell did i do

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: nemesis
im still shocked at how jeep is willing to alienate some of its long time buyers. i think that both the cherokee and the liberty should have been sold together ( i bet you the cherokee would outsell the liberty anyday though). the liberty has a look only a teenage girl could love. and scramblerken is right BRING BACK THE S
AMBLER!










































Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: nemesis
im still shocked at how jeep is willing to alienate some of its long time buyers. i think that both the cherokee and the liberty should have been sold together ( i bet you the cherokee would outsell the liberty anyday though).and i agree BRING BACK THE S
AMBLER!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: OME XJ 99
This new liberty is mostly smoke and mirrors. DC has done a great job soliciting good reviews while at the same time making the cherokee seem old and outdated. It may be a nice car, but there is nothing revoluntary about it. The tire on the back is there for two reasons--1) to make the car look bigger, and 2) there isnt enough room to fit it in the back. The rear cargo area is too small for the tire to fit in it the same way it does in the cherokee. I sat in the back, and besides headroom, I see no improvement in rear leg room, the front has less leg room, that begs the question---Where did all the space go? Its all above you, which is unneccesary---Who here has problems bumping there heads on the ceilings of their XJ's? Not me..

This Liberty is more mordern looking, but where is the improvement on the basic things that most consumers want? Grocery bag hooks? no. cool round door handles? no. The chrome plating aroung the inside just reflects sunlight into my eyes.. The only improvement is the IFS, which if there claims are correct, is an improvement in handling without compromising off-road abilities---The Grand handles better than most SUV's and that includes ones with IFS. The IFS is all about marketing, and not much more than that. Given Jeeps insistence that this IFS is as good as a solid axle off-road, but better handling on-road, wouldnt it make sense to put it on everything, including the TJ? Knock on wood.

I drove the the KJ and parked it next to an Xterra at the lot next door, the KJ is noticably shorter, but about the same height. If these two cars were my only option to buy something, the Xterra would get the nod, its more roomy inside, with enough cargo room to haul things without making one of your friends stay home because you had to put the rear seat down in the KJ to be able to get everything in...

Sorry for the rambling-- change is not synonymous with advancement--DC will prove this.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: OME XJ 99
Thanks Dillinger, thats a good page..

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jerry C.
I meant 7" from lowest point on rear differential. Then again, with standard 16" wheels (as of now), you'll gain a slight amount( yes, I know it'll be under an inch) of ground clearance anyway.The front pumpkin is tucked up inside though, so that'll save a lot of initial contact when the vehicle is first moving across the obstacle. Like I said, I'm going to do some more investigating first. There's no denying that the stiffer chassis will remarkably improve handling and unibody durability over the long haul
.The machines used to stamp them weren't around when the Cherokee was manufactured. It's like day and night comparing my 6-year-old Cherokee with the Liberty. Not because of age , either.For comparison, my friend's much used and abused '95 Toyota Tacoma is comparable to a relatively unchanged brand new one in terms of having almost no squeaks and rattles. And hell, it's built on a separate frame! Point being: the Cherokee is great, but it's had its day.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: DILLINGER
OME XJ 99 , Check this out...

www.widowmakeronline.homestead.com/hype.html

go to the bottom of the page and click on the link. There's an article that proves they did exactly that!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: OME XJ 99
The specs on the liberty are decieving. Do all car manufacturers include the spare tire on the back in the length measurement of the car? The Liberty sure does. Also, it is "listed" as about 2 inches wider than a cherokee, but most of that is due to the large molding on the side. Overall, its only bigger because of the height. Front leg room is worse, I am a little crowded in the Cherokee, I am 6'4", and the liberty is worse by about an inch. It seems as though DC sure has a lot of manipulation going on reporting specs and changing specs on the cherokee to make the liberty seem larger (Cargo cubic feet).

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: utah
Yes but "Joe Nos" is going to buy one. I think I will stick to my 2000 Cherokee Sport, thanks.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Sean
I agree about the Scrambler, bring it back DC!

Just one thing wrong with the atricle...

"Using the "uniframe" construction that Jeep pioneered on the Grand Cherokee nine years ago, the Liberty has a body that is mounted to a
partial frame that makes use of hardened steel."

What are they talking about? The Grand Cherokee "uniframe" was based on the Cherokee (XJ) uniframe originally designed in 1983 and released in 1984!

Once again the Cherokee gets snuffed. The Toledo Blade needs to get their facts straight.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Craig Schroeder
I am a salesman at Park Jeep in the Twin Cities, and have been for 15 plus years. Yesterday we got our first four Liberty's in. The Liberty is a sweet vehicle. The 3.7 liter V-6 is very snappy. Liberty's 5-speed automatic transmission is smooth. You can't even feel the shift points. The Liberty is extremely smooth, and handles nice. It feels much roomier then the Cherokee it replaces. The instrumentation is cool, and so are the inside door handles and lock levers. I have got to have one! Give me Liberty or give me death! Off-roaders give this vehicle a chance. I am sure you will see this vehicle in the rough soon.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Joe Nos
That's it@! I'm going to buy a JEEP Liberty, no matter what these HARD CORE Jeepers say. I too have always liked JEEPS, but was never able to afford one. Now there is a Jeep that will fit my lifestyle (and no not the gay type). I do hope the HARD Core Jeep communities will see the Jeep Liberty as a savior for the JEEP brand and not the destroyer of the Jeep lifestyle.

Joe "doesn't blow" Nos

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