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LibertyReader Reviews for the Jeep Liberty
Posted by mike on 2001/5/30 0:00:00 (743) reads



We've had several readers send in their reviews of the 2002 Jeep Liberty. First up is a long time reader of mike's totally free jeep news, Bob:

Drove a new Liberty Limited with the "G" package, which is the top package
offered on the Liberty. The only other option included were heated seats. It
stickered just above $25.8K, which includes the package discount. Still, it
lacked ABS, tow package, off-road package, moonroof. You would think (hope)
the top-of-the-line Liberty would come standard with ABS and a moonroof.

I have to tell you, it was the best steering Jeep I've ever driven. The
vehicle felt tight as a drum. Quality appeared to be excellent. The rear
seating is very comfortable and quite roomy—light years better than the
Cherokee. All-in-all, it drove very nice, although it was a tad bumpy in
ride. It handled quite well, but it's no match for our Subaru Forester on a
windy road.

I was very impressed. Jeep is going to do great with this vehicle. I just
wish there was more "content" to the vehicle, and less "nickle-and-diming" in
terms of options. Again, the Forester is way ahead of the Liberty in this
area. The Forester is a "complete" vehicle as it stands. You need to add very
few, if any options to make it desirable.

I make reference to the Forester because 1) we own one [I know the vehicle
well], and 2) other cute-ute customers may be cross-shopping the new Jeep
with the Forester.

Here are some prices for various options:

Off-Road package: Sport = $765.00, Limited = $520.00
Tow package: Sport & Limited = $325.00
Tow package (if you order Off-Road package too): Sport & Limited = $245.00
Alloy wheels: Sport $310.00
Sunroof: Sport & Limited = $700.00

The dealer indicated that, according to his order book, you can only get A/T
tires on the Sport if you order the Off-Road package. A/T tires are a
no-charge option on the Limited.

Also, looking under the hood, there's a lot of space between the radiator and
the front of the engine. Looks like the 4.7L V8 might fit... Now there's a
thought!

Next up is a Jeep salesman from Minnesota:

I am a salesman at (name deleted) in the Twin cities, and have been
for the last 9 years.  Yesterday (5-24-01) we got our first four Liberty's
in.  We have over 100 in process(in shipping, or in production, or scheduled
for production).  The Liberty is a sweet vehicle.  The 3.7 liter V-6 is very
snappy.  The  5-speed automatic transaction is very smooth and you cannot
even feel the shift points.  The Liberty is extremely nice riding.  I drive a
Grand Cherokee and have been driving Jeeps for 15 plus years.  I have to have
one!
 

In addition to these reviews, be sure to check out the Readers Reactions from the previous Liberty articles. If anyone has driven the Liberty and has had a negative reaction to it, please email us at jeepnews@OneToMany.com and let us know!

Reader Reactions

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Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Kathy
I've driven a Jeep Grand Cherokee for 3 years and love it. The new Liberty looks like they tried to mate a Wrangler with a Cherokee and this is what they got ---- a real Zero !

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Griff
On the comment about you think the KJ will have more articulation is wrong. Before you jump all over me and tell me the dealer told you other wise. Think of it this way...

Take a pencil, hold it in the middle and tilt one side down. The other side automatically goes up because of course the other side is down. Now IFS doesn't do that because it is like having a pencil in 3 pieces. The left piece goes down the middle stays on center for the most part and the right piece goes wherever gravity takes it. That equals less ground clearance. You can argue as much as you want but thats as how it goes.

Also the dealers try to find the mood of the buyer before they go off on their speel. Like for instance they asked me all these questions before they told me how good of a offroader it was. Other people have been told its less of a offroader and more of a car-like feel. They'll tell you what they think you want to here. Nothing wrong with that except compared to the XJ which they trash consistantly this isn't some brute offroader like it is claimed to be.

Solid Axle Forever!!!
Griff

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: rich
ooohhh! I like my leather! oooohhh!
High quality, oooohhhh! Hey Opie where's
Andy? Ooooohh! I wanna show him the nice leather.
..OOOOOhhhh!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: James Stewart
here is my comment: I drove a Liberty Sport today. I liked it very much. I own a 1999 Grand Cherokee Laredo. You can definitely see the Wrangler influence in the vehicle. You seem to sit up higher than in my Grand. Sitting beside each other, the Liberty was taller. Driving the Liberty was great. It has a very solid feel to it. The V-6 has plenty of pep to it. I will definitely consider it when my lease is up on my Grand Cherokee. I had two prior regular Cherokees in years past and the new Liberty is a welcome addition to the Jeep family.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bob
Re: My comments in the above story...

I believe(?) that you CAN get A/T tires on the
Sport without ordering the Off-Road pkg. I think
the salesman was wrong. Also, I forgot to get the
price on the ABS option.

I have since visited several other dealers. The
sales people say that there is a lot of interest
in the new Liberty, and that they are selling
fast. In fact, because it is priced so close to
the Cherokee, they are having trouble moving
Cherokees. However, the Cherokee does have better
financing available.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Joe
Test drove both the liberty sport and limited yesterday. Mechanically, they both seem adequate. The 3.7l V6 had enough juice that I wouldn't be afraid to punch it to beat traffic when pulling out of the driveway. Even with the A/C cranked, there was a good deal of power.

But on the downside, the cabin seems like it was designed for the typical 5'4" wife to haul a couple kids to soccer games, etc. My wife is 5'8" and almost 5' of that is legs. So when she sits behind the wheel, her knees are less than 2" from the wheel, even with the seat down and back, and the wheel tilted up and forward as much as possible. I wonder what her knees would look like after an accident (heaven forbid). The back seats seemed to have enough legroom for both of us, given that the front seats weren't all the way back. But the view from the backseat was predominantly headrest and side-window frame. I liked the easy-access cargo area, but you can tell that Jeep was more concerned with legroom for the backseat passengers than they were for cargo space.

As a side note, I wanted to see what I could learn from the salesman we were talking to, so I asked what kind of differential the liberty had. He proceeded to tell me all he knew about the IFS. I let my wife ask questions after that.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: CrazyJeep
I think it is unfortunate that the dealers are going to hype the Liberty as something it is not with the IFS suspension. I have seen dealers act the way Griff has described. I don’t believe that the Liberty will be a rock crawler like the Cherokee “could be”. But I bet it does have better articulation than the Cherokee! (it just doesn’t lift the body when 1 front tire is lifted) My guess is that the Liberty will be able to make traction in many instances that the Cherokee can’t for this very reason! Lighter axle components mean they react more quickly to the changing terrain!

I won’t buy a Liberty to go on the killer trails for the same reason that I didn’t buy a Cherokee. The Wrangler is much more adept! I WILL buy a Liberty to pull my boat or take the family camping and whatnot. (All other uses.) It’s much more economical for my family than the Grand!


Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: rich
Thank God! Griff's back! Nice comments, except for
that midlife, goin bald thing..I'm 44 and would
never drive anything but my CJ or TJ..I like
the feeling of wind rushing through my thinning,
Rogaine-soaked scalp!
RIch

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Griff
Well I also have test driven the Liberty and I as most would know who read this board am and 3 time XJ owner.

So the dealer out here in Everett WA had one limited KJ, Dark Blue. I was disapointed when i got in though. It was a limited with cloth seats, no sun roof, and comand-trac 4 wheel drive. Don't get me wrong I could do with out any of those. I am more of a sport package man myself. But if i was going to get a limited, i would want all of those things. I think jeep is having trouble with packaging. I'm glad they dropped all the different confusing names for the pakages (ie: Country, Freedom, Classic, Pioneer, Laredo, Islander, etc etc, on and on, there is a million) But maybe they need a Classic (even though we all know there is nothing classic about the KJ) or a Country package between sport and limited. I like how i sat up higher than in the XJ but the dash drops off right after the windshield, whats with that, and the silver trim?!?! Thats as bad a fake plastic wood, and will look as horrible in 10 years as the fake wood too. Also the door sills sit up high and give the appearance of height but everything sits a whole lot lower under it, as low if not lower than the XJ.

Also after the sales man was giving me the sucker on a leash talk about how good it was offroad and how it was better offroad than a XJ, I proceeded to ask him about the IFS. He said more ground clearance, better articulation, the normal DCX hog wash. But then we pulled one front wheel up on the curb at the dealer just to see if my 01 2dr XJ Sport had more ground clearance or if the KJ did and you can guess who looked like he ate his own words. Thats right the IFS sags in the middle because only one arm is flexing leaving the middle down unlike my XJ's. But then of course he proceeded to cover his embarasment with sarcasm saying he'd give me a 5 grand check and trade my XJ for the KJ as he walked away laughing. Funny guy. The real funny thing was he left it on the curb after i left from what i saw 2 hrs later as i drove by. I'm sure he's going to lure some sucker in with that rugged offroad stance (HAHA).

So the opinion of a old man who been a solid axle Jeeper all his life? I guess I'm not hip or something because all these young people are buying it and all the midlife crisis I'm golng bald a 40 guys at the dealer sure thought it is a great truck. Also check out the KJ brochure It talks about how Jeep is reinventing the successful IFS they used to build along time ago. Well I'm old enough to remember that IFS Wagonner FSJ. Old enough to remember it was plagued with problems, and was only on one model year of wagoneer. That's right, but Slick Rick your generic local hip jeep sales man wouldn't know that.

SOLID AXLE 4EVER.
GRIFF

P.S. That R/T KJ comment had to be BS because R/T is always a Dodge thing, always has always will be. But thats what we all thought about Solid Axles and Jeeps, so who knows. Way to go another embrace the past but apply it to the wrong brand. GO DCX!!!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Robert Loken
I forgot to mention that I took it 4-wheelin on the way back from the dealership and this baby can climb.!
I never felt as though it would not do what I asked , it just kept going , and going........

Robert

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Robert Loken
Well, I bought a Liberty on May 28th..
Had to drive from Tucson to Phoenix to get one..
I have owned 4 other Jeeps, ( a '72 CJ5 bought used, an '87 Cherokee bought used, a '94 Wrangler bought new, and a '89 Cherokee bought used..)and the Liberty is by far the BEST of them all..
Plenty of power , a smooth aoutomatic, perfect gearing ( the Cherokees had 3:08 gears , useless.)
The quality and the fit and finish are perfect so far..
If anyone has any questions or wants some info.. e-mail me at " terlok@msn.com "
This Jeep is like driving on silk..
It is soooo sweet...

Robert



Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Jerry C.
I'm afraid I don't see any Wrangler influence in the Liberty at all. Even though both use the Quadra-Coil, they are different types. That's the only even-close similarity I can think of the Wrangler is built on a separate frame: Liberty is unibody. Wrangler is a two box design. Liberty is three(actually 2.5 with that comparatively short rearend.Oh wait, they both have round headlights. Could that be the big clincher? That it is identifiable as a Jeep? I like of them: Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, Wrangler and Liberty. I never saw a Jeep I didn't like , with the exception of two- wheel drive models, which defeats the entire purpose of having a Jeep. I wonder if Jeep will bring back a pickup? I'd just have an orgasm if that happened. Hmmmmmmmmmmmmm...............Maybe live and online, just as soon as it was announced..................... I'm just kidding.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: OR Bruce
I took a good look at the Liberty, and a short test drive over the weekend. I'm currently on my 3rd XJ over 12 years, and I have to say I'm looking forward to a Liberty. It drives really sweet. Smooth, quiet, none of the head-toss that I'm used to. The V6 and tranny seem very well matched. It's heavier than a Cherokee, but feels lighter and more nimble. Ergonomics and space are much improved in the front seat and back. I'm 6'1", and the effective room is definitely better. The view over the sloped hood is great. The tranny finally has separate detents in the PRNDL for 2 and 1, and an OD lockout on the side of the lever, a real improvement over the Cherokee. Luggage space is down, but the 60/40 seats should help. When you subtract the outside spare, the length must be about the same as the XJ. More people room, less bag room.

Clearances look pretty good, but a little less than the XJ. The sales guy said it's about 1" less, but that he had been to an impressive demo at the motocross track inside Portland Int'l Raceway. We'll have to see how those lower A-arms lift to create clearance. The XJ always seemed to know what to do. I suspect the Liberty will work fine for me, and it will be much more comfortable on the long rides to and from the dirt. I'll bet it'll be great on the washboards, and good enough in the crawlies. I, like most, have have always run stock suspension and tires.

The well-equipped Sports with V6 and autos were all stickered at $21,790. I think they'll sell a ton of them. I'm still iffy about the styling. The XJ still looks as good to me as when I first saw it in '83. I hope the Liberty grows on me. At least it's functional with short overhangs and great approach and departure angles.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: 02Liberty
There is a prototype wearing a R/T 4.7L badge, so yes 4.7L should fit.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Richard Reddin
here is my comment We got our Liberty Limited today 6/1/01! Test drove last night, it is everything good we had read about! Traded out of a Durango; Liberty is SO much better. Smooth ride, extremely comfortable seats, and very roomy inside. We got the "G" pkg, leather seats and the quality leather is very good. 3.7L V6 engine 4x4 is adequate. Braking is very good, is a sure, even stop. Plenty of cargo room in back and really like flipp rear glass, (smooth action). Had lots of stares as we drove on freeway. This is going to be a sure thing for Jeep! Awsome to look at too!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: CJ7 High Beam Guy
Once my CJ7 restoration is complete, I may or
may not keep my 1999 XJ. If I don't keep it at
the end of the lease, then I'll get a new Xterra,
Good offroad or not, the Liberty is just too darn
wimpy looking and ugly!!!!!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Peter
Opps, forgot to add that the bmw went away after seeing a praticle side of cars.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Peter
Just got back from the first test ride. I have been reading about the liberty for some time, like everyone else. This "may" be my first Jeep. I look at the Cherokee but opted to wait for the liberty. Having own many many vehicles, here was my first impression:
Appearance in person: B+, not sure how the grey plastic skirt will wear over time.
Interior: A, plenty of head room and fit and finish is great. Yes, the door handles are nice. I usually extend the seat to max and sit in the back seat, good room. I am 6ft tall. The storage area is ok but I am used to a mini van right now and doesn't compete. You could get a 2 sets of clubs or overnight supply of hiking equip. with out folding the seats down. Seats don't lay flat but not too high..
Driving: A+ - this was a tight feeling vehicle. I reminded me of my 95 bmw 325I, excellent in turns, breaking was good and acceleration was good. Went to a steep hill, stop in middle and took off, great performance with the engine, not too noisy as others can do from a hill start. Steering is tight so watch out for oversteer. Took bumps well, better than I expected.
So....... Hey, I not a 18-20yr kid wanting to go offroad each weekend but need something better for when I go flyfishing or camping with the family. Or that trip where snow becomes and issue. Other than smaller cargo room it's very well rounded car. To those hard core Jeepsters, make room for the Liberty because one day You will understand why a multi use praticle SUV is a Great vehicle to have. See you on the trail!

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Bandit
Yes, P235/70R16 OWL All-Terrain tires are available on the 4x4 Sport without the Off-Road Package (requires either 26B or 27B Package), for $245 MSRP. The ABS Brakes are $600 MSRP (requires the 3.7L).

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Matt
here is my comment: I saw my first Libertys yesterday at our local dealer. I was going to get one when I replaced my 95 Cherokee, but after seeing one at the auto show, it was too small. I opted for a 2001 Grand Cherokee, with the Up Country package, tow package, and sunroof. It is light years ahead of my beloved old Cherokee (206,000 miles). I'm sure the Liberty is just as good, only much smaller. I have 2 kids, and do a lot of hunting and fishing, and I need a lot of cargo room. If we only had 1 child, I probably would get the Liberty. It will make a great "first family" vehicle for people with Wranglers. That's how I went. 91 Wrangler, 95 Cherokee, 2001 Grand Cherokee. Anyway, I like the Liberty. Front ground clearance is about an inch less than the Grand Cherokee, but the suspension is very beefy. The control arms are cast iron, and the setup looks great. I think it will make a great addition to the Jeep line. I think it breaks new ground, in that manufacturers seem to think that a small SUV is supposed to be a wannabe, and not a real 4X4. I would certainly pick the Liberty over ANY small SUV on the market if I wanted real brawn and off road ability. We also have to remember that Jeep has tradtionally offered different levels of off-road ability (great, greater, greatest). Would anyone say that the old full size Wagoneer could handle the same terrain as a CJ-7? It wasn't supposed to. But it was the best in it's class not only in off-road ability, but in comfort as well. The Liberty will again do this in pure Jeep fashion. By the way, I noticed a cool feature on the Liberty that I never saw before. Bolted to the front end of the rear diff is a large metal roller that extends just a hair below the driveshaft level. It appears to be a sort of rolling skid plate for the rear diff and driveshaft. It looks like the engineers did a good job. I think Jeep has a real hit on their hands, no matter what the naysayers think.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Andy
I think that the Liberty is a disgrace to the Jeep name. Independant suspension, V6, ugly, and plastic galore. I see it as a good market to the city people that never use a jeep for its inteded purpose, but for a person who buys a jeep to go offroading it is useless. I will stick with older jeeps for now on I guess.

Poster Thread
Anonymous
Posted: 1969/12/31 19:00  Updated: 1969/12/31 19:00
 Originally posted by: Ken
here is my comment: I owned a Subaru Forester for a year. I got rid of it because the right front and rear couplings started 'shuddering' and it quickly lost that tight new car feeling. Yesterday, I drove the Liberty. First, the salesman took me out to a segment of ground with deep chasms of various heights and angles (unfortunately, he declined to let me drive it through this course). Wow! what an experience. No way would I have taken my Forester there. The Jeep feels rugged, very solid, and well put together. The highway ride and steering are excellent and the seats are very comfortable. You sit high in this car with a good view of traffic (as opposed to the Forester's low seating).

I, too, am put off by the many options that should be either standard or part of, for instance, the G package or the 'Off Road' group(ABS especially).

It looks nice as cute utes go, but I would prefer a more rugged look, one that better matches its performance.

Don't get me wrong though, I do plan to own one soon.
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