2008 Liberty Details?

Date 2006/7/25 12:18:07 | Topic: Liberty

I was invited to a marketing / research clinic for the 2008 Liberty. It looks teriffic, but it’s a different design philosophy than the current, rounded theme. It’s got a “baby Commander” look, but changed enough so that it still looks like a Liberty. It’s a good 6 or 7" longer (with no spare tire on the back). The front end is a GREAT version of the Commander’s nose - and it seems to work better on the new Liberty than on the Commander. The headlights & turn signals are multi-lens units behind a large, rectangular plastic housing. There are small air vents about 1" tall and 6" long where the side of the hood wraps over to meet the very back of the front fender - just under the A-Pillar. The vents on the prototype were not functional.

The side profile has a glass / greenhouse that is nowhere near as tall as the current model’s kind of exaggerated tall glass. Think Hummer H3 side glass, only taller. The fender flares are still there and still trademark KJ. The rear end is very updated, clean, modern and has no spare on the back. It may have been a bit of an optical illusion, but the front wheels look like they are really pushed forward more than on the current model. Definitely not an overhang problem!

The interior is simple, but feels MUCH wider than the current KJ. They also had a Limited trim level that was pretty luxurious due to all the options. While sitting in it, you immediately notice that it does not have that “sitting on top of the world” view of the current KJ, but still has a good view over the hood. You notice a loss of headroom - either that or they had the seat cranked up to its highest position (you weren’t supposed to move it). The dash uses the current, DCX radio / navigation systems from the Grand Cherokee. The gauges are basic. The plastic on the door panels didn’t look as nice as what the current KJ has - it was more like a Chrysler 300C’s door panels. The back seat is much more comfortable and made for humans with normal spines.

Cargo area is definitely larger due to the added length, but they wouldn’t let you fold the seats down to see if they fold flat, etc. I did see extra power outlets in the cargo area as I was nosing around.

The only engine mentioned was the 3.7L V-6 and 4-speed automatic. No mention of a CRD or a manual.

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