Reviews for the new Jeep Liberty are starting to appear in the mainstream press and we're here to bring you some of the more interesting ones. Available now on MSN Carpoint, is a surprising interesting review of the latest Jeep complete with streaming video and some interesting quotes from people involved with the development of the Liberty.
The review begins by laying down the battlelines over the current Liberty:
It's also drawing attention to the emerging and sometimes nasty divide between the vast majority of American SUV drivers who never go off-road and hardcore ones who do.
Perhaps the most interesting section of the article regard the much debated decision to move from a solid axle to an independent front suspension. Here's a snippet of the review regarding this:
While Jeep officials are eager to prove the Liberty is as rugged and capable as other Jeeps, Jeep purists seem to automatically point to the Liberty's independent front suspension and cry foul.
They haven't had a chance to test the Liberty yet; still, they contend only solid axles can handle the really rough stuff off-road. Besides, Jeep tried an independent front suspension in the 1960s and it was quickly withdrawn from the market, they say.
Robert Jordan, manager of production engineering at Jeep vehicle development, said Jeep went to an independent front suspension in order to provide as good an on-road ride as possible. "That was the part of the program that allowed us to add this level of on-road refinement and improved NVH (noise, vibration and harshness reduction) and solidness to the vehicle," he said.
But don't consider this a sissy suspension, said Jack Broomall, director of Jeep vehicle development.
The Liberty's short/long arm, double wishbone front suspension "isn't just any old front suspension," he said. "It's a Jeep front suspension. The thing that makes it pretty unique, frankly, is fully 8 inches of front suspension travel—4 inches up and 4 inches down. You won't find that on any of the car-based sport utilities. The other thing you'll find . . . is the control arms and all the structures are not the typical stamped steel weldmans, but rather some very serious looking cast lower control arms—big, thick, beefy sections, heavily ribbed. They're more than capable [and] that we've demonstrated in testing, negotiating the Rubicon Trail alongside all [the Liberty's] Jeep brethren."
We particulary enjoyed the part of the review where it mentioned various comments from hard-core Jeepers on the Internet:
In one Web chat room, opinions raged about whether the Liberty looks like a Kia Sportage or a Toyota RAV4. ". . . My first impression is `Yuck, it looks like every other hybrid Japanized crap on the market,'" wrote one critic.
The two accompanying videos are both an interesting watch - the first focuses on the on- and off-road ride characteristics, while the second focuses almost exclusively on the independent front suspension.
Whatever your opinion of the Liberty is, we think you'll find this article interesting. Check it out today.