We've been scouring the web and our sources looking for an overall negative review of the 2002 Jeep Liberty and have not yet found one. We've received several reviews from readers with some negative aspects - here's a snippet:
My first reaction was a very disappointing one as it looked small and seemed to be a clone of all the other small utes out there. I had seen so many other photos of this vehicle but never one next to another vehicle for comparison. I got the impression that they put too much thought into the height and head room that they skimped on overall space and the general length of the vehicle.
While my first impression wasn't all favorable, I still like the styling and wanted to take a ride. The first test was getting the infant car seat in the back. It didn't fair to well as I had to get in the front and move the seat up in order to fit it in the back. Once inside, I thought it felt a little compact. I drive an Outback and overall my car had just as much space if not more than the Liberty. I definately have more cargo space aside from the added height. I also didn't like the location of the window controls as they are now placed on the center console.
We drove it on a windy day, and with the added height to this vehicle you could definately feel the wind pulling at the car. Height wise it felt more like driving a Montero, so I'm a little concerned as to saftey and its stabilty.
Yesterday, we received one of the coolest pieces of promotional material (via the U.S. Postal Service) we've ever seen from the Jeep mothership. It is a very elaborate brochure for the Liberty complete with battery powered headlights! When you first open the package, there is a picture of the front of the Liberty complete with operating headlights. The brochure contains the usual slick Jeep marketing materials, with many of the same photos and text as the Jeep Web site. What impressed us most, however, was the list of favorable reviews from most of the top automotive magazines. Here's a couple:
"(The) Jeep (Brand) has outdone them all in developing an IFS system that's beefy and durable" - Petersen's 4-wheel & Off-Road, February 2001
"It's really a lot of fun to drive hard and fast. Jeep engineers have spent a lot of time with Liberty's suspension, and it shows." - Four Wheeler, March 2001
"It is certainly a Jeep (vehicle). Driving them on the Rubicon proved that. On or off the pavement, the KJ is sure to be a vehicle that Jeep owners can be proud of" - 4 Wheel Drive and Sport Utility Magazine, February 2001
Other reviews from Automobile Magazine, AutoWeek, Motor Trend, and Car and Driver, were also very positive.
We also received word that DaimlerChrysler would be laying off less people than anticiapted at the Toledo North factory. A few months ago, Jeep warned that it might be laying off around 2,000 people, now that number is in the 1,700 range. For the complete story, check out this article at just-auto.com