So after all of this discussion of what the Liberty is
made of, what are our overall thoughts and feelings about
Jeep's new middle-weight?
liked it a lot. In fact, we didn't want to give it back. The
Jeep Liberty is a near-perfect middle-of-the-road sport utility.
It can hold tons of stuff, weave in and out of traffic, and
get you just about anywhere you'd want to go off-road, within
a serious rockcrawler? No. Do we expect people to be running
it in next year's ARCA series? We doubt it. Is it a Jeep?
not a serious rockcrawler, then why do we feel that it is
worthy of the Jeep name? The same question could just as easily
be asked of the Grand Cherokee, Cherokee, or the Wagoneers
of old. Sure, you can lift them, shove bigger tires underneath
and lock the axles, but certainly, by next year, you will
be able to do that to a Liberty, as well. The Wagoneers were
never intended to be hard trail rigs, but nobody ever protested
them wearing the Jeep badge. So why are die-hard Jeepers so
up in arms about the Liberty? Just because it doesn't have
a solid axle up front? That's a little silly, we think.
in stock form can take you anywhere that old Wagoneer of yours
can go, and maybe even further. It will even keep pace with
stock Cherokees and Wranglers on some of the less-extreme
trails. We'd bet on it.
it sits a wee bit low to the ground and doesn't flex like
Arnold, but the aftermarket should take good care of that
soon enough. Simply replacing the tires with some new BFG's
would do wonders for its off-road capabilities, both on the
rocks and in the mud. Unfortunately, Jeep hasn't put much
creedence in putting off-road-worthy tires on its new vehicles
lately because over 90% of the buyers will never take them
off the highway, anyway.
is being positioned in the market against SUVs like the Ford
Escape, Nissan Xterra, RAV-4, and other similar "Cute
Utes" but it is really very much unlike its competition
for one single reason - a real low range 4WD. Yup. For real
trail use, you've got to have a real transfer case and a rig
that knows how to use it - and the Liberty has just that.
Heck, it's even got two choices.
you are in the market for a mid-sized sport utility and you
like to take the road-less-traveled now and then, the Jeep
Liberty should be at the top of your list. If you just want
a little sport utility and never go off-road, then we'd still
recommend the Liberty. It's got style, room, and it has seven
grill slats. What more could you ask for?
Liberty carried us up this very long, steep hill without
spinning a tire, once again proving that this is, indeed,
like this were a blast in the Liberty, proving that
trails can be a whole lot of fun when you're not out
not hardcore, this type of trailing appeals to a very
large part of the 4-wheeling community and we think
the Liberty is right on the money for that crowd.