2008 Jeep Liberty Review
The Liberty is a compact SUV that first debuted in 2001, replacing the Cherokee. Its unique style helped propel it to the top of the North American sales charts. A diesel engine was added for 2005, but dropped in 2007. It was nominated for the 2002 “North American Truck of the Year” award. This year the Liberty has been redesigned and is based on an updated platform that is shared with the Dodge Nitro.
The BuyingAdvice Team Says:
The new Jeep Liberty is a complete 180 from last year’s model. While the original Liberty featured a sleek design, the new model is as burly as the Brawny lumberjack. This is definitely good news for Jeep aficionados, but is likely hurt its widespread appeal. The good news for fans of the original is that the Jeep Compass has a very similar style. In terms of handling and ride, the new Liberty is much improved, but reliability and engine efficiency are still troubling. We heartily recommend it to anyone looking for a civilized, affordable off-roader.
The Liberty has been completely redesigned for 2008. Featuring a bulkier, more traditional look, the Liberty is roomier than ever. The suspension has been updated and the interior room increased. New features include two choices of four-wheel drive systems and the debut of a power canvas roof.
What’s New For 2008:
What is the Predicted Reliability:
J.D. Power gives the Liberty 2 stars for mechanical quality and performance and design, and 3 stars for design quality. Problems with the first Liberty include exhaust issues, bad fuel pump valves, water leaks and substandard carpet. The Liberty was recalled 11 times for issues including electrical shorts, overheating blower motors, brake lockup, possible fires and corrosion. Expect average to below average reliability. The basic warranty lasts for three years or 36,000 miles.
Analysis Of Safety Ratings And Features:
The Liberty earned perfect government crash test ratings for front and side tests. IIHS scores are not available. Anti-lock brakes, side airbags, rollover mitigation and stability and traction control come standard.
Pros and Cons:
+ Traditional Jeep styling
+ Nice Price
+ Off-road capability
- Missing the original’s sleek design
- Meager gas mileage
- Carryover V6 engine not updated
The Ford Explorer costs a several thousand more, but has a V8 engine with 80 more hp. The Pontiac Torrent is a couple thousand more and has over 20 less hp. The Isuzu Ascender costs several thousand more, but has over 70 more hp.
What Others Are Saying:
“If you don’t have to worry about serious inclement weather, nearly any SUV can do the job; but if you need a vehicle to conquer extremes, Liberty should be near the top of your list.” – About.com
“Unfortunately, not everything about the Liberty is that exciting. We’ve been disappointed by Chrysler’s coarse 3.7-liter SOHC V-6 in its other applications, and 210 hp out of that amount of displacement is nothing to cheer about. Nor is the four-speed automatic or EPA mpg rating of 16 city/22 highway.” – Automobile Magazine
“Making over the Liberty may be the perfect move for Jeep. It has adjusted the Liberty’s looks to appeal to more men, instead of building a more female-friendly vehicle, even though I liked the funky styling of the previous generation.” – The Detroit News
Read more about the 2008 Jeep Liberty at the Jeep manufacturer web site.