Jeep Liberty



  • csjjeepcsjjeep Member Posts: 5
    OK lets face it ifs is totally unproven off road. I mean look at the hummer the military is looking at alternatives to it due to high cost to purchase and maintain(thats right the hummer is a very high maintenance vehicle the military can't keep differentials in them). If dc wants to turn jeep into just another suv then this will do it. Its the reputation for rugged ability not silky smooth suspension that sells jeeps. Has no one here seen the number of kits to convert a ifs to solid axle? let the grocery getters have escapes explorers 3runners and whatever else let jeep be jeep. I also don't think this belongs in the dodge line up I say change the nose charge 50000 and call it a Mercedes then high maintenance cost aren't an issue. just my two cents.
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    Interesting. I hadn't read those yet and they are encouraging. However. At the risk of sounding like an eternal pessimist, my opinion isn't changed at all.

    As I said earlier, its not just being able to get offroad somewhere, it has to be able to make it back too. Independent suspension is fragile when compared to a solid axle. A stock 4Runner can make it over the Rubicon; but there is a reason 4Runners aren't routinely seen there. If someone knew how to make IFS work as well as solid axles, Toyota would have already.

    Take the Dingo/Liberty across the Rubicon 100 times, count up the number of parts broken and cost and effort to fix them. Then compare it to a Cherokee.

    I don't hate the Liberty. I hate that the Liberty is the replacement for the Cherokee, because its going to be a poor replacement. I'm sure the vehicle will be very popular to alot of people. But it could be just as popular as a Dodge. Making it a Jeep lessens Jeep. I don't need to see it to have strong doubts about it. IFS does not do well on trails.

    IMHO, if Jeep wanted to freshen up its lineup, they should have built the Jeepster, including IFS and IRS and given it the big engine. At least that wouldn't compete with the others. It could go win Baja races. The Cherokee could then get most of the Liberty's interior design with the Grand Cherokee's suspension. Or bag the Cherokee altogether and build the Dakar. Whatever. At least then they hold onto a proven design.

    csjjeep: They can't call it a Mercedes. Because then it would compete with the Gwagon and then Daimler would be very unhappy.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    How do you explain that there are not a high volume of solid front axle vehicles sold in 3rd world countries where there are no roads at all? (and this isn't a loaded or trick question) In Australia and most 3rd world countries you only see Land Cruisers, Pajeros (monteros), Jackaroos (troopers), and Patrols (pathfinders), not many JGCs or Cherokees....

    If IFS was so bad, why would these people use em?

  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    according to one of our Edmunds' "down-under" regulars over in another topic area, Jeeps are not held in very high esteem down there. Certainly not like they are here.

  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Cherokee sales are off much more than 9.4%. It's well into double digits. A couple of the other vehicles you mentioned are also scheduled for a quick replacement. The Explorer and Blazer are due out shortly. The Grand Cherokee and Durango are scheduled few years down the road. Their vehicles of choice are pretty much what Mike said; along with some Land Rovers, although further down the list.

  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    Its bad on the trail. On open land, IFS is good. Its makes for smoother high speed travel over rough terrain. It doesn't do well when it comes to getting through an obstacle. Its the suspension of choice for baja racing, not trails.

    Much more? For the year, Cherokee sales were off 14%. The 4Runner was off 10%.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    the world is moving towards independent suspensions. Certainly our military thinks this is the right direction to go. Besides the Hummer, check out this IFS/IRS Oshkosh bruiser for the military:

    So you still think IFS/IRS can't take it in the rough?

    The point I'm Making...
    Is that, properly designed, independent suspensions will do just fine off-road. Yes, these military vehicles are hugely expensive, but their IFS/IRS technology will eventually trickle down to to mainstream vehicles that everyone can afford.

    As I, and others have said before, give the Liberty a chance before being so harsh. Who knows, you may be pleasently surprised.

  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    The military doesn't "strenuously object to" how often their equipment breaks. They push things so hard they expect things to break. Keeping things going is a natural part of their "business".

    Its not mine. I want something that is less likely to break and cheaper to fix when it does.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    that the military would order equipment... to break, or expect their equipment to break often?

    When push-comes-to-shove, they need equipment they can depend upon. Your life, my life, and everybody's life here in the USA depends on the military making good sound decisions, that includes purchasing trucks.

    Let me ask you this... When all Jeeps eventually do go IFS/IRS (and they will eventually), what are you going to buy? There won't be any new, reasonably-priced solid axle vehicles sold in this country in about five years. What are you going to do? Keep your old Jeep forever?

    I'd say it's time to get over it, and move on.

  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    Do they want their equipment to break often? No.
    Do they expect it to? Yes.
    Spare parts is a critical aspect of military hardware. When it stops, so does the hardware.

    Keep my Jeep forever? Possibly. There are roughly 3 million Cherokees out there from which to scrounge parts.

    Pictures of the Liberty from Detroit

    An article about its unveiling

    Another article

    And here is Liberty info from Jeep's official website.

    I like some of the interior, but I still won't be buying one.
  • csjjeepcsjjeep Member Posts: 5
    Your right the military does expect parts breakage lots of it to be honest. So why are they looking to replace it with converted pickups. both test mules featuring solid front axles.

    IFS can be good I agree but to make an IFS perform will cost much much more than any auto maker or four wheeler is willing to spend. I am sorry I own a blazer and a Cherokee the blazer has IFS. In the xj the parts breakage has yet to exist. The blazer one major rebuild of the front end in need of a second.

    The use of a V-6 over the I-6. is the second reason the liberty is not worthy of being a jeep. if you must have a I configured engine make it a V-8 of the same displacement you can get equal low end power to the I-6 and Gas mileage comparible to the V-6. OK now having said that everybody can take a shot at me.

    Oh when I said this thing should be a Mercedes, it was just a joke.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    for the links.

  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    "Oh when I said this thing should be a Mercedes, it was just a joke."

    So was my response that it would compete with the Gwagon. :-)
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    You're talking old-tech IFS here with the Blazer.

    I'm telling you, future IFS/IRS off-road systems will be every bit as good, if not better than solid axle systems.

    As to costs, everything today is more expensive than it used to be.

  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    "I'm telling you, future IFS/IRS off-road systems will be every bit as good, if not better than solid axle systems."

    On what do you base this faith?
  • heyjewelheyjewel Member Posts: 1,046
    Another voice:
    We saw one yesterday at the LA auto show. It's definitely a Jeep. The front design recalls very vividly the round-headlight Wranglers. And it has the Jeep 7-slot vertical grille. From the side, it looks like a cross between a Cherokee (witness the fender flares) and a Land Rover Discovery cause of the tall rear glass. It looks taller than it is. Rear reminds me of a RAV4. Overall, I think they've done a great job of bringing to market a modern, yet retro-looking Jeep that 98% of off-roaders can love, and soccer moms can drive too. I like it, even if my wife did call it 'cute'.
    Does it look anything like a Durango? Maybe the braille version that bblahblah must be looking at does. But the real thing is a Jeep.
    Personally, I had a Cherokee for 12 years. An '86 when they were AMC. Put over 150K on it. Took it on the Sand Creek trail to Angel Arch in Canyonlands before the gov't decided that they'd close that area to vehicles. Except, of course, their vehicles. Also took it over Elephant Hill which is quite a challenge. It was the 4-cyl command track version. Sold it to a friend and miss it.
    Have a Chevy Tahoe now, into which I could practially put the Jeep. But the gas mileage sucks (my Jeep got 24 or so on the hiway.) So my wife and I have been looking for a more economical and driveable replacement. And now we've found it.
    Jeep has done what none of the others have. I could never but a RAV4, Escape, Santa Fe, Aztec, Highlander etc etc because they do not have a low-range gearing. But the Jeep does. This is a vehicle at home on the road and off. It is the creme dela creme. It will be a big hit (if it drives and performs well.)
  • csjjeepcsjjeep Member Posts: 5
    Sorry bblah didn't relize you said gwagon oops
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    "I'm telling you, future IFS/IRS off-road systems will be every bit as good, if not better than solid axle systems."

    On what do you base this faith?

    On what's happening in the industry right now. All the major manufacturers who are developing 4WDs are working on IFS/IRS setups. That includes many who have never before entered the 4WD market. I see a lot of fresh thinking going on, and I can't help but think that one of these manufacturers is going to strike gold, in terms of a new IFS/IRS that works as well as a solid axles setup.

    Have you noticed that every totally new SUV concept vehicle from DC has IFS/IRS? That includes the the Jeep ICON, Varsity, Jeepster, Dodge MAXXcab, and the new, just introduced, Dodge Powerbox. I think DC is trying to tell the public something here.

    Besides DC, the next Range Rover will have IFS/IRS. VW and Porsche are also working on SUVs with IFS/IRS. I'm wouldn't be a bit surprised if the next Land Cruiser and 4Runner also end up with IRS. There's a heck of a lot of interest in IFS/IRS for off-roaders.

    The new Montero is just the first of this next-generation group of IFS/IRS SUVs. Every report I have read on this vehicle has been extremely positive, as to its off-road skills. There has not been one bad report that I'm aware of.

    Also, the Acura MDX (OK, I'm open for pot shots here, I know) has gotten good reviews. I know it doesn't have a low range, and the intention of this vehicle is not meant to be a hard-core off-roader, but I wouldn't be surprised if Honda, when they replace the Rodeo, comes up with a surprise winner.

  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    Off-roaders represent a negligible portion of the car buying public. Independent suspension is a nod for on road comfort where virtually all vehicles stay. Its not an indication of offroad superiority.

    You seem to have your fingers crossed that sooner or later someone somewhere will figure it out. That's fine. Maybe someone will. But why cancel something that, despite all the bad things you can dream up to say about it, still sells 150k each year?
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    many posts back, Chrysler is hemorrhaging profits. DC is going to cancel anything that's losing money. And.. it won't sell 150K in the future. There's too much showroom competition out there for the Cherokee to continue being profitable.

    Don't you think the folks a DC have a better handle on what's making money for them, than you do?

    And I think DC has figured it out, if their concept vehicles are any indication of where they're headed.

  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    "DC is going to cancel anything that's losing money. And.. it won't sell 150K in the future"

    And as I said much earlier, the Cherokee isn't losing money. And how do you know it won't sell in the future? Pundits said the same thing back when the Grand Cherokee debuted.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    that DC knows more than you or I, on what's best for their company.

    The SUV market landscape is much different today than when the Grand Cherokee debuted back in the early '90s. Back then there were few competitors in the Cherokee price range. Today that market is flooded with choices in the current Cherokee price range.

    A prediction:
    The Grand Cherokee is scheduled for a re-do in my 2004. Originally it was going to be a complete makeover, probably with IFS/IRS. Those plans have since been revised, and the Grand Cherokee will receive a substantial "update" to the current vehicle, rather than the original complete makeover—again to save money.

    I'm willing to bet that in 2004 we see a Grand Cherokee "price leader" to offer to those, such as yourself, an alternative to the Liberty. I also wouldn't be surprised if it is called a "Cherokee," rather than a Grand Cherokee.

  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    I don't care whether you like the IFS set-up or not. Quite frankly I do agree that a vast minority (5-10%) will use the Liberty off road. Thus, Jeep made the vehicle to cater to the 90% of others and then do what it could for the 10% that wanted a Rubicon Raider.

    Cancelling the Cherokee should ave been more obvious to most of us, but hoped Jeep would save the old girl and let her live another few days.

    I am not saying this is good or bad, just a business decision.

    Look at the photos at this link:

    This thing clearly beat the Escape/Tribute, RAV4, CR-V, and others in the looks, roominess, and functionality department. Whether it'll create the hysteria and price-gouging of the Escape, I don't know, but with a goal of selling 215,000 a year, it looks like Jeep/DC will want to move them.... I've heard the plant in Toledo is able to produce 800 a day and production will start in April or May.

    I'll be honest and admit that I am not going to take the vehicle off road and torture it to death. Quite simply I want a vehicle that can handle fire roads in forests, bad weather, and give me enough room to handle my gear (ranging from golf clubs to mountaineering gear to moving boxes) efficiently.

    So far this looks like a winner, but the proof is in the pudding and how well the prototypes translate into production vehicles will determine its ultimate fate and launch success.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    ... moving away from the IFS discussion for a bit and talk about the interior, something I can admitedly be interested in.

    Here's my take:
    Interior space: Hard to tell much from the limited views. The front doesn't look all that spacious to me; it looks about the same as my '97 XJ. Don't know what position the seats are in though. Also, where are the shots of the rear seats? The front seats look comfortable, but thats no surprise - its hard to go anywhere but up compared to a Cherokees.

    In general I like the clean layout. The instrument cluster is lacking 2 guages, at least one of which will be sorely missed though. Besides tachometer and speedometer, its needs a fuel guage, oil pressure guage, temperature guage, and voltmeter (in that order of preference to me). Since you have to have the first 3, I'm guessing the 4th guage is oil pressure. If it doesn't have a temperature guage, that's a problem. Voltmeter? Well, its nice to know that your alternator is working correctly and when adding accessories (lights and compresser for example) its nice to know how much is left in the battery. But its the one easiest to do without.

    The transfer case lever is unobtrusive but easy to grab, like it should be.

    Don't know how many people prefer a foot parking break as opposed to a hand one, but I like the latter so thats good.

    The gearshift looks "comfortable" (I really hate using that word to describe the Cherokees replacement!), but it also looks like it blocks the AC controls a little. Not much, especially when in drive, but some.

    It looks like they've kept the same crappy AC controls, which are not particularly intuitive.

    The radio looks easy to use, but its too close to the the AC ducts (Cherokee is the same way). If you leave a tape in the radio while running the heat, you end up heating your tape (not to mention the thermal cycling that takes place in the radio).

    Overall, I like it. But it serves only to make me madder because, if they'd left the solid axle, I'd probably buy one. :-)
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    After looking at the high resolution pictures:

    1) Its NOT the same crappy, counter intuitive AC controls. It looks decent.

    2) The 4th guage is a crappy temperature guage, not oil pressure.


    Of what use is that? I want to know am I running at 210, 195, 165 (deg F) etc.? Useless.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Thank you for changing the subject. I originally said I didn't want to get lured into a long drawn out discussion of IFS vs. solid axles. Well, I failed :( On to other topics.

    From what I can see, which is admittedly very little, I like it.

    I did pick up yesterday, the Jan. '01 issue of CAR, the UK magazine, and they had a driving impression of the Liberty. They called it the Cherokee, I guess because the last minute name change occurred after they went to press.

    Now you have to understand, CAR has a typical European bias against most American vehicles. They mentioned the engine seemed a bit crude, and that there was alot of body lean through the corners because of the long-travel suspension. They were also critical of the lack of road grip from the tires. Other than that, they seemed to like it.

  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    is typical of most cars. It tells you if you are running hot, cold or normal. Most people don't care what the actual degree is.

  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    Re: The name. Overseas, the intention all along was to call the KJ (the Liberty) Cherokee. Only in the US was the KJ going to be called Liberty, I think largely because of the negative response they got from current Cherokee owners and because DC said it would keep producing the XJ so long as there was demand for it.

    Overseas though, the XJ was going to be canned and the KJ was going to be the new Cherokee.
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    "Most people don't care what the actual degree is."

    But offroaders do. :-)
  • heyjewelheyjewel Member Posts: 1,046
    Motor trend mentioned a lot of body lean too. I hope 'a lot' is not 'too much'. The Cherokee, IMHO, does *not* have a lot of lean. My Tahoe does.
    The dash is the one part of the vehicle that does not impress me. I didn't like what Chrysler did to the original AMC Cherokee dash either, and this one reminds me of that. My AMC Cherokee had 4 guages plus speedo/tach. That's the appropriate complement IMO.
    Here's another blurb I found about the Liberty on, of all places, Blue Oval News:

    and here's one quote from this article:

    "You can't mistake it for anything but a Jeep."
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    It's funny you mention Motor Trend; one of the Liberty photos in CAR had a Motor Trend License tag on it.

  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    That quote was taken from the caption of a picture of the Liberty prominently displaying the front end. If you painted a 7 slot grill onto a soccer ball, people would call it a Jeep Ball.

    Very interesting article though, considering its posted at a Ford site. What the heck is being said in the last paragragh?

    "Most people own SUV's because they are novelty vehicles - not because they need them or even use them. The Liberty is probably stronger and more stout than the Explorer, Escape and other competitor's offerings, but will the average consumer buy a Liberty over an SUV that sells on appeal rather than all out performance? That remains to be seen."

    Is that not a total slam on other SUVs? They don't have performance, just appeal?
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    of the companies that have appeal (aka sell more suvs) are laughing all the way to the bank. I've posted this before (maybe not here) but it's image, they don't have to actually perform at all. Last week in 12" of snow, there was almost no one on the road here in NYC. Why wasn't everyone out and about, they paid all this money (80% of homes around here have SUVs in the driveway) for SUVs yet don't venture out on snow days with them. It proves that they don't have to do anything but look good in the driveway and at the country club!

  • heyjewelheyjewel Member Posts: 1,046
    If the Liberty has a reasonably comfortable on-road ride, and isn't too noisy, it's gonna be a smash hit, IMHO. These other "SUVs" the BON writer refers to are not really SUVs, at least as I think of them. If it hasn't got lo-range gearing, you ain't goin much of anyplace off-road. I don't consider fire roads off-road. I see Geo Metros and Honda Accords on fire roads. I didn't see any Subarus or RAV4s in Canyonlands. In fact, when my helpful government employee was graciously allowing me to pay for a permit to drive into my National Park, I had to tell her what kind of vehicle I had. When I said Cherokee, she said fine. I asked what other responses she might have. She said she would recommend against me going if I had, for instance, an Explorer.

    The Liberty is a real SUV and a real JEEP, according to what I've seen so far. I can't wait to drive one.

    As for the quote beginning "Most people own SUVs because ..." I auto-tune-out the rest of the paragraph. I mean, who the h_ll knows why anybody buys what they buy? Or what 'most people' are thinking? Or who they really meant to vote for? This is pure bunk.

    "You can't mistake it for anything but a Jeep. -That quote was taken from the caption of a picture of the Liberty prominently displaying the front end. If you painted a 7 slot grill onto a soccer ball, people would call it a Jeep Ball."

    Yeah, except for those that would call it a Dingo Ball.
  • csjjeepcsjjeep Member Posts: 5
    whole lot of info about the new liberty

    also info on dc and why Daimler is "BAD PEOPLE"
  • ab348ab348 Dartmouth, Nova Scotia, CanadaMember Posts: 15,124
    Saw my first Liberty pics yesterday. It looks quite conventional in terms of bodystyle (for which I suppose we should be grateful after seeing some of the latest GM designs) though I wonder if they haven't gone too conservative in terms of the overall "blockiness" of the thing. But that face! Ugh. Googly-eyed, unattractive. A face only a mother could love. Not a step forward in my view.

    2017 Cadillac ATS Performance Premium 3.6, 1968 Oldsmobile Cutlass S Holiday Coupe

  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    Talked to a friend last night in Tole do, Ohio and asked about the sentiments regarding the decision to end the Cherokee sooner, rather than later.

    She said "It was expect and every one says "good riddance." That thing was getting too old and people around were waiting for it to go....The Liberty is a "sweet" vehicle and people are really looking forward to it."

    She also mentioned that almost everyone in her area drives a Jeep (On and off-road) and the belief in the Liberty is running very very high.
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    "Yeah, except for those that would call it a Dingo Ball. "

    No. If its black and white, made of hexagonal leather pieces and inflates with air, it can be a Jeep Ball. If its relatively inexpensive, plays exceptionally well on the field, and patches up easily, you might even call it a Jeep Cherokee Ball.

    But when the manufacturer decides that, because all the other competition is doing things differently, even though their balls don't play as well on the field, it must make changes, I start to worry.

    They decide that, although it plays well on the field, its not very comfortable being carried back and forth to the field. So they change the inards to a liquid foam gel (using air is so ancient engineering!) and foam pad the exterior. Now it doesn't go quite as far when kicked, but it sure is comfy to hold! That's a Dingo Ball.

    Actually, I'll probably end up eating crow. If the KJ is within shouting distance of a 4Runners performance, at a cheaper price, I might change my mind and get one. I can always keep the XJ.

    But I will remain ticked at DC for canning the XJ while they're still selling. The XJ is a cash cow for Jeep.
  • philbraphilbra Member Posts: 9
    I've owned three Cherokees (1986,88,97) and the same things have always been a problem for many(not necessarily me) - the ride, the lack of space, and entering/exiting the vehicle(especially the rear doors). OK, so they put IFS on, that solves one problem but creates another. The rear doors still look too small and difficult to get in/out of and the rear luggage space couldn't be much better, if any than the Cherokee.

    Did Chrysler/Jeep actually do any owner surveys or read any article of the past 16 years on the Cherokee to decide what should/shouldn't change? I just hope the quality-control and dealer service has gotten better since I bought my 97.

    Looking at the pictures,the new Liberty looks like an offspring of a Grand Cherokee and a Sidekick, and actually, the Ford Escape(weak) resembles the Grand Cherokee in a Honda CRV sort of way. The Liberty isn't the best-looking vehicle around, but I'm sure the looks will seem to get better 6 mos after it rolls out.

    I'm sure they will sell a good number of these over the next couple of years due to large-market tastes, and perhaps I'll even find myself looking at them, but there's a lot of toughness to the Cherokee Classic that you just can't buy anymore in today's truck market.
  • sebring95sebring95 Member Posts: 3,241
    The rear doors are tough to get in/out of on the cherokee, and grand for that matter. Maybe all SUV's? I have a hard time getting into the back of most any car. The Double cab trucks seem like the easiest, because there is no wheel-well to deal with.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Doors are big. no 3rd row of seats tried to get squeezed in so there is plenty of 2nd row room!


  • sasquatch_2000sasquatch_2000 Member Posts: 800
    I have been up hills and through gullys with my '92 Civic DX. I am curious about this new Liberty. I will assume it is more off road worthy than a Civic. What I also want is snow capability, and once off road, I am sure I will want to climb over rocks and logs and UP mountains. Fuel economy will be another tough area to get used to after my 41mpg highway Civic. I want room for kayaks, canoe, dog, fishing gear, guns, plywood, cinder blocks, firewood, 6 guys at 200-250 # each, skiing equipment, towing capacity (20' boat), bike rack (rear), etc. Think Liberty is my ticket to freedom?
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    Just cause I put 5 200+ lb guys, camping gear for a week, and tow a 17' boat with ease (up to the adirondack mountains) and paid $26,500 before tax and tags for a 2000 Trooper LS w/ Moonroof.... Might be what you are looking for. Also see the Isuzu Owner's club on Edmunds!

  • b4zb4z Member Posts: 3,372
    The problem is that Chrysler did do surveys when the Grand Cherokee came out. The owners said don't change a thing. Thats why there is no rear seat leg room, its hard to get in and out of, the rear doors are too small and it rides badly.
    Hopefully with the Liberty, DC will change that and build a vehicle that has some rear seat legroom and is more comfortable overall. The Cherokee was seven eights scale and was just not comfortable.
    As for the IFS it should have been done a long time ago. Lets hope a IRS is next.
    I would be surprised if 2% of Liberty owners use their vehicles off road.
    SUVs need to be designed for the way people use them, like station wagons. Albeit tall and inefficient station wagons.
  • dougmckaydougmckay Member Posts: 22
    ...anyone seen one up close and personal yet? I know it was just announced to the general public, but is anyone going to the NAIAS in Detroit to get a better look at Jeep's newest puppy? I'm not sure what the auto show schedule is like in your neck of the woods, but I've got to wait until February before getting a glimpse of one in the metal. Knowing my luck they'll have one model perched up on a rotating platform roped off from the crowd. I HATE it when they do that...

    I'm looking for a mid-size ute. As a point of reference, I used to drive a 2-door Chevy Blazer that was just right in size (just wrong in everything else). It's really hard to judge the size of the Liberty based on pictures alone. At first glance it looks no bigger than a Suzuki Grand Vitara!
  • sebring95sebring95 Member Posts: 3,241
    $26,500 is pretty much out of Jeep Cherokee price range unless someone is getting ripped by a dealer. I picked up a 2001 JC in December:

    4 door, 4X4, Sport, auto, ac, tow pkg, alloys, pw, pl, remote, p heated mirrors, fogs, tint, $20,500 plus tax/title. Add a grand for a sunroof, and it's still a $5000 spread.

    Fuel mileage will be a shock going from 41 regardless of what SUV you buy. My toy 4X4 is 4cyl and I still only get 23mpg.

    And six guys is about impossible in anything under a full-size SUV. Durango (gasp) maybe. Most everything only has seating for five. Howdya get along with a civic until now?
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    I took a peak and compared the wheel base, width, height, and overall length of the current Cherokee, Grand Cherokee and Liberty.

    The Liberty is almost an exact middle size between the Cherokee and the Grand Cherokee. In fact it is taller than the AC by about an inch. It is wider by half and inch, as well, I think.

    So, it is quite a bit larger than the RAN 4, Grand Vitara, and a bit bigger than the Escape in the wheel base, width and height arena.

    Because of its size, the Liberty is not going be classified as a Small Sport Ute, but rather a Mid-Size one. Jeep will still sell it as a smaller one though, no doubt.

    As I have said before, the proof is in the production pudding. But, looking at the DC website, I as happy to see that a lot of Benz manufacturing techniques have been implemented at the new plant.

    By the way, I am driving a 91 Accord that I bought in Grad School, so I too am looking forward to some new wheels. I empathize with my Honda brethren out there!

    One question for the board... Anyone know when real production starts? I know they are running a lot of prototype builds right now, but when can we expect the real-deal to be shipped? I talked to a dealer today and he as clue less.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I'm not starting a war here, but for the $5K you get:

    A lot more room interior wise (1 cubic foot more than a durango)
    2wd, 4wd Lo, or 4wd TOD which can be engaged 24x7
    5000lb towing capacity
    4 wheel discs
    4 wheel anti-lock
    Heated power 8 way Drivers Captain chair (4 way pass)
    Heated power mirrors
    Power folding mirrors
    Automatic HVAC control
    6 disc in dash changer (no cartridge)
    16" Aluminum wheels
    HUGE Skylight (34" x 25")
    Skid plates (front, middle, rear)
    Power Windows, Door locks, Alarm, Remote, Fogs, Tinted Privacy Glass, 60/40 rear split seat that also reclines
    3/50K Bumper to Bumper, 10/120K Powertrain warranty
    Automatic Tranny

    So you get a lot for that $5K

    One of the things I like about the Cherokee is that it's boxy (like my Trooper) which is like the old trucks that could actually carry stuff, not like these new curvy ones (Durango).

    When I went to buy my truck I brought 2 empty 17" Computer monitor boxes with me, to see how they would fit in the back. The guy @ the Dodge dealer looked at me like I was crazy cause they didn't fit very well in the curvy back of the Durango.

  • jblaze13jblaze13 Member Posts: 152
    I haven't seen one up close yet either. Judging by the wheelbase, width, etc. it seems to be very close in size and shape to the Nissan Xterra (the Xterra is a little taller). No doubt we will see some of the offroad marketing we saw with the Xterra as well. The difference.... more power and comfort in the Lberty. I was considering a 2002 Envoy or a 2002 Explorer but I can do without the extra bulk those two vehicles will carry when they arrive. If the Liberty lives up to its billing, I'll take one and put the extra cash in my pocket.
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