Jeep Liberty

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Comments

  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    and thank GOD!

    I can't think of one old vehicle (or old engine) that I would prefer over the "best" of what is being offered today. Not one!

    Bob
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    The accurate title of the book I was reading is called "When things bite back: Unintended consequences and the revenge of technology." Dang, I cannot type!

    I cannot agree with the inclusion of the Honda I4. I have a 1991 Accord with about 145,000 miles on it and the thing is just bulletproof (knock on wood.) When Honda does come out with a true SUV of its own (ala the MDX in Honda clothing) it will warrant a serious look because it will undoubtedly be an amazing vehicle. Talk about little to no depreciation!

    Glad to see we're all getting along now....

    Anyone heard anything else about pricing? Thecarconnection.com has the vehicle coming out in late Spring now.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    The thing I don't like about the MDX is that as soon as you hit 20mph the AWD feature automatically kicks to 100% FWD and the transversally mounted engine. The rear styling actually reminds me of a rodeo.

    -mike
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    Being an art lover, I think the MDX is a beautiful structure. The lines, the curves, and the design are all in harmony and the vehicle is soemthing to behold in person.

    That said, I see the MDX as an urban assault vehicle, but I doubt I could take it off-road.

    If I pay $40K for anything, I want it to be pristine.

    Just my two cents worth.
  • eagle63eagle63 Member Posts: 599
    Does the Cherokee use a part-time 4wd like the wrangler, or is it full-time?
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    You can get either, depending on which transfer case you want. "Command-trac" (NP231) is part time. "Selec-trac" (NP242) is fulltime (it includes a differential).

    These transfer cases are the same 2 offered on the Liberty.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    at the Baltimore Auto Show!

    The more I see it, the more impressed I get. The one they had on display was a pretty basic Sport model. It had the V6, a 5-speed tranny, standard tires and steel wheels. It was a gorgeous dark blue, a color I've seen on Grand Cherokees.

    Interestingly (and not great), the standard spare is a full-size "temp" tire, similar to that used on base Wranglers. I'm sure a "real" spare will be available, but it should be standard.

    Folks, the interior of this thing is so much better than the current Cherokee, it's scary. My hat is off to the interior design team. Great job!

    The vehicle was on a turn table, so I couldn't sit in it, but I was up close and personal for a good 1/2 hour studying this thing.

    I'm tellin' ya'... the Liberty, it just looks right. It'll be a sales home run. I'm certain of that. Let's just hope they screwed it together properly.

    Bob
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    ... I'd probably buy one! :)

    Questions: How does the space in the second row look? How much space does it have in back? Relative to the XJ of course...
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    From what I could see, the back seat appeared reasonably roomy. Almost anything would be better than the current Cherokee's back seat. The cargo area is a bit shorter than the current Cherokee, but it appears taller.

    Keep in mind, I couldn't sit in it. I was probably a good 5'-6' from the vehicle, at best.

    Bob
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    Good to know that the Liberty is on display at the Baltimore Auto Show I'll be there on Friday.

    Anything else exciting to report from the show?

    RSHolland, are you from MD, if so whereabouts? If you are going to buy a Liberty, then maybe we can debrief on dealeships.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    I live in the western (rural) part of Ellicott City. As to buying a Liberty—not for a while. I want to see if Jeep has this thing sorted out first. I'm also a very strong Subaru supporter, and there is a new Forester coming out in 2003. So I definitely want to look at that too.

    As to the rest of the show, most—if not all the new vehicles I've either seen before, or at least read about. It's a pretty good show. Better than the DC show, but certainly no Detroit, LA, Chicago, or NY.

    The new Explorer and Mountaineer are there. Same with the new Toyota Highlander. Also the new GMC Envoy, and Chevy Avalanche. I don't remember seeing the new Trailblazer, which I did see at the DC show.

    I'm going back again Sat. AM, to meet with some of my Edmund's Subaru buddies, for a second look.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    One dealer you should definitely look at is Fitzgerld's. See the link below:

    http://www.fitzgeraldautomall.com/

    They are a no-hassle, one-price dealer. Actually a two-price (your choice) dealer. We bought two Subarus from their Rockville Subaru dealer. The Jeep dealer is in Gaithersburg, on Rt. 355.

    Their web site lists every vehicle they currently have in stock, along with vin. #, and options. If for no other reason, it's a good point to get price references. There have been a lot of positive (Edmunds) responses from people who have bought Subarus from them. I don't know about the their Jeep outlet, however.

    As to the Baltimore area dealers, I have no recommendations.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    the Jeep folks didn't use a version of the 230 horsepower, 250 lb./ft. Of torque, all-aluminum V6 single overhead cam 3.5-liter engine from the Chrysler 300M. This engine is going to be used in the Town & Country mini-van too.

    I know it's designed to be a east-west transverse unit, but could it not have been adapted to north-south orientation for Jeep/Dodge truck use easily? From what I gather, this appears to be a more advanced engine—being aluminum block and head, as well as 4-valves. Maybe it's just too expensive an engine to build?? Or... too expensive to build for vehicle like the Cherokee, or future Wranglers?

    I sure the powerband could be revised for truck/SUV characteristics.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    I know you're not hot on iron block/aluminum head engines, but, isn't the 32-valve 4.7 DOHC V-8 used in the Toyota Land Cruiser, Tundra, and Sequoia designed that way?

    Knowing Toyota, I doubt if they would design a "truck-usage" engine with a limited life span.

    Or... does it use iron heads??

    Bob
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    The 300M is front wheel drive, but IS NOT transversally mounted. It is actually North-South mounted.

    -mike
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    OK, folks, I was at the Baltimore Auto Show and like RsHolland I stood at the Liberty display for at least half and hour, probably closer to an hour.

    The thing is amazing, simply amazing. The cargo area is large, the vehicle design is great, and the overall look is amazing. This morning the Jeep set-up got its first Liberty promo materials and I took a few of them. We had to beg to get the cargo area and doors opened. The one kid salesman said that he couldn't touch the truck because it was worth $1 million...Uh, ok.

    On that note, the only disconcerting thing was the "sales people" present at the display. Myself and another gentleman knew more about the vehicle than they did. Pricing quotes out of these folks was anywhere from 18-28K.

    One guy, who seemed to have his head on right, said that they would know exact pricing in April, but that it'll probably be about 19-26 total. In other words, about 10% more than the current Cherokee. He also said "expect to pay sticker for at least a year." This gentleman also mentioned that dealers can now take orders for the Liberty, but you won't know how much the vehicle will cost until it hits the dealer... In other words, MARK-UP City. Chrysler does have a history of this recently with some dealers in this area marking the PT Cruiser up over $4,000 over sticker..... The ordering and price, above all else, is troubling as he finished by saying "The ones that are sold are built first."

    The promotional materials tout that the Liberty will be available "Late Spring 2001." So, prices released in April, cars hit the show rooms during the middle to end of May.

    On another note I have a few awards to hand out to the other cars at the show....

    Misguided Design Award: Chevy. Avalanche...Why on god's green earth is this vehicle being built? It is the next Aztek. Runner up is the Buick Rendezvous.

    Nice looks, but award...Trailblazer/Envoy/Bravada
    The redesign looks great, but it is IFS and IRS for all of them...What happened to the Blazer heritage?

    Can't get it right Award: Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute...Due to a parts shortage and supplier failure, you cannot order any of the top level XLT Escapes or ES Tribute until at least May. The supplier ran out of ABS and moonroof parts...Gotta love Ford.

    It ain't so bad award: The Saturn VUE...Really, it looks pretty nice...Well, for a Saturn at least.

    WOW Award...Ok, the Ford Thunderbird is a beautiful car, hands down.

    Anyhow, just my two cents worth. The Liberty looks great and I cannot wait for it to arrive!
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    You're right.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Well, we agree on a few things, but not everything...

    Liberty: A homerun.

    Avalanche: While the styling is way over the edge, it's a great concept. Finally, a pickup thingy with some really creative thinking as far as the pickup bed goes. I love the mid-gate, the storage compartments in the fenders, and the rear step bumper with the small side steps. Those are all great ideas, IMHO. Frankly, in spite of its styling, I love it!

    Thunderbird: A real yawn for me. It's just not my cup of tea. Sorry.

    Envoy, etc: They don't have IRS—though I wish they did.

    Escape, Tribute, Saturn: I'm in agreement with you here.

    Bob
  • eagle63eagle63 Member Posts: 599
    which 4wd do you prefer? part-time or full?
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    RsHolland...

    The Envoy, I was told by the Rep present, does have IRS. I said "softroader?" and he replied "Yep that's where everyone is going." So, maybe he was wrong, if so, I stand corrected.

    As far as the Avalanche...As a utilitarian piece of equipment I can believe it, barely. But as a $40K (Price quoted in their schpiel) pick-up...hmm, I wonder as the thing is HUGE...But, I do agree with ya, the styling is way over the top.

    And the Thunderbird, I am a fann of...I'd never buy a "heritage" car like that, but if I were, that one seems to be the coolest I have seen so far. Well, besides the Ford 49er...I look at the PT Cruiser and say "But...but...Its a Dodge Neon at heart."

    Anyhow, the Liberty materials have pictured an optinal MOPAR GPS Navigation system that I'd not seen before. Pretty cool.

    I do woinder why they sent a Sport on the Show Circuit and not a Limited.

    And, I think the preference of which Jeep 4WD drive people prefer is a good topic to talk about...Any thoughts out there folks?
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    The new GM Envoy, etc. do not have IRS. The rep was wrong.

    The Avalanche is the same size as a Suburban. They share the same wheelbase. As I said, I like the ideas presented on that vehicle, not the styling. I think you will see more vehicles "like" the Avalanche in the future. Those ideas are too good to keep down.

    Bob
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I like the selectable AWD systems best. I'm not sure who else has one, but on my Trooper, I have the choice of 100%RWD all the time, AWD of 15%F/85%R with a variable up to 50/50, or 4wd Lo with a lock of 50/50.

    If it's a choice of full time 4wd or part time, I'd have to vote for full-time, because most of my driving is on-road, where variables can arrive at any time, and you won't necessarily have time to get it into 4wd before you get to the area in question.

    This is what would work best for me, since I rarely do any off-roading, and if I do, it's in pairs. 90-95% of the time I'm on road, or on roads that are not maintained (forest roads) that require the height and 4wd. When I need the full 50/50 lock, i put it into 4wd lo.

    -mike
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    Agreed on the various "utility" features of the Avalanche. I did not know it was the same size as the Suburban, thanks for that info. I guess it jsut seemed a lot bigger with the cladding, and bed.

    If you happened to go look at the Lincoln Balckwood (aka The Puff Daddy Pickup)it has LED light strips illuminating the bed. Pretty cool.
  • b4zb4z Member Posts: 3,372
    The 2002 trailblazer is in fact a solid rear axle,
    it has a new 8" rear end also. A 4.10 axle ratio will be available.

    The new ford explore will have IRS.

    For 99.9% of the people out there IFS is a positive.
    The improvements in ride quality are huge. I can't see why it is even being discussed as a negative for any potential Liberty buyer.
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    rsholland:
    If I had to guess (and I am just guessing) I would say Jeep went with the 3.7 to keep the cost down (they were trying to position it between the Cherokee and GC); with the 4.7 available to chop, there shouldn't have been nearly the design effort.

    If I could choose, without restriction, I would choose iron/iron. If I was told to reduce weight, and cost was no consideration, I'd probably go with all aluminum. If the restriction is lower weight and keep down the cost, I'd probably end up with iron block/aluminum head. Quality aluminum (quality being the operative word) is something like twice the cost of cast iron.

    TLC/Tundra/Sequoia...(quick check)... Yes. It uses an aluminum head on a cast iron block. However! Its only a few years old (98?). Even bimetal engines shouldn't have a problem for a few years. It will be interesting to watch whether a problem starts to appear with the 98 TLCs in the next few years.

    eagle:
    I personally prefer the part time, mostly because its cheaper. For how (and where) I drive, its all I need. The idea of driving in 4wd when its merely raining doesn't even work its way into my consciousness. Unless I can actually see snow on the road, if my tires don't slip when I step on the accelerator, I stay in 2wd. If I'm in 4wd on a snowy road, and it looks like I'm entering an area where the roads have been cleared, I'd probably change back to 2wd when making a turn. Off pavement, I go into 4wd immediately.

    Really, it comes down to personal preference. Both transfer cases share alot of parts, including the same low range gear (2.72:1). If there is a problem with the 242 case, its that an unsuspecting driver may be inclined to leave it in 4wd full time year round. That can stretch the chain (they're both chain driven).

    I guess I'm moderately surprised that Jeep doesn't offer the Quadra Drive system for the Liberty. Maybe its to keep the cost down and keep it from taking JGC customers directly.

    b4z:
    Its being discussed in a negative way because it has negative implications for offroad use, the number one advantage the Cherokee (which the Liberty is replacing) had over its competition.

    I have yet to read all the reviews, but of the 2 I have, a comments are popping up:

    Car & Driver's take on body roll:
    "...its body rolled more in corners, thanks to a long-travel suspension with roll stiffness tuned for maximum wheel articulation when rock hopping"

    Four Wheeler's take:
    "As part of its pavement competence, however, Liberty exhibits plenty of roll stiffness, and while this contributes to solid, secure pavement handling, it also minimizes articulation when you depart the pavement and head for the trails".

    So. Which is it? The pavement magazine (C&D) says it feels like an offroader. The Offroad magazine says it feels like a pavement vehicle.

    If the picture in Four Wheeler is any indication (where the right front tire is caught in midair), the articulation leaves much to be desired.

    One other thing Four Wheeler commented on was how often the underside was scraping against the rocks. At one point, the skidplate and transmission pan got so smashed up the transmission shut down and they had to do a field repair. Making repairs is an often occurance offroad, but still.

    Also, the last thing they had to say was:
    "Never mind its IFS and modern shape, they [Jeep] insist. Its adaptation of pavement-oriented IFS suspension and its resulting very solid highway comfort and handling has not diluted its Jeep DNA. They're [Jeep] convinced of it. Our view, however, is that time will tell"

    Basically, the optimists are saying "Don't worry. Be happy"
    The pesimists are saying "Yeah right. We'll see"
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Excellent post!

    Bob
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    I agree with RS HOLLAND, great post.

    I also agree with your take on the C/D and Four Wheeler review. I think the marketing campaign for Liberty will be interesting, as the company will have to sell both the on-road and off-road aspects. To simply call it a "Jeep" is a misnomer as this vehicle is going into uncharted territory.

    Also, do you agree that with 10 inches of ground clearance, the Liberty is much much better suited for off-roading that the Escape/Tribute and other ewer soft-roaders?

    Finally, could you please tell me what you menat when you said the following: "If the picture in Four Wheeler is any indication where the right front tire is caught in midair), the articulation leaves much to be desired."

    You've mentioned it twice and I am the first to ask a question when I don't understand.

    THANKS!

    Bob V

    PS- I don't know if I mentioned in here, but the Xterra is being re designed this Spring to get the new Frontier face, and a supercharged engine option.
  • eagle63eagle63 Member Posts: 599
    Yeah, I prefer part time as well. The front axle is "locked" in part time, correct? people keep telling me that with part-time 4wd, only 2 wheels are spinning. -one in front and one in the rear. but if that's the case, then how come the wheels "bind" on dry pavement when you try to turn a corner with p/t 4wd engaged?
    I know this is off-topic, but you seem to know your stuff about 4wd systems.
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    bobcatbob:
    Well, technically, I misstated that. I should have said "wheel travel" rather than "articulation", although the 2 are frequently used synonymously to mean "ability of the tires to move off center to remain in contact with the ground" (articulation is twisting off center, fore and aft, wheel travel is up and down movement).

    Since a picture is worth a thousand words, look at these (and then compare it to Four Wheeler's picture):


    http://jeepin.com/features/mike2.jpg

    http://jeepin.com/features/mike22.jpg

    That's the kind of thing that can be done with a solid axle. The fear of IFS is that that kind of movement (even modified) can't be done. Nobody has really seen it been done. I think even the Hummer, which has really good wheel travel, has rather poor articulation.

    Yes, ground clearance is an important attribute offroad; the more you have, the better suited for offroad it is (that's basically why people put lifts on Cherokee in the first place - so you can put on bigger tires and increase the ground clearance). Its not the only attribute though.

    eagle63: Unless you have a locking differential in front, the front axle is not "locked". The reason it binds (and its not the front axle thats binding but rather the driveshafts) when turning is that all 4 wheels travel a different distance (and hence must turn at different rates to travel different distances in the same time). In part time mode, the front driveshaft is "locked" to the rear driveshaft. So, even if your front and rear differentials are open, when you make a turn the outer 2 wheels, which are the ones being driven in the turn, want to travel different paths but are forced to turn at the same rate by the "locked" transfer case. So the driveaxles bind and alot of stress is put on the chain and transfer case.

    With the full time transfer case, a differential is added so that the front and rear driveshafts can also turn at different rates. Interestingly though, because of that in full time mode, with 3 open differentials, you can get stuck if only one tire loses traction.
  • eagle63eagle63 Member Posts: 599
    OK, makes sense. What's the deal with the 4wd system that Land Rover's use? they call it "permanent 4wd." -is it just good 'ol full time 4wd, or is there something else to it?
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    OK, I looked at the photos and well, I am out of the IFS debate.

    Articulation or whatever it is called will not be a problem for me as I don't see myself ever doing anything like what is pictured in those photos.

    Not a bad thing mind you, I am just not that hard core an off-roader.

    Also, I agree with your earlier post about the part-time 4WD. I think that 70% of the time the car will be in 2WD and the other times (off-road, foul weather, etc) 4WD is used.

    Here in Maryland it is pretty much good weather and crappy weather with little to no precipitation middle ground.

    On another note all together, I showed the Liberty promo materials around at my part-time job, where some Cherokee owners work, and the reception varied from "Well, in a world of similar looking SUV's it certainly is different" to "I wish they had produced the Dakar" to "Hmm, well, it's ugly."

    Bob V.
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    eagle63: You're going to make my head hurt. I'm not familiar with the LR's 4wd system. However, usually when the word "permanent" is used, it means that both the front and rear driveshafts are always engaged (there's no putting it in 2wd for example). It also probably has a limited slip (at a minimum) so that it doesn't get stuck when one wheel loses traction...

    bobcatbob: Yeah, I probably took the argument a little too far. Someone who's on the edge trying to decide whether the Liberty is decent offroad probably doesn't care that thats what a Cherokee can do. ;-)
  • gpoltgpolt Member Posts: 113
    Was wondering if you were able to sit in the Jeep at the auto show and if so, how comfortable the seat/cushion was. I'm 6'3" and find the Grand Cherokee to be very cramped inside and the cushion too short. Your comments are appreciated.
    Same questions apply to the Highlander as well. Thanks.
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    I was not able to sit in the Liberty, but from measurements and whatnot, I think you might be ok.

    I am 5'11 and change and I am slightly squashed vertically in the Cherokee.

    My primary concern about any vehicle is the width seats. I have muscular legs from cycling and hiking, so I need a wider seat. That truly, for comfort, is the litmus test. I can count on one hand the number of times where I have had more than one passenger in my car at a time. So, back seat comfort isn't too high a priority for me.

    I was surprised that the current Cherokee's seats fit my body type very well. So, I am guessing the Liberty will be even better.

    As far as the Highlander goes, I was so turned of by the vehicle it was amazing. I though it might be a good bet, but after seeing it on a lot here last week, I said to the sales guy "I cannot tell you how much I don't like this vehicle."

    Head the the Highlander Board for more details, but it is definetly not my cup of tea...
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    Where is everyone? Has the fervor over the Liberty dissipated so quickly?


    Well, Yahoo now has a club for the Liberty, hand I will post the address below.


    http://clubs.yahoo.com/clubs/thejeeplibertyclub


    It is a good group of folks, so take a peek!


    Bob V.

  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    No, the fervor hasn't ended, its just gone into a respite.

    I read the posts over at Yahoo's club. I can't decide whether I want to join it or not. I'm afraid I won't be able to play nice. 130ish posts, lots of gushy quotes from the magazines and the closest thing to mentioning IFS is one post saying it'll need a solid axle swap...

    I'm still going to hold off whatever enthusiasm I can generate until after the assembly line vehicles are out.
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    BBlaha, I agree with your assessment of the Yahoo Board completely. As far as joining the Yahoo club, c'mon over! It would be nice to have a counterpoint to a lot of the gushy stuff. I think your voice would be welcome addition.

    As I have said before here, and have said there in the last few days, the proof for the Liberty will be in the production. Making a great looking prototype and pre-production vehicle is great, but making a great production vehicle is something different all together.

    If you read the CNN.fn article on the Liberty, it seems like a lot of the press are now having a hard time believing that Jeep doesn't consider this a "cute-ute" that is meant to appeal to that segment of the market.

    As I have said, on this matter before, it will be interesting to see how Jeep markets the Liberty. As someone pointed out before, the Car Magazines say it rides like a truck and the truck magazines say it rides like a car...

    .
  • milt721milt721 Member Posts: 83
    Okay, to everyone singing the praises of independent suspensions and never go off-road, you are in the wrong category. There are plenty of station wagons and minivans that have more cargo space, more people space, handle better, are faster, use less gas and ride smoother and ANY truck. If those issues are important to you do not shop trucks.

    As for the Hummer having an independent suspension, it also has huge wheels and outstanding ground clearance, the two main ingredients for off-road traveling, regardless of suspension type.

    Getting back to the issue at hand, I have owned a '93 Cherokee, a '95 Cherokee, a '97 Grand Cherokee and currently have a '99 Cherokee. All of them (except the Grand) have been severely abused off-road with nearly no damage or breakage to report. (Okay so once I got mud caked in my clutch pressure plate, hardly the vehicle's fault since it was buried over the doors in mud at the time.)

    All of the Cherokees were stellar performers both on- and off-road. (The Grand didn't see too much off-road driving due to lack of manual transmission, lack of the optional Up Country Group and its just too darn pretty to abuse.) And just for the record, the Grand Cherokee has a very smooth on-road ride, so solid axles are "refinable."

    The Cherokees never failed to impress the hard-core CJ owners when they saw I could do almost everything they could, (stock!) with the exception of big rocks and deep mud.

    On the road, with a 5-speed and minor tweaks (K & N filter and cat-back exhaust) the Cherokee runs 0-60 in 7.3 seconds, much better than most cars.

    My point is the current XJ Cherokee rewards owners with the best of both worlds. It's great fun to drive on the road and off. (You can even throttle steer it if it's a little wet out.)

    Liberty, with its high-revving V6, needs much more rpms to produce the same power Cherokee does with lower rpms. Jeep admits they used an IFS on Liberty for a smooth on-road ride, but the current Grand Cherokee is proof that solid axles can be refined.

    But Peter M. DeLorenzo, publisher of autoextremest.com, summed it up best after seeing Liberty at the North American International Auto Show in Detroit:

    "Yeah, it's a Jeep - it has the Jeep grille and headlights and design 'cues.' But it isn't the essence of Jeep. It isn't the soul of Jeep. Not even close, as a matter of fact. It doesn't differentiate Jeep (other than the design cues) from any of the countless other examples of basically the same product that virtually every other manufacturer displayed at the show."

    What could I possibly add to that?
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    How many times do I need to impress upon you guys the fact that DC is in the business of making $ not selling off road vehicles...

    Here are 2 situations:

    1) Cherokee Buyer

    Generally the cherokee buyer is going to be more informed, more "into the vehicle" and therefore demand to get as good a deal as possible, most likely buying the vehicle outright, and running it to the ground. They are going to pay close to invoice on the vehicle, and do their own oil changes and repairs.

    2) Liberty Buyer

    Yuppified, Soccer Mom who doesn't want to drive a mini-van. Her wall street dot com husband is going to pay the lease on it, and or purchase @ near MSRP. All repairs will be done @ the dealer and oil changes too. In 3 years they will turn it in and buy or lease another one.

    If you were DC who would you rather have walking into your showrooms? Buyer #1 or buyer #2?

    -mike
  • milt721milt721 Member Posts: 83
    Well if DC is in it for the $, they should have come up with a vehicle that appeals to BOTH buyer #1 and buyer #2.
  • milt721milt721 Member Posts: 83
  • tonysracingtonysracing Member Posts: 80
    Paisan,

    The Liberty doesnt just appeal to yuppified soccer moms. Im a 29 year old male, married but no kids. I need a vehicle that can make the 30 mile trip to work no matter what the northeast weather throws at me since im in the medical field. I would like to carry equipment/gear without having to fish it out of the front of my pickup bed because it slid up there again. Also, I would need a vehicle that can do moderate off-road duty for my fishing trips. Doesn't the Liberty sound like the answer to my problems? By the way, I can change my own oil. I used to help my Dad build racing engines too, but that's another story. I doubt I'll be changing my own oil however because time doesnt permit anymore, dont have a garage at my new place yet and it's hard to drive 10 miles to change your own oil on a schedule. Basically what I am saying is dont slam DC for creating a vehicle that fills a need in the market. Currently the only other SUV that fits the "truck" template in the price range I can afford is the Xterra. Quite frankly if the X had more power I would be going for that but i have been following the KJ for a few months since I saw the spy photos and I think it will lead it's class in performance in every category.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    The Rodeo has more power than the X and is cheaper (can be had in the 22-25K range).

    I'm not saying that non-soccer moms will want them, but DC is targeting that market for the higher profits.

    -mike

    PS: don't get so bent out of shape, it wasn't a personal attack on you, just an observation of why they changed to IFS and more of a cute-ute look.
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    You and I are singing in the same choir.

    If they had given the XJ the JGC's suspension, and updated the interior, there would be fewer groans from current XJ owners.
  • milt721milt721 Member Posts: 83
    I was beginning to think I was alone here.
  • tonysracingtonysracing Member Posts: 80
    Mike,

    I didnt take your post personally, sorry if it came off that way. I just find it odd that so many people actually hate the Liberty when 99% of the public has never sat in one nevermind drive it. I actually have considered the Rodeo, but a few items from Edmunds review turned me off:

    -The basic Rodeo has two-wheel drive and a weak 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine
    -Rodeo feels somewhat undersprung, bouncing and wallowing through ruts that other SUVs, like the Nissan Xterra, handle with ease
    -If you can live with the budget interior pieces and don't venture off-road much, the Rodeo is worth a look

    As far as price, for a V6/Auto/Power/Sunroof/16" alloys you're up to $27,000 while an Xterra equipped the same tops out at $25,500
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    The Rodeos have a $3K Factory to Dealer incentive and generally sell at or near Invoice pricing.

    So the actual selling price is much less than the Xterra cause the Xterras are selling at or near MSRP.

    I'm personally for the Liberty, since I don't do a lot of off-roading and 90% of the time it's on-road.

    Don't believe everything you read, I know a lot of guys who take thier Isuzus off-road and never have a problem. Interior is just as cheap as the X-terra IMHO.

    -mike
  • yachtieyachtie Member Posts: 29
    I noticed in the Feb13 edition of Auto world weekly that the Liberty was being built with a 2.5L diesel. I have not heard anything about this engine being available in N.A but the article seemed to infer that it will be. Anyone with any further info on this ???

    Yachtie
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    No, I'm pretty sure the US won't be getting the diesel - its strictly overseas.
  • kem1kem1 Member Posts: 24
    I own a '94 Jeep Cherokee. It was the right car for me at the time - I was station in Panama and needed something to get me across dirt jungle roads and to scuba diving spots and could handle the pot holes on the paved roads. When I got home to Denver, it was great getting me to work and school in bad weather. But I never did do, nor do I have any plans, to do "true off-roading". But in '94 there wasn't much to choose from in that price range unless you wanted a wimpy 150hp 4-cylinder engine. This is my one and only car, so abusing it by taking it for hard-core off-roading would be stupid.

    I am now looking for a new car, that can still get me to work in bad weather and get up to the mountains in a snow storm and handle the snow-packed/dirt roads. I am tired of the Cherokee's buck-board suspension, crummy gas mileage, and un-ergonomic interior. I am considering the Subaru H-6 Outback and the Toyota Highlander. Subies, Toyota's and Honda's last forever. I can not say the same for ANY American made car - including the Jeeps. The engine and the tranny on my Cherokee so far are good (at 95,000 miles) but everything else has/is falling apart. I had to have the driver side door hinge re-welded (at 50,000 miles) to the frame because the original weld was failing. The shop said they see a ton of Cherokees with that problem - but Jeep still hasn't fixed their design over the years. Not to mention the metal-on-metal rattling sound underneath my Jeep that no one (5-different shops, 2- different dealers) can figure out (and no, its not the muffler). And who designed that stupid air filter holder thats a pain in the butt to take off and put back on? If Jeep finally woke up and realized they needed to do some serious re-design on the Cherokee and call it the Liberty - good for them.

    So far, I like what I have read about the Liberty. I may look at it seriously intstead of the Subie. But you can't tell until you actually go test drive the car and wait a couple of months to see if any recalls come out. Remember, the Ford Escape/Mazda Tribute got great reviews (and still does - for some reason) but how many recalls has that thing had? And the interior of it is absolute junk (typical Ford)! I think its a plus that Jeep has a whole new factory to build the Liberty with, but I don't know that it will overcome their worsening manufacturing quality problems or their supplier's quality problems (re: Grand Cherokee). I think bulletin boards for the Liberty will be pretty quiet until real people(not reviewers) can actually go test drive one and it has been out on the roads for a couple of months, because right now the only things out there are either over-hyped reviews that don't mean anything or Jeep purists mad because Jeep has the gall to change the suspension and the engine.
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