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Jeep Liberty

rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
This is the vehicle that has hard-core Jeepers in a fit. It has an IFS, solid rear axle, 3.7L OHC V6 with 210 HP, choice of Command-Trac or Select-Trac, and an outside door-mounted rear spare tire.

It's to be positioned in between the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee in the marketplace. Eventually it will replace the Cherokee.

I think it will be a home run for Jeep! :)

Bob

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Comments

  • md2002md2002 Member Posts: 142
    regarding the Cherokee is it would be called "Cherokee Classic" since it still sells well after 14 years and no updates. I figure the Liberty will not truly replace it, but rather the Cherokee will fade away in say 10 years or so after Jeep has scraped the bottom of the bowl so bad your hair stands on end.

    I think the photo is nice, but I WILL NOT buy a 1-2 year new Jeep entry, not after the JGC fiasco of 1999-2000 which is finally clearing up
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    I'd be very surprised if the current Cherokee remains here in the USA beyond three years, if that. My understanding is that, the Liberty is such a radical departure from what Jeep has produced in the past, that it will take 2-3 years for Jeepers to warm up to the new model. Keeping the old Cherokee in the lineup, eases their pain somewhat.

    Regarding the name Cherokee Classic, I don't think that will happen, now that the new model has no reference to the word "Cherokee." I think the name Cherokee will remain as is.

    What I do think will happen, is that there will be, in about 3 years, a new Grand Cherokee, that will be offered in both long and short wheelbases. The long wheelbase version will get 3-row seating, and "that" will be the "Grand" Cherokee, and the new short-wheelbase version will simply be call the "Cherokee."

    Bob
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I heard they scrapped a LWB for the Dodge/Chrysler/Jeep line-up because they didn't want to get intoa weeing contest with Ford and GM. If there is a LWB GC, I'll bet it is based heavily on the durango, maybe a durango with some different sheet metal and offer more gadgetry in the GC, kinda the same way the Expedition and Navigator are twins.

    -mike
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    That's not what I heard. I had heard that there definitely would be a long-wheelbase, 3-row seating Grand Cherokee, when they redesign it. On the surface, yes, it does sound like it might compete with the Durango. However, I've also heard that the next Durango (and Dakota) will also be in for a significant change in the not too distant future. My understanding is the concept (cab-forward) MAXXcab will be the inspiration for the next Durango/Dakota. If that's the case, then a long-wheelbase GC doesn't sound so strange.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Check this out from another UK site! Go to the "NEWS" button, and scroll down till you see the Jeep Cherokee article, then click on "continue," for the full article and picture. Click on the photo of a Liberty Sport(?) to enlarge it. It looks great!!!!

    Bob

    http://www.autoexpress.co.uk/front_html_ie.html
  • redjeeperredjeeper Member Posts: 5
    this thing is not a pretty vehicle. it will sell well for the image conscious that want to say they have a jeep but dont want a jeep that can drive the rubicon...speaking of which I wonder if jeep will take a production liberty over this trail or have they already?

    should appeal to the folks that buy all the other suv's instead of a wrangler/cherokee/grandcherokee...
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Every production Jeep must pass the Rubicon challenge, this one included.

    Bob
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    "Every production Jeep must pass the Rubicon challenge, this one included."

    Well, that statement is only valid until a corporate master changes his/her mind. The early reports were that the KJ (Liberty) did lousy on the Rubicon. To get it across, they practially had to drag it. Later reports suggest it won't be that bad, but its hard to think that going to IFS does anything other than improve on road manners at the expense of off road.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    I heard the same reports you did. Yes, early versions barely made through the Rubicon. Recent reports say otherwise.

    With all due respect, I have to disagree with you regarding the IFS, as to to not being as off-road-worthy as a solid axle setup. I'm sure I don't have to mention the Hummer to you; its IFS/IRS are superb off road. The Hummer's biggest problem is that it is HUGE, and therefore not very nimble.

    Perhaps a more relevant comparison would be the new 2001 Montero, again with both IFS and IRS. Every report I've read on this vehicle has stated that it is excellent off road, and much better than the old solid rear version that it replaced. And... the old Montero was considered an excellent off-road vehicle. It is widely used (and respected) in Australia, Africa and Asia.

    Bob
  • sr_bodysr_body Member Posts: 23
    Coming from a hardcore off-roading background I've got to say this: How many companies out there make an solid-to-independent conversion? Virtually NONE. How many make an independent-to-solid conversion? Several dozen. Not one magazine I have ever seen has anyone ever converted thier solid axle to an independent. Custom 4x4 fab shops will wet thier pants laughing at anyone's request to convert a solid to independent. Want to know why? Suspension articulation! The more suspension articulation a truck has, the less it's tendency to three-wheel, unlike the photos of the IFS Jeep KJ and Montero. The other advantage is traction. Why have only 3 wheels with traction when you can have 4? That's why hardcore off-roaders laugh at independent axles. Sure, independent axles are good for the street and moderate off-road use, but independents just won't cut it in a hardcore off-road environment.

    There's a definite difference between READING about something and actually PRACTICING it. Get behind a Jeep Cherokee, drive it through the Rubicon, and then do it again a IFS/IRS Montero. You'll see for yourself which truck is better off-road instead of relying on the manufacturer's over-inflated claims and techno-jargon of thier glossy magazine ads.

    The Motor Trend SUV comparo with the photo of the new Montero 3-wheeling is a source of entertainment among true 4x4 enthusiasts. Look at it. The tire in the air has ZERO suspension articulation. NONE. NADA. The first time I saw it I couldn't believe the editors had put the photo in the magazine. It clearly shows the true shortcomings of independent axles. That photo would have ended up on the cutting room floor at a true 4x4 magazine.

    In all my outings to Moab and Rubicon, I've NEVER seen an IFS equipped truck make the entire length of the more advanced (3+ and up Moab) trails. I've seen them being winched and towed out though. Seen a whole group of Durangos, some WAY lifted full-size Chevys, Explorers, a group of Land Rovers (I know they're solid axle, but I wanted to put them in here anyway), a group of Blazer/Jimmys, and --last but not least -- 2 Hummers all needing a tow during last year's Easter Jeep Safari at Moab. The brochures all said, "...maximum articulation necessary for 3+ trails." Guess they thought it didn't apply to them. What a laugh. The Hummers couldn't make it because they were too wide.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    You haven't told me anything I haven't heard before. I'm well aware of the articulation issue that you brought up. Solid axles may have an advantage in certain situations such as rock climbing.

    I'm also aware that virtually all Baja-type desert racing vehicles have IFS. So, depending on what you are doing off-road would determine what kind of suspension setup would work best.

    I'm also aware that the military has a strong preference for IFS/IRS, as opposed to solid axles. We know about the Hummer. Are you familiar with the new Oshkosh MTVR transport with IFS/IRS? Check out the following link.

    http://206.144.165.49/htm/defense/mtvr.cfm

    The bottom line is this: There aren't enough hardcore off-roaders like yourself out there for Jeep to continue with solid axles, and remain profitable. The public is demanding better handing SUVs. Jeep sales this year has plummeted because of all the other new (better handling/riding) SUVs now on the market.

    Jeep has to conform, or it will become extinct. As you said, IFS is good for moderate off-roading, which is what 99.99% of SUV buyers will ever encounter.

    The next-generation Range Rover is reported to be fully independent. I am also certain that when the Grand Cherokee gets redesigned, it too will be fully indepenedent.

    And as far as the Montero is concerned: I've read several off-road tests of that vehicle—not just the Motor Trend test, and every one of them praised the Montero's off-road ability. If I remember correctly, the Motor Trend people thought the Montero was equal to the Land Rover (off road) they tested.

    One final point: Solid axle development has been around for decades. We're just starting to learn what can be developed with IFS/IRS. I believe it was Rod Millin(?) who, about a year ago, put together a Toyota that looked like a lengthened early Land Cruiser that had a IFS/IRS with gobs (I mean GOBS!) of suspension travel. If I'm not mistaken, it was a cover story on Four Wheeler magazine. That truck was as off-road capabile as any off-roader I've ever seen.
    Bob
  • sebring95sebring95 Member Posts: 3,241
    While I off-road alot for fun, I still am just doing it for fun and want something that drives good on the road. My slightly modified tacoma has taken me everywhere I like to go and gets me down the highway comfortably. But, if I want to get serious I can swap for a solid axle, lift it 12", anything I want if I turn hard-core. Why would any manufacturer put themselves out of business to appease a very small crowd? Toyota and Jeep have done excellent in the past at building a solid chassis that CAN be heavily modified.

    I just picked up a 01 Cherokee and the dealer said their allocation of the liberty was based on how many Cherokees they sold. I wouldn't be surprised if the Cherokee disappears after this year. $2500 worth of rebates, dealers wanting to sell Cherokees, a known solid chassis, solid-axle, and easily modified makes the Cherokee and easy pick over the liberty. The liberty looks like every other SUV, but will probably sell well so good for jeep. Whatever it takes to make DC stock goes up!
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    the new Liberty will be able to handle 98% of most people's off-roading just fine. For those who few need that extra 2% capability, the Cherokee remains—at least for a year or two.

    I also predict that the new Liberty to be a huge sales success. It will draw NEW, and much-needed customers to Jeep showrooms. I fully understand that for hardcore Jeepers, it may take some time to warm up to. And... for some, anything new or different from Jeep, will be regarded as nothing less than sacrilegious, and that they will never accept the Liberty, or anything that radical from Jeep, no matter how good it is.

    Bob
  • redjeeperredjeeper Member Posts: 5
    true, it is probably what jeep/dc need to boost sales- though the jeeps are still the best 4x4's available if price IS a consideration! the image-buyers are once again ruining a good thing, watering down the brand to suit their needs (hauling their screaming children around town, or carrying all those tons of groceries). Hopefully, no matter how popular the liberty is, jeep will still keep some more capable metal in the line-up.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    90% of the people buying SUVs don't need em to go off-road, or at the very least off-road to the extreme that a non-IFS can do. DC is in business to make money, if they feel that the IFS will boost sales, that is what they will do to get those sales. It's a shame but capitalism works! :)

    -mike
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    Personally I think the Liberty may be the tonic that cures the ills of a lot of folks.

    Personally I want a vehicle that is good one the road and good off the road, up to a certain point. Am I, or a majority of folks going tot cackle the Rubicon? No. Do I need a vehicle that can handle some off roading , some bad weather , yet drives well on the road? Yes.

    With an IFS and a solid rear axle, the Liberty seems to be all that I will need. The only questions is whether the Sport or the Limited will be the one I pick.

    I talked to a GM of a Jeep dealership yesterday and he said that the price point was supposed to be around 20-22. Given the rise of the Escape pricing (speculated at 22 loaded, arrived at 25), I'd expect a price point of 21-26.

    Given the new Saturn, Honda, corrected Escape/Tributes, and other competitors in this market segment, I'd expect a great deal on this vehicle.
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    bobcatbob: Thats probably about right on the price points - maybe a grand or 2 higher on the low end so it doesn't overlap much with a "high end" Cherokee.

    I agree DC wants a vehicle they can sell, but why call it a Jeep? The front end looks a little like a Durango. Why not call it a Dodge Dingo, the Durango's little brother?

    I'm upset with the Liberty primarily because its a death knell for the Cherokee. Not to mention that by indicating a willingness to go to IFS, the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee are next. I'll believe the Liberty is a capable offroad vehicle when I see it keep up with other Jeeps offroad.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I think because the Durango has a pretty poor reliablility rating, just from what I've heard from daily drivers of them, so maybe DC is trying to keep it away from association with the durango?

    -mike
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    With all due respect, I don't see any resemblance to a Durango. It's pure Jeep as I see it: prominante round headlights, seven slot grille, powerful wheel arches, I could go on...

    As to the IFS, I'm just sorry they didn't go all the way and add an IRS too. It will be off-road-ready-enough for 98% of the people who buy it, and it will be far better on-road (where it will spend most of its life) than the current Cherokee, or any Jeep for that matter.

    Bob
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    image

    Change the headlights and grill and voila - Dodge Dingo!

    I agree that, once Jeep made the unconscious decision to go with IFS, they should have gone ahead and put in an IRS as well. Might as well get the full benefit of independent suspension.

    But if I'm to buy an IFS/solid rear SUV, it'll be a 4Runner. At least I'm confident they know how to build a capable offroad suspension.
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    I don't really trust american cars anymore, but to me they don't at all look similar, the side of it looks more like an ML than a Durango. A mini ML maybe, but not a durango...

    -mike
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    in the angle of the two photos and position of the vehicles, not the styling. The Liberty looks no more like a Durango, than it does any other SUV. Certainly the front, which is what you originally mentioned, looks nothing like a Durango.

    The decision to go IFS was probably the most "conscious" decision made on this vehicle, by far. I'm sure the engineers wrestled and fought over this for months, if not years. As controversial as it was, I would say it was not the least bit unconscious.

    Bob
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    OK, whether you like IFS, IRS, ABC's, or 123's, lets not turn this into the Escape Chat. In that one, no one is allowed to say anything bad about that vehicle or Ford in general. If they do a guy named PTMCCAIN come down hard and arguments ensue.

    Everyone has their opinion and everyone's opinion is valuable. In the Escape chat, anyone trying to point out inadequacies is shunned and told to be quiet.

    No one has seen the interior yet and I think that is the key thing for me when it comes to the Liberty. If it isn't functional then it is a moot point.

    I look forward to seeing this vehicle and test driving it!
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    not getting along?? We're a friendly bunch here.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    As long as we can steer the discussion away from temperature gauges and dashboard lights. ;)

    Bob
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    -mike
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    Here is an intriguing look at some Liberty information...

    http://www.oly4x4.com/news.htm

    Basically, I think the Liberty will come out at about 22-27. Given the nature of DM and Jeep's sales I'd expect most dealers to stay at MSRP through the summer.

    Given that I am not buying until October of this year, I think by then the Liberty will be discounted somewhat.

    Any other opinions?
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    rsholland:
    Actually, the word I was trying to compose was unconscionable, but in a momentary lapse of spelling ability where I couldn't get look even remotely correct, I cropped it to unconscious.

    For me, the round headlights and slotted grill don't alter the perception. It certainly doesn't look like a Cherokee or Grand Cherokee, which have clear similarities. I can't help but think DC took some styling cues from the Durango.

    I agree that it will probably sell well. However, there is simply no way a Liberty keeps up with any other Jeep off road. Jeep used to be special for building a stock vehicle that was adept off road. Now, they're just like everyone else.
  • iusecadiusecad Member Posts: 287
    so when does it start showing up at dealerships?
  • greg116greg116 Member Posts: 116
    I think the biggest mistake Jeep made here is when they discarded the 4.0L inline-six. That engine was the heart and soul of my enthusiasm for Jeep. Once it dies, bye-bye jeep. The I-6 is my favorite engine type (second place going to V-8) and the distant last is V-6! Inline-sixes were the greatest things in American motors and extremely hard to find today! the only ones left are the Jeep 4.0L, the Dodge Cummins Diesel six and the up-coming GM 4.2, which i will embrace with all my heart.
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    since DC is so wishy washy. DC has gone back and decided to kill XJ production this year.

    http://my.aol.com/news/news_story.psp?type=3&cat=0500&id=0101041626210163
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    Well, huh, go figure.

    DC is obviously betting the farm on the Liberty. Thsi does bode well for price though. With the Cherokee out of the way, the Liberty can now be priced from 19-25 without compromising Cherokee pricing. I think too that you'll see the old Cherokee plant retooled and a new Wrangler come out of there in 2003.

    Take a peak at the new Car and Driver, as well as the new Motor trend for peaks inside and out of the Liberty. I noticed the extremely thin dash board, almost like a really old, well, Army Jeep.

    Apparently DC had an Escape there at the test and the Liberty whupped its butt. Unfortunately the C and D article states that the Liberty is "for the Paul Bunyon type, not those looking for a car-like ride."

    Oh well, I still like the look.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    I just got my new issues of 4 Wheel & Off Road and Automobile in the mail yesterday, and the early reports are very positive—even from 4 Wheel & Off Road. They took it over the Rubicon, and it did very well for itself.

    I think this will be a much better off-roader than what everybody expects. Most of the negative comments seem to equate the Liberty to be being nothing more than a Jeep version of the CRV, RAV4, or Escape. It's much more capable off-road than those vehicles. I'm sure it will be as off-road capable (or better) as a 4-Runner, or any other SUV with IFS.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    No, it doesn't look like a Cherokee or a Grand Cherokee from the front, but rather like a modern adaptation of the classic- Jeep look found on the Wrangler. Again, I see no Durango in the new Liberty.

    The concept Jeep Jeepster, from two years ago, was a real tip off to the front of the Liberty.

    Bob
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    stopping of production early (this year) is in no doubt related to Chrysler's current financial woes. DC is trying to save money wherever possible.

    We all new this day was coming, be it this year, or a couple of years down the road.

    Bob
  • b4zb4z Member Posts: 3,372
    Lets hope the liberty has more interior room than the cherokee, which is tiny inside.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    From what I understand, the rear seating is much roomier than the Cherokee (it has a 104" wheelbase vs. 101" for the Cherokee), but the trunk area may(?) be smaller.

    Bob
  • b4zb4z Member Posts: 3,372
    Thats good to know. Vehicles with longer wheelbases always ride better too.
  • bobcatbobbobcatbob Member Posts: 187
    The Liberty, from the reports I have read, sits a good bit higher than the Cherokee and has a lot more physical space in the driver and passenger compartments. Cargo space, I believe, is the same or only slighty (1 foot or so) smaller. This is accomplished as the spare is outside now, and the dashboard is so thin.

    200,000 a year are the sales projections, by the way.
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    No question the Liberty has the Jeepsters (the concept car, not the classic truck) forward face (grill, headlight position etc). But, whether intentional or not, the front end, including the slope of the windshield and curves along the side, to me looks a little like a Durango.

    Mostly, I just think Dodge Dingo is an appropriate name for it.

    And since its directly responsible for the demise of my beloved Cherokee, other appropriate names would be the Jeep Assassin and Jeep Backstabber.

    I'd also call it Jeeps Folly, but they'll probably sell enough (just not to me) that the beancounters won't comprehend the damage to Jeep's reputation.

    I'll believe it can outperform a 4Runner offroad when I see it (and that includes not just getting offroad but doing so without breaking). Toyota has been in the independent suspension for offroad vehicles alot longer than Jeep.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    One of your complaints is that Jeep has gone to using an IFS, yet at the same time you acknowledge that the 4-Runner (& Tacoma) use an IFS, that you seem to admit (I'm assuming) to being good off road. Why can't you accept that Jeep can do equally as well with an IFS? I seriously doubt Jeep would risk its off-road reputation with an inferior IFS setup.

    You're right about Toyota having more off-road experience with IFS. They've been using it for years, with great success. I rarely hear or read of folks not liking the off-road capability of IFS-equipped Toyota's. The folks at Jeep have obviously noticed that fact too.

    I get the distinct feeling that you (like many other Cherokee owners) would balk at anything new or radical from Jeep, no matter how good it is. Wouldn't it be fair to give this vehicle a chance before blasting it? None of us have seen it in person, let alone seeing or reading comparison tests with other vehicles. Give it a chance before being so critical.

    I've mentioned this before: The Cherokee would not be produced forever. Everybody knew this day is coming, sooner or later. It's quick demise I'm sure is because of Chrysler's current financial woes.

    Bob
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    I think the 4Runner is inferior to a Cherokee for offroad purposes. I believe it is however, the class leader for IFS vehicles at the lowend prices.

    I see absolutely no reason to believe Jeep will somehow leapfrog Toyota. The Cherokee wasn't better because Jeep knows something Toyota doesn't. It was better because it stuck to what works. A powerful engine (for its size), solid axles, and a tough transfer case.

    Solid axles lend well to less repairs, easier repairs, and simpler modifications. Do-it-yourselfers prefer the simplicity of solid axles. They also don't like getting stuck somewhere, and independent suspension isn't as strong. It will break!

    As for "balking at anything new", not at all. I have no love for the interior of my vehicle. Change everything inside and I wouldn't bat an eye.

    I really like the I6, but could live with the new V6 assuming it performs about the same and is still easy to work on.

    And I would really have liked to see them change the rear leafs to coils; that by itself would improve on road performance.

    But leave the solid axles!
  • paisanpaisan Member Posts: 21,181
    It comes down to sales and money. The engineers and the car companies are not in business to build cars or trucks or anything, unless it sells and makes them a profit. An IFS will sell this vehicle to the grocery getter soccer mom set, therefore increasing sales and giving DC more profits, which is what Jeep and DC are in business to do. If the cherokee made them as big a profit, it would never have been killed. You can bet on that!

    Also I'm not sure how the 4-runner is cheap, they are quite expensive IMHO, for what you get. Yes it's a good car, but it's butt expensive.

    -mike
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    I didn't mean to imply the 4Runner is cheap from the perspective of someone wanting to buy something for everyday use. But, like alot of things, if you pay money you can get excellent performance. If you want really great offroad ability, it costs money. Alot of money. Go get a GWagon. Or a Unimog. Or an M1 tank.

    Jeeps have been great because the compromise on offroad ability isn't all that much considering how inexpensive they can be had for.

    The person who buys a 4Runner probably isn't all that different financially than someone who buys a Cherokee or a Dingo/Liberty. That's why I called it "low end". Its a heck of alot cheaper than some other stuff out there.

    As for sales, the Cherokee makes a ton of money for Jeep (DC). All the start up costs have long been paid for. Last year, they sold 140k. I think they were #7 in sales out of all SUVs (Grand Cherokee was #2)

    They're loud. They ride "poorly" on road. They're of ancient design. Etc Etc. And yet they still sold 140k last year!

    Pundits point to a drop in sales from 1999. Big deal. Lots of SUVs experienced a drop - gas prices did go up! But the Cherokee has also been sold amidst rumors of an "All new, completely redesigned Cherokee". Who wouldn't want to hold off?

    The thing (Dingo/Liberty) shouldn't be a Jeep. It should be a Dodge, a Chrysler, even an Eagle. All the articles written about it could say "Designed in large part by Jeep engineers, the Dingo is expected to excel off road, yet be well behaved on road" Etc Etc. Everyone would be impressed by it - "Wow, its almost as good as a Jeep at the same price, and yet its so much more comfortable!".

    And Jeep would still sell 140k Cherokees...
  • jblaze13jblaze13 Member Posts: 152
    Looking at the data on the Liberty says its about the same size as an Xterra, which I'm sure is what DC aimed at. It is about three inches smaller in height though.

    I think jeep has faced reality with the Liberty. More buyers want to battle snow and tote the kids around than go offroading.

    Times have changed and if Jeep doesn't change with the times they'll be out of business. Besides DC needs all of the sales they can get right now.

    I don't think you can design a vehicle that looks the way this thing does and call it a Dodge. I think we're lucky that Jeep didn't totally sell out and make this vehicle as handicapped off road as an Escape or CRV.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    are right. Bblaha, you're missing the point, yes the vehicle's tools and dies are long paid for, and they may have sold 140,000 Cherokees last year. But... those sales figure are way down from the year before, and it will continue get worse—not better. DC has to pull the plug, and the sooner the better.

    If the new Liberty had a solid front axle, it would not have the sales potential that a IFS equipped Liberty would have. For many, myself included, would feel Jeep is still in the dark ages, and would not consider buying one. Period.

    As to the solid axle vs. IFS, I'm not going to argue that with you. I've had this argument with many other solid-axle fans, and they just refuse to listen. It takes too much effort on my part, and frankly, it isn't worth it. You have you point of view, and I have mine—and they're 180° apart. I'm not going to change your point of view, and you're not going to change mine. I know there are many Toyota 4WD owners out there who might like to argue with you, but not me. I'm getting too old for it.

    The only thing I will say regarding the solid axle vs. IFS/IRS, is that solid axle technology has been around for years. It's only recently that independent suspensions have been seriously considerd for off-road use. It's development is still in its infancy. I'm convinced that you will, in the not too distant future, see independent off-road suspensions—on mass-market vehicles—that will be truly amasing.

    Bob
  • dougmckaydougmckay Member Posts: 22
    "The thing (Dingo/Liberty) shouldn't be a Jeep."

    Why not? The Liberty, even with an IFS, managed to tame the Rubicon Trail, which is a well-known benchmark for off-roading purists. The Liberty is also getting some pretty good reviews in the trade pubs. You still have a choice between Command-Trac and Selec-Trac (just like the Cherokee), and optional Up-Country Suspension (just like the Cherokee). The Liberty also provides the best approach and departure angles in its class, eight inches of suspension travel front and rear, and nearly nine inches of ground clearance.

    Don't mistake the Liberty for one of those AWD cute-utes (Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4). What Jeep has done is design the Liberty into a modern day interpretation of the venerable Cherokee. And it's about time, too!

    Just because the Liberty lacks a solid front axle doesn't make it any less of a Jeep.
  • rshollandrsholland Member Posts: 19,788
    Thank you! :)

    Bob
  • bblahabblaha Member Posts: 329
    Sigh....

    Rsholland: I assure you I am not missing any points.

    You just said Cherokee sales are "way down" and use that as justification for pulling the plug on the Cherokee.

    Using JD Powers website, here is how the numbers stack up:

    For Compact SUVs, the top 6 SUVs are the Explorer, Grand Cherokee, Blazer, Durango, Cherokee, and 4Runner (in that order). These 6 are the only ones to have sold more than 100k vehicles in both 1999 and 2000, thats why I stopped there.

    Comparing December 1999 to December 2000, Cherokee sales are off 9.4%. Explorer sales are off 25.4%, Grand Cherokee off 14.5%, Blazer off 60.6%, Durango off 19.0% and 4Runner off 29.5%.

    Sounds like there's a bunch of other SUVs that need to have their production plugs pulled!

    Using total sales for the year, the Cherokee does fare the worst. But the Explorer is the only one that not experiencing a loss for the year.

    There are still a myriad of things that Jeep could have done to the Cherokee to bring it out of the "dark age" without compromising its offroad ability, keeping current Cherokee owners happy by giving us a future vehicle with which to replace our current one.

    The Jeep Liberty (that which has IFS) could still be sold as a Dodge Dingo (or whatever other name) that would make you and others happy, without tarnishing the Jeep image.

    dougmckay:
    Tamed the Rubicon? Doubtful. More like limped through.

    "Just because the Liberty lacks a solid front axle doesn't make it any less of a Jeep."
    Yes. It does. I'm a Jeep enthusiast and I won't buy one.
  • dougmckaydougmckay Member Posts: 22
    "Tamed the Rubicon? Doubtful. More like limped through."

    Don't believe me? Read it for yourself...

    February, 2001 issue of Motor Trend (page 47):
    The editors tagged along with Jeep engineers on the Rubicon Trail. In addition to the Liberty, they brought along a couple of Wranglers, a Cherokee, and a Grand Cherokee Limited. Here's what they had to say..."The Liberty quickly proved it lives up to its Jeep heritage, climbing over felled trees and large rocks with aplomb - on stock Goodyear Wrangler AT street tires, no less. Whatever the obstacle, the Liberty tackled it with ease, having to be winched out of a tight spot only once. But that's no tarnish on the Liberty, as all the vehicles in our muletrain had to be winched up the same rain-slick granite escarpment."

    February, 2001 issue of Automobile (page 12):
    "Lest you think the Liberty is just another affordable, fashionable, pseudo-SUV, its engineers emphasize that it is the real thing. The latest Jeep has been tested on the Rubicon Trail, where Mark Smith, famous Jeep Jamboree-er and noted off-road expert, took it up the notoriously taxing Cadillac Hill, got out, and declared, 'This is a Jeep.'"

    You can be a Jeep enthusiast and still appreciate what the Liberty has to offer. I can't for the life of me figure out why you seem to hate it so much when you haven't seen one in person, much less driven one. If the Liberty can do everything the Cherokee can do off-road, while offering an extra degree of civility wrapped up in a modern, updated package, what's not to like?
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