Saturday, June 2, 2007
Jeep has an all-new Liberty ready for the 2008 model year, but you can easily spot some familiar lines in its exterior styling and interior layout. Most obvious of the changes is the exterior shape and size: Replacing the rounded curves of the 2007 model are sharper body angles, especially evident in the rear, where the box-like tail replaces the rounded forms of the current model. Here’s a rundown of the major features:
* new independent front suspension and revised rear suspension for a better ride without sacrificing Jeep’s off-road capability;
* two four-wheel drive systems—one part-time, the other-full time;
* improved fuel economy of 16/22 mpg for city/highway based on 2008 EPA standards;
* two transmissions—the six-speed manual and four-speed automatic;
* 3.7-liter, 210-hp V6 (the only engine choice);
* new “Sky Slider” fabric roof that opens full length or partial length at the push of a button.
Included in the list of safety equipment are side curtain air bags, stability control and roll mitigation. For communications fans, the Liberty offers a completely integrated audio, navigation, entertainment and hands-free communications system.
Liberty’s exterior view does not deceive: It offers more space inside for cargo and storage, plus a more comfortable seating arrangement. Overall length outside is increased 2 in., and the width is greater, too.
Inside, rear-seat leg room is greater by 1.5 in. Another noticeable change has the spare tire removed from the rear door; now the back opening is a liftgate with a flipper glass window. Despite all the changes on the exterior, Liberty is still easily recognized as a Jeep. Traditional Jeep designs in the new appearance include the seven-slot grille, “clamshell” hood and trapezoidal wheel-well flares.