When it comes to midsize SUVs, one of the cars that come to mind is the Jeep Liberty. For anyone who has had an eye on this model, the question is often are Jeep Libertys good cars?
The Jeep Liberty drives well on the road, and they are quite the capable off-roader. That said different model years have had their fair share of issues.
On average, it costs $675 in annual repairs for Jeep Liberty. Comparing this to other brands in the mid-size SUV category and Jeep Liberty’s annual costs are higher by $100.
Review sites such as RepairPal give Jeep Liberty a rating of 3.5 out of 5. This is based on their evaluation process. Cars.com gives Jeep Liberty a reliability rating of 4.2 out of 5. This rating is based on consumer reviews so you know what consumers who have driven and spent time with the vehicle think about it.
Let’s find out more about the Jeep Liberty and whether it is an ideal midsize SUV for you. For easier navigation throughout this post, please feel free to use our table of contents below.
The Jeep Liberty was introduced as a Jeep model in 2002. The goal of this model was to replace the Jeep Cherokee and offer upgrades to the Cherokee.
This model lasted from 2002 to 2012 and span two generations. It is a midsize SUV with a 5-passenger carrying capacity.
But are Jeep Libertys good cars? Let’s take a closer look at the history of Jeep Liberty starting with the first generation.
The first generation of Jeep Liberty was introduced in 2002. It was based on the design of the Dakar and Jeepster prototypes. This was also the first Jeep to have an independent front suspension since the 1963-1965 Jeep Wagoneer.
Furthermore, customers could get the Jeep Liberty 1st generation with a 2.4, 2.8, or 3.6-liter V6 engine.
The Jeep continued to make upgrades to its first generation for consecutive years until the last of the generation in 2007.
In 2008, Jeep introduced the 2nd generation of Liberty. This one would last up to 2012 at which point the Jeep Liberty was discontinued.
This new generation had a completely different look from the 1st generation in that it had a more boxy design and customers could get it in a manual or automatic transmission.
It was also available with a V6 engine.
The 2012 Jeep Liberty has a lot in common with its predecessor the Jeep Cherokee. There were only a few changes to the previous model year and these occurred in the base Sport Trim including coming with up to 5 color options.
It was developed to hold the place for another new SUV model that was set to be released in a few years.
This car only came with a single engine choice and transmission. This is the 3.7-liter V-6 engine that only gave out 210 horsepower and just 235-pound feet of torque. The 4-speed automatic transmission that the engine is connected to is not new and is quite dated.
The 2012 Jeep Liberty moves from 0-60mph in around 10 seconds. Its fuel consumption is around 16 mpg in the city and 22mpg on the highway. This is however when you choose to drive in rear-wheel form.
If you choose the four-wheel drive, the 2012 Jeep Liberty will do 15 mpg in the city as well as 21mpg on the highway.
Talking about the four-wheel drive system, this is something that is to be expected with any Jeep that you buy and the 2012 Jeep Liberty is no exception. You have the option of two four-wheel drive systems to choose from.
This makes the 2012 Jeep Liberty one of the few midsize SUVs that are able to offer good off-road performance, that is, even if you don’t have any plans of taking it off-road.
Other minor changes with the 2012 Jeep Liberty include coming at a lower price, featuring the Chrysler’s Uconnect Bluetooth, a universal garage door opener, an overhead console, a compass, as well as an interior temperature indicator.
If you are wondering are Jeep Libertys good cars, then you may want to check out the features and design. The 2012 Jeep Liberty also came with a rear park assist.
We have been talking about the all-new color choices that buyers have. These include Black Forest Green Pearl, Canyon Brown Pearl, True Blue Pearl, Rescue Green Pearl, and Mineral Gray Metallic.
The previous generation of the Jeep was often criticized for being too round. As a response, the designers over at Jeep came up with a body design that shares many of the characteristics of the Cherokee.
Compared to the previous model the exterior features body side moldings, blacked-out headlamps, license plate brow, chrome lower fascia, and roof rails.
You can also get the 2012 Jeep Liberty with a Sky Slider which takes over from the more common traditional sunroof and gives the driver and passengers the choice of open-air driving.
As far as passenger sitting is concerned the 2012 Jeep Liberty is pretty much the same as the previous model year. This is two seating rows with space for three passengers at the back.
That said, customers could pick the top-of-the-line trim that features heated front seats, dark slate gray leather seats, and a premium audio system with 9 speakers.
As we saw earlier, the 2012 Jeep Liberty gave customers the choice of a rear-wheel drive system and a four-wheel drive system.
It also features some common safety features that are to be expected in any modern SUV. These include anti-lock brakes, traction control, tire pressure monitoring as well as stability control.
Furthermore, this model also features front airbags, side curtain airbags, Sentry Key engine immobilizer, Chrysler’s accident response system, belt minder system as well as LATCH systems.
The 2009 Jeep Liberty had fewer issues than the previous models especially those in the first generation. However, the model also came with its fair share of issues with the most common ones being the electrical system and the fuel system.
Let’s start with the most common issues with the fuel system. There was an overflow of the gas tank which would cost owners around $800 in repairs. This is a problem that often occurs around the 61000-mile mark.
Granted the 2009 Jeep Liberty has few issues. However, these few issues occur quite regularly.
One thing that pleased buyers of the 2008 Jeep Liberty model is that it came with a lot fewer issues compared to the previous models up to this point.
So, if you’ve been wondering are Jeep Libertys good cars, the 2008 model was a relatively nice car to drive. The main issue was a faulty electrical system.
This is particularly the TIPM sensor, several glitches with the electrical wiring, random horn sounding, electrical malfunctioning, failure of the engine to tip over, catching of fire of the fuse box, and startup hesitation.
Car owners can expect to pay around $1,040 for the TIPM sensor issue. This is a common issue that occurs right around 107,000 miles.
Even while the 2008 Jeep Liberty did indeed come with fewer issues than the previous models, when there was a problem with the electrical system, this could prove quite expensive.
The 2007 Jeep Liberty came with the second highest level of complaints compared to the 2006 model. Similar to the previous year’s model, the main problems had to do with the windows and the windshield.
The second most common problem with the Jeep Liberty 2007 model is issues with the fuel system.
Failure of the window regulator caused most of the window problems. There was also the issue of the car window falling inside the door, failure of the window latches, cracking of the windshield, failure of the wipers, and leaking of the sunroof.
When it comes to the fuel system, the most common issues include overflowing of the gas during refill, catching of fire of the gas tank, and a potential gas tank explosion which caused a recall of the model.
The issue that caused the gas tank to overflow is a sensor failure that occurs around 62,000 miles. Owners reported a turning on the gas cap light as well as constant turning on and off the engine check light.
Such issues could leave you questioning your decision in buying the car and wondering are Jeep Libertys good cars.
The 2006 Jeep Liberty came with the most complaints of all Jeep Liberty models. Many rating sites and reviews call it the worst Jeep Liberty model year. This left many Jeep enthusiasts wondering are Jeep Libertys good cars.
This is not surprising considering the high repair costs, heat issues, and the lower average mileage at which the majority of these issues occurred.
Of all the issues, one stands out as the most common – breaking of the window regulator. Of course, all of the previous Jeep Liberty years had an issue with the windshield and the windows.
The second most reoccurring issue with the 2006 Jeep Liberty includes problems with the AC as well as the heater. There were also issues with the fuel system.
Let’s talk a bit about the window problems. As we noted the window regulator was prone to breaking which then also resulted in the windows falling. The windows also tended to make a lot of noise including plenty of vibrating.
To fix the window regulator, you would expect to pay around $360. This problem often occurs when the car hits around 60,000 miles.
Issues with the AC as well as the heater are the second most regular problem with the 2006 Jeep Liberty. These issues ranged from a failure of the AC to blow cold air, noise coming from the AC, failure of the compressor and the blower, and shorting of the air conditioner.
Many of these AC problems would occur around the 65,000-mile mark and it would cost around $600 to fix the problem. Often car owners have to buy a new compressor or even resort to replacing both the compressor and the blower.
This model of the Jeep Liberty also came with a lot of issues with the windows and windshield. Car owners reported a failure of the windows, dropping of the windows to the floor as well as failure to close the rear window as well as the rear door.
The repair costs sit at an average of $320. These problems occur mostly at the 83,000 miles. Owners of the 2004 Jeep Liberty often have to replace the regulator.
Like many of the first-generation Jeep Liberty models, the main issue had to do with the windshield and the windows.
If you were looking at this model to answer the question are Jeep Libertys good cars, then you may have come out a bit disappointed.
The major issue has to do with a failure of the window regulator, breaking of the power windows, breaking of the moon roof, a poorly designed rear window latch, and leaking of the sunroof. The sunroof would also get off track often.
As the window regulator failure is the most common issue, it would typically cost $320 for a replacement. This issue often occurs around the 96,000-mile mark.
The 2002 Jeep Liberty was the first of the first generation of Jeep Liberty. It came with some significant problems as is often the case with the first models of each generation. Compared to the 2001 model the 2002 Jeep Liberty had even more problems.
The major issue category had to do with the windows and windshields.
When it came to the engine, the main issue had to do with the engine failure as well as the turning on of the check engine light.
There was also an issue with excess engine noise, defective valves as well as oil sludge, a defective camshaft, loss of compression, and even acceleration after braking.
Car owners could expect to pay around $3850 with the engine issues. These issues were common around the 127,000-mile mark. Often car owners had to completely replace the car engine.
When talking about the windows and the windshield, the major issues included breaking of the regulator, leaking of the windshield, failing of the power windows, rusting of the rear glass support, and breaking of the rear wiper.
Car owners can expect to pay around $360 in case of a damaged regulator. This is the most common issue and occurred around 95,000 miles.
Are Jeep Libertys good cars as far as off-roading goes? The Jeep Liberty offers good off-road performance. However, with the 2007 model of the Jeep Liberty, there are issues when changing from two-wheel drive to four-wheel drive.
The reason for this is that some drivers would find it difficult in shifting the transfer case and often prefer it if there was a button instead.
Other issues with the Jeep Liberty’s off-road performance included insufficient ground clearance, little space for gear weighing a lot for a mid-sized SUV, and isn’t being the best at gravel terrain.
That said even with these issues being noted car owners, especially owners of the 2007 Jeep Liberty claim that it possesses excellent off-road capabilities. This was well displayed at the Malibu off-roading action.
If you want to bring out the best of your Jeep Liberty off-road, then you may want to consider the following tips.
Granted, the Jeep Liberty can perform off-road exceptionally well. However, you will need to understand just how you can use its off-road capabilities. This means understanding its various off-road features such as the four-wheel drive system as well as the ground clearance.
For you to be able to do this, you may want to begin with testing out your Jeep Liberty’s capabilities on the relatively easy ground before progressing onto much tougher terrain.
Furthermore, you may want to also test out your Jeep on narrow roads, creeks inclines to provide you with a good understanding of the limits of your Jeep Liberty. Once you are ready to head out off-roading, you will know just how much you can push your car.
As much as you need to understand your Jeep Liberty’s capabilities, it is also important to know the different types of off-road terrain, road types, and road conditions. Here are a couple of guidelines to get you started.
Ensure that you drive down or drive up and always avoid driving at an angle. If you find that the hill is a bit too steep, avoid trying to push the Jeep up. If you try to drive the Jeep upwards and get stuck at the mid-point, never try to turn the car and instead reverse directly backward.
Are Jeep Libertys good cars for rock crawling? Well, not to the standards of the Wrangler Rubicon. That said, if you want to try a bit of rock crawling you may just want to start slow at 1-3 miles an hour.
Press the throttle easily and let your Jeep crawl gradually and slowly. Also, ensure that you have switched to a low gear and a low range with the four-wheel drive system.
Consider the size of the rocks and decide if you would rather drive around them or over them.
Snow And Mud
When driving over muddy or snowy terrain, you will need the four-wheel drive system. Let’s assume you want to get over an obstacle and switch to low gear and low range four-wheel drive mode. You will be able to get consistent momentum this way.
If you are on sand that shifts easily causing the car to lose traction, you will need to use the high-range four-wheel drive system. This will give you consistent forward momentum. You may also need to take wide turns as you may get stuck if you may tight turns.
You may also want to rotate the steering wheel if you notice that you are losing traction. If however, you find that this isn’t helping just stop the car. Things can get worse if you continue.
So are Jeep Libertys good cars for off-roading? Yes, they are. But if you plan on going off-roading with your Jeep Liberty you must make sure that it is ready. Start by checking the fuel and oil, check the tires, and ensure that you have the proper off-roading tools.
These tools include a shovel, a wrench, first aid kit.
You may also need to ensure that you are well stocked. However, it is critical not to overdo it as you don’t want to add extra weight to the vehicle. This could result in an imbalance as well as stress.
Ensure that everything is well held down with a heavy-duty strap. This will stop things from falling whenever you hit a bump.
Whenever you are planning an off-roading trip, consider having a friend or two along who will help you along your trip in case anything goes wrong.
When it comes to reliability, the Jeep Liberty gets an average score. RapairPal for instance gives them a reliability rating of 3.5 out of 5. Out of 26 mid-sized SUVs, the Jeep Liberty ranks 14th. Cars.com gives Jeep Liberty a reliability score that is much higher at 4.2 out of 5.
You can expect Jeep Liberty to last between 10 years and 15 years. In miles, the Jeep Liberty can last between 200,000 and 400,000 miles. One thing is for sure, the better you maintain your vehicle and the better you drive, the longer you can expect your car to last.
The reason Jeep discontinued the Liberty model is because it did not meet the emission standards for diesel engines. The transmissions that were in the 2nd generation involved were carried over from the 1st generation and involved a six-speed automatic and four-speed automatic.
Mostly, Jeeps aren’t considered top-heavy vehicles. The Jeep Wrangler, for instance, has a short wheelbase which has the effect of making it feel top heavy. This also means that it is prone to tipping over due to the short wheelbase at high speeds. This is however not because it’s top-heavy. Jeeps are often no different in this regard from other SUVs.