The quick and dirty: It's a well priced 4x4 that offers luxury and ruggedness all in one package.
The nitty gritty:
This jeep can pull! With a 3.7 liter engine and 210 horse power it can really fly on the highway. I really enjoy the swinging trunk door and the tailgate glass that pops up at the press of a button (really handy when your hands are full of groceries) It's got it's own unique style when it comes to the body and design so it doesn't look like every other SUV roaming the continent. The glove compartment was a little small in my opinion but that's small detail I'm willing to overlook.
The ride is a bit choppy due to the fact that it's shorter then most SUV's but then again, if you wanted a smooth ride you probably should've bought a mini-van. The leg room is tight so getting in and out of the Jeep is a little hard. Visability is superb due to the height of the jeep. People often complain about the handling abilities of SUV's while cornering and that they tend to roll often. Well, OF COURSE THEY WOULD! They have a higher center of gravity and weren't built to corner at 40 mph. Conversly, let's ask someone to try and get through a foot of mud or snow in a Honda civic. There will always be trade offs.
Of course, there will always be the debate about which SUV is better when compared side by side. After test driving a few SUV's and renting others, there is no doubt in my mind that there are definitely better SUV's out there then the Liberty. Why then did I buy the Liberty? Well, first off, I'm an average person with an average income. So I can't afford the forty thousand plus SUV's (Well I could, but I won't be able to go on long vacations or eat out at fancy restaurants anymore). Secondly, I don't need all those extra fancy buttons in the really nice Escalades or Avalanches (more importantly, I'll probably never use half of those fancy buttons). Lastly, I'm not about to take a forty thousand plus SUV into mud and rock and get it scratched up and dirtied. And unless you make eighty thousand plus a year and have the money to spare, I wouldn't recommend anyone else do that either!
I've taken it 4x4ing a few times and have had no problems at all. The Liberty has lived up to the Jeep brand. It's off roading capabilities are amazing. Unlike it's cousin, the Jeep TJ, the Liberty is more comfortable in a bumpy ride. Shifting the transfer case between 2WD, 4 Part-Time, and 4 Full-Time is seamless. It's a little tricky getting it from 4 full-time into 4-Lo but I think that's due to my in-experience with 4x4's.
Overall, I would recommend this to anyone who wants a good SUV that they can drive in the city and occassionally take into the back country. Price wise and quality wise, you're getting a lot of horses for the buck.
Amount Paid (US$):
2003Model and Options:
Rocky Mountain Edition