Pros: Solid SUV with great handling and a look that stands out.
Cons: Gas mileage.
I recently picked up this vehicle slightly used (19,500 miles on it) from a dealership for $16,500 plus taxes. It was literally the first car we saw when my wife and I started to search for a new auto for me to drive to work in. We test drove other SUVs, but there were none in its class that impressed us so much.
We liked the look of its exterior and its tough build. There are many SUVs from other manufacturers that have a similar size and body, but this one stands out. The way the headlights are set, the judicious use of plastic on the bumpers and sides, the aluminum wheels all add up to a great looking machine. On the other hand, the interior could be improved.
The inside of this SUV has a few features that make it stand out. The easy readability of the dashboard and speedometer are one positive. The comfortable bucket seats are another. The easy latches to fold down the back seats are a third. But overall, I think they could have done better. Perhaps some wood paneling (which I am sure was probably an option on a new one) or a little more style in the dash in general.
At 4000 pounds, with a 3.7 liter, 220 horsepower engine, this thing can move fast if you need it to. Its acceleration is smooth. The turning radius of the steering is amazingly good. Frankly, driving this car, you feel like you're in complete control. Knowing you really can take it off road if you want to adds a bit of confidence in your ride. The liberty is definitely made with that in mind. It has two 4 wheel drive modes, hi and low. The high mode is part time 4 wheel drive, so you can drive with it engaged at highway speeds. The low mode is made more for special off-road situations where you will be driving much slower. If you're towing, there is a button on the side of the gear shift to turn overdrive off.
Like most of the reviews of the Liberty, I will add my voice that the biggest drawback to this vehicle is its gas consumption. Don't expect more than 20 MPG, and in fact you would be more realistic to assume you'll get 16 or 17. Its a heavy car with a big engine, so that's the price you pay.
As far as the features of the car, mine doesn't really have many extras, but I'll mention a few here: It has air conditioner, which so far, I am not thrilled with. The reason is that I can't seem to get the perfect temperature. It either too cold or not cold enough. It also has a CD radio. This is the standard radio in the Liberty, and lets just say its not perfect. In fact, I will probably eventually change it out to something better quality. Finally, the feature it doesn't have, but I wish it did is anti-lock brakes. Since I bought this car used, the features weren't something I had very much control over.