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Avg. Price Paid:$7,769 - $9,600
Original MSRP: $21,600 - $26,745
MPG: 18 City / 22 Hwy
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2007 Jeep Liberty Performance

This performance review was written when the 2007 Jeep Liberty was new.

Reviewers say that the 2007 Jeep Liberty offers exceptional off-road capabilities. However, those capabilities come at the expense of on-road performance, which isn't as good as others in the Liberty's class.

The Jeep Liberty comes standard with a manual transmission and a 3.7-liter single-overhead-cam (SOHC) V6 engine with 210 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque. The Detroit Free Press says the Liberty has "best-in-class power and towing capacity and smokes the competition in off-road situations."

Acceleration and Power

With its standard 3.7-liter single-overhead-cam V6 engine with 210 horsepower and 235 pound feet of torque, the Liberty can also pull a 5,000-pound boat or trailer, which reviewers find impressive, considering its compact size. The Chicago Sun-Times says the Liberty has "surprisingly lively acceleration," and Automobile magazine says it has "reassuring eagerness and responsiveness."

The Liberty comes standard with a six-speed manual transmission, but a four-speed automatic is available. For maximum control off-road, most reviewers recommend the manual, though both transmissions have a final 3.92:1 drive ratio.

The Environmental Protection Agency rates the Liberty as getting 16 miles per gallon in the city and 20 mpg on the highway. Many reviewers like Edmunds say the Jeep Liberty is "rather thirsty at the pump."

Handling and Braking

The Liberty is the first Jeep to feature rack-and-pinion steering, which reviewers claim results in a tighter turning circle, coming in handy in on-road situations such as parking or U-turns. "The Liberty offers quick, precise steering with moderate effort and produces a pleasant overall feel," says Cars.com. Other reviewers are less impressed. "The steering is heavy and numb, and the Liberty exhibits considerable body roll around corners," says Edmunds.

The Jeep Liberty has an IS43 suspension with lower control arms, concentric coil springs and shock absorbers. Car and Driver calls the Liberty's new suspension "beefy." They add that the coil-sprung, live-axle rear suspension uses trailing links (boxed with smooth bottoms so as not to snag in the heavy stuff) and a central A-arm for lateral location. But some reviewers think the on-road experience could be smoother. Automotive.com says, "The Liberty doesn't ride as smoothly on the road as a Ford Escape, particularly over bumps and other irregularities where it bobbles a bit." On the other hand, New Car Test Drive says, "Progressive-rate springs deliver a nice balance of off-road grip and on-road ride comfort."

Off-Roading

Testers agree the trail-rated Liberty shines in the wild thanks to new front and rear suspension and progressive-rate springs. Automotive.com found the Liberty capable of handling "fairly gnarly trails." The Family Car's reviewer says, "I'm happy to report that this is a real Jeep that loves to go mountain climbing with the best of them."

The Liberty really performs when it's off the beaten path. USA TODAY says, "It'll make you exclaim, ‘No way,' as it crawls up rocks and red-clay mud banks as if it had Caterpillar tracks instead of mere all-season tires." The majority of testers had no problems taking the Liberty through ditches and streams. Jeep claims the Liberty is capable of plowing through 20 inches of water at 10 mph. Testers were also impressed with the Liberty's traction, especially when it came to mud and inclines, reporting little to no wheel spin. Reviews conclude that the Liberty's climbing abilities are perfect for adventuring. "The Liberty quickly proved it lives up to its Jeep heritage, climbing over felled trees and large rocks with aplomb -- whatever the obstacle, the Liberty tackled it with ease," says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Four Wheel Drive

The Liberty has two four-wheel-drive options: CommandTrac and SelecTrac. Both are equipped with a dual-speed transfer case. The difference is CommandTrac offers a part-time four-wheel drive system that provides extra traction when selected while SelecTrac is a full-time four-wheel drive system. Reviewers liked the two-speed transfer case, which, unlike the RAV4, CR-V and Escape, allows drivers to shift to a low-range setting for off-roading.

The major gripe reviewers have is about the 2007 Jeep Liberty is the method of changing from rear-wheel drive to four-wheel drive. "Most other four-wheel-drive models now use buttons or switches on the dashboard, Jeep has kept its shift lever on the floor," says the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. "Worse, the Liberty's long, flat, stick-like handle uses blue, red and black symbols and shift patterns that are not easily decipherable. You can't tell whether to pull, push or just what to do with the darn thing. And when you do, it's as balky as all get-out." While reviewers mostly concede this is a relatively minor nuisance, especially for people used to driving Jeeps, female reviewers often found the transfer-case shift lever difficult to shift and wished there was an electronic push button to shift from 2WD to 4WD.

Review Last Updated: 5/2/08

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