Jeep has always been known for making hardcore off-road machines. That is, up until the Liberty was released. While still capable of traversing off-road, the Liberty puts more focus on street manners than any Jeep before it.
HISTORY OF THE JEEP LIBERTY
First Generation (2002-2007)
When the Liberty was first introduced in 2002, it was revolutionary for Jeep. It was the first Jeep with rack and pinion steering, and one of the only models to ever have independent front suspension. It also got two brand new engines: a 2.4L 4-cylinder and 3.7L 6-cylinder. Rear-wheel drive was standard, with optional four-wheel drive available. Transmission options were either a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic. Trim levels included the Sport, Renegade and Limited.
Second Generation (2008-2012)
Model year 2008 introduced the second generation Liberty. The redesigned rig featured a boxier, macho appearance. Underneath the steering and suspension were tweaked for better on-road performance and more creature comforts were added to the interior. The only engine option that remained was the 3.7L mated to a 6-speed manual or four-speed automatic. Two distinct four-wheel drive systems were made available: standard part-time Command-Trac or available full-time Selec-Trac.
Model year 2012 marked the last year for the Liberty before it was sent to the chopping block. To commemorate the rig, two new packages the Jet trim level and a new Arctic special edition package. By the time the Liberty departed, it had also amassed an impressive standard options package including automatic headlights, heated mirrors, keyless entry, full power accessories, air-conditioning, cruise control, cloth upholstery, a fold-flat front passenger seat, 60/40-split-folding and reclining rear seat, a tilt-only steering wheel with built-in audio controls, and a six-speaker sound system with a CD player, satellite radio and an auxiliary audio jack.
Although it’s no longer being produced, the Liberty still has a loyal following. There are clubs and forums dedicated to the preservation of these unique vehicles. I guess you could say, it’s a jeep thing.