The .38 caliber lenses of KGP have shot another vehicle wide out in the open, and this time the 2008 Jeep Liberty has found itself in the photog's sights. Caught without any camoflauge, we can clearly see the next Jeep Liberty is going to take its styling cues from the Commander, with very tall, vertical headlights up front flanking that familiar six-bar grille. We can also see that the Liberty embraces the Commander's boxy shape, giving the entire vehicle a more upright posture and likely increasing interior dimensions in every measure. A longer wheelbase and longer rear overhang are particularly noticeable. Other noticeable changes include the relocation of the spare from the tailgate to under the vehicle, which allows for a rear hatch that lifts vertically instead of swinging out. All of these are benefits that come from the Liberty sharings its platform with the new Dodge Nitro, itself a larger SUV than the current Liberty.

In terms of mechanicals, Allpar.com is guessing both the four-cylinder engine and manual transmission have been dropped, leaving only the 3.7-liter V6 and four-speed automatic to carry the Liberty forward. New electronic nannies also found on the Nitro like ESP with Electronic Roll Mitigation and hill descent control will also likely be available or included on the new Liberty. Finally, the interior is expected to move upmarket with the option for a satellite nav system, rear seat DVD, factory remote start and even the Load 'n Go cargo slide out system found on the Nitro.

Though we've never been a fan of the Commander's styling, we at least respected it for being a true Jeep that can tackle the Rubicon while banging the heads of seven people on board. We have to say, after introducing the decidedly soft Patriot and Compass models, we can get behind a Liberty that returns to the brand's tough roots in terms of styling. These no nonsense, slab-sided designs coming out of Jeep may not be a hit on the runways of Rodeo Drive, but their utilitarian style speaks clearly to their intended audience of weekend adventurers.

[Source: Allpar.com]