2002 Liberty New Car Test Drive
Jeep's new Liberty is among the best of the small sport-utilities for drivers who need serious off-road capability on the weekends, but want refinement, practicality, and affordability during the week.
Jeep Liberty is smooth, quiet, and responsive on the road. Turn off the pavement, and it'll go just about anywhere. It'll carry five people and their gear. Fold down the seats and it can move some serious cargo.
Liberty is available in two trim levels, Sport and Limited Edition.
Each is available with two-wheel drive or four-wheel drive.
Two engines are available, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder and a 3.7-liter V6. The V6 engine is paired with a four-speed automatic transmission on the Limited Edition, and comes standard with a 5-speed manual on the Sport. The four-cylinder engine is only available with a five-speed manual gearbox. Sport 2WD models ($16,450) come standard with the four-cylinder engine, five-speed manual, a cloth interior, wind-up windows, manually operated mirrors, and 16-inch tires on steel wheels. Air conditioning ($850) is an option, but a six-speaker stereo is standard.
Limited Edition 2WD models ($21,260) come standard with the V6 engine and automatic transmission. Also, many features are standard on the Limited that are extra-cost options on the Sport, such as air conditioning, cruise control, power windows, power door locks, power mirrors, illuminated remote keyless entry, better interior lighting, a roof rack, floor mats, cargo cover, and a CD changer.
Leather is available as part of a big option package on the Limited.
Four-wheel drive adds $1510 to each model. Four-wheel anti-lock brakes ($600) are optional, as are side-impact airbags ($390), both money well spent. Four-wheel-drive models come standard with a skid plate to protect the front suspension; serious adventurers may want the optional Off-Road Group ($765 for Sport, $520 for Limited), which includes fuel tank and transfer case skid plates, a locking rear differential, heavy-duty engine cooling P235/70R16 all-terrain tires, and tow hooks.