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2002 Jeep Liberty Renegade 4x4

Basic Info:

My Experience:

I bought this Jeep in early 2003 used with 17,000 miles on it. I needed a good vehicle to use as my daily driver, but also wanted something that was offroad capable. My first impression when taking the Liberty offroad was that it rode like a Cadillac in the rough, this thing really soaked up the bumps. No creaks or dashboard noises, the interior is very well put together with minimal noises. My Liberty comes with the 3.7 V6 motor rated at 210hp and 245 torque, power is very good and never feels lacking in any situation, sometimes you have to floor it in passing conditions on the freeway, but once the automatic transmission kicks in the rpms there is no problem. Now on to the good stuff. First of all my Liberty is 4X4 and came with the offroad package meaning the rear end has "trak loc" which is Jeeps version of a rear-end limited slip differential. Right off the bat I could tell the Liberty has really excellent traction due to the limited slip and its heavy weight this combo works well keeping the tires planted on the ground, put on a good pair of all terrains and 4X4 is only required on steep hills or for serious offroad situations. The steering radius and turning ratio is also excellent which allowed me to maneuver through some pretty serious situations, very nice and comes in handy in tight parking situations as well for all you mall-rated moms out there. Now taking the Liberty up steep hills was scary at first, but once I found the courage to try it out, the Jeep took hills like a champ with excellent traction all around. I was very surprised, in fact the Liberty did very well up steep hills in 4 wheel Drive HIGH, the 4W Drive Low was not really necessary unless maybe going down a very steep grade or if you are in a serious offroad situation that requires the low gearing. I rarely use it to this day. Now on to the NOT SO GOOD....as I had previously stated the Liberty seems to tackle most offroad situations without a hitch, but one weakness I have found is the ground clearance. Now since I have Jeeps "offroad package" my Liberty comes with a motor skid plate, transfer case skid plate and a fuel tank skid plate and let me tell you...the Liberty REALLY needs these because ground clearance is really lacking. Taking the Liberty on the trails is fun but make sure you choose your line correctly because if you don't, you will hear all kinds of scrapes as rocks and bushes make contact with the skid plates, there is no damage but its very uncomfortable hearing the undercarriage take a beating, I really recommend getting a lift if you are serious about offroading your Liberty www.alljproducts.com . Another minor quirk is the Liberty's gas mileage, this thing is a gas hog mostly due to the weight of the liberty and the aerodynamics of a brick, I get about 14 to 16 mpg in most situations, not that great and hopefully Jeep works to improve this somewhat for future models. Regarding reliability; the Liberty has been great, I have about 100,000 miles on it so far and besides some normal maintenance from wear and tear all is good in Jeep land, nothing major has failed and I definitely have put it through some torture tests. All in all I find the Liberty a very capable offroader with excellent abilities especially if you put down some cash for better tires and a lift. Ground clearance is lacking but the Liberty has some great suspension articulation which allows it to go where most other SUV's in this class wouldn't even dare. If your really a hardcore offroader I would recommend the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, but if your a casual camper that gets out every so often; the Liberty is more than capable of tackling the dusty trails. I give it an 8.9 out of 10.

Summary:

If your really a hardcore offroader I would recommend the Jeep Wrangler Rubicon, but if your a casual camper that gets out every so often; the Liberty is more than capable of tackling the dusty trails. I give it an 8.9 out of 10.

Pros:
Excellent offroad ability
Good suspension articulation
Quality interior with minimal noise
Jeeps 4W Drive system
Cons:
Ground clearance
Gas mileage
Weight

Tips Recommendations:

A good set of All Terrain tires
2 inch lift kit from www.alljproducts.com (Frankenlift)

 

 

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page last updated 2-8-12