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2012 Jeep Liberty Review

The 2012 Jeep Liberty offers decent off-road capability, but reviewers said that buyers who stick to paved roads may prefer rival compact SUVs.

Pros & Cons

  • Respectable off-road capability
  • Underpowered engine
  • Poor fuel economy
  • Lackluster handling




Critics' Rating: 6.7
Performance: 6.4
Interior: 6.5
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.1
Safety: 7.0
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2012 Jeep Liberty Overview

Equipped with a standard V6 engine, the 2012 Liberty doesn't produce enough power for highway passing and merging, reviewers said. A four-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive are standard, and two four-wheel drive systems are available. The 2012 Jeep Liberty gets an estimated 16/22 mpg city/highway, which is unimpressive for a 2012 compact SUV. Test drivers noted some body lean through turns, and some called the steering feel vague. The Jeep Liberty has good off-road capability, according to test drivers, though they noted that SUVs like the 2012 Nissan Xterra and Toyota FJ Cruiser offer better performance when the pavement ends.

Test drivers complained that some of the 2012 Liberty's interior materials are of poor quality, with hard plastic surfaces dominating the cabin. The 2012 Jeep Liberty seats five, though reviewers said that back-seat passengers may not be comfortable. The base Liberty comes equipped with an AM/FM/CD stereo, an auxiliary input, satellite radio, air conditioning and power windows and door locks. Available features include navigation, a sunroof and a touch–screen audio system. Reviewers said the Liberty's dashboard controls are legible and within easy reach. The Liberty has 62.4 cubic feet of cargo space with the second row folded.  

Other SUVs to Consider

Reviewers said the 2012 Dodge Journey has composed handling and an available V6 engine that produces strong acceleration. The Journey was also available with a third row, which is unusual for a compact SUV.

Automotive writers said the 2012 Subaru Forester has sporty handling and a comfortable ride, as well as a spacious back seat. Additionally, the Forester comes standard with all-wheel drive and earns better fuel economy estimates than the Liberty.

Compare the Liberty, Journey and Forester »

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