2008 Jeep Liberty

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2008 Jeep Liberty Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Jeep Liberty was new.

The redesigned Liberty offers excellent off-road capabilities, a smoother on-road ride than last year's model and a more aggressive-looking package. However, it receives a ranking in the bottom half of its class because it still can't match the raw power and refined handling of competitors.

Pros & Cons

  • Solid off-road performance and two 4WD options
  • Roomy interior with more rear legroom than previous model
  • Redesigned, less cute exterior
  • New standard interior and safety features
  • Less powerful engine than some similar SUVs
  • Less cargo space than similarly-sized SUVs
  • Poor fuel economy compared to class

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Jeep Liberty has a score of 7.1 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 50 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 7.4
Performance: 6.4
Interior: 7.1
Safety: 8.4
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2008 Jeep Liberty Overview

Reviewers praise the 2008 Jeep Liberty for its restyled interior, more macho-looking exterior and new suspension and steering systems. The redesigned SUV also comes optional with an industry first -- a unique Sky Slider full-length canvas roof. Reflecting general consensus, Motor Trend says, "It's bigger, badder-looking, more efficient, more comfortable, handles better, has more cargo room, more interior space, two new four-wheel drive options, and an optional open top. We can't wait to take one to the trails!"

The Liberty shares a platform with the Dodge Nitro, though it rides on a longer wheelbase and features superior off-road capabilities. Despite these abilities and several other 2008 improvements, some still feel the Liberty falls short of competitors, especially since its 3.7-liter V6 engine can't quite handle the new model's extra weight. The Liberty even falls short when compared to other off-road SUVs and ranks in the bottom half of that class. New features and options this year include a remote engine start, memory front seats and mirrors, express up/down windows and side curtain air bags.

The Liberty also struggles with lackluster fuel economy.  Its 16/22 mpg rating places it near the bottom of its class.  Liberty sales have declined heavily in 2008, probably in response to rising gas prices.

The Liberty is available in two trim levels -- Sport and Limited -- which both come with a universal V6 engine and an optional choice of two four-wheel drive systems.

  • "Bottom line, the next Jeep Liberty promises similar capability as its predecessor, with more comfort and features in a package that looks like the big Jeep Commander." -- New Car Test Drive
  • "The all-new Jeep Liberty is designed to appeal to customers who are looking for Jeep 4x4 capability as well as comfort and convenience. It is targeted to young couples and new families, as well as professional, young single men and women between 30 and 40 years of age, balanced male to female." -- 4-Wheel & Off-Road
  • "This is exactly the kind of vehicle that will appeal to the target demographic. Plus, now that the cutesy design has been swapped out for a muscular box-on-wheels look, there's a better chance that guys will actually buy the thing." -- Autobytel
  • "Since the new one is easier on the eyes, a bit more fuel-efficient and has a few new convenience features, it should continue to appeal to its soft-core demographic." -- New York Times

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