Jeep Liberty

Discussion in 'Archived Threads 2001-2004' started by Charles J P, Nov 14, 2001.

  1. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    I have started doing research on the new Jeep Liberty, after having it suggested as an alternative to the Xterra in another thread. I have gotten one reply to this question there but I was wondering if any owners experiance exceptionally poor on-road manners such as tire and wind noise. They said that they havent noticed anything, but usually drive with the radio on (not that I dont believe that person, but I am just looking for a few more opinions). The reason I ask is, I read two reviews at http://www.rockcrawler.com
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  2. Bill Balcziak

    Bill Balcziak Supporting Actor

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    I remember the review in USA Today specifically citing road noise as a problem. Also, reviewer James Healy was the first to use the term "Fisher-Price" to describe the headlight/front end design of the Liberty.
    That simple description totally eliminated any chance of my buying this vehicle. Never has a reviewer so completely nailed the essence of a bad vehicle design. Healy's the man!
     
  3. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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  4. MickeS

    MickeS Producer

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    We've had ours for 7 weeks now (2400 miles), and my wife absolutely loves it (she was the one pushing to buy it), while I think it's OK. Have in mind though that I'm not really keen on SUV's in general, I prefer regular cars. [​IMG]
    The seats are a little too short under the leg for my taste, but they are comfortable. The driving position for me is excellent (I'm 5'10"), very relaxed but "determined", not at all like some cars where it feels like I have to almost lie down to get a comfortable position. Like I said, I'd prefer if they were a little longer though, I don't really understand why they skimped on the length of the seats.
    As for wind noise, it's definitely noticeable, and even more so if it's windy outside. If it's not windy, it's not worse than other cars I've driven, but if it is windy, I'd say it's a bit too loud. Then again, it hasn't bothered me, and I'm normally rather picky about those things. I think a test drive on a freeway would show if it's acceptable to you. On the other hand, noise from the road hasn't been noticeable at all, so that cancels out the wind noise. [​IMG]
    The best things about it to me are the handling (I was surprised, really easy to position the car, very responsive steering and acceleration, we have the 3.7L V6) and the comfortable drive. Cargo space and backseat space are about the same as any other small SUV in this class, I think.
    The negative things are fuel consumption (but it seems to be the same as several other small SUV's) and... well, that's the only negative thing I can think of. Oh, and I don't like that it has a rear swing gate, I would prefer a gate that opens vertically, like for example a 4-Runner. I guess that's a personal preference too though.
    And I REALLY like the design, but that's a personal preference too. Check it out and see what you think.
    /Mike
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  5. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    pinto=bad engineering
    liberty front end=bad design
    the two are completely different [​IMG]
     
  6. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    I had a Jeep Wrangler and will never buy another Jeep vehicle ever! At 120,000 miles it started to fall apart and I soon had it in the shop for major repairs every 3-4 weeks. This was not an uncommon occurance according to the mechanic and other former Jeep owners I talked to.
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  7. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Julie,
    At least it lasted to 120,000 -- my wife's Grand Cherokee has 58,000 miles and is in the shop every month.
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  8. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    Philip: to me bad design and bad engineering are the same thing. so:
    pinto=bad design
    liberty front end=bad styling (if you dont care for it) [​IMG]
    Julie and Brian, may I ask what year your Jeeps where? If you look at Carpoint, you can see that the last three years of Jeeps have gotten better reliability ratings than the previous years.
    http://carpoint.msn.com/vip/UsedRelOver/Jeep/Wrangler/Used.asp
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  9. Lisel

    Lisel Stunt Coordinator

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    I'm the one who wrote that I hadn't noticed any wind noise because I always have the radio on. I'll try to check for it though and get back to you. I have the Limited Edition with the leather seats and find that they're very comfortable and supportive. I'm 5'2". I believe there's a difference in the Sport and Limited cloth seats.
    Dislikes? The center console-mounted window controls. Though I've gotten used to them. No dead pedal. ABS not standard. Also, although not particularly important to me, the cargo space behind the rear seats isn't great and those seats don't fold down completely flat.
    I initially disliked the swing gate as well, but at least it opens to the sidewalk. And the flipper glass on top opens independently of the gate and works via remote.
    It takes about $20 to fill the tank (I'm in Puerto Rico), which lasts me a little more than a week -- pretty good for me. Fuel economy is quoted I believe as 16/20.
    In general I think the Liberty offers a nice ride, accelerating and handling very well, for an SUV of course. I've also driven a Pathfinder. A friend of mine who's owned all sorts of vehicles, including an F-150, a Maxima, a Montero, a Mustang, an Explorer and more, noted the smooth handling as well. I'm happy with it. Right now, through Dec. 15 I think, DC is offering a 7-year/70,000-mile warranty on Dodge, Chrysler, Jeep vehicles.
    Lisel
     
  10. Jay H

    Jay H Producer

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    As far as tire noise is concerned, different tires have a huge difference in noise, especially with those larger SUV tires, a difference in tread can have a big difference in how loud they are. Typically, larger tires that are made to go off-road are going to be loud as hell, you've heard those monster trucks drive by right? I bet the liberty has a M&S or something similar tire on it, but there are SUV tires that are designer for most of the driving public who buy SUVs and are designed to be quieter and better on the road. perhaps if you take one out on a test drive, since you haven't bought one, perhaps something could be worked out at the dealer.
    As far as Jeeps, my father had a Grand Cherokee Limited (v6) and I hated the thing, it had tons of build problems, the interior creeked and it had the worst steering feel this side of my old 1981 Datsun 510 hatchback. There is no feeling in the steering, it's wayyyy to overassited and light and just drifted all over the place.
    Jay
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  11. Brian Perry

    Brian Perry Cinematographer

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    Charles,
    My GC is a 1996, which I guess would explain the likelihood for problems.
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  12. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    I'm not so sure that Jeep problems are model year specific. Jeep especially and Chrysler in general have gotten awful ratings for many of their vehicles in Consumer Reports; I personally have enough "My Jeep died on me" stories to tell around a campfire until the cows come home.
    I would be very apprehensive on buying any Jeep, especially one that is a brand new model that hasn't had any kinks worked out.
    I'm not questioning their offroad toughness, but the build quality on their vehicles is nothing short of awful. Unless you get an offer you can't refuse, go with the XTerra. My friends who have them really love them.
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  13. Julie K

    Julie K Screenwriter

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    My Jeep was a 91, putting it somewhere in the middle in terms of that reliability chart, but I had problems with just about everything on that list. I even had a problem with the gas tank - it just split open one day! I still can hardly believe that one.
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  14. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    Well, I guess the general concensus is the D/C vehicles are not built that well. I guess I should have known that. A month or so ago, I road in a coworkers newish (98 or newer) GC and it rattled like crazy. I guess I just assumed that he abused it. Thanks for the dose of reality. I will start looking at the Xterras again. Does anyone know how the Xterras compare in offroad prowess to the Jeeps? Does the Xterra have a real transfer case for 4-low like the Jeeps do?
    Edit: Its kind of ironic that the Xterra thread steered me towards the Liberty, but now the Liberty thread steers me towards the Xterra again. I hate making buying decisions. I am one of the people who waited 6 months to buy one of the new Marantz receivers, only to return it after testing three units for a Yamaha, due to the Marantz's S-video and audio noise issues. I am starting to have low consumer confidence. [​IMG]
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    [Edited last by Charles J P on November 15, 2001 at 09:47 AM]
     
  15. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    in high school I had an 88 and a 90 wrangler, and they both sucked. mine started to fall apart at 60k. In fact, if you look around you'll notice you don't see very many of the 87-90whatever wranglers driving around, and they sold billions of them
     
  16. Drew Bethel

    Drew Bethel Screenwriter

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    Are you really planning to go off road...or just over a few curbs at the grocery store [​IMG]
     
  17. Charles J P

    Charles J P Cinematographer

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    I grew up on gravel road on a farm in Iowa (I now live in Omaha), and I want a vehicle that will be able to handle the occasional trip down rutty dirt roads, lanes in corn fields and around the unmaintained "roads" around our barns, grain bins, pits, and machinery storage areas. This will be driving over pretty rough ground, but is not the rock hopping and mud holing you see on offroad websites like rockcrawler.com.
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  18. Philip_G

    Philip_G Producer

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    iowa eh?
    got any pheasant on the old farm? [​IMG]
     
  19. Jared_B

    Jared_B Supporting Actor

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    Charles,
    You asked for opinions here, and that is what Bill gave you. He said the front-end design was bad, which I personally agree with. To myself anyway, the word design has a very broad meaning and could easily be interpreted as style or engineering. I don't see your problem with his post. Now, on to my opinion of the car.
    American cars are not known for reliablilty, but I don't know about the Xterra. Still, you shouldn't let this be the deciding factor in your purchase. Both cars come with good warranties. Have you driven either? Take them both out for an extended test drive, on your normal everyday route if possible. Find out for yourself if the wind noise bothers you, instead of relying on opinions of strangers. Buy the vehicle you are the happiest with, not what others are happy with.
    (if you still want to read reviews, try to stick with professional reviewers like Car&Driver, MotorTrend, etc. Also read their reviews of your current car, and see if their opinions match yours.)
    Jared
     
  20. Matt Stryker

    Matt Stryker Screenwriter

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    Charles-
    I know that 4 Wheel and Off Road did a review of the XTerra a few years back (there may be a more recent one) and they absolutely loved it. I'm pretty sure it had low range, but I'm not sure if the transfer case is viscous coupling, chain driven, or gears. Maybe a search on google will turn up the article. It has gotten fair to good marks for reliability in Consumer Reports.
    The think I like the most about the XTerra is the rear seating; you don't feel shoved in the back and you have a good view. Plus the engine is very proven; are you thinking of manual transmission or auto? The manual really helps you get the most out of the engine if I remember the article right.
    And unless you are leasing, a warranty is not a good reason to consider a car with a poor reliability history. Everything always seems to break right at 30001 miles, or 60001 miles....
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    [Edited last by Matt Stryker on November 15, 2001 at 02:08 PM]
     

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