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The 2005 Jeep Liberty sports a brand new four-cylinder, 2.8 litre turbocharged Common Rail Diesel (CRD) engine and features a number of new styling details inside and out. It comes in Sport, Renegade, and Limited trim levels. Interior and Trunk Getting in and out is relatively easy but you have to watch for dirty door sills. Despite the lack of adjustable lumbar support, the front seats are very comfortable. However, most, if not all, drivers will find the seat too high even at the lowest setting, which means the driving position is not always ideal. The width of the transmission tunnel does not leave much footroom for the front passenger. In the back, access is fairly easy, but watch out for door sills there, too. The rear bench is not very comfortable due to the low, short cushion and seatback that's slightly too upright. The central tunnel makes it impossible for adults to travel in comfort, even for short trips. The back seat can only really accommodate two adults. Legroom is good and headroom is excellent. The 65/35 split-folding rear seatback is always handy for transporting people and cargo. The rear door splits to open in two sections. When you pull on the right-hand handle, the glass section automatically opens upward so you have to keep back or it could whack you in the face. Taller people could bump their head on the latch. When you keep pulling on the handle, the metal section of the door opens to the left, which is the correct side for North America. Cargo space is limited when the rear seatback is up, but much more roomy when it's down.

Photo : Jeep

Features and Safety The interior is very well finished, but the loud engine noise--especially when accelerating--leaves a bit to be desired. There's plenty of good storage space. The gauges and controls are well placed. Unfortunately the glove box and certain controls are not lit at night. The air conditioner barely keeps up when temperature is about 25°C. In the Defrost setting, you can always feel air on your feet, which is not exactly desirable. The Liberty's security features include two airbags, five three-point seatbelts, and four head restraints. However, the restraints don't go high enough for taller people. Visibility is very good in all directions for most drivers. Some people might find the A pillars a bit too wide while others may find the blind spots at rear corners a bit too wide. The spare tire is placed low enough on the rear door not to hinder visibility. The headlights are lacking in power. In American NHTSA tests, the Liberty earned five stars for driver protection and four for the front passenger in front collisions. It was also awarded five stars for side protection and three for rollover prevention. The Liberty barely passed the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety frontal offset collision test. Engine and Transmission The four-cylinder 2.8 turbodiesel generates 160 horses and 295 ft. lb. of torque. As with all diesel engines, there's a bit of lag when you first start to accelerate, but it picks up pretty quickly once you get going. Acceleration is fine but can be rather abrupt at medium throttle when the turbo kicks in. The ample torque allows the engine to keep its rhythm effortlessly. The Liberty accelerates a bit slowly in gear, which means the driver has to plan ahead when passing. The engine is noisy at all times. The five-speed automatic transmission is extremely smooth and is notable for its two second-gear ratios that deliver smoother downshifts and help the engine when towing. The transfer case is easy to use. Handling People normally buy a Jeep because they want to take to trails that cars and 4WD vehicles on car platforms can't handle. But we all know the vast majority of 4x4s are practically never used offroad. Knowing this, the engineers at Jeep designed the Liberty with all the bells and whistles you need to tackle the most rugged terrain, but have kept it civilized on the road. Naturally, the suspension is firm and bouncy over bumps and other irregularities, but in general it delivers

a comfortable, sometimes even smooth, ride for a 4x4. It handles surprisingly well in turns, even on uneven pavement. The power steering is very well calibrated, stable, precise, and relatively quick. A true 4x4 has to have a tight turn radius, and this Jeep is no exception. The brakes deliver powerful stopping power and do not fade after several high speed emergency stops. Let's hope the brakes last because they are expensive. The ABS braking system has only three channels, which means that the rear brakes are linked together on the same channel rather than individually. Our inspection at a CAA-Quebec Technical Inspection Centre showed that the Liberty's undercarriage is very robust and generally well made. However the front disc brakes could use better protection, and road dirt can easily get into the engine compartment. There's no dipstick to check the wiper fluid, the ABS sensor wires on the front wheels are not securely attached, and there is no rustproofing. That said, the undercarriage remains very robust. Conclusion This Jeep fulfills its mission of balancing off-road prowess with on-road sophistication very well. In short, the Liberty is a lumberjack in his Sunday's best, but a lumberjack first and foremost. However, you have to choose between transporting passengers and hauling cargo because carrying capacity is limited. PROS: Offroad ability, front seat comfort, drivability, handling, ruggedness, choice of engine. CONS: Soundproofing, uncomfortable rear seat, limited cargo space, noisy diesel engine, too-high front seats, expensive brakes. JEEP LIBERTY 2005 Engine: 2.4 litre, 16 valve, 4 cylinder; 3.7 litre, 12 valve V6; 2.8 litre, 8 valve, 4 cylinder turbodiesel Horsepower: 150 hp @ 5,200 rpm; 210 hp @ 5,200 rpm; 160 hp @ 3,800 rpm Torque: 165 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm; 235 lb-ft @ 4,000 rpm; 295 lb-ft. @ 1,800 rpm Transmission: 5 speed manual; 4 or 5 speed automatic Suspension: Independent/rigid axle Brakes: disc/disc Length: 443 cm Width: 181.9 cm Height:178.3 cm

Wheelbase: 264.9 cm Weight: 1,746 to 1,953 kg Tires: P225/75R16; P235/70R16; P235/65R17 Maximum towing capacity: 2,268 kg Airbags: Standard. Curtain airbags optional Fuel economy with the turbodiesel and automatic transmission: Transport Canada rating: City 14 L/100 km (20 mpg) Highway 9.9 L/100 km (28 mpg) Test result: 11.4 L/100 km (25 mpg) Temperature: 12°C to 29°C Fuel tank capacity: 78 litres Acceleration: 0­100 km/h: 13.7 seconds 60­100 km/h: 10 seconds

Competitors: Ford Escape, Honda CR-V, Hyundai Tucson, Kia Sportage, Mazda Tribute, Mitsubishi Outlander, Nissan Xterra and X-Trail, Saturn Vue, Subaru Forester, and Suzuki Grand Vitara Warranties: Full vehicle: 3 years/60,000 km Powertrain: 5 years/100,000 km Surface corrosion: 3 years/60,000 km Perforation: 5 years/160,000 km Emissions control system: 3 years/60,000 km on all components; 8 years/130,000 km on catalytic converter and electronic control module. Cost of original parts: Rear bumper: $366 Front disc brakes: $163 Brake pads: $304 Muffler: $355 Front fender: $207 Average insurance cost: (Quebec City, replacement cost endorsement, claim-free insurance record male or female driver 30 to 40 years old): $977 to $1,484 Price according to trime lime: 4 cylinder Sport: $27,460 Renegade: $31,020 Limited: $32,440

Main options: Diesel engine: $1,525 to $3,195 (depending on trim) Automatic transmission: $275 to $1,395 (depending on trim) Sunroof: $1,050 Curtain airbags: $450 Navigation system: $1,895 Towing package: $495 Price of test vehicle: $41,920 Freight and preparation costs: $1,050 Number of dealerships: Quebec: 110 Canada: 494

© CAA-Quebec, September 2005. All rights reserved.


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