Although August sales of the current Jeep Liberty declined by 51.2% compared to the same period last year, Chrysler hopes its redesigned-for-2008 model will broaden consumer appeal. SEMA research reveals that among enthusiasts surveyed in the 2007 Automotive Lifestyle survey, 4% owned a Jeep and that nearly all of them—97%—had personalized their rides. Most popular among these modifications are bigger tires, trailer hitches, custom wheels, air intakes, fog lights and modified suspensions.
Only 3% of respondents owned a Liberty, however, which could change as the Liberty adapts styling cues reminiscent of the popular Wrangler and Cherokee. Inside, the Liberty offers more cargo space and Jeep’s new Sky Slider full-length open canvas roof.
Chrysler has added two four-wheel-drive systems, an independent front suspension, a new five-link rear suspension and rack-and-pinion steering in order to improve the new Liberty's on-road manners. Among the vehicle's standard equipment is Jeep’s Electronic Stability Program (ESP) and Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM). The Liberty takes on a more “classic” Jeep look on the outside but offers consumers such interior amenities as more cargo space and Jeep’s new Sky Slider full-length open canvas roof.
Powering the redesigned Jeep Liberty is a 3.7L SOHC V6 engine that delivers 210 horsepower and 235 lb.-ft. of torque. The new model will reach dealerships in the third quarter of 2007.