2009 Jeep Liberty

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15 CITY / 21 HWY
Overall Quality
Overall Performance and Design
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What Changed for 2009:
  • Manual transmission dropped
  • Stiffer rear axle shafts and revised suspension tuning for better handling
  • Retuned steering gear for improved steering
  • Reworked brakes for improved brake pedal feel
  • MyGIG hard-drive radio becomes UConnect Tunes and UConnect GPS with navigation system
  • Sirius satellite radio and 6 speakers standard on base model
  • Floor mats standard
  • Equipment shuffling in various packages
  • Limited model adds more leather trim, dark gray interior
When Jeep introduced the Liberty in 2002, it was the intermediate representative in a three-model lineup. The Liberty is still in the middle of Jeep's repertoire, which now numbers seven models. Redesigned for 2008, the Liberty continues as a 5-passenger SUV with two rows of seats. It is built on the same platform as the Dodge Nitro, but it has different styling inside and out. With the rear seats folded, the Liberty has 64.6 cubic feet of interior cargo room. Rear-wheel drive (RWD) and two 4-wheel drive (4WD) setups are available. For 2009, Jeep has given the Liberty stiffer rear axle shafts that the company says provide more precise, linear handling. Jeep says these axles team with retuned springs, shocks and anti-roll bars to improve handling, while a retuned steering valve gear improves steering. The brakes are also reworked with a retuned booster, low rollback calipers and a revised pedal ratio to improve feel, the company says.

Model Lineup
The 2009 Jeep Liberty is offered in two trim levels: Sport and Limited. Standard features on the Sport model include cloth upholstery; air conditioning; tilt steering wheel; 60/40 split-folding rear bench seat; power mirrors, locks and windows; remote keyless entry; AM/FM/CD stereo with Sirius satellite radio; auxiliary input jack; automatic headlights; and P225/75R16 all-season tires on aluminum wheels. Liberty Limited models add stain-resistant cloth upholstery; heated mirrors; 368-watt Infinity sound system; cruise control; electronic vehicle information center; leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls; auto-dimming rearview mirror; roof rails; 6-way power driver's seat; fold-flat front passenger seat; heated exterior mirrors; universal garage door opener; anti-theft alarm; rear cargo shade; fog lamps; and P235/65R17 all-season tires on aluminum wheels.

Available options for the Liberty include heated front seats; leather upholstery; remote engine starting; automatic climate control; rear park assist; Sky Slider canvas sunroof; regular sunroof; P235/60R18 all-season tires on chromed aluminum wheels; trailer towing package with Trailer Sway Control; rain-sensing wipers; UConnect Phone wireless cell phone link; UConnect Tunes hard-drive radio; and UConnect GPS hard-drive radio with navigation system.

Both 2009 Jeep Liberty models use a 3.7-liter V-6 engine that produces 210 hp at 5200 rpm and 235 lb.-ft. of torque at 4000 rpm. The only transmission is a 4-speed automatic. The engine and transmission are covered by Jeep's lifetime powertrain warranty. RWD is standard, but two 4WD systems are offered. The base 4WD system is Jeep's Command Trac, a part-time system that should not be activated while driving on dry pavement, according to Jeep. Also offered is Select-Trac II, a full-time 4WD system that can be driven on dry pavement. Both systems have low-range gearing and are highly capable off-road, the company says. EPA fuel economy is estimated at 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway with RWD and 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway for 4WD.

Standard safety features on the 2009 Jeep Liberty include dual front air bags; torso-protecting front side air bags; head-protecting side curtain air bags that protect both seating rows and have rollover deployment; tire-pressure monitor; anti-lock brakes (ABS) with brake assist; Hill Start Assist; traction control; and electronic stability control with rollover mitigation. The brakes have rough-road detection; when rough conditions are detected, the system holds the brake pulses longer to better slow the vehicle. Hill Descent Control (HDC) is standard on 4x4 models. Trailer Sway Control comes with the towing package, and Jeep's ParkSense rear park assist system is optional. Trailer Sway Control reduces engine torque and/or uses the ABS to apply brakes to individual wheels to counteract sway induced by trailers. HDC uses the ABS to apply the brakes and control the vehicle's speed down steep hills, while Hill Start Assist maintains brake pressure for a short time on a hill when the driver's foot is removed from the brake pedal.

In National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) testing, the Jeep Liberty has earned 5 stars for the driver and front passenger in front impacts, 5 stars for the driver and rear passenger in side impacts, and 3 stars for rollover resistance. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) has awarded the Liberty a \"Good\" rating (the Institute's highest) for frontal offset crash protection, a \"Marginal\" rating for side-impact protection, and a \"Poor\" rating for rear crash protection.

Jeep's MyGIG hard-drive radio changes its name to UConnect Tunes and UConnect GPS for 2009, and the hard drive grows from 20 to 30 gigabytes of storage space. Jeep says the hard drive can hold up to 6700 songs. It can also hold pictures to use as screen savers, and, with UConnect GPS, it contains the navigation system's map information. Songs and pictures can be ripped from a CD or loaded from a jump drive via an integrated USB port. UConnect GPS has voice activation and provides real-time traffic information via Sirius satellite radio. Jeep's UConnect Phone wireless cell phone link allows calls on Bluetooth-enabled cell phones to be played over the speakers.


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