2002 Jeep Liberty

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2002 Jeep Liberty Review

Though a little truck-like and weighty, at 4000 pounds, it performs well offroad and on-road.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2002 Jeep Liberty keeps multiple purposes in mind, from off-roading to quietly taking a family vacation. It serves as a true off roader for those who want an adventure. Upgrades allow the Liberty to venture even farther. An Up Country package includes an additional ground clearance and 16-inch wheels for better climbing and off-roading. The front suspension ensures uncompromised on-road capability for the sake of off-road competency. The ?uniframe? construction proves stronger and lighter than body-on-frame styles.

Whether off-roading or simply getting groceries, the 2002 Jeep Liberty makes an excellent choice.

The Range

Body Styles: SUV
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 3.7-liter V-6
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Jeep Liberty Sport, Jeep Liberty Limited, Jeep Liberty Renegade

What's New

Acquiring styling hints from the Jeep Dakar and Jeepster concept cars, the all-new Jeep Liberty stands out as the most affordable SUV in the lineup. It replaces the Cherokee, produced in 1984. Two trim levels offer a choice of four- or two-wheel drive, an automatic or manual transmission, and a six- or four-cylinder engine.

Exterior

The exterior styling comes from two of the best concept cars of Chrysler’s creation: the 1998 Jeepster and the 1997 Dakar. The upright profile comes into the Liberty, along with the trapezoidal wheel flares and a seven-slot grille. The 2002 Jeep Liberty rides a 104.3-inch wheelbase and stretches 174.7 inches long.

Some of the exterior features include intermittent wipers, a rear defogger, painted-finish bumpers, and cargo tie-downs. The Sport adds contrasting fasciae, body moldings, and fender flares. The Limited comes with standard fog lamps and a monochromatic appearance. All models use 16-inch wheels. The skid plates, trailer towing accessories, and cooling system provide optional additions. The Liberty can tow 5000 pounds with the trailer package.

Interior

The interior of the Jeep Liberty should seat five passengers, but owners say that four occupants fit better. Five passengers feel cramped The door panels look unique with arc shapes. The instrument panel feels sophisticated with satin aluminum trim and chrome-ringed gauges that have a black-on-white theme. It has two power points situated in the dash.

Some of the interior features for the 2002 Jeep Liberty include cloth bucket seats, a front storage console, dual vanity mirrors, power steering, front door pockets, and a six-speaker AM/FM stereo with a CD controller for the base. The Limited adds cruise control, air-conditioning, power door locks, cargo lights, front reading lights, a leather steering wheel, a tilt steering wheel, power steering, and a single CD player with six speakers. The Renegade adds more luxuries such as leather seats, cargo area power points, keyless entry, and a cargo-area cover.

The swing gate opens curbside for loading cargo. The Liberty offers 31.2 cubic feet behind the 35/65-split rear seat. A total of 68.7 cubic feet opens up with the seats folded. Grocery bag and tie-down hooks improve storage inside, as well.

Performance & Handling

Power for the 2002 Jeep Liberty comes from a four-cylinder or V-6. The standard engine, a 2.4-liter four-cylinder, makes 150 horsepower. The optional 3.7-liter V-6 generates 210 horses. The V-6-equipped Liberty tows up to 5000 pounds. Each of the engines optionally mates with an automatic four-speed or manual five-speed transmission. Either four-wheel system remains available. Command-Trac provides an option for each engine, and Selec-Trac remains available on V-6 models only.

Performance of the automatic transmission and V-6 proves sufficient for most tasks. Off-road capabilities seem excellent with this configuration; however, for highway passing and merging, a more powerful engine may be necessary.

Safety

The government crash testing provides excellent scores for side-impact and driver protection. The standard safety features on the 2002 Jeep Liberty include child seat anchors, a three-point rear center belt, seat belt pretensioners, adjustable headrests, electronic brake force distribution, auto delay-off headlamps, ventilated front disc brakes, and rear drum brakes. Dual front airbags come on all models. Anti-lock brakes, along with curtain airbags for the front and rear remain optional.

EPA Fuel Economy

Jeep Liberty Sport: 15/19 mpg city/highway
Jeep Liberty Limited: 15/19 mpg city/highway
Jeep Liberty Renegade: 15/20 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Extreme off-road capability
  • Creative interior design
  • Traditional Jeep style

You Won't Like

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Carlike competitors

Sum Up

Though a little truck-like and weighty, at 4000 pounds, it performs well offroad and on-road.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Toyota Sequoia
  • Nissan Armada
  • Ford Expedition
  • Ford Explorer
  • Toyota RAV4
  • Kia Sorento

See the New 2012 Liberty.

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