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2005 Jeep Liberty

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2005 Jeep Liberty Review

Compact ruggedness.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2005 Jeep Liberty provides a capable and comfortable SUV that can go through the roughest roads with ease. It debuted in 2001 as a replacement for the Jeep Cherokee, and it continues to be the safest option for people who are new to the Jeep marquee.

The Range

Body Styles: four-door SUV
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 3.7-liter V-6, 2.8-liter four-cylinder Models: Jeep Liberty Sport, Jeep Liberty Renegade, Jeep Liberty Limited

What's New

The exterior of the 2005 Jeep Liberty receives a change, including new fender flares, grille, fog lights, body side moldings, and front fascia. Changes to the interior include relocated power window switches, trim bezel, and new graphics for the instrument panel cluster. The Liberty Renegade gets a taller grille, flatter hood, taillight guards, and off-road fog lights, along with four skid plates and functional rock rails.


The 2005 Liberty gets freshened up from the outside, but the changes do not seem too drastic. Trapezoidal wheel flares integrate into the body, and the iconic seven-slot grille still stays up front. The exterior of the 2005 Jeep Liberty looks slightly tilted, with the front lower and the back a little higher. This has been deliberately done to impart a sense of forward motion. The 2005 Jeep Liberty offers effective off-road driving with its departure angle of 31.5 degrees and approach angle of 36 degrees provided by the short overhangs at the front and rear.


At most, the 2005 Jeep Liberty seats five people rather comfortably. Legroom and headroom seems ample in front, even though the seat sits unusually high. However, this proves to be a good thing, because it lets the driver see more of the road. The rear offers a surprising amount of head clearance. Legroom remains strictly decent because of the uneven foot-well shape. The step-in sills on the 2005 Jeep Liberty seems higher than that of its competitors, but it makes very little difference in the entry and exit.

The rear seats have a 65/35-split, and they can be folded with just one hand. Controls look large and legible, and the instrument panels remain in the round, classic style. The audio and climate control buttons sit a little far from the driver, but they look large and easy enough to spot. The door-mounted power lock buttons can be mistaken as power window buttons, which causes another minor problem. Overall, these small problems do not make an impact on the big picture of the well-crafted and creatively designed interior.

Performance & Handling

The Jeep Liberty uses a 2.4-liter, four-cylinder engine that delivers 150 horsepower, although this only comes standard for the Sport. For the Limited and Renegade, a 3.7-liter V-6 comes standard and delivers 235 lb-ft of torque and 210 horsepower. The Liberty Sport gets this engine as an option. Both engines can mate to a six-speed manual gearbox or a four-speed automatic transmission. Similarly, Jeep offers a choice for rear or four-wheel drive. The fuel economy on these engines remains quite problematic, though, but such is the case for most SUVs. The V-6 engine gives good acceleration from a standstill, but acceleration on the highway can feel labored.

Merging and passing seem difficult, but an automatic transmission makes it work. It takes quite a bit of throttle for the automatic to downshift. The four-wheel drive also feels a little too troublesome at initialization, although it has no problems once set. Despite the better four-wheel-drive modes out in the market, it is no surprise that none of them match the off-road capabilities of the 2005 Jeep Liberty. Ride quality over bumps does not feel very smooth or firm, but it takes quite a lot to really shake up this SUV. Overall, the ride quality seems quite good despite the occasional rocking and swaying.


The 2005 Jeep Liberty comes fitted with dual front airbags as a standard feature. Optional safety features include anti-lock brakes and side-curtain airbags. The 2005 Jeep Liberty receives a full five-star rating in terms of driver and passenger safety during frontal-impact and side-impact collision tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic and Safety Administration. However, for a rollover rating the NHTSA only gives the Liberty three stars.

EPA Fuel Economy

Jeep Liberty 2.4-liter four-cylinder, manual: 18/24 mpg city/highway
Jeep Liberty 3.7-liter V-6, manual: 16/20 mpg city/highway
Jeep Liberty 3.7-liter V-6, automatic: 15/20 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Amazing off-road capabilities
  • Creative interior
  • Classic Jeep styling

You Won't Like

  • Poor fuel economy
  • Less cargo space than competitors

Sum Up

Compact ruggedness.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Suzuki Grand Vitara
  • Suzuki XL-7
  • Subaru Forester
  • Honda Element
  • Hyundai Tucson
  • Mazda Tribute
  • Honda CR-V

See the New 2012 Liberty.

Front & Driver Side View

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