The 2012 Jeep Liberty remains mostly unchanged in its latest model year. This isn't a particularly good thing for the Liberty, though the SUV has been known to hold its own off the pavement -- on the blacktop is another story. The 3.7-liter V-6 engine continues to struggle with acceleration and fuel economy, and is surpassed by almost all other competitors in its class. The fuel economy of the four-wheel-drive models is comparable to a V-8 Chevrolet Tahoe, which should raise a red flag right there.
All the problems the Liberty experiences on the road are made up for off-road. With Selec-Trac II four-wheel drive system, the Liberty can go places other SUVs can't. However the Toyota FJ Cruiser and Nissan Xterra are two SUVs that can, and do so with more power. If you're not an avid off-roader and are simply looking for a family-hauler check out the competition before committing to the Liberty.
Body style: SUV
Engine: 3.7-liter V-6
Transmission: four-speed automatic
Models: Sport, Limited, Limited Jet
After going through a mild refresh in 2011 receiving a redesigned steering wheel, an updated media center, and a new trim dubbed "Limited Jet," the Liberty rolls into 2012 untouched. Five new exterior colors have been added for the latest model year.
The 2012 Liberty continues to maintain the rugged look Jeep is known for. The Sky Slider option opens up the roof, giving the Liberty an open-air experience not usually found on smaller SUV's. Opting for the Limited Jet gets you all-season tires, chrome accents on the front-end, body side moldings, blacked out headlights, and roof rails. The Liberty keeps its boxy profile for 2012 but a refresh is expected in the near future.
The Sport model will be available with Uconnect hands-free navigation and entertainment with voice command, a universal garage door opener, and a compass. An exterior temperature gauge also makes its debut on the instrument cluster for 2012. ParkSense Rear Park Assist, a remote starter, memory seats, power mirrors, and express up/down windows are also available on all trims. A nine-speaker system, leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls, and one-touch up/down power windows are found on the new Jet trim model.
Performance & Handling
Two four-wheel drive systems, Command-Trac II and Selec-Trac II, are offered on the 2012 Liberty. Command-Trac II is a part-time four wheel drive system that will be familiar to old-school off-roaders. Command-Trac works in four settings: two-wheel drive, four-wheel-drive lock, four-wheel-drive low, and neutral. The other option, Selec-Trac II, is a full-time system that works when it feels necessary. It also operates in two-wheel drive, four-wheel-drive lock, four-wheel-drive low, and neutral. A 210-horsepower 3.7-liter V-6 engine comes standard on all Liberty models.
The Liberty features stability control, roll mitigation, Hill-start Assist, and side-curtain air bags that cover the first and second row. Traction control, active front head restraints, side curtain airbags, and anti-lock brakes are also standard safety features.
EPA Fuel Economy
Rear-wheel drive: 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway
Four-wheel drive: 15 mpg city/21 mpg highway
- Off-road capability
You Won't Like
- Fuel economy
Most capable of Jeep's compact SUVs
If You Like This Vehicle
- Jeep Wrangler
- Nissan Xterra
- Toyota FJ Cruiser