An engineer working on the 2014 Jeep Liberty program apparently had the same craving for Starbucks as did some of the Automobile Magazine staff. Lucky for us, we managed to snap a few shots of this 2014 Jeep Liberty with production-spec bodywork before the caffeine-fueled engineer slipped away.
This is the first time that we've seen the 2014 Jeep Liberty out and about with its production-spec bodywork. Every previous spy shot of the new Jeep has been a development mule pieced together from hacked-up Alfa Romeo Giulietta bodywork. Thanks to the white paint on this tester, we were able to make out much of the new Jeep's design details, including the very interesting front fascia.
Long, slim, LED turn signals sprout from the grille out to the front fenders like eyebrows over traditional, projector-beam-style fog lights (which double as daytime running lights). The grille retains Jeep's traditional seven-slot design, but there is some grille detailing on the leading edge of the hood. We couldn't tell if it is black trim, if the slots themselves extended onto the hood, or if it was just camouflage, but there is definitely some kind of unique design detail on the new Liberty that we've never seen before on a Jeep.
The rest of the 2014 Liberty's body is fairly generic – it has an any-crossover, jelly-bean-esque shape. A small upkick of the daylight opening at the A-pillar adds some visual interest, but the rest of the profile is fairly bland. However, from the C- to D-pillars was covered by camo, so we're not sure if the rear three-quarter windows will get any kind of special treatment. Around back, though obscured, the hatch is reminiscent of the Kia Sportage – very round with high-mounted taillights, a smallish rear window, and license plate spot low on the bumper. The taillights looked almost identical to those from the Audi A6, although canted like angry eyebrows.
We know that the 2014 Jeep Liberty will share its CUSW underpinnings with the 2013 Dodge Dart, and will most likely share some of the same powerplants options. It's also been rumored that the next Liberty could utilize a 3.2-liter version of Chrysler's Pentastar V-6 engine and a nine-speed automatic.
Given that the 2014 Liberty looks pretty close to complete, expect to see it make its debut within the next year – probably at either the Chicago show in February or the New York show in late March.