By now we’ve seen the 2014 Jeep Liberty numerous times in spy photos, but these latest shots reveal the new crossover’s interior. Spotted testing near Detroit, this Jeep Liberty prototype wears production-ready bodywork and a complete interior.
Though the Jeep Liberty has a fairly generic crossover shape, a seven-slot grille, big headlights, and a bulky front fascia help make the Jeep family resemblance obvious. The rear window is sloped and meets the lower liftgate at a sharp angle; the Liberty’s taillights and twin exhaust tips bring to mind the larger Grand Cherokee.
The big news, however, is the interior of this Jeep Liberty prototype. The LCD touchscreen and chunky physical climate controls are common from other Chrysler Group vehicles, although the steering wheel has a new assortment of buttons not present on other Jeeps. Most other Chrysler vehicles hide some of the steering-wheel audio controls behind the wheel spokes, while this Liberty instead has five-button controllers on each horizontal spoke, plus three smaller buttons on either side.
Beneath the touchscreen is a row of buttons that appear to control several active-safety features: the symbols look like they control lane-departure warning, forward-collision warning, and self-parking systems. The blocky automatic transmission shift lever is fairly standard, and the center console also is home to a version of Jeep’s rotary Selec-Terrain dial. It offers Auto, Snow, Sport, and Sand driving modes.
As we’ve reported before, the 2014 Jeep Liberty will be based on the CUSW platform introduced for the 2013 Dodge Dart sedan. Powertrain choices remain uncertain, but may include a 3.2-liter version of Chrysler’s popular Pentastar V-6, and a nine-speed automatic transmission.
We expect to see the new Jeep Liberty make its debut in March at the New York auto show.