My co-workers have done a good job pointing out the Liberty's practical problems but the real trouble lies on an existential level. The Liberty just isn't cool; that definitely wasn't the case with its predecessor, the 1984-2001 Cherokee. That SUV is certainly crude and slow by modern standards, but to this day its rugged yet refined styling perfectly captures the Jeep ethos. Even with a neat matte-black-on-silver paint job and a canvas roof, the Liberty just doesn't have that sort of curb appeal.
Fiat has proven with its new 500 that it knows how to treat an icon. Let's hope it sprinkles some of that same magic dust on the Jeep lineup and, come 2013, transforms the Liberty into a reborn Cherokee.
David Zenlea, Assistant Editor