2008 Jeep Liberty

During the launch of the new Liberty, we couldn't stop wondering how many times Jeep executives were going to mention the Liberty's new sky-slider full-length sunroof. Yes, it's cool, and yes, it's a unique selling feature, but after driving the new Liberty, it's going to take more than a trick sunroof to sell us on this vehicle. From its archaic four-speed automatic and coarse V-6 to its dead steering and down-market interior plastics, it is clear that the Liberty is far off the pace in its segment. For 2008, the Liberty does burnish its already impressive off-road abilities, and it can still tow up to 5000 pounds. It also gets a new, boxier design in an attempt to win back Cherokee devotees who were so distraught when their angular icon was dropped in 2001. The Liberty also is now available with a navigation system, a media hard drive, rear parking sensors, and the aforementioned canvas sunroof. Still, we can't see living with the Liberty's poor on-road dynamics, heavy thirst for fuel, and low-rent interior--unless you really need a small SUV that can both crawl over rocks and haul a trailer.

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