Jeeps and mountain trails go together like the president and the White House; it's hard to imagine one without the other. Nimble as a billy goat off-road, the 2007 Jeep Liberty more than lives up to this storied tradition. With steep approach and departure angles and plenty of suspension travel with a solid rear axle, the Liberty is at ease when climbing over boulders or stirring up gravel. Its go-anywhere bravado comes at a price, though, since the Liberty falls short of its peers in on-road refinement.
For consumers expecting to use a small SUV for frequent recreational use, the 2007 Jeep Liberty has enough going for it to make it a decent choice. But if venturing off-asphalt isn't on your itinerary, we'd recommend a number of other choices, such as the Ford Escape, Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4.
The 2007 Jeep Liberty is a compact SUV that comes in two trim levels: Sport and Limited. The Sport features 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, full power accessories, stability control and a six-speaker stereo with CD player. The more exclusive Limited trim gets you amenities such as 17-inch alloy wheels, cruise control, a six-way power adjustable driver seat and a leather-wrapped steering wheel. Available options include a sunroof, leather upholstery, heated seats and an in-dash six-disc CD audio system with Infinity speakers. A navigation system, satellite radio and Bluetooth connectivity are also available.
Inside, the Jeep Liberty provides decent room for four adults (five in a pinch), with satin aluminum accents and chrome-ringed, black-on-white gauges. A full-size spare is hung on the nifty rear cargo door, which features a single-action swing-gate/flipper-glass system. There are a total of 31 cubic feet of cargo space available behind the Liberty's split-folding rear seat and 69 cubic feet when that seat is folded down. The Liberty's main fault is entry and exit for rear passengers; it can be challenging due to the small rear doors and the intrusion of the rear wheelwell into the doorway.
Two-wheel or part-time four-wheel drive are available for both trim levels, as is a full-time "Selec-Trac" 4WD system. The Liberty is motivated by a 3.7-liter V6 rated at 210 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque. For the Sport trim level, a six-speed manual transmission is standard and a four-speed automatic is optional. The automatic comes standard on the Limited trim. Properly equipped, the Jeep Liberty can tow up to 5,000 pounds.
The Liberty's V6 provides good acceleration but drinks plenty at the gas pump. Like other Jeep SUVs, the Liberty is a sensational off-roader. However, the heft required to make it a surefooted billy goat in the rough hobbles it somewhat on the highway and in the city. Its performance on pavement is tolerable enough, but the steering is heavy and numb, and the Liberty exhibits considerable body roll around corners. On the plus side, its long suspension travel does a good job of smoothing out bumps and potholes.
Antilock disc brakes and stability control come standard on the Liberty, and side curtain airbags are available as an option. In NHTSA crash tests, the 2007 Jeep Liberty earned a perfect five stars for driver protection in a frontal impact and four stars for front-passenger protection. Side-impact testing resulted in a five-star rating for both front and rear passengers. In frontal-offset crash testing by the IIHS, the Liberty was given a "Marginal" rating, the second lowest of four.
The Jeep Liberty's Renegade trim has been discontinued for 2007. Also, the 2.8-liter diesel engine is no longer available.