The first generation of Jeep's popular Liberty compact utility enters the last year of its production for 2007, with a complete redesign scheduled for 2008. The 2007 model retains its unmistakable styling, which is a good thing, and the model lineup has been simplified.
For 2007, two- and four-wheel drive versions of the Liberty Sport and Limited are on offer, and all styles come with a 3.7L V6 engine. The Sports have a six-speed manual transmission standard with the option to swap in a four-speed automatic for $825. The Limiteds come standard with the four-speed automatic.
Starting at $21,600, the Liberty Sport comes with plenty of standard equipment, including traction control, an electronic stability program, 16-inch steel wheels, anti-lock brakes, air conditioning, a CD player, power mirrors, power locks, and power windows. The Limited trim adds 17-inch aluminum wheels, a variety of exterior enhancements, and lots of popular equipment such as fog lamps, a power driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, cruise control, a security alarm, a tire pressure monitoring system, and a year of Sirius satellite radio.
A Latitude Edition is a $1,835 option on the Sport trims. It adds much of the same equipment found on the Limited trim, as well as a six-disc CD changer, Infinity speakers, and Latitude badges and embroidery.
Skid plates, side air bags, chrome enhancements, a sunroof, and heated front seats are some of the many optional items available on the Liberty.
During our tests, we were amazed at how much more competent the Liberty was than more expensive vehicles. It didn't bottom out over any of the ruts and potholes, and its Command-Trac Part-Time 4WD system was a security blanket in bad conditions. A full-time Selec-Trac system is a $395 option.
There is much more room inside the Liberty than is apparent from the outside with plenty of legroom for both front and rear passengers. The optional leather front seats on the Limited are very comfortable. The seating position also provides a good view of the road.
The Liberty also has a surprisingly good ride, as it proved to be enjoyable for around town driving, back-road hustle, and even highway trips. The 210-horsepower 3.7L V6 makes a reasonable 235 ft-lbs of torque, which allows it to tow up to 5,000 pounds when equipped with the optional Trailer Tow Group.