While nearly everything else is new on the 2008 Jeep Liberty, a proven 3.7L V6 provides power for the Liberty line. It makes 210 horsepower and 235 lb-ft of torque and can be paired with either a six-speed manual transmission or four-speed automatic.
The Liberty is available with rear-wheel drive or four-wheel drive, both in Sport or Limited trim. Two four-wheel drive systems are available, and both are "Trail Rated." Command-Trac is a part-time system, while Selec-Trac II is a more sophisticated system. The Liberty has impressive approach and departure angles, good ground clearance, and sturdy hardware that is well suited for off-roading. Hill descent control, an electronic aid useful in descending steep slopes off-road, is standard on four-wheel-drive models, while hill start assist allows a smoother, safer launch when climbing a steep, slippery slope. The anti-lock braking system also has a "Rough Road" mode oriented toward unpaved surfaces.
A few important safety features that were previously optional or not available are now standard. Stability control with roll mitigation is now included with all Liberty models, and there's a trailer sway control system for improved stability when towing. Brake assist is also standard with the ABS, as are side curtain air bags.
The overall list of features offered on the Liberty has also been greatly expanded--both in terms of standard equipment and options. Sport models come well equipped with air conditioning, power accessories, and many other common conveniences. Limited models step up to larger alloy wheels, fog lamps, heated mirrors, steering wheel audio controls, and an upgraded audio system.
Several new comfort and convenience options are available for those who want to appoint the Liberty more luxuriously. A Sky Slider roof--a full-length canvas arrangement that peels away to open up the entire roof to the sky--is an especially notable new option. Other examples include remote start, a rear parking-sensor system, rain-sensing wipers, and memory seats.
Another key option is the MyGig Multimedia Infotainment System, which integrates audio, navigation, and entertainment functions and also includes a Bluetooth hands-free interface. The system includes a 20-gigabyte hard drive that can store up to 1,500 songs, or a combination of songs and images. There's also a built-in voice memo recorder. The navigation functions include real-time traffic information from Sirius satellite radio (which is also available with the system).