A standard four-cylinder engine is replaced by a 3.7L V-6 engine, which now also includes an electronic stability program (ESP), a computer-controlled technology that helps the 2006 Jeep Liberty stay on the course the driver intends. ESP includes electronic roll mitigation, anti-lock brakes, brake assist, and all-speed traction control. Also new are two colors: Inferno Red and Midnight Blue.
Liberty is Jeep's compact sport utility vehicle. Originally launched as a 2002 model, it received a facelift and other updates for 2005. For 2006, the former 2.4L four-cylinder engine is gone, replaced by a 210-hp, 3.7L V-6. Also available is a 160-hp, 2.8L four-cylinder diesel engine that pumps out a substantial 295 lb.-ft. of torque. While the gasoline-fueled V-6 gets up to 22 miles per gallon on the highway, the diesel is rated at 21 mpg in the city and 26 mpg on the highway.
The Liberty is available in two- and four-wheel-drive versions, and with a manual or automatic transmission. Two four-wheel-drive systems are available. Command-Trac is a part-time system that allows drivers to "shift on the fly" into high-range four-wheel drive, to improve traction on slippery or loose surfaces, at speeds up to 55 miles per hour. Select-Trac is a full-time four-wheel-drive system.
Models include the Liberty Sport, Liberty Renegade, and upscale Liberty Limited. The Sport comes with cloth seats and 16-inch wheels. The Renegade has a flatter hood and taller grille, flared fenders, freestanding fog lamps, and tubular side rails for a more rugged look. Liberty Limited has low-back bucket seats with six-way power driver's seat, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, gray-face instruments, a rear cargo cover, 17-inch wheels, and more.
The Jeep Liberty competes in the Compact Utility category, as does the Jeep Wrangler. Liberty is the sales leader in this small category, with 166,883 units sold in calendar year 2005, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report.SM
While the Wrangler emphasizes off-road capability, the Liberty is a five-passenger, hard-roofed vehicle designed for the sort of use expected from compact sport utilities. The Jeep Wrangler was a distant second in sales (79,017 units in 2005) in this category, closely followed by the Nissan Xterra (72,447). Suzuki sold 15,472 copies of its XL-7. Joining this category for the 2006 model year is the all-new Toyota FJ Cruiser.
|Sport||6 speed manual||$21,290||210-hp / 3.7L 6-cyl||18/22|
|Renegade||6 speed manual||$23,130||210-hp / 3.7L 6-cyl||18/22|
|Limited Edition||4 speed automatic||$24,680||210-hp / 3.7L 6-cyl||17/23|