The Jeep Liberty (KJ/KK), or Jeep Cherokee (KJ/KK) outside North America, is a compact SUV produced by the Jeep marque of Chrysler. Introduced for the 2002 model year as a replacement for the Cherokee (XJ), the Liberty was priced between the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee. It was the smallest of the 4-door Jeep SUVs up until the car based 4-door Compass and Patriot arrived for 2007. The Liberty featured a unibody-on-ladder-frame construction, which added stiffness to its ride and handling, and enhanced its off-road capabilities. It is assembled at the Toledo North Assembly Plant in the United States, as well as in other countries including Egypt and Venezuela. Current estimates by Jeep are that 70% of Liberty buyers are new to the marque.
Inspired by styling from the Dakar and Jeepster concept cars, the Liberty was intended as a replacement for the discontinued Jeep Cherokee (XJ). Three trim levels were initially offered; the top end Limited, a more rugged looking Renegade and the base Sport. All were made available with either 2WD or 4WD. In 2007, the Renegade trim level was replaced with the Latitude that appeared to focus more on an urban appearance.
The Jeep Liberty received a complete redesign for the 2008 model year with a more boxy and off-road look, like that of the 2007 Dodge Nitro. The 2008 Liberty debuted at the 2007 New York International Auto Show.
With the smaller Patriot and Compass crossover SUVs now available to cater to MPG-conscious buyers, the four-cylinder engine was dropped from the Liberty's offerings. The iron-block, aluminum-head V6 was the only engine available for 2008. Towing capacity was 5,000 pounds (2,268 kg). Jeep discontinued the Liberty CRD for the American market because it couldn't meet tougher 2007 emissions standards for diesel engines. Transmission choices were both carry-overs: a six-speed manual or a four-speed automatic. Standard equipment included electronic stability control with roll mitigation, traction control, and anti-lock brakes with brake assist. New Features included standard side airbags. Optional features are rain-sensing wipers, Sirius Satellite Radio, Bluetooth, a navigation system, and the MyGig entertainment system, complete with a 30GB hard drive.