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2009 Jeep Liberty Sport Utility

RWD 4dr Sport

Starting at | Starting at 16 MPG City - 22 MPG Highway

2009 Jeep Liberty for Sale

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  • Average Retail is not available
  • $23,015 original MSRP
Printable Version

2009 Jeep Liberty Sport Utility

Benefits of Driving a 2009 Jeep Liberty Sport Utility

The 2009 Jeep Liberty represents a strong, smart purchase in the compact SUV segment. Among the class, the Liberty is very rugged and truck-like, ideally suited toward light towing or serious off-roading. The Sky Slider roof is also a good option for those who want the open-air feel of a soft top.

What's new for 2009?

The Jeep Liberty benefits from many small changes for 2009.

Model Strengths

  • Strong off-road-oriented features
  • towing ability
  • improved handling
  • interior comfort.

Model Review

The 2009 Jeep Liberty represents a strong, smart purchase in the compact SUV segment. Among the class, the Liberty is very rugged and truck-like, ideally suited toward light towing or serious off-roading. The Sky Slider roof is also a good option for those who want the open-air feel of a soft top.

Printable Version

2009 Jeep Liberty Sport Utility

Select:

2009 Jeep Liberty

Source: New Car Test Drive

Overview

The Jeep Liberty is quite capable off road, one of the best in its class. Compared to the Jeep Patriot and Compass, the Liberty is more of a true Jeep, with off-road prowess and bold, upright styling.

The Jeep Liberty was all-new for 2008, and is further improved for 2009, with refinements to its suspension, steering, and brakes.

The 2008-2009 Liberty is taller and more angular than the 2002-2007 models, reminiscent of the much-loved, rugged but crude 1990s Jeep Cherokee. The current model is bigger than the previous generation: 2.5 inches longer overall, and 2.0 inches longer in wheelbase. It rides smoother, too; but it maintains the ruggedness of the previous version.

All Liberty models come with a 3.7-liter V6 that makes 210 horsepower. For 2009, a four-speed automatic is now standard; but in these days of six-speed automatics, the four-speed is somewhat antiquated, and we don't think it gets the most out of the 3.7-liter V6, an engine that could use a little help. When it comes to fuel economy, the Liberty's weight and powertrain provide numbers that are on the lower end of the class.

Jeep has made an effort to refine the Liberty and add premium options. Snow Belt drivers will appreciate the full-time all-wheel drive system available in addition to the part-time system. Both four-wheel-drive systems make the Liberty highly capable off road, and they are aided by Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control. Within its class, only the Nissan Xterra can claim as much off-road capability.

When they redesigned it for 2008, Jeep engineers set out to give the Liberty pleasant road manners and, when it comes to ride quality, they succeeded. The Liberty rides firmly, but irons out most bumps quite well and is stable on the highway. The Liberty sacrifices handling for off-road prowess, however. The Liberty leans in turns and has a floppy feeling in quick changes of direction. It's this aspect that makes the Liberty most comparable to the Nissan Xterra and Ford Escape. These three are more rugged, more capable off road than the Honda CR-V, Toyota RAV4, and Nissan Rogue, which are lighter, more agile, and more car-like. If we were heading up a rough logging road, we'd be pleased to be in a Liberty.

Inside, the Liberty has plenty of room for five. We view it as a step back in terms of materials quality and fit and finish, however. The previous Liberty had more soft touch surfaces and closer panel gaps, while the current model has more hard-plastic surfaces. Still, it's not an unpleasant cockpit.

Cargo room is a plus. The Liberty's second row seats fold flat, as does the front passenger seat, to provide plenty of room for hauling boxes, bikes and life's other accessories.

With a maximum towing capacity of 5,000 pounds, rugged off-road capability and plenty of cargo space, the Jeep Liberty is a good choice for small families or couples that tow boats or go camping. If your travels don't often take you off-road, the other small SUVs will deliver better fuel economy and better handling, but none will offer a more pleasant ride.

Model Lineup

The 2009 Jeep Liberty is offered in two trim levels, both with rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. The models are Sport ($22,715), Sport 4WD ($24,325), Limited ($25,820), and Limited 4WD ($27,430). The lone engine is a 210-horsepower 3.7-liter V6, mated to a four-speed automatic transmission.

The base four-wheel-drive system is Jeep's Command Trac, a part-time system designed for off-road use. Also offered is Selec-Trac II ($445), a full-time system that allows use of four-wheel drive on dry pavement. Both systems have low-range gearing.

Sport features include cloth upholstery, air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, 65/35 split folding rear seats, power mirrors, power locks, power windows, remote keyless entry, AM/FM/CD/MP3 stereo and auxiliary input jack, vehicle information center, and P225/75R16 all-season tires on aluminum wheels. For 2009, the stereo upgrades from four speakers to six and includes Sirius satellite radio. Floor mats come standard. Sport options include a Sky Slider canvas sunroof ($1,200); a regular sunroof ($850); Class III towing package with trailer sway control and a full-size spare tire ($580); 235/70R16 all-terrain tires ($180-350, depending on other equipment); skid plates ($225) for the 4x4 model; and the Popular Equipment Group ($1,095), which now includes Yes Essentials stain-resistant cloth upholstery, as well as a 115-volt auxiliary power outlet, cargo compartment cover, fog lamps, front passenger fold-flat seat, roof rails, cruise control, external temperature display and compass, and deep-tinted glass.

Limited come standard with Yes Essentials cloth upholstery, heated power mirrors, 368-watt Infinity sound system with eight speakers, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with redundant audio and vehicle information center controls, auto-dimming rearview mirror, roof rails, six-way power driver's seat, fold-flat front passenger seat, universal garage door opener, antitheft alarm, fog lamps, full-size spare and P235/65R17 all-season tires on aluminum wheels. Limited include the Premium Group ($995) with heated front seats, leather upholstery, six-way power driver's seat with memory, and remote starting; the Premium Group 2 ($2,295) which adds automatic climate control, power passenger seat, interior air filter, Rainsense automatic wipers, rear obstacle detection and P235/60R18 all-season tires on chromed aluminum wheels to the Premium Group; and MyGIG Multimedia Infotainment system ($1,550) with a 20-gigabyte hard drive, integrated AM/FM receiver with CD/DVD player, GPS navigation with voice recognition and memo function, Jeep's Uconnect wireless phone link, USB port and touch-screen display. The Limited's Premium Sound Group ($395) adds UConnect and a 6-CD/DVD changer. Since a full-size spare is already standard on Limited, the trailer package costs less ($395).

Safety features include the mandated dual front airbags, plus head-protecting side-curtain airbags with rollover sensors and front side airbags for torso protection. Active safety features include anti-lock brakes with brake assist, hill start assist, traction control, and electronic stability control with rollover mitigation. The antilock brakes have rough road detection; when rough conditions are detected, the system holds the brake pulses longer to better slow the vehicle. Hill descent control is standard on 4x4 models. Optional safety features include trailer sway control and rear obstacle detection.

Walkaround

When Jeep introduced the Liberty in mid-2001 as a 2002 model, it was the middle of a three vehicle lineup. Now the second-generation Liberty is one of a six-vehicle family. Compared to the Patriot and Compass, it is more of a true Jeep, with off-road prowess and bold, upright styling.

The Liberty is unmistakable as a Jeep. The current model is 2.5 inches longer and 0.8 inch wider than the previous generation (2002-07), with a wheelbase that grows by 1.8 inches. Its tall, upright, angular styling fits with the current Jeep design idiom while also recalling the 1990s Cherokee. Whereas the last model had some soft lines and skewed 60/40 toward women buyers, Jeep feels the new model's more rugged looks will attract an even split of male/female buyers.

Internally, Jeep calls the Liberty's platform KJ. It is the same platform used for the last model and it is shared with the Dodge Nitro. The big news here is the new rear suspension. It's an independent five-link unit that allows for greater interior room and better ride characteristics.

The most noticeable aspect of the front end is Jeep's characteristic seven-slot grille, which is taller on this model. The grille is body color on Sport, chrome on Limited. The front fascia is body color on all, and the front air dam is removable to provide more ground clearance for off-roading.

From the side, the Liberty looks like a junior Commander, with tall windows in a squared off greenhouse. The Limited's chrome theme extends to the side with chrome side trim and roof rails. These components are black on Sport, and the roof rails are optional. In an attempt to give the Liberty the open feel of a Wrangler, Jeep offers the Sky Slider sunroof. Jeep says this canvas power sunroof is four times the size of an average sunroof.

A notable feature of the rear is the lack of an exterior spare tire. Jeep has moved it under the floor. The tailgate also changes from the swing gate used in 2002-07 to a liftgate design, and separate opening rear glass is standard.

Jeep says its competition is the Honda CRV, Ford Escape, Toyota RAV4 and Nissan Xterra. The Liberty is approximately the same size as these vehicles, but is considerably heavier than all but the Xterra. It is also more capable off-road than all but the Xterra.

Interior Features

Though not luxurious, the interior of the Jeep Liberty is functional. Most drivers will like the high seating position. Head room in the front seat is plentiful, but the tallest drivers will want more available front leg room. The side mirrors are large and the cabin has a lot of glass, making for fine rear visibility.

The gauges are easy to spot and the controls are simple to use. The climate functions are controlled by three simple knobs and the radio and other vehicle controls are straightforward. There is a useful cubby on the center of the dash top, and sizable grab handle is located just above the smallish glove box. The center console is deep and has a removable tray on top. There is also a small tray next to the shift handle. In 4WD models, a small electronic switch replaces the previous generation's transfer case lever.

We don't think the interior feels like an upgrade from the previous generation, however. The previous Liberty had some nice materials and quality finishes that are lacking in this new version. The dash, for instance, is all plastic with no soft-touch surfaces. The same goes for the tops of the doors, where passengers might rest their arms. The only padded surfaces to be found here are the door armrests. The center console also has a little give to its surface, but it's not padded, either.

That said, Jeep has added some detail to the Limited interior for 2009, including a leather-wrapped shift knob with a chrome cap; and leather accent stitching on the console and door armrests, grab handle, and parking brake boot.

Jeep had already upgraded this latest Liberty with available amenities, including automatic climate control, remote starting, a Sky Slider sunroof and the MyGIG Multi-Media Infotainment system. Jeep says the available MyGIG system can hold 1600 songs. It can also hold pictures to use as screen savers, and it contains the navigation system's map information. Songs and pictures can be ripped from a CD or loaded from a jump drive via an integrated USB port. The 6.5-inch navigation screen is a bit smaller than most. It absorbs some of the audio controls, but is generally easy to use.

The Sky Slider sunroof is much larger than a standard sunroof. It is made of canvas and creates an open air feeling, especially for rear seat passengers. However, it also creates wind noise at highway speed when closed. That's a shame because without the Sky Slider the cabin is impressively quiet. Wind noise and tire noise are well checked, and the engine is only noticeable under hard acceleration.

The second row offers lots of head room. Leg room is decent, even with the front seats all the way back. Toe space is plentiful under the seats, but there is an annoying hump on each side next to the transmission tunnel. The second-row seats aren't the most comfortable, however; they're flat and short with little thigh or shoulder support and they lack a fold-down center armrest. Getting in the second row is an easy step in, but the opening is a bit small, so it requires some ankle twisting.

Cargo space is about average for the class. The second-row seats fold flat in an easy one-step process to yield 64.6 cubic feet of cargo space (slightly less than the previous generation). With the seats up there is 31.2 cubic feet of cargo room, which is plenty of room for hauling groceries with the kids in the vehicle. The available fold-flat front-passenger seat allows for loading long items. In back, Jeep provides a shallow under-floor storage area with a reversible cover that is carpeted on one side and formed into a plastic tray on the other. This is a useful feature for stowing muddy boots. Cargo tie-down hooks are also provided to secure loose items. The load floor is fairly low, making it easy to load heavy cargo. With last year's redesign Jeep changed to a liftgate (from a side-opening swing gate); the rear glass panel opens separately, so groceries can be set inside without opening the tailgate.

Driving Impressions

The Jeep Liberty offers a pleasant driving experience. The ride is generally firm, but the Liberty smoothes over most bumps and is never punishing, even with the available 18-inch wheels.

When it comes to handling, the Liberty is relatively tall and heavy, so it is not as nimble as most of its compact SUV competitors. It leans more than most in turns and struggles to regain composure in quick changes of direction. Its solid axle rear suspension is designed for towing capability and off-road capability.

For 2009, Jeep has stiffened the Liberty's rear axle shafts and retuned the springs, shocks, anti-roll bars and steering gear valve, for a more precise, linear feel on the road. We don't doubt that these changes improve the Liberty's handling somewhat, but it is unlikely that they provide any fundamental change in its dynamics. Additionally, a re-tuned brake booster, low rollback calipers, and a revised brake pedal ratio promise better feedback through the brake pedal.

In off-road conditions, however, the Liberty is quite capable. With generous approach and departure angles and low-range gearing for 4x4 models, it can crawl over large rocks and logs. Four-wheel-drive models have Hill Descent Control, which pulses the brakes through the ABS to limit the vehicle's speed when driving down steep grades. Hill Start Assist is also standard. It holds the brakes on hills when the driver releases the pedal to prevent the vehicle from sliding backward. We drove the Liberty on a technically challenging off-road trail where it performed well.

With the available towing package, the Liberty is capable of pulling a load up to 5000 pounds. This towing capability combined with the Liberty's off-road prowess make it a good choice for families that like to camp, ski, or vacation at locations off the beaten path.

The 3.7-liter V6 is only adequate in this vehicle. It has decent pickup from a stop, but doesn't provide the willing punch to make passing easy. The four-speed automatic transmission kicks down readily to provide what passing power there is. Last year's standard six-speed manual transmission let the driver keep the engine in its power band more often; unfortunately, it is no longer available.

With EPA fuel economy rating of 16 mpg City and 22 Highway with 2WD (and 15/21 for 4x4 models), the Liberty is harder on fuel than most of its competitors.

Summary

The 2009 Jeep Liberty has better off-road capability and more towing capacity than most of its competitors. It offers generous cargo space and a high seating position. All-new last year, this latest version is more refined than the previous generation. But it's heavy for a compact SUV, and it lacks the handling and fuel economy of most of its rivals. If off-road capability is important, Liberty is a good choice; otherwise several rivals will handle better and go easier on gas.

NewCarTestDrive.com correspondent Kirk Bell filed this report from Indianapolis.

Model Line Overview
Base Price (MSRP)
$22,715
Model lineup:
Jeep Liberty Sport ($22,715), Sport 4WD ($24,325), Limited ($25,820), Limited 4WD ($27,430)
Engines:
210-hp 3.7-liter sohc 12-valve V6
Transmissions:
4-speed automatic
Safety equipment (Standard):
front airbags, head-protecting side-curtain airbags with rollover sensors, torso-protecting front side airbags, anti-lock brakes with rough-road detection and brake assist, traction control, electronic stability control with rollover mitigation, hill descent control (4x4), hill start assist
Safety equipment (Optional):
trailer sway control, rear obstacle detection
Basic warranty:
3 years/36,000 miles
Assembled in:
Toledo, Ohio
Specifications As Tested
Model tested (MSRP):
Jeep Liberty Limited 4x4 ($27,430)
Standard equipment:
air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, 60/40 split folding rear seats, power heated mirrors, power locks, power windows, remote keyless entry, 368-watt AM/FM/CD Infinity stereo with eight speakers and auxiliary input jack, Sirius satellite radio, cruise control, leather-wrapped steering wheel with redundant audio and trip computer controls, auto-dimming rearview mirror, roof rails, six-way power driver's seat, fold-flat front passenger seat, vehicle information center, universal garage door opener, antitheft alarm, fog lamps, full-size spare, P235/65R17 all-season tires on aluminum wheels
Options as tested:
Premium Group 2 ($2,295) with heated front seats, leather upholstery, six-way power driver's seat with memory, power passenger seat, remote starting, automatic climate control, interior air filter, rear obstacle detection, and P235/60R18 all-season tires on chromed aluminum wheels; Class III towing package with trailer sway control ($395); skid plates ($225); MyGIG Multi-Media Infotainment System ($1,550) with 20-gigabyte hard drive, integrated AM/FM receiver with CD/DVD player, GPS navigation with voice recognition and memo function, Uconnect wireless phone link, USB port and touch-screen display; Selec-Trac II full-time four-wheel drive ($445); Sky Slider sunroof ($1200)
Destination charge:
745
Gas Guzzler Tax:
N/A
Price as tested (MSRP)
$34,285
Layout:
four-wheel drive
Engine:
3.7-liter sohc 12-valve V6
Horsepower (hp @ rpm):
210 @ 5200
Torque (lb.-ft. @ rpm):
235 @ 4000
Transmission:
4-speed automatic
EPA fuel economy, city/hwy:
15/21 mpg.
Wheelbase:
106.1 in.
Length/width/height:
176.9/72.4/70.6 in.
Track, f/r:
61.0/61.0 in.
Turning circle:
35.5 ft.
Seating capacity:
5
Head/hip/leg room, f:
40.4/52.7/40.8 in.
Head/hip/leg room, m:
N/A
Head/hip/leg room, r:
40.3/48.4/38.8 in.
Cargo volume:
64.6 cu. ft.
Payload:
N/A
Towing capacity:
5000 lbs.
Suspension F:
independent, upper and lower A-arms, coil spring, gas-charged shocks, stabilizer bar
Suspension R:
live axle, upper and lower trailing links, track bar, coil springs, gas-charged shocks, stabilizer bar
Ground clearance:
7.4 in.
Curb weight:
4222 lbs.
Tires:
P235/60R18
Brakes, f/r:
disc/disc with ABS with brake assist in.
Fuel capacity:
19.5 gal.

Printable Version

2009 Jeep Liberty Sport Utility

Safety Ratings help

What do the Safety Ratings mean?

The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) performs independent crash testing of new vehicles and then assigns them a score based on their performance. The overall crash test rating is based on how a vehicle performs in the following tests:

Driver Crash Grade:

Measures the chance of a serious injury to a crash test dummy that is placed in a driver's seat and driven into a fixed barrier at 35 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less chance of injury.

Passenger Crash Grade:

Similar to the driver crash grade, only now the focus is on the passenger.

Rollover Resistance:

Simulates an emergency lane change to measure the likelihood of a vehicle rolling over. A five-star rating means there is 10 percent or less risk of rollover.

Side Impact Crash Test - Front:

Focuses on the front side of a vehicle. It simulates crashes that can occur in intersections by striking a 3,015-pound weight against the side of a vehicle at 38.5 MPH. A five-star rating means there is 5 percent or less chance of injury.

Side Impact Crash Test - Rear:

Similar to the front side impact test only now the focus is on the rear passenger.

Driver Crash Grade
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Passenger Crash Grade
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Rollover Resistance
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Side Impact Crash Test - Front
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Side Impact Crash Test - Rear
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Safety Features & Equipment

Braking & Traction

4-Wheel ABS Std
4-Wheel Disc Brakes Std
Traction/Stability Control Std
Tire Pressure Monitoring System Std

Passenger Restraint

Driver Air Bag Std
Passenger Air Bag Std
Side Air Bag Std
Child Safety Locks Std

Road Visibility

Daytime Running Lights Opt
Fog Lamps Opt
Intermittent Wipers Std
Variable Inter. Wipers Std

Security

Anti-theft System Std
Printable Version

2009 Jeep Liberty Sport Utility

Original Warranty  help
Original Warranty
An original warranty is the warranty associated with a vehicle when it is brand new. In addition to the original warranty, select items, like tires, are typically covered by respective manufacturers. Also, an act of Federal law sometimes provides protection for certain components, like emissions equipment.
The original warranty is often broken down into multiple sections, including:
Basic Warranty:
Typically covers everything except for parts that wear out through normal use of the vehicle. Examples of non-covered items are brake pads, wiper blades and filters.
Drivetrain Warranty:
This warranty covers items the basic warranty does not protect. Wear and tear items such as hoses will not be covered, but key items like the engine, transmission, drive axles and driveshaft often will be.
Roadside Assistance:
The level of service differs greatly with this warranty, but many manufacturers offer a toll-free number that helps provide assistance in case you run out of gas, get a flat tire or lock your keys in the car.
Corrosion Warranty:
This warranty focuses on protecting you from holes caused by rust or corrosion in your vehicle's sheet metal.
Please check the owner's manual, visit a local dealership or look at the manufacturer's website to learn more about the specifics of the warranties that apply to a vehicle.

Basic 3 Years/36,000 Miles
Drivetrain Unlimited Years/Unlimited Miles
Corrosion 5 Years/100,000 Miles
Roadside Assistance 3 Years/36,000 Miles

Jeep Certified Pre-Owned Warranty  help
Certified Pre-Owned Warranty
To be eligible for Certified Pre-Owned (CPO) status, vehicles generally must be recent models with relatively low mileage. CPO vehicles must also pass a detailed inspection, outlined by the manufacturer, which is measured by the number of inspected points.
Warranty coverage can vary from one manufacturer to the next. While most certified pre-owned programs transfer and extend the existing new car warranty terms, others offer a warranty that simply represents an additional year and mileage value. Always check with the manufacturer for the specific warranties they offer.
Common features and benefits of Certified Pre-Owned warranties include:
Age/Mileage Eligibility
To even be considered for certification, a car must be a recent model year and have limited mileage. The exact requirements are established by individual manufacturers.
Lease Term Certified
Some manufacturers offer certified pre-owned cars for lease. The length of the lease is often shorter than a new car lease, but it will cost you less.
Point Inspection
These inspections entail a comprehensive vehicle test to ensure that all parts are in excellent working order. The point inspection list is simply a numbered list of exactly what parts of the car are examined. While many inspections range from a 70- to 150-point checklist, most are very similar and are performed using strict guidelines. Ask your local dealer about specific details.
Return/Exchange Program
Some manufacturers offer a very limited return or exchange period. Find out if you will get the sales tax and licensing/registration fees back should you return or exchange the car.
Roadside Assistance
Most certified pre-owned programs offer free roadside service in case your car breaks down while still under warranty.
Special Financing
Reduced-rate loans are available through many certified pre-owned programs. Manufacturer-backed inspections and warranties help eliminate the risks involved with buying pre-owned, so buyers who qualify can take advantage of the great offers.
Transferable Warranty
When a new car warranty transfers with the certification of the car and remains eligible for the next owner, it is known as a transferable warranty. Once the original transferable warranty expires, an extended warranty takes effect.
Warranty Deductible
This is the amount for which you are responsible when repair work is performed under the warranty. Some manufacturers require a deductible while others don't, so always ask.

7-Years/100,000-Miles (whichever comes first). Powertrain Limited Warranty runs from the date vehicle was sold as new.

3-Month/3,000-Mile Maximum Care Warranty. Starts on the date of the CPOV sale, or at the expiration of the remaining 3/36 Basic New Vehicle Warranty.

A deductible may apply. See dealer for details or call 1-800-677-5782
Age/Mileage Eligibility Model Years 2010-2016 With Less Than 75,000 miles
Lease Term Certified No
Point Inspection 125
Return/Exchange Program No
Roadside Assistance Yes
Special Financing Yes
Transferrable Warranty Yes
Warranty Deductible $100

Learn more about certified pre-owned vehicles

Printable Version

2009 Jeep Liberty Sport Utility

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