Last Jeep Liberty Built – Car Pro News

Last Thursday, Chrysler Group ended production of its Jeep Liberty SUV, ending an 11-year production run that included two makeovers, but little love.
A successor to the Liberty will go into production in the spring, Chrysler says. The new version will share a platform with the 2013 Dodge Dart and have what promises to be an interesting powertrain: a new 3.2-liter V-6 engine mated to a new nine-speed automatic transmission.
The outgoing Liberty was the child of Chrysler’s earlier unsuccessful marriage to Daimler AG. As such, it suffered some of the same de-contenting disease over its run that some other Chrysler products did during that period.
It got better when it was adopted by Chrysler’s new spouse, Fiat S.p.A., and was cleaned up a bit, but even Chrysler-Fiat CEO Sergio Marchionne considered it and its now-departed twin, the Dodge Nitro, the weakest parts of Chrysler’s product lineup.
The Liberty was more capable off-road than almost anything except perhaps the Wrangler. It was lighter and smaller than the Grand Cherokee, which had its advantages, and was a relatively comfortable ride, given its short wheel-base and high center of gravity.
The Liberty suffered from an engine and transmission combination that kept its fuel economy well below less-capable competitors and put its overall driving enjoyment far behind its predecessor, the Jeep Cherokee.
If, as Chrysler claims, its mid-sized SUV replacement coming to dealerships next spring remains at least as true to Jeep’s legendary off-road heritage as the outgoing Liberty, the sale rate is likely to be brisk.


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