2009 Jeep Liberty Sport 4x4 3.7 V6 from North America


The Jeep in-between a Wrangler and a Grand Cherokee - A Good 4x4 Value


Rear shocks are leaking (not fixed).

Valve stems & TMPS replaced at 86k. Partly my fault for using metal valve caps in Northeast climates on two valve stems (rusted to the stems); two sensors were just bad from age/rust.

Front tie-rod ends loose at 87k (easy replacement, still drives fine).

Heater core and radiator needed to be flushed (no heat issue, resolved immediately after flushing).

Needed spark plugs and an air filter at 80k. Easy job.

New tires (Hankook Dynapro's ATM's 235/75/160); Goodyear OEM tires were just OK.

Hypertech programmer caused issues with pinging/shuddering when attempting to use the 87 performance tune. Returned to stock tune and haven't had an issue since.

Oil filter location is criminal on 4x4 Liberties, very poor design and location. Took me 2 times to get it right because there is little clearance; I will just pay for oil changes in the future as access is better on a lift.

Floor heat is not the best (common KK issue) but decent enough to be comfortable.

Stock headlights and fog lights are abysmal. Replaced with LEDs, huge difference!

Not a performer. The engine/transmission performance is a bit slow, especially in rush-hour commuting and highway driving, you will have a harder time keeping up with traffic in this SUV than a modern SUV. Around town the performance is good, just merging/passing and keeping up at highway speeds takes considerable effort, but it'll cruise just fine at highway speeds.

Gas mileage isn't great, 12-14 MPG in mixed driving in the winter, 16-22 summer/highway depending on conditions.

General Comments:

The 2009 Jeep Liberty Sport 4x4 is an interesting vehicle, albeit dated. The last KK Liberty, which is the model designation for 2008-2012 Jeep Liberties, last rolled off the assembly line in 2012.

And in 2019, it shows. The vehicle just looks old in design and styling, which sometimes is a good thing for classic Jeep looks and sometimes a bad thing in terms of "road respect". The engine/transmission are quite dated as well; performance is good for a vehicle of this weight around town. Performance is average/below-average at best at highway speeds. Passing/merging takes some effort, and if you drive somewhere where aggressive driving/high speeds is common, you need some patience and planning with this vehicle. I "floor" this vehicle often enough that I don't have to worry about carbon build-up simply to manage traffic and merge safely sometimes. The other thing is gas mileage; comparable to a full-size truck in 2019 likely.

So, I guess this vehicle sucks right? Nope. Owning a Jeep is a unique experience, and coming out of a 2006 Wrangler that I drove for 8 years, the Liberty was a welcome change. The Wrangler was a fun vehicle, but by the time year 8 rolled around, it didn't do anything on-road well; even winter or rain driving without snow on the ground, my 350hp Mustang was a better choice to drive daily. The Liberty though offers a better experience. The ride and interior comfort is excellent for this vehicle, it's comfortable on long-trips and is quiet enough that you can relax even on the roughest roads. The handling and stability is great, the Liberty tracks straight and true on rough-roads and is STABLE! Wranglers with their solid-axle suspensions are notoriously bumpy and unstable, and being mechanically-inclined and owning one for eight years, you can tighten, grease and maintain the suspension meticulously and you will never get a Wrangler to track perfectly stable down a rough road. The Liberty, not a problem at all.

4WD and traction control are great in the Liberty as well. With the heavy-weight of the KK and these systems, the Liberty plows through snow without an issue and is stable and comfortable even in torrential rain with flooding. The heat after a heater core flush is great, and although floor heat could be better, I had no problems keeping warm this past winter in the Liberty, where even a Wrangler with a hard top, carpets and some insulation, is a cold experience.

Despite the 3.7 V6 and dated 42RLE 4 speed transmission, it's still a nice driving experience. Very smooth and comfortable at all speeds; just don't expect Ford Explorer Ecoboost performance and you'll be fine.

Cargo space is outstanding in the Liberty. Doesn't look like a huge SUV on the outside, but on the inside, the cargo space (even without the seats folded flat) is great, plus the center trunk storage tray is a nice touch for grocery shopping. The rear seats and the front passenger seat fold flat so loading large items is not an issue. I've done large Home Depot runs and grocery shopping in the same trip without an issue.

I've replaced all the lighting with LEDs; my only complaint is the front headlight connectors do not accept aftermarket connectors easily, making it hard to have a solid connection. Buying expensive LED headlight bulbs fixed the problem though.

Visibility is very good with this vehicle all-around due to the large windows. Easy to adjust the mirrors to eliminate blind spots, and the mirrors are so large that you can support a small blind spot mirror in them without losing valuable mirror-space either.

A/C is good as well, but I would recommend window tinting. With all of the glass, the Liberty gets hot inside if your windows aren't tinted. I was fortunate that my Liberty had factory tint and tinting the front windows made it perfect, but I've been in a 2012 without tint in black that was quite a fishbowl in the summer.

Also, Goodyear OEM tires for the Liberty are poor. Replaced them with Hankook ATM's and it's been great in the rain/snow ever since.

Overall, the Liberty is a great vehicle because true Jeeps aren't perfect. Reliability has been great with my Liberty; other than needing a cooling system flush (did myself) and valve stem/TMPS sensor replacement (rusted due to winter driving), it's been easy to maintain and a reliable, comfortable vehicle. While I can easily afford a new SUV or cross-over, it's nice driving the Liberty because I don't have to worry about rough roads, off-road conditions, bad weather, or even salt-damage as much as a new vehicle; it just keeps going through it all.

If you want a comfortable, rugged SUV with 4WD that has a nice ride-quality and great cargo room with good visibility, the Liberty is a good choice. They offer rugged looks, capability, and reliability without breaking the bank like a 4WD used pickup truck will.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 18th March, 2019

24th Mar 2019, 04:07

Nice detailed review :)

2009 Jeep Liberty Sport 3.7 V6 from North America


So far it has been a good value for a good SUV


Nothing has gone wrong with the Liberty so far, it has only been in for its scheduled oil changes, a tire rotation, and state inspection. Every item and feature on the vehicle has worked as it should since purchasing.

General Comments:

On the good side, the Liberty has a nice ride, and good room inside.

The instruments are nice, and it came well equipped for a very low price.

The 3.7 has fairly decent power and the 4WD works well.

Every feature on the Liberty works well, and it is comfortable on highway trips.

Nice solid rear axle, more of a truck type of chassis than a built up little car like many of the SUVs are now.

On the down side, it could get better MPG, but it's slightly better than our previous 4.0 Cherokee Sport and really not as bad as some make it out to be - maybe not Honda CRV MPG, but it's not a 150 HP four banger powering the Liberty either.

It has a lot of blind spots, especially when backing.

The hood sheet metal seems to move up and down slightly when riding on the highway.

Other than that, no real complaints thus far.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 6th October, 2009

12th Mar 2011, 01:24

I wrote this original review, and now two years in to it, the Liberty is still holding up well with no dealer warranty repairs needed. Mileage is now just over 20,000.

It was hit HARD in a front end accident, and was repaired at a body shop. The accident did no structural damage to the Liberty's unibody, only a lot of broken front end plastic like the grille and fender, and the shop restored it to excellent condition in a quick time frame.

My wife (who drives the Liberty) was given three days with a rental car, a Honda Civic. What the heck is so great about those cars according to everyone? That little thing was horrible! It's underside hit everything on the winter roads of Erie, PA in those three days, and the dash is so freaking long you can't even see where the front end of the little piece of junk is, not to mention I hit my head on the roof of the car EVERY TIME I tried to get in to it.

Enterprise gave my wife a rental Jeep Grand Cherokee after she complained, and we were happy with that until the Liberty came back.