2012 Jeep Liberty Review

2012 Jeep Liberty Latitude from North America

Year of manufacture2012
First year of ownership2012
Most recent year of ownership2012
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 7 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 6 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 3 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
5.4 / 10
Distance when acquired8 miles
Most recent distance3200 miles
Previous carHyundai Tucson

Summary:

Happy for now, though not sure what's in store for this SUV in the future.

Faults:

The electronic compass malfunctioned; actually never worked correctly straight off the lot. At the time, the dealership told us that it would calibrate itself and would take a couple of weeks of driving. It never did, even though we followed the instructions over and over and over. Finally, when it was time for its first oil change, we reported it and they didn't hassle us about it. They ordered the part, and two weeks later they called us to make an appointment. It was no fun waiting four hours in the waiting room, but at least they were nice to us and did fix the problem.

The only other problem we have is that the clock doesn't keep correct time. I've read on various Jeep enthusiast websites that this is actually a known problem, at least amongst newer Liberty owners who post on those sites. You set the correct time, but within a week it's lost a minute or two. If you wait a few months, your clock can be even as much as a half an hour behind. This is a pain, as sometimes you need the correct time (say you are late for work, or going to an appointment). You can always reset the clock, but who really wants to do that every week or two? On my next oil change I'll report it for a fix, but others tell me that Chrysler/Jeep has no known permanent fix, and that they'll just take your car back to their garage, reset your clock, and then smile at you and tell you that it's fixed. We'll see. Maybe by now there's a real fix.

General Comments:

This SUV has a distinctive, almost tough look, typical of Jeep, and I personally think it looks great. Keep in mind that this SUV wouldn't make a great soccer mom car, since it has a somewhat bumpy ride, much like a truck.

There were very likely better SUVs out there on the market, but we bought this mostly because of the price. In this tough economy most families can't afford to go out and spend $35,000+ on a car/SUV -- I know we sure couldn't. But, since the Jeep Liberty is being discontinued (2012 is the last year for this model), they were giving out great discounts and rebates, and were willing to negotiate down the final price too. We paid $21,000 for this Jeep Liberty, which we felt like was a bargain. Keep in mind, this was for the upgraded Latitude, which came with leather, Bluetooth, power everything, memory seats, upgraded wheels, cargo cover, floor mats, and a host of other desirable options. Ours also came with a sunroof! Although we looked everywhere, you simply can't find a new SUV with leather/sunroof etc for the price that we paid. Every other new SUV that we looked at with leather and a sunroof, was easily 30k+, and sometimes even 35k or 40k+.

So, we are happy with the price paid. That said, keep in mind that the Jeep Liberty gets terrible gas mileage. Just guessing, but I'd say that we get about 15 MPG in the city, and perhaps 20 MPG on the highway. It has enough get-up-and-go for us, and you can easily speed up when needed (and unfortunately can hear the loud engine when you step on the pedal), but it guzzles the gas when doing that. It does have a large gas tank (about 20 gallons), so while you will pay a fortune filling it up, at least you'll be able to go many miles before the next fill up.

Inside, the seats are very comfortable, and the controls are sensible and laid out in a way that makes it easy on the driver. This is a 'tall' car with a roof that goes higher than most other SUVs, so tall people have plenty of head room. Not much room for your feet and legs, however, especially for any adult back seat passengers. So, while your head, bottom, and back are happy, your feet and legs aren't, and might complain to you on longer trips <g>.

Also, inside the SUV, there's a LOT of plastic, and not much of it has padding except where it's essential (steering wheel, arm rests). Not really an issue for me, but it looks like after a few years of scratches, it will look worse for the wear. We'll see.

So, I have mixed feelings about the Jeep Liberty. I like the look of it (ours is blue with a dark grey interior), and I love how I can sit in it comfortably (other than my legs/feet on long trips), and so can my taller friends and all can clearly see the road with few blind spots. Best of all, I loved the price and all of the options that this SUV had. On the down side, however, the gas mileage isn't good, and the car must have a hundred of pounds of plastic in its interior. Also, the electronic gremlins (the compass and the clock) are worrisome to me. If things are going wrong already, what other surprises might there be in the future? I hope none, but am not 100% confident.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 30th December, 2012

23rd Jan 2013, 10:32

Okay, here's an update on the clock situation. As mentioned above, the clock loses time -- maybe two or three minutes every week. Finally, Chrysler/Jeep recognizes this as a problem on 2009-2012 Jeep Libertys and Jeep Wranglers. Before this, this issue was not officially acknowledged, so the dealership wasn't able to help, and if you complained, they would call it 'normal' for a brand new car in this day and age to not keep correct time.

If there is anybody else out there with a recent Liberty or Wrangler that has this same problem, the SERVICE BULLETIN number is: 08-003-13. Be sure to give them that number, because otherwise they might not understand what you are talking about. My dealership didn't.

I had a scheduled oil change today, and went there this morning to get that done, and while there, I told them about the clock and the service bulletin. They said 'okay', but an hour later they came back and told me that the oil change was done, but that they couldn't reproduce the problem with the clock. I politely told him that it wouldn't be a problem that they would be able to see with their own eyes, since the clock loses a minute or two every week, and that's not enough to simply look at the clock for a few minutes and notice. I'm not really sure that he believed me, or perhaps he thought that I was trying to get a new radio? Anyway, he did doubt me, but said nothing rude, and I told him again all about the service bulletin. He went into the back room for a few minutes, came back, and said "Well I don't know about any service bulletin, but we'll order the part and I'll call you when it's in."

So, now I wonder what part he ordered, why the dealership never got (or never noticed?) the service bulletin, and whether or not the clock will really get fixed. I guess I'll assume that he ordered the right part. We'll see. I wish I had brought the service bulletin number with me to the dealership, to clear it up.

This is the second electronic gremlin to have addressed with my 2012 Jeep Liberty. The first one was the electronic compass (that they did fix). Chrysler Jeep have been pretty good about fixing my problems under warranty, but I am the one who always has to point them out, even when they are supposed to already know about the issues, at least theoretically. With the compass, I waited forever in the waiting room, many, many hours. I dread the upcoming wait to get the clock fixed.

Average review marks: 5.4 / 10, based on 1 review