I guess we have had opposite experiences. I haven't owned a bad Jeep, nor has anyone in my family. As for your advice to stay away from the Liberty & Chrysler, you can stay away & you're entitled to your opinion, however I will continue to purchase & enjoy Jeep & Chrysler vehicles, which in my experience have been wonderful.
It sounds like the vehicle isn't driven much, so these problems could indeed be considered normal.
Sometimes low mileage and infrequent use isn't the best thing for a car. Actually, most of the time proper care and regular use is the best. A friend of ours owns a 2002 Jeep Liberty. She loves it. Up until recently, it towed her 22' mobile home all around the country (she just sold the mobile home). It has over 150,000 miles, and she has used it off-road several times. She will be looking to replace it soon, but I would say that it certainly was a very good car, considering she isn't known for taking very good care of her vehicles. I believe the only real problem it gave her was a failed air conditioning compressor.
Keep in mind when citing the results of a certain consumer magazine, that the survey's are filled out by subscribers of the magazine, and not everyone that owns these cars is a member and receives a survey.
I can tell you that based on my experience (we have owned both imports SUV's and Jeeps) that our Libertys have been more reliable than even our $40.000+ Lexus SUV and other so-called premium SUVs.
Back in 1987, I purchased a new Pathfinder that was fairly reliable, and owned it for 13 years, but it was no more reliable than any of my Jeeps, and did have more issues (transmission, clutch master cylinder, electrical issues & rust) than any of the Libertys we have owned.
The consumer magazine you cite, consistently ranks the Lexus RX as a highly reliable SUV, and although it was a nice vehicle and very well maintained, it was extremely unreliable to the point of 3 engines in the first 130,000 miles, and that was with changing the oil every 3,000 miles with synthetic. Sensors were constantly going, and the overpriced keyfobs were a joke that fell apart, and had to be taped back together. They also reportedly suffer from premature transmission failure (though we were spared that issue with ours).
Personally folks should drive what you like, but if you have not owned a Jeep, I would not judge them by what you read in a consumer magazine.
I will certainly continue to drive Jeeps, and currently the Liberty is the model that best fits my needs. I find it very reliable, as were my previous Libertys, my previous 3 Wranglers, and my wife's Cherokee.
I believe should the need arise to replace any SUV's in our future, we will definitely be buying another Jeep.
Just as if I find myself ever needing to replace my Sebring Convertible, it will be with another of the same.
It's funny actually, that when it comes to cars, our family has never had much luck with American vehicles EXCEPT Chrysler products. Honestly, we really have had some of our best luck with Chrysler products. Fords fell apart on us, we never had a GM product make it past 80,000 miles. But we had a '94 Jeep Cherokee that was finally retired with 223,000 miles on it. My father owned an old Cordoba that we lost track of the mileage on, and we owned 2 Caravan's (one went 187,000, the other only managed 165,000. Despite that they were both fairly trouble free until then.)
The worst car from Chrysler we ever had was a '95 Neon that gave us nothing but problems, and finally blew up at 88,000 miles. Currently, we have a '99 Cirrus LXi with only 91,000 miles on it. It's been very reliable so far, but right now could really use a tune-up. It's never had one!
Right now we have mostly Toyota's in the household and one Honda. Also all excellent vehicles. Our '96 Corolla has 202,000 miles and never a serious issue.
People always look at me funny when I say I'll only drive a Toyota or a Chrysler. They can understand Toyota, but Chrysler always takes them by surprise.
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