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The Liberty Sport starts off with the standard 3.7-liter V6 that powers all Libertys, producing 210 horsepower and mated to a four-speed automatic. Rear-wheel drive is standard, though various four-wheel drive systems are optional. Also included are anti-lock brakes, front and side airbags and an electronic stability control that includes a roll mitigation system. Included on the Sport are power windows, mirrors, locks with remote keyless entry, air conditioning, 16-inch alloy wheels, hill start assist, satellite radio and an AUX input. Latitude trim offers leather upholstery, heated and powered front seats, 18-inch chrome wheels, chrome trim and privacy glass. The top of the line Limited Jet Edition gets 20-inch chrome wheels, black headlamp trims and brushed chrome roof rails.
The Toyota 4Runner has similar off-road ability, a more powerful and refined V6 and more space, but it costs more money and still has an unrefined interior. The Nissan Xterra has a better V6 with better-made interior and decent on-road performance, but it's more expensive and lacks some of the available luxury features of the Liberty.
The Land Rover LR2 has a clever Terrain Response system for off-roading but also has a nice interior and very good on-road manners with the prestige of a Land Rover badge. It's significantly more expensive than a similar Jeep, though. A compact crossover like the Mitsubishi Outlander is available with a locking 4WD system and offers a third-row seat with superior on-road performance and comfort, but lacks true off-road ability that the Jeep has.
For those who need a go-anywhere SUV that doesn't break the bank, the Jeep Liberty offers rugged looks with available four-wheel drive for more serious conditions. It also has an airy interior and upright shape. But competitors offer better engines or superior on-road ability, or both. And even in Jeep's own stable, the larger Grand Cherokee isn't much more money than a top-line Liberty and is much more powerful and much more refined.
The Limited Jet has all of the chrome and glamour of a car covering the abilities of a Jeep. The Limited Jet gets over the Latitude exterior treatments such as 20-inch chrome wheels, black headlamp bezels, chrome side molding, bright roof rails, trip computer and an 8-speaker premium Infinity audio system. Options include a four-wheel drive, navigation, rear parking sensors, power sunroof, Sky Slider roof and towing package. The Comfort and Convenience Group adds automatic climate control and a remote start system.
The Sport may be the least expensive way to get into a Liberty, but that doesn't mean it's totally bare bones. Standard equipment includes 16-inch alloy wheels, power windows, mirrors and locks with remote keyless entry, automatic headlamps, air conditioning, tilt steering wheel, cruise control, reclining rear seat and six-speaker audio system with AUX input and SiriusXM satellite radio. Options include a power glass sunroof or folding fabric Sky Slider roof, part-time 4WD system, navigation system, rear parking sensors and towing package. The Popular Equipment Group adds roof rails, privacy glass, fog lights, steering wheel audio controls, alarm and compass. The Driver Convenience Group adds Bluetooth, front map lights, auto-dimming mirror and a garage door opener.
Powerful V6 with reasonable talents off-road when properly equipped, but is more expensive and hardly more refined on-road
Gutsy V6 with good versatility and a decent interior, but lacks some luxury features that are expected in the class
Standard four-wheel drive with advanced off-roading technology and good on-road manners, but is more expensive and smaller inside
Offers third-row seat with 4WD Lock and feels like a car on road, but doesn't have the same off-road ability as some competitors