Sold from 2002-'12, the Jeep Liberty was the successor to one of America's original compact SUVs, the Cherokee (which returned in 2014). True to its tough, capable Jeep lineage, the Liberty has considerable off-road capability, thanks to steep approach and departure angles and exceptional suspension travel and articulation. The Liberty was also rated to tow up to 5,000 pounds, a robust figure for its class. These are qualities not found in most other small utility vehicles from this time period, which saw the rise of crossover SUVs optimized for the suburban lifestyle.
Demerits for the Jeep Liberty include a weak engine lineup, with sluggish acceleration and dismal fuel economy from both the four-cylinder and V6 engines offered over the years (the first generation's briefly optional diesel engine is impressively fuel-efficient, however). Interior quality and comfort are also lacking, and by today's standards, the Liberty's general lack of refinement leaves much to be desired.