2005 Jeep Liberty CRD, is it worth the price premium?
January 4, 2010 8:20 AM   Subscribe

I'm looking at a used Jeep Liberty CRD with 50K miles for $13000.00. Looking around I'm seeing plenty of non-CRDs for significantly less, id the CRD worth paying $2000 to $3000 more?

Some history:
I currently drive a 1999 Jeep Cherokee Sport (smaller, boxier than the Grand Cherokees). While the mileage is not great, it's has been a great car for me, great in snow and handy for hauling stuff w/o having to worry about the interior. While it may have a lot of life in it, the small annoyances are starting to add up (rust, AC problems, etc). I was never a fan of Liberty styling but the CRD version has grabbed my attention. I'm a fan of my current vehicles reliability and low/easy maintenance, can I expect the same from the Liberty CRD? I've done a little research and am aware of the torque converter and ERG issues but they the look to be easily remedied.
posted by evilelf to Travel & Transportation (4 answers total)
I drive a Cherokee too, and I, along with some diesel-driving friends, have done some research into the Jeep CRD liberty. From what I've been able to find, the engine and transmission are pretty good, but there have been a couple serious issues (both of which you've noted) with the 2005 model year. Those both appear to be fixable with some reprogramming (Jeep has issued service bulletins for each).

Because it lacks a solid front axle, the Liberty will probably not be as stout off-road as your Cherokee, but the snow performance should be the same, if not better.

I'd guess that the Liberty will be just about as reliable (by which I mean, as reliable as you could expect from an American car). At 120k miles now, our Cherokee still runs great, but is nickel-and-diming us to death with things we've never experienced driving Asian cars -- new computer last year ($800), failed emissions because of a worn-out gas cap, a couple windows no longer work, alternator just had to be replaced ($500). I wouldn't expect the Liberty to age any more gracefully.

I do hate the patriotic post-2001 Jeep naming conventions, but I'm seriously considering making the trade once our Cherokee hits 200k miles.
posted by M.C. Lo-Carb! at 8:43 AM on January 4, 2010

What are you using it for? Assuming you're not going off road...

If you just want something suitable for snow and hauling, is the Liberty really the best choice? It certainly doesn't have the same robustness and awesomeness factor of the Cherokee, which vies for the title of Best SUV Ever alongside the Land Cruisers and Suburbans of the world. My parents spent tens of thousands of dollars suing Jeep over a near-fatal frame failure on a Grand Cherokee and even *I* would love an old Cherokee.

The Liberty has got less usable cargo space than the Cherokee IIRC, and it's just plain not going to be as reliable as something Japanese. If you're a dyed-in-the-wool Jeep person, nothing Japanese will do, but I'd take a Subaru wagon over any Jeep for everyday use.

As for the CRD part, the payoff depends on how much you drive, but if you want a diesel I'd get a VW wagon in a heartbeat. WAY better resale value, fuel economy, comfort, handling and styling.

Finally, if snow is a concern it sounds like maybe you're not using actual snow/ice tires in the winter. My old rear wheel drive BMW without stability control is better than a 4WD vehicle without snow tires (or god forbid, those stupid all-terrain tires), and my FWD VW on snow tires will go through _anything_ you can throw at it. Running on snow tires, you'll spend most of your time cursing other drivers for moving. so. slow.

Yes, snow tires cost money, but not more than the extra repair costs associated with an AWD vehicle and all its extra moving parts to break, or the money spent on increased fuel consumption due to the extra drive wheels.
posted by paanta at 9:12 AM on January 4, 2010

I own an '06 Liberty CRD.

I've been very pleased with it, getting between 22 and 29 MPG depending on driving style.

So far, no mechanical issues.

I have the towing package on it, and haven't stressed that part of it very much; I've towed things exactly twice, and they were well under the towing weight.

I live in FL, so no snow trials.

Mine is a daily on-road driver, I bought it specifically because it was the only Diesel SUV available other than the 04 Touareg and some even older Suburbans.
posted by tomierna at 9:47 AM on January 4, 2010

The Jeep diesel is generally not, as most diesels go, considered to be especially long lived, durable, or high quality. That compared to say...a duramax or a powerstroke or international (detroit) or mercedes passenger car.

Jeep (Daimler) elected to take a kickass vehicle (the cherokee) and dumb it down into a smaller, less capable, and generally un-jeep like vehicle. It will not perform or behave like your cherokee. You might appreciate that it lumbers less and feels more narrow, but that's about the extent of the good things I have to say about the Liberty.
posted by TomMelee at 10:33 AM on January 4, 2010

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