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When Jeep’s next-generation Liberty arrives in 2014, it will be far more carlike and based on a front-wheel-drive platform, we’ve learned from an executive at the company.


Next Jeep Liberty: More Carlike, Front-Drive Based, Fiat Engines, Coming in 2014
November 18, 2011



Both previous generations of the Liberty (the second-gen 2012 model is pictured above) utilized a carlike unibody with a reinforcing frame underneath; the company refers to this as a “uniframe.” With the comment that the next Liberty will “evolve,” it seems that the reinforcing frame will be abandoned, and that the Liberty is almost definitely going to be based on one of the company’s car platforms. This in turn signals that, like the Patriot/Compass replacement and the upcoming subcompact Jeep, the next Liberty will offer either front- or all-wheel-drive motivation. If you need a simpler way to think about it, consider the next Liberty to be Jeep’s take on the Dodge Journey, even if they don’t actually share anything excepting corporate powertrains.

Liberty will offer either front- or all-wheel-drive motivation. If you need a simpler way to think about it, consider the next Liberty to be Jeep’s take on the Dodge Journey, even if they don’t actually share anything excepting corporate powertrains.

Softening the Liberty may get a rise from the brand’s faithful, but it will allow the model to compete more directly with segment bestsellers like the Toyota RAV4 and Chevy Equinox. Hard-core off-roaders with a need for more space should continue to flock to the four-door Wrangler.

We’re told that Fiat can supply a number of efficient powertrains for the next Liberty, which may mean Chrysler’s current 2.4-liter four fitted with MultiAir or even a new 1.8-liter turbo four from Italy. The option of a V-6 could hang around, with the current 210-horse 3.7-liter being canned for the stronger and more refined 3.6-liter Pentastar unit.

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