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Old 01-08-2009, 08:19 AM   #1
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Keep the Liberty or go with new Wrangler?

I have a 2004 Jeep Liberty... love this vehicle with the exception of a really bad transmission design that appears common in these vehicles. Periodically, it will slam into or out of 1st gear (4-spd. auto); feels like someone just rear-ended you! Other than that, it's been 100% reliable, fun, and goes through anything including several hurricanes (I live in Florida) with downed tree limbs, flood waters, etc. I also had a Miata convertible and recently traded for new Nissan Sentra to get better MPG and use for work (Miata too impractical). The Nissan, even though it's brank spankin' new, does not thrill me in the least. Still prefer driving the Jeep but miss the convertible aspect of the Miata. O.k.... so word is Chrysler is failing fast... Jeeps should be GREATLY reduced, right? I'm thinking of trading both for a Jeep Wrangler Unlimited X 4x4. My questions are:

1. Is the Wrangler as reliable as the Liberty?
2. Are the automatic (I don't want a stick) Wranglers also plagued by the Chrysler transmission demons?
3. Mileage seems similar... my Liberty averages 18 mpg (level, lots of a/c, normal driving, mix highway and in town). Recently I had the fuel injectors flushed and now getting a great 19 - 20 mpg! What can I expect under same conditions for Wrangler Unlimited auto?
4. If you had to do it again... would you have bought your Wrangler?
5. What do you see as far as discounts (realistically) from Jeep dealers? (I bought the Sentra because the dealers took thousands off sticker, gave me more for my trade than what I paid for it, and got my payments where I wanted them... tried local Dodge dealer on a Caliber and they wouldn't even give me numbers... like "there's the sticker, here's the rebate, do the math."

Thanks so much. I love JEEP, never had a bad Chrysler product and I've had several... can't say that about ANY other car manufacturer including Japanese and Korean!

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Old 01-08-2009, 10:07 PM   #2
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1. Is the Wrangler as reliable as the Liberty?
Can't tell ya that, I've had mine 6 months and 15,000 miles with no major issues. It dirves great and I love it.

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2. Are the automatic (I don't want a stick) Wranglers also plagued by the Chrysler transmission demons?
I've got the 6 speed and it seems pretty solid. I've heard of overheating problems on the autos as well as complaints of "underpowered" probably due to low RMP shift points. The 3.8 V6 really doesn't make good power until you hit 3 grand.
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3. Mileage seems similar... my Liberty averages 18 mpg (level, lots of a/c, normal driving, mix highway and in town). Recently I had the fuel injectors flushed and now getting a great 19 - 20 mpg! What can I expect under same conditions for Wrangler Unlimited auto?
I average 17MPG and have a 30 mile commute.
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4. If you had to do it again... would you have bought your Wrangler?
Hell yeah, I love my Jeep. Wouldn't trade it for anything in the world.
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5. What do you see as far as discounts (realistically) from Jeep dealers? ... like "there's the sticker, here's the rebate, do the math."
I'm hearing good deals with cash buyers or buyers with LARGE down payments. Deals like $36,000 loaded Rubi Unlimited for $25,000. The problem is evidently lack of financing availability... Good luck with your decision.

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Old 01-08-2009, 10:17 PM   #3
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Chrysler hooked up with credit unions for their financing.
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Old 01-09-2009, 09:38 AM   #4
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In the Detroit area, at least, Wranglers are much lower in lease cost than Libertys right now. Ask for the CDI discount if you've leased other chrysler vehics.

I was in the market for a second vehicle and picked up my military green JK for about $230 a month/36 month lease and it was fully equiped (S package). At the time, I was only looking for a temporary fix for my mileage situation, but I am now planning on buying the car at the end of the lease ($13k).


I've had both, and both were/are great for their purpose. I drove a Liberty throughout college and loved its space and versatility. I have previously/now drive a Wrangler and love its manevurability and convertable top. The ride in the new wranglers is great in comparison to the 2004 model I had. I do experience about 16 mpg with the wrangler, however.
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Old 01-09-2009, 12:27 PM   #5
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Girlfriend traded her '04 Liberty on a '09 Unlimited X 4D and loves it.

Performance seems pretty close, although expecting 1-2 mpg less in the Wrangler (she was getting 20-21 on average in the Liberty).

Loves it so far. There is actually less engine noise in the Wrangler, so aside from a little more wind nose (soft top), it's actually quieter. Also has a lot more room than the Liberty and surprisingly doesn't seem to get wind blown as bad.

She's only had it for a week, so can't vouch for reliability. Liberty was great there aside from the electric windows that had to get fixed once a year (window would just drop for no apparent reason).

You may find better deals on 2008's on the lot. Our dealership only had 2009 models on the lot, and they were offering $2000 off MSRP + another $1000 for using the credit unions.

Good luck in your search.
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Old 01-10-2009, 11:42 AM   #6
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Thanks for your replies! I do love my Liberty, so I will base this on a few things. I cannot lease since I put a LOT of miles on... over 2,000/month... for work. Will depend on price (payments), though I have no problem with financing as I've carefully protected my credit and had no issues with financing the 2008 Sentra. Also, have to see if my 89 year old mother can get into and out of the Wrangler... it seems to be a bit higher and with a step over that the Liberty doesn't have. OR... just chop off the roof on the Liberty and have the first Liberty convertible!!!!
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Old 01-10-2009, 06:17 PM   #7
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One of the fine points to consider on the wrangler is its towing capacity if that is a concern for you. The liberty tows a lot for its size. My JK Sahara unlimited rubicon is limited to 3500 lbs.

For me, this is OK. I love driving my jeep. It is a 6 speed standard. Like that too. Love the utility of it. From sports car (top down) to truck (rear filled with junk or towing a trailer). It is just fun.
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Old 01-10-2009, 07:21 PM   #8
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I have had three Libertys before buying 4 door Wrangler. Libertys are nice for zipping around town, but not that good off road. Plus the four door X has more room than the Liberty. Need a grocery getter, keep the Liberty, want to have some freedom, buy a Wrangler
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Old 01-11-2009, 01:15 AM   #9
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The Wrangler is the first vehicle that I haven't been bored with after a year. I don't see myself getting bored with it anytime soon.
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Old 01-12-2009, 06:24 PM   #10
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At the end of december I test drove an 09' orange Sahara. I was offered $8,000.00 off sticker price!!!!!!!
I was shocked!
I almost bought it... however I had not intended to buy until March of this year.
I let the deal go... mostly because of timing and secondly.... they were so intent on selling it.... I had at least 15 phone calls from the dealership within the 3 days I was thinking about it.
I hated the pressure.... and it caused me to back off a bit. Even if I was ready to buy and they pressured me so much I would back off and go to another dealer!
HOWEVER... the $8,000.00 discount was very hard to pass up... very hard!
Let's see what they offer in March!
Ralph

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