11 Best & Worst Jeep Liberty Years (With Facts & Stats)

The Jeep Liberty is a compact SUV that was produced for the 2002 – 2012 model years.

This model wasn’t a hit with auto critics but it still offers rugged good looks, room for five and considerable off-road capabilities.

In this article, we’ll take a closer look at its best and worst years…

2010 Jeep Liberty

Here’s The Short Answer To What The Best And Worst Years For The Jeep Liberty Are:

The best Jeep Liberty model years are 2012, 2011, 2010, and 2009. The worst model years of the Liberty are 2008, 2007, 2006, 2005, 2004, 2003, and 2002. This is based on auto industry reviews, NHTSA statistics, reported problems, and consumer feedback.

What Are The Best Years For The Jeep Liberty?

2012 Jeep Liberty

The 2012 Liberty was the most recent model to have been produced prior to its discontinuation.

It was also one of the least problematic models also although it still had a number of complaints about an airbag light that wouldn’t go off.

For 2012 a new trim level was introduced, known as the Jet variant, and a new optional Arctic special edition package was available for all variants.

Rear parking sensors were also included as a standard feature across the entire lineup. 

  • Edmunds: 3.9 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 78 / 100

2012 Liberty, Edmunds review:

“I went from a Ford Truck to this 2012 Jeep Liberty 3 years ago because I wanted a reliable 4wd that could sit 4 people comfortably with a 5,000 pound towing capacity. I bought it a year old with 29,000 miles. I too was skeptical because of the expert reviews, however the customer reviews were very positive and I was impressed on my test drives. Now that I have owned it for several years, this is by far the best vehicle I have ever owned. I have towed extremely heavy trailers and put it in places that I should not have been able to drive away from. It has literally saved my life a time or two. I have never had one thing go wrong with it…”

2011 Jeep Liberty

The 2011 Jeep Liberty comes with a 3.7-liter V6 and a towing capacity ranging from 2000 – 5000 lbs.

Compared to many of the earlier models, the 2011 Liberty was notably less problematic.

The 2011 Liberty received a steering wheel upgrade and a better infotainment system. 

Owners loved this model year because of its great towing capacity and decent off-road capabilities. 

  • Edmunds: 4.0 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 75 / 100

2011 Liberty, Edmunds review:

“Best car I have owned. I recently moved into a mountain home, and needed to trade in the city car for a 4×4. This car has not failed me in the mud, snow, or steep mountain roads yet! Would suggest to anyone.”

2010 Jeep Liberty

The 2010 Jeep Liberty is another top pick for those who want a mid-size SUV with trademark Jeep styling.

Auto critics praised this model for its Sky Slider Roof that lets you enjoy open-air fun without the security concerns and noise of a soft-top Wrangler.

For 2010, across the lineup, models were fitted with Jeeps Interactive Decel Fuel Cutoff (iDFSO) technology, designed to save on gas by restricting fuel to the engine when decelerating.

The 2010 Liberty also received more standard equipment for the Limited trim.

  • Edmunds: 4.2 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 78 / 100

2010 Liberty, Edmunds review:

“I have owned the 2010 Jeep Liberty for about 8 months and have found the negative press given to this vehicle to be just subjective preferences. The first knock by professionals is the power…well this Jeep has plenty of power and in fact is very zippy and torquey at low end. It gets up and scoots off the line but does lose some punch at 50 and above….but what is the speed limit? This Jeeps power is more than enough. The handling? love it! It is stable on the highway, fun to drive in town and has answered every task I have given it off road including 15 inches of snow mud combo and very rugged terrain. The interior cleans up well and while not fancy remember..its a Jeep.”

2009 Jeep Liberty

The 2009 Jeep Liberty boasts a simple and functional cabin and good amounts of cargo space. It was also the most reliable Liberty model produced according to NHTSA stats.

Since a complete redesign was implemented for the 2008 model, the 2009 Liberty remained largely a carryover year.

However, it was significantly less problematic.

The 2009 Liberty was the second installment of the 2nd generation which came with an even more rugged Jeep persona and a choice of two different four-wheel-drive systems.

  • Edmunds: 4.3 / 5.0
  • Kelley Blue Book: 4.2 / 5.0
  • JD Power: 76 / 100

2009 Liberty, Edmunds review:

“I traded in my 97 140k mile Grand Cherokee for the 09 Liberty. In the 140k miles I drove that car it had NO problems. Those who rag on the Liberty’s gas mileage should go buy themselves a hybrid and keep moving. I was looking for an upper-teen’s priced SUV that was fun to drive, dependable, and didn’t look like a soccer mom drove it. The comparing cars (ie: Rav4, Forester, CR- V) looked and felt unappealing to me. The Liberty drives great and comes with some nice options like the 30GB multimedia storage for mp3s/jpegs, internal CD burner, usb port, voice command, bluetooth…”

Consumer Scores For Best Jeep Liberty Years

Model YearEdmunds
Consumer Rating
Kelley Blue Book
Consumer Rating
JD Power
Consumer Rating
2012 Jeep Liberty3.9 / 5.04.2 / 5.078 / 100
2011 Jeep Liberty4.0 / 5.04.2 / 5.075 / 100
2010 Jeep Liberty4.2 / 5.04.2 / 5.078 / 100
2009 Jeep Liberty4.3 / 5.04.2 / 5.076 / 100
2012 Jeep Liberty Sport

What Are The Worst Years For The Jeep Liberty?

2008 Jeep Liberty

The 2008 Jeep Liberty was the first installment of the 2nd generation, and it got off to a bumpy start.

Electrical gremlins were the biggest cause for concern for owners of the 2008 Liberty, which was linked to TIPM (Totally Integrated Power Module) failure.

Reports indicated that windshield wipers started acting up, warning indicators on the instrument panel started lighting up, and the vehicle automatically locked and unlocked itself throughout the day. 

Gas overflowing when filling up was also widely reported, as described by one owner below:

“Every time I fill my fuel tank the gasoline overflows and spills all over the vehicle and ground. This will happen when I fill automatically or manually.”

The 2008 Liberty had a total of 126 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 734 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Gas overflows when refueling
  • Sky slider is defective 
  • Faulty TIPM (Totally Integrated Power Module)

2007 Jeep Liberty

While the 2008 model year possessed a myriad of electronics problems, its biggest issue revolved around its power windows.

According to owners, the power-operated windows would act on their own, sliding down even without prompt, and refusing to roll back upward.

 Owners also widely reported that when they fill up their Liberty with gas, fuel overflows all over the vehicle.

The 2007 Liberty had a total of 349 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 870 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Regulators failed prematurely
  • Windows fall into door
  • Gas overflows when refueling
  • Check engine light on

2006 Jeep Liberty

Much like the 2007 Liberty, the 2006 model year was plagued by issues with power window operation. 

One report stated that he heard a loud bang followed by the window rolling down, falling into its slot, and refusing to get back up automatically. 

Gas overflowing when refueling was also widely reported.

Front suspension lower ball joint problems were another common complaint, here’s one owner’s testimony:

“I was leaving out of my driveway when the driver-side lower ball joint once again broke. I replaced this part just one year and one month ago.”

The 2006 Liberty had a total of 682 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 1,717 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Window regulator broke
  • Windows keep falling down
  • Suspension issues
  • Engine failure

2005 Jeep Liberty

The 2005 Jeep Liberty was known for its faulty suspension, specifically its weak front lower ball joints that were easily damaged and broken.

Power window regulator failure was also widespread.

“This is the fourth window that has failed. The first three I had fixed, at my expense. It costs between $300 and $400, and I can’t keep putting out that kind of money. I have Gorilla tape holding it up, and that’s not really working.”

Gas overflows when filling the fuel tank was also widely reported.

The 2005 Liberty had a total of 198 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 1,406 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Power window regulator failure
  • Gas overflows when filling fuel tank
  • Rocker arm falls off

2004 Jeep Liberty

The front suspension and ball joint components were the most pressing concerns reported by owners of the 2004 Liberty.

Several reports specified that the front lower ball joints were easily damaged, causing a lot of noise and posing a safety hazard while driving.

The 2004 Liberty had a total of 213 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 1,374 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Windows fail
  • Brakes lock up
  • Engine failure
2004 Jeep Liberty

2003 and 2002 Jeep Liberty

The 2003 and 2002 Jeep Liberty models received a large number of complaints. These were the debut models so it’s not surprising they were problematic.

Statistically, the 2002 Liberty is the most problematic model produced in the model’s history.

Suspension issues due to ball joint failure was widely reported.

Airbag warning lights coming on and airbags deploying for no reason whilst driving was also common.

Engine failure was another problem for these models.

Here’s one owners testimony:

“We replaced the engine at 135,000 miles and the next engine is doing the same thing at less than 20,000 miles. Mechanics have said these engines were defective.”

  • The 2003 Liberty had a total of 162 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 1,681 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.
  • The 2002 Liberty had a total of 218 complaints at CarComplaints.com and 2,267 problems at CarProblemZoo.com.

Common problems:

  • Engine failure
  • Window regulator broke
  • Defective valves

Related: 11 Best & Worst Jeep Patriot Years (With Facts & Stats)

What Years Have The Most Complaints?

Model YearComplaints
2012 Jeep Liberty110515
2011 Jeep Liberty61224
2010 Jeep Liberty84266
2009 Jeep Liberty35129
2008 Jeep Liberty126734
2007 Jeep Liberty349870
2006 Jeep Liberty6821,717
2005 Jeep Liberty1981,406
2004 Jeep Liberty2131,374
2003 Jeep Liberty1621,681
2002 Jeep Liberty2182,267

What Problems Do Jeep Liberty Have?

  • Window regulator broke
  • Engine failure
  • Regulators failed prematurely
  • Windows keep falling down
  • Check engine light on
  • Defective valves
  • Brakes lock up
  • Gas overflows when filling fuel tank
  • Rocker arm falls off

Related: Jeep Liberty Alarm Going Off? (8 Causes & Solutions)

What Are The Best Alternatives To The Jeep Liberty?

Make & ModelScoreMSRPFuel Economy (MPG)
Toyota RAV49.0$11,919 – $14,049City: 19 – 22 /Highway: 26 – 28
Kia Sportage8.8$9,383 – $11,210City: 20 – 21 /Highway: 25 – 30
GMC Terrain8.6 $9,112 – $10,637City: 17 – 22 /Highway: 24 – 32
Subaru Forester8.5$8,971 – $13,244City: 19 – 21 /Highway: 24 – 27
Hyundai Tucson8.4$8,366 – $10,919City: 20 – 22 /Highway: 26 – 30
Chevrolet Equinox8.3$8,326 – $10,077City: 16 – 22 /Highway: 23 – 32
Honda CR-V8.3$11,897 – $14,332City: 22 – 23 /Highway: 30 – 31
Nissan Rogue8.2$7,495 – $9,123City: 22 – 23 /Highway: 26 – 28
Mazda CX-78.1$8,580 – $14,567City: 17 – 20 /Highway: 21 – 27
Nissan Xterra8.1$10,268 – $12,996City: 15 – 16 /Highway: 20 – 22
Ford Escape7.7$7,840 – $8,864City: 18 – 23 /Highway: 23 – 28
Ford Escape Hybrid7.6$9,423 – $11,060City: 30 – 34 /Highway: 27 – 31
Volkswagen Tiguan7.5$8,592 – $10,630City: 18 – 22 /Highway: 26 – 27
Suzuki Grand Vitara7.4$7,073 – $9,403City: NA /Highway: NA
Mitsubishi Outlander7.3$8,661 – $9,754City: 19 – 23 /Highway: 25 – 28
Jeep Wrangler7.2$15,460 – $20,737City: 16 – 17 /Highway: 20 – 21
Jeep Liberty7.0$8,910 – $11,379City: 15 – 16 /Highway: 21 – 22
Jeep Compass7.6$8,287 – $9,694City: 20 – 23 /Highway: 23 – 29
Jeep Patriot6.6$8,138 – $10,018City: 20 – 23 /Highway: 23 – 29

Source: cars.usnews.com, edmunds.com

Related: 25 Best & Worst Jeep Wrangler Years (With Facts & Stats)










  • Ian Sawyer

    Growing up with a father who was a mechanic I had an appreciation for cars and motorcycles from an early age. I shared my first bike with my brother that had little more than a 40cc engine but it opened up a world of excitement for me, I was hooked. As I grew older I progressed onto bigger bikes and...