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Jeep Liberty Officially Dies On August 16

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2012 Jeep Liberty Arctic

2012 Jeep Liberty Arctic

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We knew it was coming. We all knew that the Jeep Liberty was not long for this world. And now, Detroit News has told us when Jeep's parent company, Chrysler, is pulling the plug: next Thursday, August 16.

The Liberty has had good run, managing to remain popular despite being part of a Jeep/Dodge lineup that many have called redundant. (And despite being involved in a fairly major safety investigation led by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.) But like all good things, it's come to an end. 

But don't worry, Liberty fans: your favorite ride does have a successor -- in fact, we saw a test mule roaming the streets of Madison, Wisconsin last spring. However, the apple may fall far from the tree this go-round: like the all-new Ford Escape, the Liberty's follow-up has been transformed into a true crossover, in keeping with U.S. buying trends. In fact, it's so different that Chrysler has apparently decided to change the vehicle's name, even though initial reports indicated that it would remain a Liberty. 

Unfortunately, we won't get a good look at the yet-to-be-named vehicle until its debut next January at the 2013 Detroit Auto Show. Production should begin shortly thereafter, with vehicles rolling into showrooms around the middle of the year. Prices are expected to be around $24,000.

In the meantime, the Toledo North factory that manufactures the Liberty will shut down after next Thursday so that construction teams can retool it for the next-gen vehicle. The $500 million upgrade is expected to take several months, during which time the factory's Chrysler employees will be laid off. However, once the facility is back up and running, it will do so at increased capacity, even adding another shift.

Liberty fans: are you excited by the new model? Or does the thought of another crossover leave you feeling "meh"? Drop us a line, or leave a note in the comments below.

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Comments (5)
  1. I'm anticipating a much more capable vehicle from Jeep than your average "crossover", certianly more capable than the new Ford Escape,because, after all, it's a Jeep. Not looking to stur a debate with Ford fans, but Jeep has a much higher standard of expectation from their buyers than Ford, or at least a different standard. Jeep knows clearly that the next generation "Liberkee" will be ripped by the press if it falls below the present Liberty in off road capability and rugged dependability. Other crossovers set their standards based on whatever product they are able to produce, Jeep's standard is set by its established "trail rated" market expectation and that has always been, best in class. Optimistic and anxious about this Jeep.

  2. I like your confidence, but the Patriot and Compass are crossover Jeeps and are certainly no more competent than your typical Rav4 or Forester or Escape. I'll cross my fingers with you, but seriously doubt that it will be anything that an off-road enthusiast would wheel in. But for the, I guess there's the 4-door Wrangler. Still, a shame to see the Jeep name wind up on less-than-capable vehicles.

  3. I agree, Brendan. But I don't know that I'd agree with the 4dr Wrangler being a true option for enthusiasts in certain locations. Here in CO, you can go some places with one, but most of what we go on won't allow the size of it to pass. One was parked next to my Cherokee the other day, and that thing was huge in comparison. Some of us are facing the fact that we better hold on to our older models. We might have one the last Jeeps built tough enough, and the right size. My '96 has a lot of miles on her, but she can still take a 14er trail with ease. I'll replace the motor before I buy a new Jeep. I haven't seen any new Jeeps made in the last 8 years that impressed me.

  4. As long as it is not a Compass/Patriot-like Libby, it may seem perfect!

  5. I find this quite funny as my daughter just finished paying off her 2005 Jeep Liberty this week. It's been a great, reliable vehicle for her. So sorry to see it come to an end.

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