Base Sport and more luxurious Limited trims of the 2012 Jeep Liberty span a range from no-nonsense and affordable to quite plush. But oddly, the off-road-ready Renegade and its very off-road-focused kit have been dropped for 2012.
Last year, Jeep lowered prices on the Liberty, and it added a Bluetooth hands-free interface (with voice command), a garage-door opener, overhead console, and rear park assist as new standard equipment. Otherwise, the Limited is the way to go for those who want a more luxurious rig good for light-duty towing and weekend excursions. There's a big jump in look and feel up to the Limited models, as they add leather upholstery, heated front seats, steering-wheel audio controls, a Bluetooth hands-free interface, a garage-door opener, a cargo cover, and various other trim upgrades.
Sound systems were also revamped last year, with steering-wheel controls added for all models. The optional premium audio system is DVD and MP3 compatible and comes with a touch screen and 30-gigabyte hard drive; it can also be optioned with built in Garmin navigation and Sirius Traffic and Travel Link services. Rain-sensing wipers and a Sky Slider sunroof are among other noteworthy options.
Sport Jet and Limited Jet models--essentially special-edition packages--offer a spiced-up appearance, with big 20-inch aluminum wheels, chrome molding, and other black and bright trim throughout, plus a leather-wrapped steering wheel and alarm system.