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STYLING | 7 out of 10
“an uncanny resemblance to the Dodge Nitro”
“A Dodge Nitro wearing a Jeep Commander mask”
“Jeep has definitely masculinized the Liberty’s styling”
“More macho looking”
If you knew nothing of the full portfolio of Chrysler vehicles, the styling of the 2008 Jeep Liberty might be less controversial. Maybe the new Liberty is no more than what the team at Automobile.com sees? They call it like this: “at first glance, especially from the rear three-quarters, the ‘all-new’ Jeep Liberty has an uncanny resemblance to the Dodge Nitro.” EdmundsInsideLine jumps on this similarity: “You might think that the 2008 Jeep Liberty midsize SUV is just a Dodge Nitro wearing a Jeep Commander mask.”
While there is a familial link to the Nitro (the trucks share a common platform, although the Liberty is two inches shorter), the Liberty is distinguished from the Dodge by the Jeep hallmark grille and other details. As TruckTrend.com recognized, that’s the direction designers took the 2008 Jeep Liberty: “Exterior changes include squared-off headlamps, a flattened hoodline, and a less rounded body--Jeep has definitely masculinized the Liberty's styling.” Motor Trend agrees that with the Liberty, Jeep has amped up the manly appeal: “…it gets a more macho-looking Jeep seven-slat grille, replacing the more rounded, friendly-looking grille that ironically has been applied to the iconic, macho Wrangler.”
About the interior design, EdmundsInsideLine.com writes, “The interior has sobered up. In place of the collection of design-y circles that made the old interior look something like a toy is a theme of straight lines and flat surfaces. It is similar to — surprise — the Dodge Nitro.”
Regardless of whether the Liberty, Jeep’s new SUV for 2008, looks more like a Dodge Nitro or Jeep’s own Commander isn’t really the issue for the editors here at TheCarConnection.com. The Jeep Liberty is now a more handsome vehicle, with a more rugged shape that shows off the promise of the vehicle’s off-road performance. The NYTimes.com gets it right with this observation, “The 2008 model, about two inches longer than its predecessor, has an unmistakable Jeep grille combined with squared-off, go-anywhere pugnacity.”
The 2008 Jeep Liberty’s new look is much more in keeping with its formidable off-road capabilities--something the previous generation’s rather girl-friendly design kept hidden.