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SAFETY | 7 out of 10
“Good” rating for frontal offset test, “marginal” rating for side impact test
Five-star performance for front and side crashes
“Jeep has widened the new SUV's track”
The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) rates the Liberty “good” for front impacts but “marginal” for side impacts. In crash tests conducted by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA), the Jeep Liberty scores five stars for front and side impacts.
“After a report came in from an enthusiast magazine about a rollover of the former model during testing, Jeep made some modifications to the Liberty's suspension. The improvement garnered the Liberty an additional star in the government's rollover rating. We anticipate the '08 Liberty will do at least as well now that Jeep has widened the new SUV's track by an inch up front and slightly more than an inch in back,” states Edmunds.
Rain-soaked or snow-covered roads won’t pose much of an obstacle to the Liberty. Jeep’s Command-Trac and Selec-Trac II four-wheel-drive systems are very capable. Internet Auto Guide says, “Both four-wheel-drive systems make the Liberty highly capable off road, and they are aided by the addition of Hill Start Assist and Hill Descent Control.” Even the seemingly testy NYTimes.com admits, “To Jeep’s credit, all the good safety equipment is standard.” While Jeep has strayed away from its roots of producing only highly capable off-road vehicles, the 2009 Jeep Liberty remains a true rock-hopper. The same characteristics that make for good off-road performance can also enhance on-road safety when the weather turns ugly.
The 2009 Jeep Liberty has all the expected safety equipment, but a few crash-test blemishes keep it from scoring particularly well.