2009 Jeep Liberty review

When you're driving around in an SUV, it's a good bet that you're not going to get the best mileage numbers. My test drive of the 2009 Jeep Liberty just happened to fall on Earth Day, which made me even more aware of its 15/21 mpg city/highway rating.

While I was driving, I kept an eye on the Liberty's trip computer and hoped for a surprising mileage outcome. It didn't happen. The best fuel consumption average I achieved was 18.7 mpg on my wide, open country roads. Needless to say, I immediately called my waste management company and added recycling to my trash service. Next, I drove to the grocery store and purchased a variety of earth-friendly cleaning products. Ahhh, that's better.

While the Liberty isn't as environmentally friendly as I'd like it to be, it did spur an urge to get outdoors and enjoy the environment. The Liberty has many Wrangler-inspired features, like four-wheel drive and large tires (17-inchers are standard and 18-inch wheels are available); you can take the Liberty from car pool to tide pools with confidence.

The Liberty is truck-like in its maneuverability, and it even seemed sluggish and had difficulty accelerating when I switched out of four-wheel drive. Its four-wheel drive didn't perform nearly as well as I expected on the muddy river that's normally my street.

Inside and out, I appreciated the rugged nature of the Liberty's looks. However, the Liberty should have given me more features, more storage space and a better ride despite its somewhat modest price tag.

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