worst and best jeep liberty years

Jeep Liberty Years to Avoid

The Jeep Liberty is a great vehicle, but you need to choose the right year and which years to avoid. It was manufactured from 2002 to 2012, so there are many options to choose from.

While some years are unreliable, you’ll be pleased to find that most of these vehicles will run for a long time without too many issues. In fact, Jeep Liberty ranked 5th out of 10 Jeep models for reliability.

Still, Jeep Liberty is notorious for having problems. If you’re curious about which Jeep Liberty years to avoid, read on. We’re going to take you through three Jeep Liberty model years you should avoid.

In Short, Jeep Liberty models years to avoid are:

  • 2002,
  • 2004, and
  • 2012

models as they have been involved in a lot of recalls and have more problems recorded than any other Jeep Liberty Models.

Are Jeep Libertys Reliable?

Jeep Liberty are generally reliable cars, and Consumer Reports gave them an above-average reliability rating (3.5/5). As with any car, the older models are going to have aged a bit and may need repairs, but it’s not a bad idea to start your search around 2007 (if you can find one). The 2010 and 2011 models are also known for being pretty dependable, but newer models tend to be more expensive.

Worst Jeep Liberty Years to Avoid

2002 Jeep Liberty

The 2002 model of the Jeep Liberty was the first vehicle sold to the public. While the model was popular and gained a cult following, the 2002 model is one of the Jeep Liberty years to avoid.

This is because the vehicle had some problems with its airbag and seat belts –The jeep didn’t get off to the best start with this model. In some cases, the airbags wouldn’t deploy when an accident occurred.

Unfortunately, this led to over 70 injuries and worse circumstances. There was also a recall for these airbags, so you should make sure any 2002 Jeep Liberty you’re sitting in has had the airbag replaced.

The airbag light would also come on randomly. While the airbag issues are bad enough, the 2002 model also suffered from other recalls and issues.

There were fuel leaks that caused fires and the crash test results were below-average, especially in the rear. This is definitely one of the Jeep Liberty years you should avoid.

2004 Jeep Liberty

The 2003 Jeep Liberty fared better than the 2002 model  and didn’t have too many issues aside from the windows failing prematurely and faulty ball joints. Unfortunately, the 2004 model added more problems into the fold and became notorious for problems and recalls.

Plus, many repairs for the 2004 model were costly because parts were in limited supply. First and foremost, the problems from the 2002 and 2003 models were present in the 2004 model.

This means that the lower ball joints are faulty, the windows will fail prematurely, and the crash test rating is below average. While Jeep took steps to make the vehicle safer, the improvements are negligible and it lacked the quality that competitors like General Motors and Toyota had.

The 2004 model has also been a part of a recall with 239,000 vehicles being recalled for issues with the rear control arms. This Jeep also had problems with the fuel tank and reflectors, which posed an even greater risk to a driver’s safety. While the 2004 model came with more visually pleasing options, it’s a model year you want to stay away from.

2012 Jeep Liberty

The 2012 model year was the Jeep Liberty’s last year of production. After 2012, the Jeep Liberty became the Jeep Cherokee, which used the same platform.

While 2012 was the Liberty’s last year, many problems from older models persisted. In fact, the 2012 model is one of the Jeep Liberty’s worst model years.

The 2012 model has several problems you need to be aware of. First and foremost, the suspension problems from older models remain. This means that ball joints and control arms are at risk of failing before 50,000 miles; these are costly repairs if the vehicle is no longer under warranty.

The 2012 model also faced transmission issues. The gears shift slowly and the automatic transmission is known for lagging and failing prematurely. Furthermore, the transmission fluid leaks and needs to be replaced more frequently than other vehicles to prevent premature wear on its components.

On a lighter note, crash test ratings did improve for the 2012 year and the vehicle performed better in most crash tests. While this helped sales, it became clear that the vehicle still had many safety concerns.

The airbags failed to deploy in some accidents, the airbag light was faulty, and the active headrest failed to deploy. Overall, the 2012 model is one of the many Jeep Liberty years to avoid.

What Year is the Best Jeep Liberty?

2009 Jeep Liberty

While the vehicle has gotten poor reviews for several reasons, it’s still a good vehicle. It looks better than its predecessor and you are sure to receive fantastic fuel efficiency.

The 2009 Jeep Liberty was one of the few vehicles to receive a five-star ANCAP safety rating, which is a great sign. It also offers an impressive and comfortable ride, while delivering an exceptional model year.

There were some problems with the vehicle during its production, but they didn’t affect the majority of owners’ experience with their Jeep Liberty.

Final Thoughts

The Jeep Liberty is a great vehicle if you get the right year. The good news is that if you avoid the Jeep Liberty years we’ve mentioned, you shouldn’t run into too many problems. Still, we recommend checking each vehicle to ensure it has been properly maintained and that all recall information is up to date.

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