Monday, June 18, 2012

SUV Of The Day: June 18, 2012

Today's car of the day comes from Dean-O-mite's collection and is Matchbox's 2002 Jeep Liberty Limited.

The Jeep Liberty (KJ/KK), or Jeep Cherokee (KJ/KK) outside North America, is a compact SUV produced by the Jeep marque of Chrysler. Introduced for the 2002 model year as a replacement for the Cherokee (XJ), the Liberty was priced between the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee. It was the smallest of the 4-door Jeep SUVs up until the car based 4-door Compass and Patriot arrived for 2007. The Liberty featured unibody-construction. Current estimates by Jeep are that 70% of Liberty buyers are new to the marque.

For more information and pictures of the real car please visit: Jeep Liberty

This silver 'Police' version was a very short production run, which was only available in Matchbox 10-packs back when the casting was new. These are the same graphics which were used on the first release red variation. Matchbox had applied the graphics onto leftover auto show promotion variations (which were plain silver, with the "Jeep" and tiny "4x4" badging, and red tail lights). This silver version appeared briefly in the 10-packs, at least a month before the red version was available as a single. The color in the third brake light was the only modification I have made to this SUV.

Inspired by styling from the Dakar and Jeepster concept cars, the Liberty was intended as a replacement for the discontinued Jeep Cherokee (XJ). Three trim levels were initially offered; the top end Limited, a more rugged looking Renegade and the base Sport. All were made available with either 2WD or 4WD.

The Liberty was the first Jeep to use two new PowerTech engines; the 150 hp 2.4 L straight-4, dropped in 2006, and the 210 hp 3.7 L V6. The VM Motori 2.8 L straight-4 common rail turbodiesel, became available in CRD branded 2005-2006 Sport and Limited models (2004 in the UK). The diesel utilized a variable geometry turbocharger and generated 160 horsepower (120 kW) and 295 lb-ft (400 N-m) of torque. The heavier diesel powerplant added nearly 200 pounds (91 kg) to the CRD's curb weight versus the gasoline model. DaimlerChrysler introduced the CRD to gauge the marketability of diesel engines in North America; diesels are already common in Europe. The Liberty was also the first Jeep vehicle to use rack and pinion steering.

Numerous versions were available in markets outside the U.S. and Canada.

Early-2002 through mid-2003 model year CRDs were equipped with a 2.5lt VM Motori Diesel. An external wastegated turbo was standard and the engine was available only with a manual transmission.
A commercial Cherokee version with 2.5 CRD engine and five-speed transmission rated at 34.4 miles per imperial gallon (8.21 L/100 km; 28.6 mpg-US) has a completely flat cargo area (the rear seat area has a carpeted full-length galvanized metal floor) and the rear quarter glass and rear door glass is replaced with fixed body colored aluminum panels (the front doors have power windows). For additional cargo security a removable floor to ceiling metal and mesh bulkhead is optional. In European markets, VAT registered buyers can claim back the tax paid as this qualifies as a Commercial Vehicle. The Jeep Liberty received a complete redesign for the 2008 model year with a more boxy and off-road look, like that of the 2007 Dodge Nitro.

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