New Jeep Liberty Replaces the Venerable Cherokee
Jan 11, 2001
Recently, Daimler-Chrysler announced that they would be discontinuing the Cherokee in 2001 and would introduce the new Jeep Liberty. This was met with jeers by legions of Jeep fans who use their vehicles off-highway. Why? Because the Liberty will be the first Jeep in decades to sport an independent front suspension.
This news was a surprise to many Jeep enthusiasts. Many assumed, based on prior announcements from Daimler-Chrysler, that the Cherokee would stay in production and that the Liberty would be an expansion of the Jeep line. We now know that this is not the case.
The reason the Liberty is a disappointment to many fourwheelers is because it sports an independent front suspension. To date, no manufacturer has produced an IFS that has suitable suspension travel for hardcore trails. Jeep was the last domestic auto maker to stay with the tried-and-true live (solid) axle design that is easily modified to produce large amounts of travel.
Of course, we won't know the true capabilities until the Liberty starts shipping and off-highway enthusiasts can put it through its paces. For now, we will remain skeptical.
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