After a very quick search (I wanted a vehicle to drive before xmas) I settled on a 2006 Jeep Liberty Diesel at Summit Dodge in Fredericton.
I had a few basic criteria in mind when I started shopping. I needed something that was relatively rugged because we do occasionally venture into off-road situations. I also needed something that would pull my utility trailer. ("The gypsy wagon" as I call it) Other than that I didn't really have much preference.
I didn't expect to land on a Jeep. I have always had a soft spot for the Jeep Wrangler's but I knew that they weren't going to be practical for our family at this point. Out of curiosity I pulled into the dealer's lot with the expectation of looking at a few Wrangler's. So, what pulled me to this Liberty? Diesel. (and the price was good)
There are very few Diesel Jeep Liberty out there. This might not sound like a selling point but the ones that do exist get very good reviews. They were only manufactured in North America for a few years and only a limited number were made. They just didn't catch on with the public. I've heard great things about the reliability of diesels and the better fuel mileage they get. So, I test drove this one, fell in love with the tractor-like diesel sound and signed the papers.
I have only had the Jeep for a month so far but I still really like it. I've had it off road a couple of times in some minor dirt and it handled really well. It is also very good in the snow. I've had my fully loaded utility trailer behind it and it was wonderful. With my Subaru, it handled the trailer but you could definitely feel it. With the Jeep, you can't tell the trailer is behind.
I did have a couple of hiccups in the first week. I had a BAS/ESP censor light come on after a couple of days and my CD player was acting up. I took it to the dealer, they reset two sensors, and I haven't had a problem since.
The only other (expected) downfall I've noticed is the fuel mileage. The Jeep definitely doesn't get great mileage. I haven't gotten a good working average from it yet but I will post that.
My intention is to update this blog post regularly, as required, with updates on the reliability and driveability of the vehicle. If you have any questions or comments about the vehicle please post below and I'll do my best to respond. I'm not a mechanic or professional test driver but I'll definitely give you an answer from a layman's perspective.
Here is a table that I'll use to track average mileages. I'll track and update this periodically as I remember to...