The Jeep Liberty Year models to Avoid and Why

You can’t go wrong with a Jeep Liberty, but make sure to get the year model that’s good for you. Since it was manufactured between 2002 and 2012, you have a wide variety of options to pick from.

Despite the fact that certain year models are less dependable than others, the vast majority of these automobiles can be driven for many years without experiencing any problems. The Jeep Liberty earned the fifth-best reliability rating out of all ten Jeep models.

However, Jeep Liberty has a well-known history of issues. Continue reading if you are interested in finding out which year models of the Jeep Liberty should be avoided. I am going to walk you through three different year models of the Jeep Liberty that you should try to stay away from.

In summary, the Jeep Liberty year models to avoid are 2002, 2004, and 2012, as they have been involved in several recalls and have more faults than any other Jeep Liberty model.


Is Jeep Liberty a Reliable Jeep Model?

The Jeep Liberty is a highly dependable automobile, as evidenced by Consumer Reports’ awarding it an above-average dependability rating (3.5 out of 5). Older models of any car will inevitably show signs of wear and tear and may require maintenance or repair at some point, yet, it is not a bad idea to begin your search around the models from 2007 (if you can find one). The models from 2010 and 2011 are renowned for being dependable; however, the prices of newer versions tend to be higher.

Jeep Liberty Years to Avoid

2002 Jeep Liberty Models

The first Jeep Liberty model to be available for purchase by the general public was the 2002 model. The 2002 Jeep Liberty is one of the year models that should be avoided despite the fact that the model was well-received and even had a cult following.

This happened due to issues with the vehicle’s airbag and seat belts. The jeep did not get off to the ideal start with this model. When there was a collision, the airbags didn’t go off when they were supposed to.

Unfortunately, as a result, over 70 people were injured, and the situation worsened. Additionally, a recall was issued for certain airbags; therefore, you should check to see if the airbag in any 2002 Jeep Liberty you are riding has been replaced.

The airbag light would randomly turn on. Although the problems with the airbags are somewhat serious, the 2002 model had several additional problems and recalls.

Furthermore, there were incidents where fuel leaks led to fires, and the results of the crash tests were significantly lower than average, particularly in the rear. You should steer clear of this year model of the Jeep Liberty at all costs.

2004 Jeep Liberty Model

The Jeep Liberty 2003 model performed significantly better than the 2002 model and did not have nearly as many problems, except for windows that broke unexpectedly and defective ball joints. Unfortunately, the 2004 model added more difficulties to the fold and became known for problems and recalls.

In addition, many of the repairs for the 2004 model were expensive because there was a limited supply of necessary parts. The difficulties that plagued the 2002 and 2003 models were also present in the 2004 model.

If the lower ball joints are broken, the windows will break before their time. The rating for the crash test is lower than normal. While Jeep did take several steps to improve the safety of its vehicles, those improvements were not significant, and the brand did not have the same level of quality as its competitors, such as General Motors and Toyota.

A total of 239,000 vehicles, including the 2004 model, have been returned to dealerships due to problems with the rear control arms. The recall includes the 2004 model. A driver’s safety was at risk because this particular Jeep had issues with the fuel tank and the reflectors. Even if the 2004 model included choices that were more appealing to the eye, you should steer clear of purchasing a vehicle from that year model.

2012 Jeep Liberty Model

The Jeep Liberty was discontinued in 2012. It was renamed the Jeep Cherokee in 2012 and employed the same platform as its predecessor.

Even though 2012 was the last year the Liberty was produced, several issues with earlier models are still present. The 2012 Jeep Liberty is one of the worst year models.

There are a few issues with the 2012 year model  that you need to be aware of. The suspension issues that plagued earlier models are still present, which brings us to our first point. This implies that the ball joints and control arms risk failing before the vehicle reaches 50,000 miles. If a warranty no longer covers the vehicle, the necessary repairs will be quite expensive.

Transmission problems were present in the 2012 model as well. It takes a long time to shift gears, and the automatic transmission is notorious for being sluggish and breaking before its time. In addition, the gearbox fluid is prone to leaking; thus, it needs to be replenished far more frequently than in other vehicles to prevent the components from wearing out prematurely.

On a more positive side, crash test ratings went up for the 2012 year model, and the automobile performed significantly better in most crash testing. Despite the fact that this was beneficial to sales, it was abundantly evident that there were numerous safety risks associated with the car.

Accidents occurred in which the airbags did not deploy properly, the airbag light did not work effectively, and the active headrest did not work properly. In general, the Jeep Liberty 2012 year model  is one of the many models that should be avoided.

What Year model is the best Jeep Liberty model?

2009 Jeep Liberty year model. Despite the fact that the vehicle has received negative reviews for a variety of reasons, it is still a decent vehicle. It has a more refined appearance than its predecessor, and it offers superior performance in terms of fuel economy.

The 2009 Jeep Liberty was one of the rare vehicles to obtain a perfect score of five stars from the Australian New Car Assessment Program (ANCAP), which is a very encouraging indicator.

There were minor issues with the car during production, but these had no effect on most owners’ experiences with Jeep Liberty.


If you choose the right year, the Jeep Liberty is a great vehicle. If you steer clear of the year models that I have specified for the Jeep Liberty, you shouldn’t have too many issues to deal with. Nevertheless, I strongly advise reviewing each vehicle to ensure that it has been adequately maintained and that any information regarding recalls has been kept up to date.