- All-new 2014 Jeep Liberty is caught testing in Detroit.
- A new interior design features a large Uconnect screen and revised controls.
- The likely powertrain is a 3.2-liter V6 and a nine-speed automatic.
DETROIT — Over the past year, Jeep has been teasing the world with early test mules of a very exotic-looking version of the 2014 Jeep Liberty. These mules were wearing an Alfa Romeo Giuilietta body lifted up to allow clearance for four-wheel drive and the Jeep's big tires.
While we knew that this new Liberty would be based off of the small Alfa, we also knew there was no way the U.S. market would get the AMC Eagle-like body. And these new spy shots of the 2014 Liberty crossover prove it.
As far as the exterior is concerned, the new Liberty is business as expected with a slatted, upright grille, squared-off wheelwells and a footprint that is slightly larger than its predecessor. The big deal here are the headlights. Slanted slits (LED?) replace the boxy lights on previous Jeeps and show the level of involvement that Fiat/Alfa has had in this car's development.
On the inside, the 2014 Jeep Liberty recieves a raft of upgrades including Chrysler's latest 8.4-inch Uconnect system with navigation and the three-knob audio/dual-zone climate control unit from the 2013 Dodge Dart. As with the Dart, we're expecting the CD player and additional USB inputs to reside in the center console.
This fully loaded model also shows controls for park assist, lane departure warning, collision alert and what looks to be a button (far left) for a self-parking system — a first for Jeep.
This 2014 Liberty also includes a new version of Jeep's Selec-Terrain drive control knob found on the Grand Cherokee. As with the GC, there are options for Auto, Snow, Sport and Sand. Unlike the bigger Jeep, however, there is no setting for Rock, which would indicate the absence of a height-adjustable suspension.
When Jeep Liberty production was halted in August of 2012, it had an antique 210-horsepower 3.7-liter V6. When the 2014 Jeep Liberty is released sometime in 2013, expect it to come with a scaled-down version of Chrysler's 3.6-liter Pentastar V6, probably in the range of 3.2-3.3-liters. A base four-cylinder, potentially the 1.4-liter turbo from the Dart, is also on the table.
Expect the base Liberty to be front-drive, with four-wheel drive as an option. The lone transmission is likely to be ZF's new nine-speed automatic, which will eventually find its way into much of Chrysler's lineup.
Edmunds says: This Liberty looks more like a mainstream compact SUV than its predecessor, a move that's likely to upset Jeep purists while at the same time making the Liberty far more competitive in the marketplace.