The Jeep Liberty (KJ), or Jeep Cherokee (KJ) outside North America, was introduced in 2002 to replace its predecessor the Jeep Cherokee (XJ). The Liberty comes with Jeep's distinctive 7-slot grille and round headlights. On April 12, 2002, the Liberty was lowered one inch. In 2003, the rear drum brakes were replaced with disc brakes. In mid-2003, the automatic transmission was changed from the 45RFE to the 42RLE. In 2005, Jeep redesigned the front end and added a diesel model (available for export outside the US since 2002). In 2004, a passenger seat airbag sensor was added. In 2006, ESP and VLP were added and ABS became standard. The Liberty has come in four trim levels: Sport, Latitude, Renegade, and Limited and two special models: CRD and Rocky Mountain Edition. The Sport, Latitude, and Limited are the only versions still in production.
The Sport edition Liberty is recognized by its gray fender flares and bumpers.
The Limited edition Liberty is recognized by its color-matched fender flares/bumper and chrome grille surround/side strips. A narrow-spoke 17" wheel and tire combination became the standard in 2005, with an optional 5-spoke chrome wheel available exclusively for the Limited models.
The interior has options for an in-dash navigation system, and is appointed with leather seats and a premium sound system.
In 2005, Jeep redesigned the Renegade with the flat hood to give it the rugged look. Jeep also added bumper mounted fog lights. It still had all the features the 2002-2004 Renegade came with, such as the roof mounted lightbar, pocket-style flares, and Renegade emblems.
Rocky Mountain Edition
The Rocky Mountain Edition is a special edition Liberty based on the Renegade X package. Special features include painted exterior pieces, interior accents, a power sunroof, upgraded wheels, seats embroidered with the Jeep logo, and a Rocky Mountain Edition badge.
In 2004 Columbia Sportswear teamed up with Jeep and offered a Columbia Edition. This was offered prior to The Rocky Mountain Edition. A coupon for a free Columbia Bug A Boo parka came with the vehicle. 26,000 units were manufactured.