Jeep Liberty:

2009 Jeep Liberty Wins AutoPacific 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award

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2009_JeepLiberty_a_IVA.jpg“The Jeep Liberty wins AutoPacific’s 2009 Ideal Vehicle Award for Mid-Size Sport Utility Vehicles. Liberty owners also rated the Liberty tops in AutoPacific’s Vehicle Satisfaction Award research this year. This is an outstanding achievement,” said George Peterson, president of AutoPacific, Inc. “Jeep has been in the SUV business longer than most everybody. They know how to design a great Jeep.” Among the Liberty’s leading attributes are:
* Handling
* Safety features
* Technology level
* Interior lighting
* Wheels and tires


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2009 Jeep Liberty Wins AutoPacific's Vehicle Satisfaction Award for Mid-Size SUV

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2009_JeepLiberty_a.jpgThe freshest entry in the segment, Jeep Liberty wins the Vehicle Satisfaction Award for the Mid-Size Sport Utility segment. The Liberty offers serious off-road capability in a comfortable size and in a familiar shape. It earns class-leading scores in such critical categories as:
• Safety features and feeling safe while driving
• Value for the money, always an important consideration
• Audio system performance
• Driver’s seat comfort
• Ease of entry/egress


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2008 Dodge Avenger SXT: MyGig in Action

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One feature we were looking forward to experiencing on our own home turf is the Chrysler Group’s voice- or touch-screen-operated MyGig infotainment system. MyGig uses a 20GB hard-drive to manage music, navigation (including real-time traffic capability), space for storing photos, and operating UConnect and Sirius satellite radio. Chrysler Group offers MyGig with the latest Dodge Avenger and Nitro, Chrysler Sebring sedan and convertible, the upcoming minivans, and Jeep Wrangler and new Liberty. Though we first covered MyGig after seeing it in the Chrysler Sebring, we recently spent a few days with a MyGig-equipped 2008 Dodge Avenger SXT.

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Dodge Nitro: Does It Live Up to Its Looks?

Dodge showed concept and production versions of Nitro at the Chicago Auto Show, in 2005 and 2006 respectively (click for our coverage of the 2006 reveal). In September, VehicleVoice and AutoPacific correspondents had our first opportunity to drive it. Starting at Broadway Pier in the San Diego Harbor, we drove the Nitro on a long, winding route to Palm Springs.

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Related to the Jeep Liberty and built in the same facility, Nitro is bigger, has an all-new suspension, and is optimized for the on-road side of life. Entering this segment late, Dodge’s best opportunity for creating a buzz was exterior styling or innovative new interior features. Dodge saw an opportunity for an in-your-face look with a decidedly male-oriented bias and went for it; the brand’s established in-your-face attitude would be best supported by an aggressive, in-your-face mid-size SUV and there aren’t many of those out there already. Nitro competes with soft-road or crossover SUV entries including Toyota RAV4, Saturn VUE, and latest Mitsubishi Outlander as well as with more traditional SUVs Nissan Xterra, Kia Sorento, and Jeep’s own Liberty. In this arena, only the Xterra wears strongly masculine styling.
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Dodge Nitro Gets Windy City Introduction

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A Year After the Concept, Production Nitro Introduced in Chicago
Dodge heads into the 2007MY competing in two new segments with two all-new entries. Along with the just-launched Caliber that we recently drove and reviewed, the Nitro arrives later in the year. Nitro is a traditional, four-door, five-passenger SUV with styling aimed at guys more than women. While the Chrysler Group’s Jeep Liberty, with which the Dodge Nitro shares production space, appeals more to women, the Nitro’s more aggressive attitude is expected to pull in more men. Its official introduction is this week at the 2006 Chicago Auto Show, the same venue that hosted the concept car a year ago.
Among the difficulties with joining a full segment will be getting through the clutter. At least on paper, the Nitro is a strong entry. But the small and mid-size SUV segments include as many as twenty-five entries, depending on definitions, and that means a lot of competition for attention. With its optional 255HP V6, Nitro is near the top in terms of horsepower, and its relationship to Jeep’s Liberty should give it decent off-road capability. Dodge has also given it the ability to tow as much as 5000 pounds, properly equipped. The Nitro also looks to further support Dodge’s performance slant, with an on-road performance-tuned suspension optional for some models.

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