Jeep Liberty CRD -- 2005 Review: Gas prices are not going to drop anytime soon. Worldwide demand for crude oil is way up, and even if the combination of a booming Republic of China, a dubious “war on terror,” and a double-whammy of catastrophic weather events in the Gulf of Mexico hadn’t forced fuel prices higher over the summer, the U.S. doesn’t have enough refining capacity to meet demand. And, as any Economics 101 student knows, when demand outstrips supply, prices rise.
As a result, the nation’s infatuation with SUVs is ebbing. Sales of the largest models are down, and even the mid-sizers are collecting dust on dealer lots. Consumers are moving away from the traditional sport-utes in favor of crossover SUVs that blend the attributes of a car, an SUV, and a minivan into a plush, spacious, all-weather vehicle. Crossovers are more fuel-efficient, and they’re available from Ford and Toyota with hybrid powertrains. The main drawback to a crossover SUV, however, is that it can’t go too far off-road and can’t tow much weight, which is where the “trail-rated” 2005 Jeep Liberty CRD comes in.
No, CRD doesn’t stand for “crud.” Rather, it’s an acronym for Common Rail Diesel. The Jeep Liberty CRD is equipped with a torquey 2.8-liter turbodiesel engine that gets better gas mileage than the Liberty’s standard 3.7-liter V6, can tow up to 5,000 pounds, and with standard 4WD enables its owner to go places most compact SUVs can’t. However, there are a few of pitfalls associated with the Jeep Liberty CRD. First, it’s not sold in all 50 states because tailpipe emissions don’t meet the strictest standards. Second, the price premium for the turbodiesel engine runs about $2,500. Third, diesel fuel is more expensive than regular gasoline. That means you’ve really gotta need that extra towing capacity and off-roading capability to justify buying the 2005 Jeep Liberty CRD.