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Jeeps are hearty and reliable road warriors. Fans love them for the versatility off-road, as well as the everyday functionality as a lifestyle vehicle. Jeeps are fun to drive, and owning a one can mean a lifetime membership to the ‘Jeep Life’. But, as with any vehicle on the market, the Jeep Liberty has what some might call a model year of nothing but headaches. So, which year did Liberty trip out of the gate? You may want to avoid this year altogether.

A little Jeep Liberty history

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Jeep introduced the Liberty first in 2002, with intentions of replacing its Cherokee fleet. It aimed to bring an economical SUV to the market but also tried to keep some of the Cherokee trim level flares. Right away in 2003, Jeep gave the interior layout a few tweaks and loaded up a few more safety features. Since then, Liberty has undergone a few redesigns and remains a popular little SUV with consumers.

Jeep Liberty has several great model years on the road

We checked out to see not only which model years were most problematic, but also to find which years presented the least complaints overall. There are undoubtedly a few complaints documented for every year on the road, but a few models overall showed very few reported issues.

If you find yourself in the market to buy a used Jeep Liberty, you may want to look for a 2009-2012 model. These years had fewer complaints overall and the older model years mean that you’ll pay less for them.

The headache year for Liberty in general

There is one year that deems the worst for the Jeep Liberty. If you have this particular model year in your garage, you may already be aware of the recurring issue.

The 2006 Liberty has the most complaints, over 2,000 in total. Of those problems, most consumers were plagued with the window regulators breaking. These issues were presenting themself around the 50,000-mile mark, meaning many of these owners still considered their Jeeps in newer condition at the time of this failure.

Costs to repair these regulators average around $360. Some consumers had to replace the window as well as the regulator entirely. So, while not terribly costly, it was expensive enough to be considered a significant headache.

Other consumer complaints regarding Liberty

If the window regulator wasn’t enough of a headache for owners of the 2006 Liberty, there were other issues worth mentioning. Jeep issued 10 recalls, addressing various failures and safety hazards. There were concerns with the rear lower control arm fracturing, a potential fuel leak at the point of ignition, and an engine wiring harness failure that created a potential fire hazard as well.

Despite the potential severity of these conditions, the 2002 birth year for Liberty had the second-highest number of complaints regarding engine failure. Once those 2002 models breached the 120,000-mile mark, consumers were facing costly engine replacements to the tune of $3,850. These days, knowing people tend to drive and keep their vehicles well beyond the 100,000-mile benchmark, engine replacement can be a deal-breaker.

Again the Jeep Liberty, for the most part, has achieved what Jeep originally intended it to do. It’s an economical SUV, which much of the same Jeep personality that enthusiasts love. But, with the Liberty and every other SUV out there, sometimes it’s best to avoid specific model years if you can.

For the Liberty, 2006 was a headache year for owners. If you’ve had your eye on one, be sure to ask about the window regulator to verify repair or replacement. Otherwise, it may be the first item on your to-do list once it’s yours.