crashed my 2007 KJ - should I get another KJ or KK?


New member
Hi folks,

I just joined the forum and this is my first post.

I had a 2007 Jeep Liberty that I loved. For 10 years, I drove it a lot on-road, off-road and towed it an equal amount. A couple of years ago, I put in a 2" lift and larger tires. I drove it off-road mostly in the Yuma, AZ area. It was great until I crashed it.

Now I need a new Jeep. I have considered a wide range of possibilities:
- Jeep Liberty KJ (2002-2007, as before)
- Jeep Liberty KK (2008-2012)
- Wrangler 2-door
- Jeep Renegade Trailhawk

I have eliminated the 4-door Wrangler, because it's too big for where I want to go. The 2-door Wrangler would be great, but only for 2 people and I want to take 2 others on outings with me. Crawling into the back seats is just not going to work.

So that leaves me with another KJ, a KK or the Renegade.

There is one place in Yuma that I like to go - "The Squeeze" in No-Name Wash. I can't post a link yet, but go to YouTube, find the video for "No Name Caynon 2015" - the Squeeze starts at about 06:30.

The Tracker/Sidekick and 2-door Wranglers can go through it easy. My KJ had about 1 cm of clearance on either side with the mirrors folded in. It's tight, but I'm able to get through, sometimes with a spotter, sometimes without, depending on the level of gravel in the wash.

If I'm going to get another Liberty, I am leaning towards the newer KK:
(a) a KJ would be at least 10 years old, which makes me nervous, especially if it has been used off-road in any serious manner.
(b) there were window regulator recalls on the KJ (all 4 were replaced on my KJ)

A 2011-2012 would get me the youngest available Liberty. But I don't really know if it will fit through the Squeeze. I'd hate to get a KK, only to discover I can't go to a favourite place and then have to sell the KK and get a KJ.

I don't know where to find the authoritative specs, So I've checked the dimensions on Wikipedia articles for KJ & KK:

Jeep Liberty KJ
Wheelbase 104.2 in (2,650 mm)
2001-04: 174.2 in (4,420 mm)
2005-07: 174.7 in (4,440 mm)
2001-04: 71.1 in (1,810 mm)
2005-07: 71.8 in (1,820 mm)
2001-04: 73.2 in (1,860 mm)
2005-07: 69.8 in (1,770 mm)

Jeep Liberty KK
Wheelbase 106.1 in (2,690 mm)
176.9 in (4,490 mm) (2008-2010)
176.1 in (4,473 mm) (2011-2013)
72.4 in (1,840 mm) (2008-2010)
73.1 in (1,857 mm) (2011-2013)
74.9 in (1,900 mm) (2008-2010)
71.3 in (1,811 mm) (2011-2013)

So comparing width & length:
wheelbase: 2012 KK is 1.9" longer than 2007 KJ
length: 2012 KK is 1.4" longer than the 2007 KJ
width: 2012 KK is 1.3" wider than the 2007 KJ

I note also that the 2008-2010 KK was 0.8" longer but 0.7" shorter than the 2011-2013 KK, but both are longer and wider than the 2007 KJ. The KK is also much more square than the KJ, perhaps further hampering its ability to squeeze through narrow places.

I'm not particularly concerned about the angles - getting through The Squeeze is more of an issue with length/width.

The other off-the-wall choice I have is to get a new Jeep Renegade Trailhawk, but I don't really know if it is as rugged and as capable as the Liberty.

1. can I trust those Wikipedia measurements - am I comparing the same things?

2. are those length/width differences between the KJ and KK significant (in the context of "The Squeeze"), enough to warrant choosing to get a much older KJ over a relatively new KK?

3. is the Renegade as rugged and as capable as the Liberty off-road? Should I be considering it or is just too cute and lightweight.

I'm not looking for something "better" than my old KJ - I'm just looking for something with at least the same off-road capability.