Should You Take the 2012 Jeep Liberty Off Road?

The 2012 Jeep Liberty’s high ground clearance and optional four-wheel drive make it a solid off-road vehicle.
Written by Nathan Porceng
Reviewed by Jessica Barrett
Updated on Nov 03, 2022
A durable SUV with high ground clearance and optional four-wheel drive, you can take the 2012
Jeep Liberty
off road.
Summer days are scorching hot. If you spend hours sweating at work, then sit in traffic on your commute home, you might be looking for a way to blow off some steam. 
Surely, your time and the gas in your truck’s tank would be better spent charging down a dirt trail toward a refreshing mountain lake. But is your Jeep Liberty up to the challenge? 
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The short answer is yes
The 2012 Jeep Liberty’s off-road rating is pretty great!
, the
car insurance
comparison tool and
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, is here to break down the off-roading specs you need to know.

Can the 2012 Jeep Liberty go off road?

Technically, any vehicle can go off-roading. Getting back on the road might be the tough part!
Jokes aside, yes—the 2012 Jeep Liberty is a dependable off-road vehicle. With used models priced between $8,000 and $16,000, it’s also a pretty affordable one.
A handful of key features illuminate the Liberty’s off-road excellence. Let’s check out its specs!

Ground clearance

Ground clearance should be the first spec you look at before taking a vehicle off road. Makes sense right? Tree trunks and boulders ripping through your undercarriage can turn a weekend adventure into a waking nightmare.
In technical terms, ground clearance is the distance between the ground and the lowest point on your vehicle’s chassis. Experts recommend that a vehicle have 6 to 8 inches of ground clearance for off-roading. 
That’s if you stick to well-groomed trails. If you want to go over-landing, you really should have 8.8 to 10.8 inches of ground clearance.
So, how does the 2012 Jeep Liberty measure up? Quite well actually. 
The 2012 Jeep Liberty has 7.8 inches of ground clearance. That means it can handle dirt trails without a problem. However, if you want to hit the most difficult off-road terrain, you should probably look into buying a lift kit for a little extra boost.


Getting stuck in the mud is another way to ruin your plans, especially if there’s no one around to help you get out!
That’s why you want a vehicle that produces high torque at low RPMs. You may hear off-road enthusiasts refer to this as low-end torque
The 2012 Jeep Liberty produces 235 lb-ft of torque at 4,000 rpm. That’s not bad—but it’s also not great. If you’re taking your Liberty off-roading, try to stick to well-managed trails.


The 2012 Jeep Liberty performs best with P235/60R18 tires. These
all-terrain tires
deliver fantastic wet grip even when they’re worn, making them an excellent choice for off-roading. 
Michelin’s Premier all-season
variant even has a silica- and sunflower oil-enhanced tread to improve traction in wet and cold conditions.


Four-wheel drive is not optional if you’re going off-roading. However, it was optional on the 2012 Jeep Liberty.
The 2012 Liberty came standard with rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive was an optional add-on.
Before taking your 2012 Liberty off-roading, make sure that it has four-wheel drive. If it does not, you should probably just stick to paved roads.
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The approach angle and departure angle are the maximum angles that your Liberty can climb and descend without interference. Basically, they tell you how steep a hill your Liberty can tackle without scratching up the front or back end.
Experts consider an approach angle of 20 to 30 degrees to be sufficient for off-roading. And 15 to 25 degrees is considered a solid departure angle. Higher numbers are even better.
The 2012 Jeep Liberty has an approach angle of 28.7 degrees and a departure angle of 29.9 degrees. This is great! 
In terms of angles, your Liberty can tackle the toughest terrain and steepest hills with relative ease.

Off-road rating: Rough and Ready

We’ve established that the Liberty can go off-roading, but is it a great off-road vehicle or merely a good one? 
likes to keep things simple, which is why we created the DIRT rating system for off-road vehicles. Here’s more about each classification:
Don’t Try It
Stick to paved roads and streets
In a Pinch
Only go off road if you need to, and proceed carefully
Rough and Ready
Off-road ready, but drive cautiously when departing from established trails
Trail Boss
Take this vehicle anywhere you like
The 2012 Jeep Liberty’s off-road rating is “R”—Rough and Ready. This assumes your Liberty is equipped with four-wheel drive
Without four-wheel drive, the Liberty falls to an “I”rating
The Liberty is equipped with excellent tires, ample ground clearance, and steep approach and departure angles. However, the Liberty’s engine doesn’t get great torque at low RPMs, which holds it back from off-roading greatness. 
Overall, the 2012 Liberty is a good off-road vehicle. As long as you stick to established trails, you’ll be just fine.

The best off-road alternatives to the 2012 Jeep Liberty

The 2012 Liberty is a solid off-road SUV, but how does it stack up against its competitors? Let’s take a look:
Best for cargo
2004 Ford Explorer Sport Trac
With a handy bed and a sporty 205-horsepower, V6 engine, this fun little truck will take you and your gear wherever you need to go.
Best for serious off-roading
2012 Toyota Sequoia
The 2012 Toyota Sequoia’s roaring 310-horsepower, 4.6-liter, V8 engine makes it well worth its hefty price tag.
Best for family off-roading
2011 Subaru Tribeca
The 2011 Tribeca has the family-friendly features and reliability expected of a Subaru, plus a powerful 256-horsepower, V6 engine.

How to find affordable car insurance for off-road vehicles

Gas is expensive. Camping supplies can be, too. Before your next off-road adventure, put a little extra money in your pocket by landing better-priced car insurance on the
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