Attractive, roomy compact sport-ute with a spirited engine and comfortable ride. We like the 210-horsepower V6, though its fuel economy is rather poor. It provides plenty of grunt and sprightly starts. We also like the Liberty's ride. Even though the independent front suspension, coil-link rear suspension (borrowed from the Grand Cherokee) and more than 8 inches of suspension travel are designed to tackle the mighty Rubicon off-road trail, the Liberty still provides a surprisingly supple and quiet ride in the city. The Liberty is the first Jeep to have rack-and-pinion steering. Add to this the Liberty's exceptionally stiff unibody structure and you get a ride that feels solid and capable off-road. Combine this with the fact that the Liberty's ride height is roughly the same as a Chevy Suburban's and you've got a pint-sized king of the road. Helping you survey your paved kingdom is the Liberty's excellent visibility, which is provided for by its large greenhouse, sharply sloping hood and angular styling. Sitting in its comfortable cockpit, you get a good sense of its dimensions, which makes parking and maneuvering the Jeep less of an exercise in "Oh, I hope I don't hit that bumper/fender/whatever" and more a case of "No problem, I got that corner made." However, we do admit that the somewhat stiff suspension and high ride height may cause some riders to feel that the Liberty is "tippy." We find the best way to avoid this sensation is to drive the Liberty, like all sport-utes, as though it is tippy and avoid all fast cornering and aggressive driving. The Liberty Sport edition is hardly luxurious, but its cloth-covered high-back bucket seats are comfy and supportive. And with optional air conditioning; power windows, locks and mirrors; six-disc remote CD changer; and six-speaker Infinity audio system, we never wanted for more features. Add to this mix nice surprises like a leather-wrapped and optional tilting steering wheel with stereo controls, and we even felt like we were living large. While the Sport's interior doesn't have the cool brushed aluminum trim we like so much on the Limited model, its motif of spherical shapes and sturdy, oversized switchgear are easy to operate as well as pleasing to the touch and eye. With all this going for it, no wonder the Liberty is selling so well. We've heard some folks complain that the Liberty has become a substitute for the suburban minivan, that its cute shape and round headlamp eyes have made it the darling of soccer moms everywhere. Whatever. However, for those of you who might feel the regular Liberty is too cute, Jeep unveiled a tougher-looking version at the 2002 Chicago Auto Show. If the Renegade manages to attract yet another niche of the market not sold on the Sport and Limited trim levels, the Liberty may become even more popular.