First unveiled in 2005 at the New York Auto Show, the Jeep Commander was in production from 2006 until 2010. A larger, seven-passenger counterpart to the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Commander was the most spacious vehicle ever produced under the Jeep brand. Though it can adequately tackle many off-road situations, its large size means that it simply won't fit into all the tight spaces a smaller SUV can get into. The interior comes with few frills, relatively limited cargo space, and a tight third row. All these factors led to the vehicle's discontinuation following the 2010 model.
In North America, the Commander was produced by Chrysler, and the original design was based upon the classic Jeep Wagoneer. The base engine in the Jeep Commander was a 3.7-liter V6, but buyers could upgrade to a 4.7-liter V8 or a 5.7-liter Hemi V8. All three versions make for a vehicle that is capable of tackling tough trails with ease and climbing mountains without breaking a sweat. Unfortunately, the Commander's boxy styling and overall large size makes any engine lack in terms of fuel efficiency.
When the first models hit the road in 2006, they had some issues in terms of consistency and performance, but these bugs were worked out in the later models and the Commander has become a reliable SUV. Throughout the years, the engine has become more powerful and capable of producing greater horsepower and torque. In 2007, the 4.7-liter V8 engine was discontinued, and the 5.7-liter V8 served as the standard replacement.
In its introductory year, the Commander was available with base and Limited trim. In 2007, however, the base model was renamed Sport, and a third top trim package was introduced: the Overland. In its final year, the Commander was only available in Sport and Limited trim. The base and Sport packages offer the fewest options, while the Overland was the most luxurious. Base and Sport packages included standard features like power accessories, air conditioning, and in-dash CD player. The Limited trim package was the most popular because it provided the level of luxury most SUV owners have come to expect without costing a fortune. Some of the upgrades include heated seats, a power sunroof, satellite radio, and a power tailgate lift. Optional upgrades included a navigation system and DVD entertainment system.
The Jeep Commander comes standard with many of the safety features consumers have come to expect, including front and side curtain air bags, traction control, anti-lock brakes, and electronic roll mitigation. In government testing, the Commander received five stars for the level of protection provided to the driver and passengers in a frontal crash. The rollover rating, however, is just three stars.
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