Jeep has finally done it. A 7 passenger trail rated Jeep is now
available at a dealer near you. Long a maker of manly SUVs, the
Commander holds true to form as it can easily be taken off road
as well as down the highway. Unlike more pedestrian models, the
Commander looks every bit the rugged vehicle that it is. For
Jeep fans who need the extra room the Commander offers space not
available in any Jeep since the Wagoneer was retired a
generation ago. Let’s take a look at the 2006 Jeep Commander,
the focus of this review.
So, why build a seven passenger Jeep? To give customers a
choice, that’s why. With existing models able to carry only five
passengers or less, the Commander meets the demand for a larger
model. Instead of losing sales to GM or Ford, Jeep is now able
to offer a vehicle that will keep customers from leaving for
bigger and roomier models.
The Commander looks a lot like the Cherokee, which was retired
in 2001 after an 18 year run. The boxy Cherokee was a favorite
with many and the Commander successfully incorporates the
Cherokee’s look and body style.
As it is, the Commander is not a huge beast. At just two inches
longer than the Gran Cherokee, the Commander makes use of
available space without adding a tremendous amount of bulk.
Key features of the Commander include:
3 engine choices: a 3.7-Liter V6; 4.7-Liter V8 MPI; 5.7-Liter
2 transmission choices: a pair of five speed automatics
3 four wheel drive systems
Anti-Lock 4-Wheel Disc Brakes
3 Sound Systems: AM/FM Stereo with CD Player and Changer
Controls; an AM/FM Stereo Radio w/In-Dash 6-Disc CD/MP3 Player;
or a DVD-based GPS Navigation System with 6-CD/MP3 Changer
Leather trimmed or bucket seats
Supplemental Side Curtain Air Bags In All Rows
The usual accouterments including air conditioning, bucket
seats, power everything, etc.
Jeep gives owners the option of owning a traditional rear wheel
drive Commander or 4×4 models. Base price for the entry level
Commander starts at just over $28,000 while the fully loaded
Commander Limited retails at just under forty thousand. Prices
for the Commander are on par with those in its class.
I like what Jeep has done with the Commander and think that you
will too. I am, however, holding my breathe as Jeep prepares to
introduce its first non-trail rated model [sacrilege] next year;
in the meantime the Commander carries on the Jeep tradition with
much distinction and aplomb.