Philadelphia The Jeep Commander exists for two reasons. First, like every manufacturer of mid-size SUVs, Jeep wants a model with a third row of seats, a feature that is a must when families who suffer from minivan-avoidance syndrome go shopping for a new sport-ute. Second, Jeep hopes that the Commander will recreate some of the positive imagery and romance of the old Grand Wagoneer, which, unlike the current Grand Cherokee, really was grand in its day.
During our drive from downtown Philadelphia to the Pocono Mountains, occupants of Cherokees and Grand Cherokees definitely noticed the Commander. We were unsure whether they were admiring or simply curious. The Grand Cherokee-based Commander certainly looks like a Jeep, and it was intentionally penned to recall the iconic Cherokee. But the stance and proportions are very different, so the result brings to mind those Silly Putty comic-strip transfers you did as a kid, when you stretched and pulled Superman's image. There are some clever design touches, however, including the roof rack that disguises the stepped roofline and the (optional) grab handles mounted on the D-pillars.
The Commander shares the Grand Cherokee's 109.5-inch wheelbase and is only two inches longer overall.... Read full article