2008 Jeep Commander SUV Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Jeep Commander SUV


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Jeep Commander Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 5.7 L V 8-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Four Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Automatic
  • Horse Power 330 hp @ 5000 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 13/17 mpg
  • Bluetooth Yes
  • Navigation Yes
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Jeep Commander

  • Though providing plenty of power and impressive off-roading characteristics, the 2008 Jeep Commander is a lackluster choice for a midsize SUV due to its compromised interior room and poor fuel economy.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Stout V8 engines, comfortable and quiet interior, capable in off-road situations, plenty of luxury and entertainment features.

  • Cons

    Adult-unfriendly third-row legroom, unimpressive cargo capacity for its class, lackluster fuel economy, unintuitive MyGIG controls.

  • What's New for 2008

    Engine and feature upgrades are in store for the 2008 Jeep Commander. The 4.7-liter V8 is considerably more powerful this year as well as…

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (7 total reviews)

08 overland

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Vehicle: 2008 Jeep Commander Overland 4dr SUV 4WD (5.7L 8cyl 5A)

After owning about 8 new jeeps over the past 16 years i was very impressed with the commander. My prior 06 commander had the 4.7 V8 and was underpowered. The HEMI is just right. I purchased a loaded overland model as it is truly the ultimate Jeep. The rear camera is helpful especially when using the third seat. It is a very solid vehicle. I like the styling as it reminds me of my first 1993 jeep cherokee country. I average 16mpg and on a round trip to Cleveland from Albany NY my average was 18. I drove around 70 mph. I really don't know why the press beats upon Jeep products so much. I have found Jeeps to be very reliable, safe, and fun to drive.

Best vehicle i have owned

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Vehicle: 2008 Jeep Commander Overland 4dr SUV 4WD (5.7L 8cyl 5A)

If you are in the market for an excellent all around vehicle. Do not hesitate to buy a commander. Shop around a little and you will not only get a great vehicle, but a bargain in the deal. Do not buy if you are wanting a 3o mpg vehicle. These weigh almost 5,500 lbs. But the plus side is how well they drive. Quiet, handles very well for its size. Acceleration with 5.7 hemi is awesome. Buy the hemi! This thing can accelerate from 50 to 100 in a heartbeat. And is just as quiet and confident at these speeds. The equipment included is awesome. The sound system ( Boston accoustics ) is audiophile quality. Go drive a limited or overland with a 5.7 hemi for about 100 miles. You will buy 1 maybe 2.

Love my overland

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Vehicle: 2008 Jeep Commander Overland 4dr SUV 4WD (5.7L 8cyl 5A)

I traded my 2006 Commander Ltd (HEMI) in for the 2008 Overland HEMI. It has all the bells and whistles so I don't see myself trading it in after 2 years like I always do. Got it with backseat TV. I've driven from NY to VA twice since August. I find that the gas mileage is close to the 4.0 and 4.7 engines that I've previously owned (Grand Cherokee). I arrive at the Maryland House (I95) with an 1/8 of a tank. Driving in the city and Long Island I do use more gas. I'm comfortable while driving. The only problem I had was an inefficient catalytic converter which my dealer replaced and no problems since.

Big power and huge fun

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Vehicle: 2008 Jeep Commander Overland 4dr SUV 4WD (5.7L 8cyl 5A)

I have a 2008 jeep commander 4x4 limited 5.7 big hemi v8 its power is simply amazing and is very fun to drive. the drive quality is the best even better than my grandmothers 2006 caddy dts and there is no road noise, I had a 2007 Nissan Xterra and the commander is by far the better suv on and off road plus better fuel economy. When I drive my commander I feel safe and in control it's a great big safe suv with an ample amount of power thanks to the HEMI!

5 of 5 people found this review helpful

It's a jeep commander limited

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Vehicle: 2008 Jeep Commander Overland 4dr SUV 4WD (5.7L 8cyl 5A)

I am very impressed with my Jeep. It's fully loaded and roomy, for a single guy. It has a 5.7L Hemi with variable displacement engine. On the straight away, I drive on 4 cyl in 'power saver' mode and get 24 mpg @ 50 mph. I've found the sweet spot to be around 1500 rpm, if you aren't in a rush to get somewhere, it will increase your mpg by 5-10 mpg. I expect after more break in to average 26-28 mpg on regular gasoline. I am happy with my MDE. A few suggestions: When taking off, when you reach 25 mph, 'Resume' cruise control. And run on 1/2 fuel to increase mileage. Use Quaker+Slick50.

Not driving my benz. and

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Vehicle: 2008 Jeep Commander Overland 4dr SUV 4WD (5.7L 8cyl 5A)

Purchased the Jeep Overland as a 2nd Car to have a spare SUV. My Benz has been sitting in my driveway since the day I drove the Jeep. I am selling my Benz and won't miss it! Every luxury in the world...power...and such an amazing ride. Never thought I would own an American Car much less rave about it. I would buy a 2nd one a 3rd one and a 4th one. Daughter loves the satellite TV and Daddy loves everything else. THANK YOU JEEP.

Gas Mileage


  • 13
  • cty
  • 17
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs

Full 2008 Jeep Commander Review

What's New for 2008

Engine and feature upgrades are in store for the 2008 Jeep Commander. The 4.7-liter V8 is considerably more powerful this year as well as being slightly more fuel efficient. Off-road technology and versatility are bolstered with the Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist electronic driving aids as part of the Quadra-Drive II four-wheel-drive system. Inside, the Commander has five-passenger seating available for the first time. To entertain the troops, this year's Commander can now be had with the hard-drive-based "MyGIG" infotainment system and Sirius Backseat TV.


Jeep's big people mover is back for its third year of production. It's the only seven-passenger SUV in Jeep's lineup, and it carries the burden of providing rugged off-road abilities with luxury and convenience features for the whole family.

Though its blocky exterior styling is obviously influenced by the beloved Cherokee of the 1980s and '90s, the Commander is actually related to the current Grand Cherokee. It rides on the same wheelbase but is a little longer and notably taller. The height gain, in particular, allows the addition of stadium-style rear seating and a 50/50-split fold-flat third-row seat.

For 2008, the Jeep Commander receives a few significant changes. Under the hood you'll find a revised version of the optional 4.7-liter V8 engine. It now makes 305 horsepower, a whopping 70-hp increase over last year's 4.7-liter V8. Jeep even says that the new engine is slightly more fuel efficient (although gas mileage is still pretty abysmal). The base V6 and top-shelf 5.7-liter V8 remain, but we think that the vast majority of buyers will be quite satisfied with the new 4.7-liter V8.

Inside, the tranquil and straightforward design benefits from new technology updates. Chrysler's increasingly common MyGIG entertainment system, a hard-drive-based navigation system that can also store and play digital music files, has replaced the old DVD-based navigation system. There's also Sirius Backseat TV, which provides three channels of kid-friendly entertainment for the optional rear-seat entertainment system. Sadly, there's no NFL Network for Dad.

While these changes are welcome, the 2008 Jeep Commander still suffers from problems it had from the outset. Most significantly, its cargo capacity is meager for this segment of vehicle and the third-row seat -- the whole reason for the Commander in the first place -- is cramped and suitable for small children only. Meanwhile, the tall height and rugged suspension don't do the vehicle any favors in terms of on-road manners. Though still a decent choice for a shopper wanting real off-road ability plus seven-passenger capacity, we think most shoppers will be better off with more well-rounded midsize SUV choices like the Ford Explorer and Toyota 4Runner. And if seven-passenger capacity is a priority, crossovers like GMC's Acadia or Mazda's CX-9 are also excellent choices.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Jeep Commander is a midsize SUV. The three basic trim levels are Sport, Limited and Overland. The entry-level Sport can now be had in five- or seven-passenger configurations. They both come standard with 17-inch wheels, air-conditioning, full power accessories, a rear park assist system, heated side mirrors and a CD player.

Stepping up to the Commander Limited gets you seven-passenger capacity, a rear back-up camera, rain-sensing wipers, auto-dimming mirrors, power-adjustable pedals, power front seats with driver memory settings, heated front seats, leather upholstery and dual-zone automatic climate control. Separate rear air-conditioning and heating for the rear seats, a sunroof with second-row skylights and an upgraded audio system with a hard drive, iPod connection and satellite radio are also standard. Almost all of these features are optional on the Sport through optional packages.

Topping the Commander range is the Overland trim with 18-inch wheels, a power liftgate, wood interior trim, two-tone seats, Bluetooth and the MyGIG navigation and music system. A rear-seat entertainment system is optional on all trims, and Sirius Backseat TV is offered on the Limited and Overland.

Powertrains and Performance

The Sport comes equipped with a 3.7-liter V6 that delivers 210 hp and 235 pound-feet of torque. This year's revised 4.7-liter V8 delivers 305 hp and 334 lb-ft of torque. It's standard on the Limited and optional on the Sport model. Optional on the Limited and standard on the Overland is a 5.7-liter V8 rated at 330 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque. All engines are connected to a five-speed automatic transmission.

In terms of drivetrain, each trim level is offered as rear-wheel or four-wheel drive. Sport models have the basic Quadra Trac 4WD system and can be upgraded to the electronically shifting Quadra Trac II 4WD system. The Limited has the latter as standard. Optional on the Sport and Limited and standard on the Overland is the more advanced Quadra Drive II 4WD system.

No matter what Commander you choose, fuel economy will be disappointing. A 4WD Commander with the V6 has a 2008 EPA estimate of 14 mpg city and 19 mpg highway. The mainstream 4.7-liter V8 has a 13/18-mpg rating while the big 5.7-liter, thanks to cylinder-deactivation technology, has a 13/17-mpg rating. Properly equipped, the Commander can tow 7,400 pounds.


All Commanders come standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control with rollover mitigation, and full-length side curtain airbags. In government crash tests, the 2008 Jeep Commander earned a top-five star rating for its protection of front occupants in head-on collisions. A trailer-sway-damping feature comes as part of the towing package.

Interior Design and Special Features

The Commander's interior exhibits clean, functional instrumentation and controls that are right in line with Jeep's user-friendly interior designs. However, the MyGIG navigation system's touchscreen controls are poorly executed, and unless you really want a factory-installed nav system, we'd stick with the standard hard-drive audio system.

The front seats are superbly comfortable and the second-row theater seats provide a good view of the road. Unfortunately, the just average second-row room and miserly third-row legroom make accommodations cramped for larger occupants. Cargo space behind the third-row seat is only 7.5 cubic feet. Maximum cargo capacity with all rear seats folded is 68.5 cubic feet for models with the third-row seat. For comparison, most competitors in this class usually provide 80 cubic feet or more.

Driving Impressions

The 2008 Jeep Commander has a comfortable, serene ride and decent steering feedback. Some drivers might find the Jeep's body motions excessive when driven over bumps, however. When taken off-road, the ample wheel travel, sophisticated 4WD system and decent ground clearance allow the Commander to conquer some pretty rugged terrain.

Talk About The 2008 Commander