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The name Commander calls to mind images of daring swashbucklers on fearless adventures at the far corners of the earth. As such, Jeep's latest SUV is aptly named; it possesses every inch of the go-anywhere bravado implicit in its moniker. With three rows of seating and room for up to seven passengers, the Commander is the most spacious SUV Jeep has ever produced.
Although not quite as capable off-road as the smaller Jeeps, among SUVs in its size class the Commander is a superb trail-buster, able to tackle rock-strewn paths and steep mountain tracks without breaking a sweat. Less thrilling, however, are the Jeep Commander's lackluster interior materials, cramped third row, so-so cargo capacity and poor fuel mileage with the larger engines.
Used Jeep Commander Models
The Jeep Commander debuted in the 2006 model year. The Limited came with a 4.7-liter V8 prior to 2010; it generated 235 hp and 305 lb-ft of torque until 2008, when it was bumped up to 305 hp and 334 lb-ft. The 5.7-liter V8 made 330 hp and 375 lb-ft of torque till '09, when it went up to 357 hp and 389 lb-ft.
For '07, the luxurious Overland trim debuted; it was equipped similarly to the Limited but with special interior and exterior trim. For '08, the Hill Descent Control and Hill Start Assist electronic driving aids arrived for Commanders with Quadra-Drive II. The Commander Limited and Overland's interior materials quality were improved for '09. For '10, the Overland trim disappeared, and the 4.7-liter V8 was discontinued, leaving the powerful 5.7-liter V8 as standard on the Limited models, along with a power liftgate.
Reliability was spotty on early-build 2006 models, so consumers looking for used Jeep Commanders would be wise to seek out later-build models or else hold off on a purchase until there's a bit more to choose from on the used market.