It's impossible to criticize the business plan for the 2006 Jeep Commander: Take the Grand Cherokee and give it an extra row of seats. Jeep dealers have long been tired of losing customers who need to haul more than five people to other manufacturers, so it's overdue.
And a tip of the hat to Jeep for doing a great deal of work to make this happen. The company could have done what General Motors did with the Chevrolet TrailBlazer and its kin: Stretch the five-passenger version to make room for a third seat. But the Commander, while clearly a Jeep, will not be mistaken for a swollen Grand Cherokee.
What it will be mistaken for, though, is a Jeep Cherokee on steroids. Not the kind of steroids that make you big and strong and acne-laden, but the kind that makes you — well, sort of just swell up, like Jerry Lewis. (Press the horn, and it goes, "Hey Ladeeee!" But they love it in France.)
Actually, that's cruel, because on the road, the Jeep Commander's looks grow on you. It's 2 inches longer and nearly 4 inches taller than the Grand Cherokee, but its wheelbase, at 109.5 inches, is the same. The Commander's track is a half-inch wider than the Grand Cherokee, though.
Bigger Inside That extra height is there to make the middle and rear seats friendlier. The roof steps up more than 3 inches just behind the front seats, effectively hidden by the standard roof rack. It means ample headroom for all three rows, even though the second- and third-row seats are raised theater-style. Five 6-footers will fit without fisticuffs in the front and middle row, but the two passengers exiled to the rear had best be shortish.
With seven on board, there's room for 6.0 cubic feet of luggage. Folding the third-row seats expands the cargo space to 36.3 cubic feet, while folding the second and third rows gives a total of 68.9 cubic feet. A Grand Cherokee is only a wee bit smaller, offering 34.5 cubic feet of space with its second row in the up position and 67.4 cubic feet with its second-row seat folded.
The front bucket seats are wide and pretty flat, similar to the seats of the target demographic — age 35 to 50, 85-percent married, 55-percent male, 62-percent college graduates. There are two models: the Commander and the Commander Limited. You shall know the Limited by its chrome. Inside, the Limited gets the expected power, heated front seats, plus leather upholstery, premium stereo with six Boston Acoustics speakers, Sirius Satellite Radio, power-adjustable pedals and the usual other luxury features.
This does not mean that the regular Commander is a stripper, because it isn't. It is well-appointed, and options such as a navigation system, rear-seat DVD player, hands-free communications and rear air conditioning can dress it up to near Limited standards.
Distinctive Outside As with the interior, the base Commander doesn't look downmarket. In some colors, in fact, some of us prefer it to the so-shiny Limited, which has a chrome grille, side molding and rear grab handles. Big, industrial-sized exterior door handles add to the son-of-Cherokee look.
Standard are 17-inch Goodyear radials with cast-aluminum wheels that look pretty nice, and include a full-size matching spare. Chrome wheels are a Limited option. With even the least expensive Commander, you're lookin' pretty good.
Under the Hood The base-est Commander — responsible for that sub-$28,000 list price, with shipping — is a rear-drive model with the 210-horsepower, 3.7-liter V6. A five-speed automatic transmission is standard across the board. Next step up is the 235-horse, 4.7-liter V8, and at the top is the 330-hp, 5.7-liter Hemi V8.
The fact that the 3.7-liter V6 performs so well that it can't be dismissed out of hand is commendable. Even with four-wheel drive — and EPA rating of 17 mpg city, 21 mpg highway — there's enough pep to make it worth considering, so long as you don't need to tow more than 3,500 pounds. The 4.7-liter V8 has a lot more punch off the line, and can tow 6,500 pounds.
The big gun is, of course, the Hemi and its 375 pound-feet of torque; it can tow 7,200 pounds and has all kinds of acceleration. It also has the Multi-Displacement System (MDS), which shuts down half the cylinders to save gas when they aren't needed.
On the Road The Commander's five-link solid rear axle manages bumps and potholes about as well as any, and the independent short-and-long-arm front suspension gives you above-average road feel and a good ride. For such a tall vehicle, the Commander doesn't feel at all tipsy, even when you are cornering more sharply than the tires would prefer. Every Commander, incidentally, gets electronic stability control, antilock brakes with BrakeAssist, and side curtain airbags that cover all three rows.
Like most Jeeps, the Commander has a relatively high waistline, but you don't get the feeling you're that far off the ground. The front seats need more side support, but otherwise, they're fine, even for long stints. There's nothing alarming or complex about the instruments and controls. With an overall length of just 188.5 inches — more than 10 inches shorter than a Chrysler Pacifica — the Commander doesn't feel ungainly around town.
And Off the Road It's unlikely the Commander will be anyone's first choice to tackle the Rubicon Trail, but Jeep gamely insists that the Commander, appropriately equipped, is "Trail Rated." There are three available 4x4 systems: The base is Quadra-Trac I, with the convenience of full-time all-wheel drive and a single-speed transfer case. Quadra-Trac II has the new NV245 two-speed active transfer case, and Quadra-Drive II has front and rear electronic limited-slip differentials and pretty much every trick Jeep has up its 4x4 sleeve. When slippage is detected, 100 percent of the power can be sent to an individual wheel with traction.
We did some fairly serious off-roading with the Commander, and while it is certainly capable, it isn't all that much fun. Throttle tip-in seemed abrupt for rock crawling, and a little more ground clearance would be nice, but for a seven-passenger SUV, it's certainly capable of getting you there.
Bottom Line? The 2006 Jeep Commander's list prices start with the aforementioned $27,985 base. Get four-wheel drive with the V6, and you're up to $29,985. The Limited starts at $36,280 with the 4.7-liter V8 (EPA ratings: 15 mpg city, 20 highway), and $38,900 if you want four-wheel drive. The Hemi starts at $40,395, with Quadra-Drive II as standard. EPA ratings are 14 mpg city, 19 highway.
Undeniably, Jeep needs the Commander, but with gas prices what they are, how much room is left for big SUVs of any brand is an open question, and likely one reason the Commander carries, at introduction, a $1,500 rebate. Jeep is about to learn just what level of pent-up demand exists for a seven-passenger Jeep.
2006 Jeep Commander Overview
The 2006 Jeep Commander is offered in the following submodels: SUV. Available styles include 4dr SUV 4WD (3.7L 6cyl 5A), Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A), and 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 5A). Commander models are available with a 3.7 l-liter gas engine or a 4.7 l-liter gas engine, with output up to 235 hp, depending on engine type. The 2006 Commander comes with four wheel drive or rear wheel drive. Available transmissions include: 5-speed shiftable automatic. The 2006 Commander comes with a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. basic warranty, a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. roadside warranty, and a 3 yr./ 36000 mi. powertrain warranty.
What's a good price on a used 2006 Jeep Commander?
Save up to $233.8 on one of 58 used 2006 Jeep Commanders for sale at dealerships within 25 miles of Ashburn, Virginia with prices as low as $4900 as of Nov 17, 2017, based on data from 18 dealers and 13 consumer-driven dealer ratings ranging from 2.7 to 5 out of 5 stars.
Price comparisons for used 2006 Jeep Commander trim styles:
The 2006 Jeep Commander Limited is priced around $6873 with average odometer reading of 139563 miles.
The 2006 Jeep Commander Base is priced around $7176 with average odometer reading of 129279 miles.
Shop with Edmunds for perks and special offers on used cars, trucks, and SUVs near Ashburn, Virginia. Doing so could save you hundreds or thousands of dollars. Edmunds also provides consumer-driven dealership sales and service reviews to help you make informed decisions about what cars to buy and where to buy them.
Is the 2006 Jeep Commander a good car? Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2006 Jeep Commander and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2006 Commander featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.
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We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.
How do people like the 2006 Jeep Commander? Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the 2006 Jeep Commander and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the 2006 Commander 4.2 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the 2006 Commander.
Review Since buying the 2006 Jeep Commander in 2007 I have had to spend major money on repairs. I have had to replace the battery three times already, I have had to rebuild the transmission, and now worst of all I have to replace the whole engine that is going to cost me $6,000. I have around 75,000 miles and this was the most expensive vehicle I have ever purchased and I am so upset and I don't know where to turn.
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What options are available on the 2006 Jeep Commander?
Available Jeep Commander 2006 Submodel Types: SUV
Available Trims: Sport, Limited, Base, Overland
Exterior Colors: Black Clearcoat, Bright Silver Metallic Clearcoat, Stone White Clearcoat, Steel Blue Metallic Clearcoat, Inferno Red Crystal Pearlcoat, Red Rock Crystal Pearlcoat, Light Khaki Metallic Clearcoat, Light Graystone Pearlcoat, Midnight Blue Pearlcoat, Brilliant Black Crystal Pearlcoat, Dark Khaki Pearlcoat, Mineral Gray Metallic Clearcoat, Jeep Green Metallic Clearcoat, Deep Beryl Green Pearlcoat, Modern Blue Pearlcoat
Interior Colors: Khaki cloth, Medium Slate Gray cloth, Dark Slate Gray cloth, Dark Slate Gray/Light Graystone leather, Dark Khaki/Light Graystone leather
Popular Features: 6000lb Towing Capacity, Audio and cruise controls on steering wheel, Fold Flat Rear Seats, Parking sensors, Power Driver Seat, Rear Bench Seats, Stability Control, Tire Pressure Warning, Trip Computer, Third-row seating, AWD/4WD, Sunroof/Moonroof, Heated seats, Alarm, Leather Seats, Upgraded Engine, Aux Audio Inputs, Towing Hitch, Auto Climate Control, Multi-Zone Climate Control, Upgraded Stereo, Remote Start, Bluetooth, Navigation, Back-up camera, Power Liftgate/Trunk, USB Inputs, Electronic Folding Mirrors, Post-collision safety system, Rear Entertainment System, 3500lb Towing Capacity