2009 Jeep Commander Review

Pros & Cons

  • Strong V8 engines, comfortable and quiet interior, capable off-road, lengthy features list.
  • Small third-row seat, lackluster fuel economy, poor base V6, unimpressive cargo space, irritating touchscreen navigation and audio controls.
Other years
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$2,897 - $4,481

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Though it provides plenty of power and impressive off-roading ability, the 2009 Jeep Commander is hampered by its compromised cargo capacity and poor fuel economy.

Vehicle overview

A luxury off-road family vehicle -- now there's an interesting concept. Now in its fourth year in production, the 2009 Jeep Commander was created to provide the seven-passenger seating of a family crossover, the amenities of a luxury SUV and the endearingly blocky styling of the long-departed Cherokee. The Commander mostly meets these individual goals, but we're not sure they come together in a way that best meets the needs of consumers.

For 2009, the Commander's top-shelf 5.7-liter V8 gets an increase in power and torque. This is made possible by a revised variable valve timing system, which also improves fuel economy. The vigorous and smooth Hemi now churns out 52 more horses than the available 4.7-liter V8, and it actually drinks less 87 octane than its smaller sibling. This obviously makes the Hemi the engine of choice if your heart is set on buying a Commander.

However, we think most consumers would be better served by looking elsewhere. The Commander's passenger and cargo space pale in comparison to that of full-size crossovers like the Ford Flex, GMC Acadia and Mazda CX-9, while its fuel economy and driving dynamics also trail these class leaders. The loaded Limited and Overland models offer plenty of creature comforts, but there are luxury-branded vehicles that provide a more upscale image and ambience for similar cash. Few can challenge the off-road prowess of the Commander in this segment, yet we don't know many families that go trail busting in their large SUVs. The 2009 Jeep Commander does what it's designed to do, but for the most part, the competition does it better.

2009 Jeep Commander models

The 2009 Jeep Commander is a midsize SUV available in Sport, Limited and Overland trim levels. Seven seats are standard in the latter two trims and optional in the Sport, which comes standard with only two rows of seats.

Standard equipment on Sport models includes 17-inch alloy wheels, all-terrain tires, rear parking sensors, roof rails, cruise control, a tilt-and-telescoping steering column, an eight-way power driver seat, a 40/20/40-split second-row bench, a trip computer and a six-speaker stereo with a CD/MP3 player and satellite radio. Adding the third-row seat nets foglamps and rear climate controls. The Popular Equipment Group tacks on remote ignition, heated front seats, power-adjustable pedals and upgraded speakers. The Sun and Sound Group adds a six-CD changer and a sunroof. The Luxury Group adds auto headlamps, a power passenger seat, an auto-dimming rearview interior mirror and a universal garage opener. An upgraded stereo system is also available, featuring touchscreen control, digital music storage, an iPod interface and a back-up camera. This is included with the optional navigation system.

The Limited adds all the Sport's option groups plus auto-dimming exterior mirrors, heated mirrors, automatic dual-zone climate control, higher-quality interior surfaces, heated second-row seats, manual front seat lumbar control, driver memory functions, leather upholstery, a leather-wrapped steering wheel (optional on the Sport) and Bluetooth.

The Overland adds to all this 18-inch chrome-clad wheels, a towing package, a power liftgate, auto-leveling xenon headlamps, a wood and leather steering wheel, leather and faux-suede upholstery and special Overland badging. The headlamps are a stand-alone option on the Limited, while both lower trims can be equipped with the power liftgate and towing package. A rear-seat entertainment system including Sirius Satellite TV is available on the Limited and Overland.

2009 Highlights

The Jeep Commander's optional 5.7-liter V8 is both more powerful and more fuel-efficient for 2009. Interior materials are improved on Limited and Overland trims, and an iPod interface is now included with the optional navigation system.

Performance & mpg

Each 2009 Jeep Commander model is offered with either rear- or four-wheel drive. Sport models have the basic Quadra Trac 4WD system and can be upgraded to the full-time active Quadra Trac II 4WD. The Limited has the latter standard. Optional on the Sport and Limited and standard on the Overland is the more advanced Quadra Drive II system, which includes hill start assist, hill descent control, and front and rear electronic limited-slip differentials.

Under the hood, the base Commander Sport comes standard with a 3.7-liter V6 that produces 210 horsepower and 235 pound-feet of torque. Like all Commanders, the Sport gets a five-speed automatic standard. This anemic V6 engine provides the dreaded one-two punch of gutless acceleration and forgettable fuel economy -- EPA fuel economy estimates stand at 14 mpg city/19 mpg highway and 16 mpg combined with 4WD.

Optional on the Sport and standard on the Limited is a 4.7-liter V8 good for 305 hp and 334 lb-ft of torque. This engine provides satisfying acceleration along with fuel economy that almost matches that of the V6 -- 13/18/15 with 4WD.

Optional on the Limited and standard on the Overland is a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 that cranks out 357 hp and 389 lb-ft of torque, increases of 27 hp and 14 lb-ft over last year's Hemi. Despite this increase in power, fuel economy improves to an estimated 13/19/15 with 4WD, making the Hemi more fuel efficient than the 4.7-liter V8.

Properly equipped, the Commander can tow 3,500 pounds with the V6, 6,500 pounds with the 4.7-liter V8 and 7,400 pounds with the Hemi.


All Commanders come standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control with rollover mitigation, and full-length side curtain airbags. In government crash tests, the 2009 Jeep Commander achieved a perfect five stars for frontal collision protection. It hasn't undergone side impact testing.


The 2009 Jeep Commander has a comfortable, serene ride. Some drivers might find its undulating body motions excessive when driven over bumps, however. In off-road applications, the Commander's ample wheel travel, sophisticated 4WD systems and decent ground clearance enable it to conquer some pretty rugged terrain. That said, we'd opt for a more compact Jeep if off-roading is a frequent activity -- the Commander is just too large for optimal trail busting.


The Commander's interior exhibits clean, functional instrumentation and controls that are consistent with Jeep's user-friendly interior designs. However, the touchscreen controls that come with the available navigation system and upgraded stereo are poorly executed, with small touch buttons, too many menu pages and unresponsive navigation map controls.

The front seats are superbly comfortable. The second-row theater seats provide a good view of the road, but they unfortunately provide only average legroom, and larger occupants will find third-row accommodations decidedly cramped. Cargo space behind the third-row seat is only 7.5 cubic feet. Maximum cargo capacity with all rear seats folded is 69 cubic feet for models with the third-row seat; for comparison, most competitors in this class usually provide 80 cubic feet or more.

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the Used 2009 Jeep Commander.

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Most helpful consumer reviews

I love this Jeep!
I had a Jeep Grand Cherokee Limited first and when I finally had to start looking for a new car I chose the Jeep Commander. I have had it since April 2010 and have had not one problem with it. I drive all over the country in it, Long Island, NY to Orlando, FL etc. We are a Military family, so its my Husband and I, 2 kids, 2 dogs and 2 cats when we move (which is a lot!) and it fits us comfortably. It's a smooth ride, performs AMAZING in the snow and on the beach and I feel safe having my family in it. I am upset they stopped production on these. I love it.
It can't be trusted
Unhappy Jeep Owner,05/04/2010
We bought this Jeep in Oct new with 3 miles on it. In Nov we began having problems with the drive train. In a highway passing situation the RPM would red line but the transmission would lose power causing the Jeep to slow. This has happened at least 5 different times. It has been to the dealer every time. Each time they say they can't find the problem and that all the codes are correct. The first time we were told it was still in the break-in period, next they told us to turn off the traction cont but it happened again. Twice this issue has caused a near collision. We have contacted Chrysler and so far have not had any help. We have now gone to the NHTSA. Chrysler has a problem.
Quite Expensive to Maintain Despite Warranty
Charles Rockwell,02/06/2017
Overland 4dr SUV 4WD (5.7L 8cyl 5A)
We bought this car because for an extra $2500 you could get a lifetime bumper to bumper warranty just like a new car. Good thing we got the warranty because we have had to replace a cylinder head, a transfer case, a differential, the power steering hoses, and rain has a massive leak to the interior thought the windshield area. Sounds great with the warranty, right? Well, we were without a car for two months waiting for the transfer case, no Chrysler-Jeep technician will even look at the rain leak, and they charged us almost a thousand dollars to replace the power steering hoses, and another $680 for the differential despite the warranty. Chrysler and the dealer just make up what they want to cover under their bumper to bumper warranty as they go along. If you don't like it then hire an attorney and go sue them. On top of this you have all the wear and tear items like shocks that went 15,000 miles ($1100 to replace all four), and differential servicing every 16,000 miles at $720. Brakes cost $650 per axle, and $200 to bleed them. This Jeep is like maintaining an old Mercedes. The Hemi engine is nice, but not very smooth due to the 4 cylinder mode at light throttle. The Jeep has excellent traction in bad conditions and on Forest Service roads. The seats are comfortable but could use a tilt adjustment on the lower seat cushion and possibly a thigh cushion adjustment if they really wanted to go first class. The rear seats are short on leg room unless the front seat passengers cooperate. You cannot drive long distances with four tall people in the car, however if the rear seat passengers are children or smallish women there is no problem. The air conditioning is weak and if I lived in south Texas or Florida I would not buy this car for that reason alone. It is fine up to 95 degrees but struggles after that. My gas mileage is 12 mpg in city driving and 16 mpg on long trips driving 75 mph. Frankly, this warranty issues sour me on Fiat-Jeep-Chrysler. I have had similar issues with my Fiat warranty where the issue is obviously covered but they want to charge me anyway. The constant fighting with warranty costs and the lack of reliability will having me switching brands with my next purchase. Too bad because the car is fun to drive.
200,000 miles and counting!
Sport 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 5A)
This car has been perfect for me. I live in a rural area with LOTS of snow and drive 50 miles round trip a day to work. Dependable and safe. It's been a great SUV!


NHTSA Overall Rating

The National Highway Transportation Safety Administration offers independent analysis.
  • Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    Driver5 / 5
    Passenger5 / 5
  • Side Crash Rating
    OverallNot Rated
  • Side Barrier Rating
    OverallNot Rated
    DriverNot Rated
    PassengerNot Rated
  • Combined Side Barrier & Pole Ratings
    Front SeatNot Rated
    Back SeatNot Rated
  • Rollover
    Rollover3 / 5
    Dynamic Test ResultNo Tip
    Risk Of RolloverNot Rated

More about the 2009 Jeep Commander

Used 2009 Jeep Commander Overview

The Used 2009 Jeep Commander is offered in the following submodels: Commander SUV. Available styles include Sport 4dr SUV 4WD (3.7L 6cyl 5A), Limited 4dr SUV 4WD (4.7L 8cyl 5A), Sport 4dr SUV (3.7L 6cyl 5A), Overland 4dr SUV 4WD (5.7L 8cyl 5A), Overland 4dr SUV (5.7L 8cyl 5A), and Limited 4dr SUV (4.7L 8cyl 5A).

What's a good price on a Used 2009 Jeep Commander?

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Should I lease or buy a 2009 Jeep Commander?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

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