Wednesday, March 6, 2013

Used Car Review - Jeep Commander (2006-2011)

Planning to wreck the bushes without taking special parking lessons? Among the American SUV's out there, Myk Belmonte takes this baby for a spin.

2006-2011 Jeep Commander

Say the word "Jeep" and the one thing that comes to mind are the muscular and topless Wranglers usually driven in mountains and mud terrains. Yes, they are off-road rated and capable of being driven in the worst of all conditions.

If you think that the Grand Cherokee cannot fit your extended family, the Commander is the vehicle in the Jeep stable that can accommodate your needs since it has three rows. First previewed at the 2005 New York Auto Show and regarded by salespersons as the "seven seater Grand Cherokee". The vehicle became a hit at first but as time pass by, sales of the "seven seater Jeep" declined and a second generation model didn't happen. By the time you read this, the Grand Wagoneer nameplate would be brought back to life as a three row vehicle.

CATS Motors brought in the Commander to Philippine shores in 2006 and became the first Jeep vehicle to be distributed by them. You can buy one brand new until 2011, with the WK2 Grand Cherokee indirectly replacing this model.

Value and Costs
For the price of a brand new vehicle, you can buy a pre-owned Commander that would cost you between P1,000,000-P2,000,000. For premium vehicles like this, it is a good decision to visit CATS Pre-Owned inventory to check out the numerous Commanders that were given an inspection and backed them up with a limited warranty.

Taking care of this vehicle is on par with the Ford Expedition and the Chevrolet Tahoe due to the fuel expenses afforded by the standard gasoline V8 engine. Going for the diesel one can save you cash but to cut on costs more, try to have a relationship with the head manager of a auto parts shop that specializes in American vehicles and they can give you prices that are friendly to your wallet.

Exterior and Interior
Boxy is the word that pops out of one's mind when seeing this vehicle, even removing the badges would still elicit the description. If we were to use a second adjective for this, it must be muscular due to the influences from its grandfathers. To sum this up, everything is squarish except for the circular fog lamps and of course, the wheels.

Leather surfaces greets you inside this vehicle, which should be since you are paying two million grand for a vehicle. Audiophiles would love the standard Boston Acoustics sound system while chrome bits make the interior lively without resorting to a cheesy dashboard. The second and third rows are raised higher akin to a movie theater, but the third row is best for kids and if all of them are occupied, rear visibility is compromised despite the large windows.

Rounding up the engine choices are two V8 gasoline options and a single V6 diesel. From launch, you can either have your Commander with a Magnum 4,698cc V8 with 230hp at 4,600rpm and 414Nm at 3,600rpm or a Hemi 5,654cc V8 that carries 357hp at 5,200rpm and 520Nm at 4,350rpm. In 2010, a diesel engine with six cylinders in the form of a 2,987cc V6 possessing 218hp at 4,000rpm and 510Nm at 1,600-2,400rpm was added to the range. Both V8 engines are capable, and they are no slouch. Give them a push and you'll hear a muscle car sound. The diesel power plant is refined and smooth, you'll even mistaken it as a gasoline engine.

Driving Impressions
Despite the tall stance, the Commander feels stable especially when cornering. Steering is on the light side, but you get a minimum amount of body roll especially when traversing mountainous roads, thanks to the standard electronic stability control. An advanced all-wheel drive system dubbed as the Quadra-Drive II puts the low-range, towing, and locking differential functions in one.

The Commander combines the classic off-road capability that the Jeep brand was known for in a modern package. You have a luxurious interior while crossing the worst roads our country has to offer. Seeking for a decent family car with seven seats? The Durango would serve your needs better, and it is the same with other American rivals.

The Good:
  • Easy to drive around
  • Available diesel option
  • Impressive kit for lower prices
The Bad:
  • Fuel consumption can drain your funds (except for the diesel)
  • Rear visibility when full occupied
  • Polarizing looks
The Pick: 3.0 Diesel

Engines: 4,698cc Magnum and 5,654cc Hemi V8 gasoline. 2,987cc V6 Diesel
Power: 230hp @ 4,600rpm (4.7), 357hp @ 5,200rpm (5.7), 218hp @ 4,000rpm (3.0 Diesel)
Torque: 414Nm @ 3,600rpm (4.7), 520Nm @ 4,350rpm (5.7), 510Nm @ 1,600-2,400rpm (3.0 Diesel)
Fuel Consumption: 4-8km/L (city), 6-9km/L (highway) (*estimated and varies)
Transmission: 5-speed automatic
Suspension: Front independent double wishbone, rear rigid axle

Price (New): P2,500,000-P3,450,000
Price (Now): P1,000,000-P2,000,000
Rivals: Dodge Durango, Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Suburban, Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, Mitsubishi Pajero, Nissan Patrol

CATS Pre-Owned - (02) 723-5808

Photos courtesy of

1 comment:

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