More Expert Reviews
|2010 Jeep Commander
|2010 Jeep Commander Sport 4×4 Specs|
By contributing editor David Colman
If you want to relive That Eighties Show, you could pop an Air Supply cassette into your tape player, watch a Ron Reagan speech on VHS, or jump into a Jeep Commander. Of the three choices, only the Jeep requires no tape for replay. You can march down to your local Chrysler/Jeep dealer right now to buy this perfect time capsule vehicle for just $33,575. Granted, a number of mostly unseen safety and technological advances distinguish the current product from its predecessors, like advanced multistage airbags and side curtain airbags in all rows. But you can’t see these improvements. So if you’re after that throwback feel, you couldn’t do better than a new Commander. After all, there’s a lot to be said for classic Jeep: the simple lines, the big chrome smile, the vast amount of space inside, the virile feel of the controls, the hunky responsiveness of the engine, and last but certainly not least, the legendary off-road agility of a Trail Rated Jeep.
One high step gets you into the airy cabin, which instantly rekindles memories of days gone by. There’s an acre of gray plastic, relieved here and there with fragments of brushed aluminum. The seats up front are serviceable without being luxurious. The Commander’s oversize passenger box, which accommodates 7, contains a second row bench featuring fold and tumble seats that split 40/20/40, and a third row better suited to children than adults. If you seat all 7, you’re left with poor rear vision and very little storage space behind the third bench. The upside of the Commander’s boxy shape is the feeling of spaciousness inside. Visibility to all corners is excellent, and ParkSense, a rear park assist system, comes standard to assist you on backing into tight quarters.
Two drivelines are available for the Commander. The base model 3.7 liter V6 which powered our test vehicle, produces 210hp and 235lb.-ft. of torque. In a vehicle weighing 5,245 pounds, those power numbers produce less than scintillating performance. You can upgrade to a 5.7 liter V8 HEMI motor, which makes 357hp and 389lb.-ft. of torque, but you’ll be trading the V6’ 14/19MPG for the HEMI’s 13/15MPG. Of course, if you need to tow a boat or house trailer, the HEMI is the way to go, allowing the Commander to pull 7,400 pounds. Towing aside, the 3.7 liter V6 is fine for daily driving, with just enough snap to make freeway merges unexciting. Both engines come with 5-speed automatic gearboxes.
The Commander has a rugged and seasoned demeanor that contributes to its appeal. There’s a no-nonsense simplicity to its design that rejects the annoying trend to automation in car design these days. You won’t find any disconcerting computer simulated interfaces unless you order the optional Sun/Sand Preferred Package 265. This installs a 6.5 inch touch screen in the dash stack that allows you to operate a 30Gb Hard Drive good for storing 4,250 songs. Package 265 also upgrades front seats with leather trim and heaters, and adds GPS Navigation, plus 1-year of Sirius Radio. If you must move the Commander into the current century, the Sun/Sand option will set you back $3,745. Otherwise, the basic V6 version retails for just $33,575, which isn’t at all bad for some Eighties peace of mind.
2010 JEEP COMMANDER SPORT 4×4
ENGINE: 3.7 liter V6
TORQUE: 235 lb.-ft.
FUEL CONSUMPTION: 14 City/19 Highway MPG
PRICE AS TESTED: $38,100
David Colman has been writing vehicle tests for 24 years. His work has been featured in AutoWeek, the San Francisco Chronicle, San Francisco Examiner, and Marin Independent Journal. In 1987, he helped start Excellence, The Magazine About Porsche, which he edited for many years. He has been an active participant in racing and Solo events since 1961. More car reviews written by Colman can be found at autoeditor.com
|The official Jeep website – www.jeep.com/en/|