"Jeep Commander is the first seven-passenger 4 x 4 that is as capable as it is distinctive," said Thomas Hausch, Executive Director of International Sales and Marketing – Chrysler Group. "Jeep Commander is also the only SUV in its class to offer two V-8 petrol engines, as well as a class-leading diesel V-6. In addition, Commander expands and strengthens what is already an excellent lineup, consisting of Wrangler, Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, and initiates the expansion of the Jeep vehicle lineup that will take place during the second half of this decade."
The Jeep Commander’s upright windscreen, backlight and rear end, as well as its more vertical body sides and side glass, embody the vehicle’s classic Jeep styling. The side-view mirrors are also bold and purpose-built. Overall, Commander looks strong and confident because of its classic Jeep styling — upright and rugged. Commander engages the emotions because it is steeped in the heritage of Jeep design — integrating the past and present.
"The original Jeep Cherokee is an authentic, classic shape that is rooted in the public consciousness," said Donald A. Renkert, Senior Manager/Jeep Studio – Product Design Office, Chrysler Group. "By reinterpreting that vehicle, and other classic Jeep vehicles of the past, the Jeep Commander elicits nods of recognition from consumers, even though it is a brand new vehicle. There is a sense of deja vu about the Commander that brings knowing smiles of satisfaction. It is all-new and timeless at once."
The satisfaction continues inside the vehicle, where great attention to detail is clearly evident. From the gear shift knob, to the four round gauges in the instrument cluster, to the new steering wheel, Jeep Commander is refined and uniquely Jeep in appearance.
Newly designed seats are supportive and comfortable and, for the first time in a Jeep, there are now three rows of them. With each row slightly higher than the one in front of it, this distinctive "theatre-style" arrangement improves forward visibility for every passenger and delivers an optimal all-round view. The second- and third-row seats fold forward to create a flat load floor. Jeep Commander is only 37 mm (1.5 in.) longer than the newest Jeep Grand Cherokee, even though it accommodates its three rows of seats. Since they share the same Jeep 4 x 4 systems, powertrains and wheelbase (2780 mm/109.4 in.), Commander is just as maneuverable and off-road capable as Grand Cherokee.
The Jeep Commander’s stepped roof provides second- and third-row occupants with plenty of head room. Complementing the available front-mounted sun roof is Command-View TM the new and innovative skylights (complete with shades) over the second row of seats.
The lower portion of the dashboard panel is shared with Grand Cherokee, but the top section is all-new and prominently features four pairs of circular adjustable air vents and proudly displays 16 Allen head bolts (14 are functional) that also contribute to the mechanical, constructed look of the vehicle. Both the steering wheel centre and the gear selector knob present the Jeep logo framed in a bright ring with exposed simulated Allen bolt heads to continue and enhance the overall design theme. A precise four-dial instrument cluster with LED illumination features black gauges with white graphics and red pointers for reading ease in all conditions.
The Jeep Commander has "theater-style" seating that enhances the functionality of its three-row, seven-passenger layout. The second-row seats are mounted 117.3 mm (4.62 in.) higher than the front row, and third row seats are 120.45 mm (4.74 in.) higher than the second row — to ensure all occupants enjoy an excellent view of the surrounding cityscape or countryside.
The second-row 40/20/40 split seats are engineered so the outer sections fold down and tumble forward to allow passengers entry or exit from the third row on either side of the vehicle. All three second-row seatbacks can be folded onto the cushions to form a flat-load area.
For maximum comfort, Jeep Commander has an available heating, ventilation, and air-conditioning system in the third row. Fully independent of the front system, it feeds warmed or cooled air to a single floor-level outlet and two circular rotating outlets on each side of the rear trim.
As well as seating seven in style, the Jeep Commander accommodates amazing space for passengers and cargo. With seven on board, there is room for 170 litres (6 cu. ft.) of luggage. Folding the third-row seats expands the cargo space to 973.5 litres (34.38 cu. ft.), and also folding the second row gives a total of 1775.6 litres (62.7 cu. ft.).
Class-leading off-road capability and on-road refinement were mandatory for the Jeep Commander. So the Jeep engineering team went to the head of the class: they provided Commander with the same 4 x 4 systems, suspension and powertrains as the award-winning Jeep Grand Cherokee, including an independent front suspension and rack-and-pinion steering.
"Jeep Grand Cherokee reset the SUV benchmark with its on-road refinement, off-road mastery and overall performance in key areas of customer satisfaction," said Hausch. "Now the all-new seven-passenger Jeep Commander, with the new 3.0-litre CRD V-6 engine and a choice of two petrol V-8 engines, including the 5.7-litre HEMI® with cylinder deactivation through the Multi-displacement System (MDS), will become a compelling package for many customers in Europe and other international markets."
The 3.0 CRD engine is a "next-generation" power unit from DaimlerChrysler producing class-leading levels of power and torque — giving it immense towing ability — with efficient fuel economy. Based on the latest Mercedes-Benz technology, Bosch high-pressure fuel injection (1600+ bar), a variable geometry turbocharger and four valves per cylinder, the new V-6 engine meets Euro 4 emissions standards. Additionally, the Jeep Commander’s diesel emission system is equipped with a standard diesel particulate filter.
Maximum power is 160 kW (218 hp DIN) and peak torque is 510 N•m (376 lb.-ft.) from just 1600 to 2000 rpm. The accelerator pedal is modified to reduce transmission kick-downs during normal driving but still allow for full pedal travel when quicker acceleration is demanded by the driver.
For customers requiring maximum performance, the 5.7-litre HEMI® engine delivers class-leading power and torque: 240 kW (326 hp DIN) and 500 N•m (369 lb.-ft.). Ninety percent of peak torque is available over a broad rev-band (from 2400 to 5100 rpm) for excellent performance while trailer towing or travelling off-road, as well as during regular city and highway driving. To boost fuel economy, the engine is fitted with the Multi-displacement System that deactivates half the cylinders during cruising and light acceleration to increase fuel economy by up to 20 percent, depending on driving conditions.
The 4.7-litre V-8 engine was fitted with numerous improvements and refinements for its application in the new Jeep Grand Cherokee, and these are carried over to the Jeep Commander. An improved exhaust gas recirculation calibration delivers better fuel consumption, and the cast oil pan now provides better noise, vibration and harshness (NVH). Maximum power is 170 kW (231 hp DIN) at 4500 rpm, and maximum torque is 410 N•m (302 lb.-ft.) at 3600 rpm.
The 3.0 CRD engine is mated to a five-speed W5A580 automatic transmission that offers smooth shifts and optimum fuel economy with the diesel engine. The 5-45RFE five-speed automatic transmission used with the 5.7-litre HEMI® and 4.7-litre V-8 engines has been refined for higher-quality shifts and to maximize the Jeep Commander’s towing capacity.
Both transmissions feature Electronic Range Select driver interactive shift control. The transmission provides fully automatic shifting in the "drive" position or the driver can manually select each gear sequentially by moving the shift lever left or right from the "drive" position. This gives the driver precise control to match any on-road or off-road driving conditions.
The Jeep Commander shares its suspension and running gear with the Jeep Grand Cherokee. This includes short- and long-arm front suspension that provides the driver with a greater sense of precision and control, and more precise steering, without compromising Commander’s stalwart off-road performance. The tight turning diameter of 11.8 m (38.7 ft.) provides for nimble handling.
The Electronic Stability Programme (ESP), which is standard, aids the driver in severe driving maneuvers on any type of surface. ESP uses signals from sensors throughout the vehicle to determine the appropriate brake and throttle adjustments for directional stability.
Two full-time four-wheel-drive systems are available on the Jeep Commander in markets outside of North America.
Quadra-Trac II® incorporates the NV 245 transfer case that provides full-time active four-wheel drive. When wheel slippage is detected, up to 100 percent of the available torque is instantly routed to the axle with the most traction. The NV 245 also includes electronic shift with a true low-range gear and neutral for towing Jeep Commander behind another vehicle.
Quadra-Drive II® is one of the most advanced four-wheel-drive transfer case systems available, providing Jeep Commander with best-in-class tractive capability. Electronic Limited Slip Differentials — front and rear — offer customers the ultimate in off-road capability. Quadra-Drive II® provides electronic engagement of torque biasing for the front axle, as well as the rear. As a result, torque transfer is faster, and almost 100 percent of the torque can be distributed to any of the four wheels, a capability that is unique to Commander and Jeep Grand Cherokee.
Like all Chrysler Group vehicles, the Jeep Commander is designed to improve not only handling and accident avoidance, but also to provide excellent crash protection. Crash protection features available on the Commander include advanced multi-stage front air bags, extended up-time supplemental side-curtain air bags for all three rows, seat belts equipped with pretensioners and digressive load limiting retractors, and BeltAlert®, a buckle-up reminder system for the driver.
Active safety features on the new Jeep Commander include standard:
- Electronic Stability Programme (ESP) with Electronic Roll Mitigation (ERM)
- Brake Assist System
- Advanced Anti-lock Brake System (ABS)
- All-speed Traction Control System (TCS)
- Tyre pressure monitor and warning signal
- ParkSense TM (front and rear park assist)
- Rain-sensitive wipers
To meet the anticipated demand for the new Jeep Commander, two world-class facilities will be employed to build the vehicle on the same assembly lines as the Jeep Grand Cherokee. The Jefferson North Assembly Plant in Detroit, Mich. (USA) will build vehicles for primarily the North American market. Assembly for European and other world market customers will take place at the Magna Steyr manufacturing facility in Graz, Austria.
Magna Steyr is a wholly owned group of the Canada-based Magna International Inc., which ranks among the world’s largest suppliers to the automotive industry. Magna International employs over 81,000 people at 223 manufacturing divisions and 56 engineering centers in 22 countries. Magna Steyr is the premier global supplier of complete vehicle engineering and assembly for original equipment manufacturer (OEM) customers. At the Magna Steyr plant in Graz, around 9,000 employees built over 227,000 vehicles in 2004.
The new Jeep Commander, in both right- and left-hand drive, is expected to reach international dealer showrooms in the first quarter of 2006.