Jalopnik Reviews: 2006 Jeep Commander, Part 2

Exterior Design *
Just what the world needs: a large, gas-guzzling SUV with all the aerodynamic efficiency of a flying brick. Why didn t I think of that?

Acceleration ***
Our tester s 4.7-liter V8 didn t have enough to power to motivate this 5273 lbs. behemoth into anything remotely resembling a sprint. Sixty comes up from rest, eventually, in 10.2 seconds. On the positive side, the engine torques a good game, imparting a reasonable fascimile of forward thrust. If for some reason I've yet to discern, you buy a Commander, be sure to equip it with a Hemi. The 5.7-liter mill increases the Commander's ability to get out of its own way and increases the lumbering lummox s staggering afrugality.

Braking ****
Big ole power-assisted disc git er done, but there s a disconcerting amount of body dive under braking — creating an unwelcome (if entirely accurate) feeling of mucho mass.

Ride *****
How these guys make such a competent off-roader ride so smoothly on civilized tarmac without a hint of body flex is a mystery to me. Well, at least until I looked-up the specifics of DCX s trick steel UniFrame construction. And then I fell asleep.

Handling ****
Against all odds and in strict accordance with the laws of natural selection, I managed to throw the Commander into a corner to the point where she started to lose grip. All four tires screamed for mercy at the same time, and she didn t fall over. Cool.

Gearbox **
The Commander s five-speed is smooth enough, but get this: it s geared for fuel economy. In other words, your right foot must traverse a few inches of dead space before the engine room gets the message. Use the tip-shifter and you don t have to book early to avoid disappointment, but each tap s got to cost you fifty cents at the pumps, easy.

Audio/Video **
Forty-large and you still have to pay extra for the drop-down DVD screen and player, and more than rental quality tunes. That s not right.

Toys *****
We consider any vehicle that can go off-road a wonderful toy. We advise all owners of four-wheel-drive vehicles to drive them as nature intended, and bring a sat phone.

Trunk *
It s a bit like Kylie Minogue s canon: small and shallow.

Overall **

[by Robert Farago]

Related:
Jalopnik Reviews: 2006 Jeep Commander, Part 1, Part 3 [internal]