Does it have to be so damn ugly though?It’s so cleverly hidden behind the luggage rack that at first glance you don’t notice the Jeep Commander’s key feature. The stepped roof yields more than three inches of headroom for third-row passengers, and Jeep’s first third-row seat is the whole point.
Jeep cites the seven-seater’s “traditional” design heritage in the Cherokee, but the boxy, upright shape is especially meaningful to the packaging. It maximizes cabin and cargo room in a vehicle only two inches longer than the Grand Cherokee with which it shares a platform. Keeping the size down allows trail-rated performance, and may help Jeep escape the softening of the market for the biggest sport/utilities.
Commander shares Grand Cherokee’s 109.5-inch wheelbase and its base V6 and rear-wheel drive, but also offers a choice of V8 engines (4.7-liter PowerTech or 5.7-liter Hemi) and three full-time 4x4 drivetrain options. Production of the 2006 model starts this fall.