Like the Grand Cherokee, the Commander offers three engines: the 3.7-liter V-6, 4.7-liter V-8, or 5.7-liter Hemi V-8, backed by a choice of two automatic transmissions. The W5A580 five-speed is paired with the six, and the 545RFE multispeed auto controls the V-8s. Power output is 210, 235, and 330 horsepower, respectively. Its short- and long-arm coil-spring front and live-axle link-coil rear suspension are the same as in the Grand, as are the four-wheel-drive systems. However, unlike the Grand Cherokee, you can get the Commander with the 3.7-liter and Quadra-Trac II, which uses the NV245 two-speed transfer case. Quadra-Trac I, which is closer to all-wheel drive, is standard with the six on the Commander. Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II (Jeep's most capable system) are available with either eight-cylinder engine. Quadra-Drive II uses front, center, and rear Electronic Limited-Slip Differentials, which replace the hydraulic-pump Vari-Lok differentials of the past. Ground clearance is about a half-inch better than the Grand Cherokee's, but the Grand's approach and departure angles are slightly better. Maximum towing capacity in the Commander is 7200 pounds with the Hemi, and top payload is 1620 when equipped with the six.
The big, boxy, seven-passenger Commander is the largest Jeep on the market. It bears the look inspired by the Willys Wagon, (Grand) Wagoneer, and Cherokee, and has versatility, power, and attitude--it's this generation's Wagoneer, with a good dose of technology in a mid- to full-size package. But where will it fall in the lineup? Depends on pricing. As of press time, the Commander's MSRP hadn't yet been finalized, but its base price could start a bit higher than the Grand's and top out lower than that more luxurious SUV.