When Jeep introduced the Commander in late 2005 as a 2006 model, SUV buyers weren't too impressed, causing leadership at DaimlerChrysler to gulp, swallow hard, and wonder if the vehicle was worth the investment. The same holds true now; it's a Jeep that seats seven, but it doesn't seem especially well-designed for the shoppers who want that spacious interior. On a positive note, it manages to project authentic Jeep ruggedness—both in styling and trail ability.
Underneath its skin, the 2010 Jeep Commander is closely related to the Grand Cherokee, but on the outside, it introduces a boxier body and a reconfigured interior over similar components. The boxy shape takes after Jeep tradition, especially following the styling cues left off with the last Cherokee, and has a large, muscular appearance, which is what many SUV buyers still want. It also has an instantly recognizable Jeep face, though you may mistake it for a HUMMER, which also sports a seven-slot grille. Jeep styles the cabin of the Commander in a straightforward fashion. The squared-off dash houses round gauges that bring the boxiness of the exterior to the vehicle’s interior and tie the styling together.
Performance for the 2010 Jeep Commander is decent, and Jeep brings back last year's newly introduced 5.7-liter HEMI engine making 357 horsepower and 389 pound-feet of torque. The only other available engine is the base 3.7-liter V-6 (also used in the Liberty) that produces 210 horsepower. However, that's not nearly enough strength for this big Jeep, even with a standard five-speed automatic. The HEMI V-8 features a Multi-Displacement System (MDS), which is supposed to help improve fuel economy. The truth is, the 2010 Jeep Commander still gets lousy mileage regardless of which engine you choose (the 3.7-liter V-6 gets just 15 mpg city). If this alone doesn’t deter you from the Commander, go with the big engine; you won’t get much worse fuel economy but plenty more grunt.