Luxury on wheels
I was considering the Commander and the Nissan Armada when I made my purchase in 2006. At the time, I had a 2003 Wrangler Rubicon, which I really liked, but needed a larger family vehicle. Years ago, I had a 4Runner, which is the closest vehicle I've owned that was similar.
Nothing has really gone wrong with this car. I get it maintained at the dealer, and they are always out to get me to service the car for things it doesn't need. I did have to get the brake rotors changed at less than 20k miles, because they said they were rusting. Not really sure if this was true, but I went ahead and got it done for inspection. They looked fine outwardly.
Let's see, there is a small plastic cover on the inside tail gate, I think it is an access panel for the backup camera. This panel would not fit properly and kept falling off. So, I just store it. No biggie.
Sometimes, after a heavy rain, we get water seepage along the inside A-pillars. My wife's 05 Grand Cherokee does this too. I suspect sunroof drains. It doesn't happen all the time, but it is still unacceptable.
I noticed some rust forming in the engine bay in various areas after only 2 years. This is also unacceptable. So far, the outside is rust-free, and I hope it stays that way.
Due to the 12 mpg average, I use the car sparingly. It is great for long family trips, and has made several. Last year, we drove the car straight for 22 hours! Even the dog was comfortable. I can personally drive 12 hours at a time with no problems. Seeing out of the rear with the 3rd row seats up is next to impossible, but we rarely need them. Still, it's good to have the 3rd row in a pinch.
Navigation works great, as does the back seat video DVD.
It's a very heavy car. But physically smaller than other competition with 3 row seating. It feels much heavier than our Grand Cherokee.
The dark khaki paint has held up well, despite being stored in the driveway. I have the saddle leather seats, which are fairly rare, and give a rich look.
They stopped selling this model, and there won't be a direct replacement. Not like the Grand Cherokee, where they come out with new models every 5 years so you are pressured to buy a new one. So, I think the Commander is an instant classic like the old Grand Wagoneer was. For that reason, I plan on keeping it for another 10 years or more.
Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes
Review Date: 14th July, 2011