When I first saw a picture of the Commander from the auto show, we knew this would be our next vehicle. Our former vehicle was a Jeep Cherokee. The wife and I both loved that vehicle, but we were outgrowing it. We disliked the syling of the Grand Cherokee so until the Commander came out, we were seriously considering leaving the Jeep fold. However, the Commander did come out and it is big and beautiful. It claims styling from the Cherokee, but drives a lot more like the Grand Wagoneer.
Some people complain about visibility, but I haven't had a problem with it. One thing to keep in mind is that the driver seat raises up a whole lot. And I mean a whole lot. With it up to the proper height, the only visibility problems I am having are common across all SUVs that size. If I had kept it at the height it was at on the lot, visibility would've been severely limited.
The main sunroof is nice, but a bit small. My kids absolutely love the secondary skylights in the back seat. The shades do seem a bit flimsy though. They remind me of the old roll-up curtains.
The third row is a bit cramped, but a child in a front-facing car seat will have no problems. However, our rear-facing seat does not fit on the third row. Also, the third row of seats lack the latch system and the tether anchor so you'll be using the seat belt to secure a car seat. However, on a hot day it may be worth it to put your kids on the third row if you have rear air.
The 4.7L engine is very torquey. The HEMI had a lot more punch, but the 4.7L was more than adequate and it tows a boat very nicely. I miss my 4.0L in-line 6, but this is a very capable replacement.
Gas mileage is as expected. I get 18MPG average while my wife gets 15MPG average. This is keeping in mind that I usually roll down the windows and sunroof while she usually uses the AC. I also do a bit more highway driving than she does. On a recent trip, we got 15MPG loaded to the brim with people and gear with the AC on. While towing a 3500lb boat rig, I get 13MPG average.
Space is severely limited behind the 3rd row, but if you flip the cargo tray upside down like it tells you to in the manual, you can still fit two standard sized soft-side suitcases back there. For the first time in a vehicle I've owned, I'm actually using the cargo net. With the 3rd rows down, you have about as much space as I did in my 91 Explorer.
The roof rack is pretty nice. So far, I've only tied a spare trailer tire up there, but it held nicely and the car drove just fine with it up there. Much like the Cherokee and Grand Wagoneer, the Commander has such poor wind resistance to begin with that adding things on top doesn't seem to affect it that much.