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7.1

Overall

Scorecard

Critics' Rating: 6.4
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 6.9
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.0
Safety: N/A
Reliability:
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Jeep Commander Review

The 2009 Jeep Commander is a capable off-road SUV, but unless you have your heart set on a Jeep, most of the Commander’s competitors offer better all-around capabilities and refinement.

Pros & Cons

  • Excellent off-roading ability
  • Available Hemi V8 adds major power with little fuel economy penalty
  • Subpar interior fit and finish
  • Towing and cargo capacity is less than most competitors’
  • Uncomfortable third-row seats

2009 Jeep Commander Overview

Critics weren’t thrilled with the 2009 Commander when it was new. They said it offered Jeep-levels of off-road performance in a larger package, but those who don’t need rock-crawling capability should consider other large SUVs, as some competitors deliver superior on-road handling and interior refinement.

The Commander’s base engine is a V6 that reviewers said was pretty paltry. They recommended stepping up to the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 model, which has far more power with a minimal dip in fuel economy. A rear-wheel drive V6 Commander gets an EPA-estimated 15/20 with 210 horsepower, while a comparable Commander with the 357-horsepower Hemi V8 still gets 14/20 mpg. Opting for four-wheel drive will decrease those figures slightly, but the estimates are still class-competitive. With the rear seats folded, the Commander can carry up to 68.5 cubic feet of cargo, which trails most rivals. Maximum towing capacity is 7,400 pounds, which is also a bit low for the class.

Inside, the Commander can seat up to seven, and while most opinions on comfort and space in the first two rows were mixed at best, most rejected the third row as a place for adults. They also said the interior fit and finish didn’t match that of many of the Commander’s rivals. Standard equipment is fairly competitive for the class, and includes features like rear park assist and satellite radio. A fully-loaded Commander may include features like automatic headlights, an upgraded stereo, leather upholstery, a power sunroof, backup camera and Bluetooth. The Commander was introduced in 2006 and underwent few changes, so you may be able to save some money by looking for an older model.

See the full 2009 Jeep Commander specs »

Other Cars to Consider

If you’re looking for a used affordable large SUV, be sure to check out the 2009 GMC Yukon as well. Its interior is more spacious and its fit and finish is much better. Reviewers also greatly preferred the Yukon’s on-road handling to the Commander’s, and the Yukon can tow heavier loads and haul more cargo.

Another model to consider is the 2009 Ford Expedition. The Expedition is one of the roomiest vehicles in the class, and also one of the more capable in terms of towing and hauling cargo. The Expedition’s on-road ride is more comfortable than the Commander’s, and it trumps the Jeep with a nicer interior.

Compare the Commander to the Yukon and Expedition »

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