Cap­tain Amer­ica

Herald Sun - Motoring - - Used Review - GRAHAM SMITH cars­guide.com.au

THANKS to the re­lease of the Com­man­der, fam­i­lies could fi­nally add Jeep to their shop­ping lists as it was the first model from the iconic Amer­i­can car­maker to have three rows of seats.

MODELWATCH

The Com­man­der’s hard lines and boxy shape were in­tended to con­vey the rugged im­age for which Jeep is fa­mous.

Those who opened the door found a roomy cabin with ac­com­mo­da­tion for seven in a flex­i­ble seat­ing ar­range­ment.

With in­tel­li­gent full-time four­wheel drive the Com­man­der could go of­froad, and take the fam­ily.

Jeep of­fered the Com­man­der in two vari­ants, the base model and the Lim­ited, with the choice of diesel and petrol en­gines.

The diesel en­gine was a Mercedes 3.0-litre tur­bocharged V6 pro­duc­ing 160kW at 4000rpm and 510Nm at 1600-2000rpm.

It was also most def­i­nitely the fuel econ­omy win­ner in the Com­man­der range.

Against that, the 4.7-litre V8 peaked with 170kW at 4500rpm and 410Nm at 3600 revs.

The 5.7-litre Hemi V8, mean­while, fea­tured 240kW at 5000 revs and 500Nm at 4000 revs.

All the mod­els came with a fivespeed au­to­matic trans­mis­sion with man­ual shift.

And all of them had full­time four-wheel drive.

The 4.7-litre en­gine had Jeep’s Quadra-Trac II sys­tem with an elec­tri­cally con­trolled cen­tre dif­fer­en­tial that could split the drive be­tween the front and rear wheels.

The 5.7-litre V8 and diesel also em­ployed the more so­phis­ti­cated Quadra-Drive II sys­tem with front and rear lim­ited-slip dif­fer­en­tials that could de­liver the drive not only to the front and rear wheels but also split it be­tween the left and right which gave greater drive ca­pa­bil­ity.

IN THESHOP

Cars­guide has had few com­plaints, which sug­gests Com­man­der own­ers are a happy lot. Ser­vic­ing can be ex­pen­sive at Jeep deal­ers, so con­sider an in­de­pen­dent ser­vice out­let once the war­ranty runs out. Check for reg­u­lar ser­vic­ing; as with all mod­ern en­gines it’s cru­cial oil and oil fil­ters are reg­u­larly changed.

INACRASH

There is no ANCAP test rat­ing for the Com­man­der. But with dual front airbags and side cur­tain airbags, ABS brakes, trac­tion con­trol, elec­tronic sta­bil­ity con­trol and rollover pro­tec­tion, it had plenty of equip­ment de­signed to pro­tect the fam­ily— mak­ing it a good ve­hi­cle for school and sports runs.

UNDERTHEPUMP

Jeep reck­oned the turbo-diesel would av­er­age 10.5L/100 km, but our owner gets 11.5L/100km and Cars­guide could man­age only 13.0L/100km. The V8s are thirstier: Jeep claims 13.9L/100 km for the 4.7 and 15.6L/100 km for the 5.7.

The whole box and dice: Com­man­der’s boxy shape hides a nice, roomy in­te­rior

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