WHAT'S NEW FOR THE JEEP COMMANDER IN 2009
For 2009, the Jeep Commander offers an optional 5.7 liter V8 engine that is both more fuel efficient and more powerful. The interior materials have been on the Overland and Limited trims, and the optional navigation system now has an iPod interface.
An off road family luxury vehicle is a very interesting idea. The 2009 Jeep Commander was in its 4th year of production, and offers endearingly blocky styling of the long gone Cherokee, the amenities of a luxury SUV, and the 7 passenger seating of a family crossover. The Commander meets most of the goals the company set but some people aren’t quite sure that they meet all of the requirements of the customers.
The Commander has 5.7 liter V8 engine that offers increased torque and power. The reason for the increases is the revised variable valve timing system that also provides an improvement in fuel economy. The smooth and vigorous Hemi engine now makes 52 more horsepower than the 4.7 liter V8 that was available, and it will actually run on 87 octane gasoline. If you want a Commander this is the engine that you should get.
The fully loaded versions of the Overland and the Limited models offer a lot of options, but there are other vehicles of luxury that offer an image that is more upscale for the same amount of money. Although the Commander offers a lot of prowess in the off road category, there aren’t many families that go off roading in a large SUV. Although the 2009 Jeep Commander does what it was designed to do, but so does some of their competition.
The 2009 Jeep Commander is a midsize SUV that is available with Overland, Limited, and Sport levels of trim. It has seven seats which are standard in the Overland and Limited models while only two rows of seats are standard in the Sport model. The seven seats are optional.
The standard equipment on the Sport models includes a satellite radio, a six speaker stereo with a MP3/CD player, a trip computer, a 40/20/40 split second row bench seat, an eight way power driver’s seat, a telescoping and tilt steering column, cruise control, roof rails, rear parking sensors, all terrain tires, and 17” alloy wheels. If you buy the optional third row seat you will also get climate control and fog lamps. If you decide to go for the optional popular equipment group you will also get upgraded speakers, power adjustable pedals, heated front seats, and remote ignition. If you want the sun and sound Group you will also get a sunroof and a six CD changer. The luxury group will get you a universal garage opener, an auto dimming rearview mirror, a power passenger seat, and automatic headlights. Also available if you choose the optional navigation system is a back up camera, an iPod interface, digital music storage, and an upgraded stereo system that feature a touch screen control.
The Limited model will get you all the of the Sport’s options in addition to Bluetooth, a steering wheel that is leather wrapped, which is optional on the Sport model, leather upholstery, driver memory functions, a manual front seat lumbar control, heated second row seats, higher quality interior surfaces, automatic dual zone climate control, heated inside mirrors, and auto dimming exterior mirrors.
In addition, the Overland model will get you the special Overland badges, faux suede and leather upholstery, a leather and wood steering wheel, auto leveling xenon headlights, a power lift gate, a towing package, and 18” chrome wheels. Both of the lesser trim packages can be equipped with the towing package and the power lift gate, while the headlights are a standalone option on the Limited. The Overland and the Limited also offer an optional rear seat entertainment system that includes a Sirius Satellite television.
The 2009 Jeep Commander model is offered with either four or rear wheel drive versions. The Sport model can be upgraded from previous versions to the active Quadra Trac II full time 4 wheel drive system. The Limited model comes with the Quadra Trac 4 wheel drive. The more advanced Quadra Drive II system is standard on the Overland model and optional on the Limited and Sport models. This system includes rear and front electronic limited slip differentials, hill descent control, and hill start assist.
In the engine compartment, the base Commander Sport model comes standard with a 3.7 liter V6 that produces 235 foot pounds of torque and 210 horsepower. The Sport model comes with a five speed automatic as standard equipment the same as all Commander models. This small V6 engine only provides EPA fuel economy estimates of 16mpg when using the 4 wheel drive, 19 mpg highway, and 14 mpg city.
Standard on the Limited model and optional on the Sport model id the 4.7 liter V8 that produces 334 foot pounds of torque and 305 hp. This engine provides a fuel economy of an EPA estimated 13/18/15 and satisfactory acceleration.
Standard on the Overland model and optional on the Limited model is the Hemi V8 engine that is 5.7 liters and produces 389 foot pounds of torque and 357 hp, which is an increase of 14 foot pounds and 27 hp over the previous year’s Hemi engine. In spite of the increase in power, the fuel economy only improves to an EPA estimated 13/19/15 when using 4 wheel drive which makes the Hemi more fuel efficient than the 4.7 liter V8.
The Commander can tow 7, 4000 lbs. with the Hemi Engine, 6,500 lbs. with the 4.7 liter V8 engine, and 3,500 with the V6 engine when they are properly equipped.
All of the Commander models come standard with full length side curtain airbags, stability control with rollover mitigation, and antilock disc brakes. Although the 2009 Jeep Commander hasn’t undergone government crash tests, it achieved a perfect five stars for frontal collision protection.
The Commander’s interior has functional, clean controls and instrumentation that are consistent with Jeep’s interior designs that are known to be user friendly. But, the touch screen controls that are provided with the optional upgraded stereo and navigation system are badly executed, with unresponsive navigation map controls, too many menu pages, and touch buttons that are too small.
The front seats in the Commander are very comfortable. Although the second row seats offer a good view of the road, they only provide only average legroom, and occupants who are of a larger sixe may decide that the seats are somewhat cramped. The cargo space that is located behind the seat is only 7.5 ft.3. With all of the rear seats folded down the maximum cargo capacity 69 ft.3
The 2009 Jeep Commander offer a rather serene, comfortable ride. However, some drivers may find that its body motions are somewhat excessive when the road gets bumpy. When driven off road, the Commander’s decent ground clearance, sophisticated 4 wheel drive systems, and ample wheel travel allow it to travel over dome rather tough terrain.