CLASSIC DESIGN, JEEP ENGINEERING, NEW FEATURES AND SAFETY TECHNOLOGY
That’s because the all-new 2006 Jeep Commander – classic in design, engineered to performas only Jeep vehicles can, the first with three rows of seats, and equipped with advanced safety technologies – is the leading edge of a Jeep product offensive scheduled for the next few years.
“The 2006 Jeep Commander is significant for a number of reasons,” said Jeff Bell, Vice President Jeep, Chrysler Group. “First, Commander signals our commitment to remain the leader in the sport-utility market, a market that Jeep invented more than 60 years ago. This is the first seven-passenger 4×4 that is Jeep Trail Rated®. Second, Commander is the only SUV in its class to offer two V-8 engines.
In addition, the Jeep Commander expands and strengthens what is already a stellar lineup, consisting of the Wrangler, Liberty and Grand Cherokee. And finally, the all-new Jeep Commander initiates the expansion of the Jeep vehicle lineup that will take place during the second half of this decade.”
HERITAGE EXTERIOR DESIGN, COMPLEMENTED BY AN ALL-NEW INTERIOR
In developing the 2006 Jeep Commander, designers looked to past Jeep vehicles for inspiration: the Willys Station Wagons (1946 to 1962), the Jeep Wagoneer (1963 to 1991) and especially the Jeep Cherokee (1984 to 2001). All were classically Jeep in appearance, with sharp lines, planar surfaces and rugged looks. The 2006 Jeep Commander is a modern interpretation of that design ethic.
The Jeep Commander’s upright windshield, backlite and rear end, as well as its more vertical body sides and side glass, embody the vehicle’s classic Jeep styling. Even the side-view mirrors are blocky and stout. Overall, Commander looks strong and confident because of its military bearing – upright and rugged.
And because it is steeped in heritage Jeep design, the Commander looks familiar and new at the same time. This tension between past and present engages the emotions.
“The Jeep Cherokee is an authentic, classic shape that is rooted in the public consciousness,” said Donald A. Renkert, Senior Manager, Jeep Studio, Chrysler Group Product Design Office. “By reinterpreting that vehicle, and other classic Jeep vehicles of the past, the Jeep Commander elicited nods of recognition from consumers, even though it is a brand new vehicle. There is a sense of déjà vu about the Jeep Commander that brings knowing smiles of satisfaction.”
The satisfaction continues inside the vehicle, where attention to detail is evident. For example, the two-tone instrument panel is a design unique to Commander. From the gear shift knob, to the four round gauges that make up the instrument cluster, to the new steering wheel, Commander is refined and uniquely Jeep in appearance.
The newly designed seats are supportive and comfortable. And, for the first time in a Jeep vehicle, there are three rows of them, each row slightly higher than the one in front of it. This distinctive stadium seating arrangement makes forward viewing easier. The second and third row seats fold forward to create a flat load floor. Commander is only two inches longer than the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee, even though it is designed to accommodate three rows of seats. And since they have the same wheelbase (109.5 inches), Commander is as maneuverable and off-road capable as the Grand Cherokee.
The Jeep Commander’s stepped roof provides second and third row occupants with plenty of head room. Complementing the available front-mounted sun roof is Command-View™, new and innovative skylights (complete with shades) over the second row of seats.
ENGINEERED TO GO ANYWHERE, DO ANYTHING
Class-leading off-road capability and on-road refinement were mandatory for the Jeep Commander. So the Jeep team went to the head of the class: They provided Commander with the same 4×4 systems, suspension and powertrains as the award-winning 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee, including an independent front suspension and rack and pinion steering. Available on Commander are:
- Three full-time four-wheel drive systems, Quadra-Trac I®, Quadra-Trac II® and Quadra-Drive II®
- Two transfer cases offering Brake Traction Control System (BTCS), and Electronic Limited Slip Differentials (ELSD) for best-in-class tractive performance
- Three available engines: the 5.7-liter HEMI® V-8 with the Multi-Displacement System,the 4.7-liter SOHC Power Tech® V-8, and the 3.7-liter SOHC Power Tech V-6 engine
“The on-road refinement and off-road capability of the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee are key reasons why it was named 4×4 of the Year by 4-Wheel & Off-Road magazine,” said Craig Love, Vice President, Rear-Wheel Drive Product Team. “Now, the only vehicle on the market with the same pedigree is the all-new Jeep Commander.”
SAFETY AND SECURITY DESIGNED IN FROM THE BEGINNING
Like all Chrysler Group vehicles, the 2006 Jeep Commander is designed to improve not only handling and accident avoidance, but also to provide excellent crash protection.
Jeep Commander is the first Chrysler Group vehicle with electronic roll mitigation. Using input from multiple sensors, the system deploys the air bags in certain rollover scenarios, as well as side impact events.
Crash protection features available on the Jeep Commander include advanced multi-stage air bags with an Occupant Classification System, available side curtain air bags, seat belts equipped with pretensioners and digressive load limiting retractors, and BeltAlert®, a buckle-up reminder system for the driver.
Crash avoidance features on the 2006 Jeep Commander include standard Electronic Stability Program (ESP), Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and an All-Speed Traction Control System (TCS). A tire pressure monitoring system, ParkSense™, (rear park assist), UConnect™ hands-free communications, DVD-based navigation system, SmartBeam® headlamps and rain sensitive wipers provide additional safety and security on the road.
JEEP TRAIL RATED
The Jeep Trail Rated badge on the 2006 Jeep Commander shows that the vehicle has been designed to perform in a variety of challenging off-road conditions identified by five key consumer-oriented performance categories: Traction, Ground Clearance, Maneuverability, Articulation and Water Fording.
Jeep Trail Rated is an industry-leading methodology established by the Nevada Automotive Test Center (NATC) and Jeep Engineering to objectively measure and consistently predict off-road performance for all Jeep vehicles today and into the future. Through a combination of natural and controlled field tests, as well as computer simulated environments, Jeep Trail Rated provides a repeatable and consistent measurement of off-road performance for all Jeep vehicles. Only Jeep vehicles are Trail Rated.
INSPIRATION FOR THE DESIGN OF THE 2006 JEEP COMMANDER
They looked to some classic Jeep vehicles for inspiration: the Willys Station Wagons (1946 to1962), the Jeep Wagoneer (1963 to 1991), and especially the Jeep Cherokee (1984 to 2001). Although different in many ways, those vehicles also had important similarities: taut lines, sharp angles and flat surfaces. Those elements survive today in the Jeep Wrangler, which, as a direct descendent of the 4×4 military Jeep of World War II, remains the icon of the Jeep brand.
From this incomparable Jeep heritage was conceived an SUV with classic Jeep styling in an unmistakably modern package: the 2006 Jeep Commander.
“The Jeep Commander is a fresh expression of the essence of Jeep design,” said Trevor Creed, Senior Vice President, Chrysler Group Design. “It springs from the archetypical Jeep vocabulary, executed in a more architectural and mechanical manner. This vehicle is clearly constructed primarily from the same aesthetic as two classic Jeep icons: the Wrangler and Cherokee. As a result, Jeep Commander is the modern, quintessential Jeep.”
EXTERIOR HAS STRONG, PURPOSE-BUILT APPEARANCE
The 2006 Jeep Commander looks not so much styled as constructed, as if it were hewn from marble with a hammer and chisel. The result is a design that is simple, strong and purpose-built, with no fussy details. The vehicle has a military bearing: upright and rugged. About two inches longer and nearly four inches taller than the Jeep Grand Cherokee, the Commander is imposing without being intimidating.
There are two models: Commander and Commander Limited. Standard on both models is the signature Jeep seven-slot grille: body color on Commander, and chrome on the Limited. The grille is anchored at both ends by distinctive headlamp assemblies. The stacked headlamps are circular and truncated flat across the bottom with detailed parabolas. Simulated Allen head bolts in the headlamp module contribute to the feeling of precise construction. The technical look is repeated in the taillamps as well.
The Commander’s long, clamshell hood is flat, reminiscent of the even flatter hood of the Jeep Wrangler. Constructed of aluminum, it extends to the Commander’s upright windshield. Also upright are the backlite and liftgate at the rear end of the vehicle.
Form follows function in the design of the stepped roof. Beginning over the second row, the roof is raised 3.15 inches to provide more headroom for occupants in the second and third rows. While clearly evident from outside the front of the vehicle, the stepped roof is most appreciated from inside the Commander. Viewed from either side, the stepped effect is concealed by a newly designed roof rack rail, standard on all models. The rack’s crossbar stanchions are similar to a buttress-style bridge support, and each side rail has three integrated tie-downs.
Exclusive to the Limited are D-pillar assist handles that extend from the roof rail on down the back of the vehicle. The handles are black with chrome inserts in the grip area. The assist handles work in conjunction with the black molded-in-color step pad. The step pad has a diamond plate texture that provides a rugged, non-skid surface for a person stepping on the rear bumper to gain access to the roof of the Commander.
Completing the Commander’s stance are its more vertical body sides and upright side glass. The front and rear doors feature bright chrome body side moldings incised with the word, “COMMANDER.”
THREE ROWS OF SEATS HIGHLIGHT THE ALL-NEW INTERIOR
Commander is the first Jeep vehicle with three rows of seats. Arranged in stadium style, each row is higher than the one in front of it, providing second- and third-row passengers with enhanced forward visibility.
The seats are broad-shouldered, giving them an air of formality. The Commander model features cloth, with optional leather available. The standard seats on the Limited model are leather. All outboard seats have head restraints. The seats are firm and designed to provide optimal comfort during long highway miles and off-road adventures. The second row splits 40-20-40 and the seat backs recline. The third row splits 50-50. Both rows fold forward to provide a flat load floor for maximum utility.
Additional utility is provided via the L-shaped storage bin located in the load floor behind the third row seats. The top panel of the bin is removable and reversible. One side of the panel is carpeted and level with the third row of seats. The opposite side is molded-in plastic with a diamond plate texture, designed to stand up to the dirty gear an active lifestyle often generates. Under the bin are provisions for storing the jack and tools.
Jeep Commander is the first Chrysler Group vehicle with Command-View™ skylights. Located in the roof above the second row, these two fixed, tinted glass skylights are packaged with the available power sun roof that is positioned above the front passengers. Each Command-View skylight has a roller shade that can be pulled horizontally to block out light when desired. The skylights and sun roof work together to give the Commander a greater sense of interior spaciousness and adventure. An optional DVD player is located between the skylights.
The two-tone color scheme on Commander’s instrument panel and interior trim exemplify the vehicle’s attention to interior detail.
The upper instrument panel is new, with 16 Allen head bolts contributing to the mechanical, constructed look of the vehicle.
Circular elements prevail: The new gear shift knob of the gated shifter is round, as are the eight air vents, the steering wheel pad, the interior door handles, the grilles that conceal the door speakers and the four gauges in the simple and purposeful instrument cluster. A new JEEP medallion dominates the center of the steering wheel and shift knob, with an Allen head bolt design – round, of course – providing additional interest.
“By looking to the heritage of Jeep, we were able to move forward with a design for the Jeep Commander that captures the classic and timeless elements of the brand,” said Donald A. Renkert, Senior Design Manager, Design Office Jeep Studio.
“When the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee was introduced last year, its best-in-class tractive capability and best-in-class power made it king of the full-size SUV mountain,” said Craig Love, Vice President, Rear-Wheel Drive Product Team, Chrysler Group. “Now, because of their shared underpinnings, Grand Cherokee and the new Commander occupy that same lofty space.”
Commander is the first Jeep vehicle with three rows of seats, yet is only two inches longer than the 2005 Jeep Grand Cherokee. The two vehicles share the same wheelbase – 109.5 inches – meaning Commander is as maneuverable and as off-road capable as the Grand Cherokee.
THREE FULL-TIME FOUR-WHEEL DRIVE SYSTEMS
Quadra-Trac I® utilizes the NV140 single-speed transfer case to provide convenient full-time four-wheel drive with no transfer case lever to shift or driver interaction required.
Quadra-Trac II® incorporates the NV245 transfer case that provides full-time active four-wheel drive, which anticipates and prevents wheel slip for optimum traction during a wide range of conditions. The NV245 also includes electronic shift with a true low-range gear and neutral for towing Commander behind another vehicle.
Quadra-Drive II® takes unparalleled Jeep capability to an even higher plateau using Electronic Limited Slip Differentials (ELSD) – front/center/rear – offering customers the ultimate in off-road capability. ELSD replaces the Vari-Lok progressive axles used on the Quadra-Drive system from previous generation Jeep vehicles for even quicker response to changing conditions and greater torque capacity.
HEMI® V-8 LEADS THE ENGINE LINEUP
The 5.7-liter HEMI V-8 engine with the Multi-Displacement System (MDS) is available on Commander. MDS imperceptibly deactivates half the cylinders of the 5.7-liter HEMI during cruising and light acceleration to increase fuel economy by between 10 and 20 percent, depending on driving conditions. A sophisticated Electronic Throttle Control (ETC) system tailors throttle response to pedal movement based on operating conditions, and maintains a more consistent vehicle speed on rolling grades when cruise control is active than with the former mechanical throttle control system. The HEMI produces 330 hp (246 kW) @ 5000 rpm and 375 lb.-ft. (509 N•m) @ 4000 rpm.
4.7-LITER SOHC V-8 POWER TECH® ENGINE
The 4.7-liter V-8 is the mid-range engine in Commander. The engine produces 235 hp (175 kW) @ 4500 rpm and 305 lb.-ft. (414 N•m) of torque @ 3600. Dual knock sensors were added to provide improved engine calibration for both fuel economy and power output.
The engine has improved noise, vibration and harshness (NVH) characteristics, realized through the use of composite valve covers, structural improvements to the air box and resonator and improved dampening of the heat shields.
3.7-LITER SOHC V-6 POWER TECH ENGINE
The 3.7-liter V-6 engine provides the 2006 Jeep Commander with a powerful base engine that is efficient, durable and smooth. It produces 210 hp (157 kW) @ 5200 rpm and 235 lb.-ft. (319 N•m) @ 4000 rpm. The engine was first introduced in the Jeep Liberty and has been continuously refined to provide smooth V-6 power with optimal economy.
Significant changes in the 3.7-liter include a revised cam profile and new valve lash adjusters. These changes improve the engine’s smoothness at idle. To ensure quiet operation, the engine has a thick-wall composite manifold, and also benefits from structural improvements to the air box and resonator.
SUSPENSION AND STEERING SYSTEM
The independent front suspension provides the driver with a greater sense of precision and control, more precise steering, and reduces vehicle weight and head toss.
The new five-link rear suspension geometry, including a track bar, also improves lateral stiffness to match that of the front suspension for optimum handling.
Standard on the Jeep Commander is an Electronic Stability Program (ESP), which aids the driver in maintaining vehicle directional stability in severe driving maneuvers on any type of surface. Using signals from sensors throughout the vehicle, the system determines the appropriate brake and throttle adjustments for directional stability of the vehicle.
Commander’s rack-and-pinion steering system imparts a more precise steering feel translated to the driver through fewer linkages than a recirculating ball steering system.
FIVE-SPEED AUTOMATICS PROVIDE REFINEMENT
A five-speed automatic transmission offers smooth shifts and optimum fuel economy with the 3.7-liter V-6. A second five-speed automatic transmission, the 545RFE, used with the 4.7-liter V-8 and 5.7-liter V-8 HEMI, has been refined for higher-quality shifts while giving Commander class-leading towing capacity of 7,200 lbs., equal to that of the Grand Cherokee.
Both transmissions feature Electronic Range Select (ERS) driver interactive shift control. The shifter provides fully automated shifting when in the “drive” position. Or the driver can manually select each gear by simply moving the shifter left and right from the “drive” position. This gives the driver control to precisely match any on-road or off-road driving requirement.
An off-road group is available with Commander that includes a stamped steel transfer case skid plate that mounts to the transmission cross member, a fuel tank skid plate that provides off-road protection to the transfer case and all-terrain tires.
The 2006 Jeep Commander will be produced at the Jefferson North Assembly Plant (JNAP) in Detroit, starting in the third quarter of 2005. The Grand Cherokee is currently assembled at JNAP.
TECHNOLOGY THAN ANY PREVIOUS CHRYSLER GROUP VEHICLE
“Through a broad range of engineering technologies, the Chrysler Group is offering customers peace-of-mind with more standard safety equipment,” said Eric Ridenour, Executive Vice President Product Development, Chrysler Group. “While driving on- or off-road, both passive and active safety systems enhance the inherent stability and safety we design in to all Chrysler Group vehicles.”
JEEP COMMANDER STANDARD SAFETY AND SECURITY EQUIPMENT:
- Advanced Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS)
- Advanced Multi-stage Air Bags
- All-Speed Traction Control System (TCS)
- Child Seat Anchor System
- Digressive Load Limiting Seat Belt Retractors
- Electronic Roll Mitigation
- Electronic Stability Program (ESP)
- Emergency Brake Assist
- Energy Absorbing Steering Wheel and Column
- Enhanced Accident Response System
- Headrests in all Outboard Seating Positions
- Knee Bolsters
- LATCH-Ready Child Seat Anchor System
- Occupant Classification System (OCS)
- Parksense™ Rear Back-up Detection System
- Seat Belt Pretensioners
- Sentry Key Theft Deterrent System
- Remote Keyless Entry
- Three-Point Belts in All Outboard Seating Positions
- Tire Pressure Monitor and Warning Signal
OPTIONAL SAFETY AND SECURITY EQUIPMENT:
- Extended Up-Time Side Curtain Air Bags for All Three Rows
- Navigation System
- Security Alarm
- SmartBeam® Headlamps
- UConnect™ Hands-Free Communication
CRASH PROTECTION FEATURES
Available side curtain air bags extend additional protection to outboard passengers in all three rows of seats. The system works in combination with the Chrysler Group’s all-new electronic roll mitigation system, introduced for the first time on the 2006 Commander. It deploys the air bags in certain rollover scenarios, as well as side impact events, and utilizes multiple sensors to determine the severity of the impact.
Advanced frontal multi-stage air bags with an Occupant Classification System (OCS) for the front passenger are standard on the Jeep Commander. This system classifies the severity of an impact event and uses additional sensor information to further modify front passenger air bag output based on occupant size and weight. The resulting deployment could be low, medium or high output, or – in certain instances – none at all. However, even with this advanced system designed to meet government requirements, all occupants are advised to always sit properly in their seat with the seat belt fastened. Children 12 and under should always be seated in a back seat correctly using an infant or child restraint system or have the seat belt positioned correctly for the child’s age and weight.
State-of-the-art energy management features in the body structure and chassis work in conjunction with air bag and seat belt systems. Front seat belts are equipped with belt pretensioners and digressive load limiting retractors. Pretensioners tighten the seat belt to help keep the occupant in place, while digressive load limiting retractors balance the load on the upper body, reducing injuries from seat belt forces. Head restraints are standard in all outboard seating positions. The driver’s side of the Jeep Commander is also equipped with BeltAlert, an enhanced seat belt reminder system that periodically activates a chime and illuminates a light in the instrument cluster to remind the driver to buckle up.
Also, standard Emergency Brake Assist notifies the active brake booster electronically of the need for increased brake output, providing minimal stopping distances in emergency situations.
CRASH AVOIDANCE FEATURES
To optimize overall driving performance, the Jeep Commander comes standard with ESP. This system enhances driver control and helps maintain directional stability under all conditions. It provides the greatest benefit in accident avoidance driving situations and is especially valuable when driving on mixed surface conditions, such as patchy snow, ice or gravel. If there is a discernible difference between what the driver asks through the steering and the vehicle’s path, ESP applies selective braking and throttle input to put the vehicle back onto the driver’s intended path. The system is calibrated to offer safe control of the Commander under a variety of conditions, and to operate in a manner that is not intrusive in normal or spirited driving. Electronic Stability Program will be standard on all Chrysler Group SUVs in 2006 in the United States.
Complementing ESP is an electronic roll mitigation system that observes and monitors the vehicle roll attitude and lateral force to estimate the potential for a rollover situation. If necessary, the engine torque is reduced and a short burst of full braking is applied to the appropriate wheel to help stabilize the vehicle attitude and reduce the vehicle’s lateral force. This system anticipates and takes steps to avoid a potential rollover situation.
These systems build on the Chrysler Group’s electronic chassis controls which include advanced Anti-Lock Brake System (ABS) and an All-Speed Traction Control System (TCS). Advanced ABS helps to keep the vehicle straight while retaining steering capability when braking on slippery surfaces by preventing wheel lock-up. It benefits from state-of-the-art electronics that provide a more refined system response than in the past.
All-Speed TCS enhances mobility and prevents wheel slip when accelerating on slippery surfaces. It also provides a measure of directional stability control, a clear advancement beyond prior traction control systems. In addition to the brake engagement at low speeds used by conventional traction control systems, All-Speed TCS uses throttle control as well. This makes the vehicle less reliant on brake application alone to maintain traction, increases the operating speed range, and more closely modulates speed and acceleration to provide smoother operation. With All-Speed TCS reducing engine torque when accelerating, it is possible to achieve almost seamless torque application at the wheels for the best acceleration given the surface. All-Speed TCS also benefits from state-of-the-art electronics that provide a much more refined system response than in the past.
In addition to the long list of standard safety and security features for Jeep Commander, tire pressure monitoring and alarm system, ParkSense™, (rear object-detection system), UConnect™ hands-free communications, DVD-based navigation system and SmartBeam® headlamps are available to offer the latest innovations on the road.