Jeep Grand Commander: Sorry, This Three-Row Jeep Is Only for China
Despite being one of the first brands that springs to most consumers’ minds when “SUV” is mentioned, Jeep doesn’t currently have an entry in the popular three-row segment. The slapdash Commander occupied that space in the late Aughts and the company is making noises about a potential Grand Wagoneer but those plans, for now, remain hazy.
A three-row Jeep has finally appeared. It’s called the Grand Commander and is slated to appear at this year’s auto show in Beijing as a model exclusive to China.
Bozi Tatarevic – our very own walking, talking parts counter – opines that the Grand Commander shown here is very likely built on a stretched CUSW platform, and he is likely to be correct. An elongated Cherokee would make a lot of sense.
Up front we find a typical Jeep seven-slat grille, bookended by a pair of slim headlights aping those found on the Grand Cherokee. Tech addenda for FCA’s adaptive cruise control is visible on the front bumper, flanked by a formal set of horizontal housings for round fog lights. The rear doors are squared-off and stretch all the way into the rear wheel wells, presumably for ease of access to the third-row seats. In a video on Jeep’s China website, it’s easy to see the headrests for the Grand Commander’s third row. This is not a bad looking machine at all.
With only the most tenuous grasp of the website’s language, and with Google Translate not helping at all, the only information I can parse out of the copy is “2.0T.” Making the logical assumption this is referring to the Grand Commander’s powertrain, it is likely the same (or similar) two-liter turbo found in the 2019 Cherokee, lending more credence to Bozi’s theory. That engine makes 270 horsepower and 271 lb-ft of torque.
Chances of the Grand Commander wending its way to American soil? Limited, in this authors opinion, at least in the form displayed on Jeep’s Chinese website. The brand takes care to ensure at least one of the trims in each of the models it offers earns the “Trail Rated” badge, and the fairly long front and rear overhangs on the Grand Commander could scupper that effort. Having said that, Jeep employs engineers with pencils sharp enough to make vehicles as diverse as a Trackhawk and a Trailhawk out of a Grand Cherokee, so anything’s possible.
Despite not offering seating for seven, the Grand Cherokee outsold the three-row Highlander by about 25,000 units last year in America, with the Jeep moving 240,696 units and Toyota shuffling 215,775 machines off to new homes. Both those figures represent healthy increases over 2016 sales.
NoID on Jan 23, 2018
There are different tiers of "Trail Rated" so the rear overhang might not be as big a hangup (pun intended) as you might expect, and the front overhang to my eyes looks identical to the new Cherokee, but I don't know for sure. I suspect that it may have more to do with rear impact requirements, maybe the CUSW platform just can't pass muster in the USA but meets the regulations in China. Otherwise I see no reason not to make this for the USA as well. Sergio is on record saying that the upcoming 3-row crossover for Chrysler is based on the Pacifica platform, so I'm not so sure that there's a version of this with Chrysler badges waiting in the wings.
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- MaintenanceCosts There's no mystery anymore about how the Japanese took over the prestige spot in the US mass market (especially on the west coast) when you realize that this thing was up against the likes of the Fairmont, Citation, and Volaré. A massacre.