Jeep Commander Coverage: Day 3
Date 2005/3/26 0:00:00 | Topic: Commander
|A press release discusses the motivation behind the look of the Commander.|
(from a DaimlerChrysler press release)
When Jeep® designers set out to create an all-new SUV - the first Jeep vehicle with three rows of seats - they were not asked to think outside the box. Instead, they were handed an even bigger challenge: create a better box.
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 4x4 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."
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."
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.