Commander/GrandCherokee WK honest reviews

kootenay

Intergalacticsuperintendent
My wife is looking to replace her Tiguan with something bigger. We did start looking at Touaregs, but found for the size they are not big enough inside. That and the reliability seems good, until something big goes wrong.

She has always liked the size and look of the Commanders, and the pricing is quite nice on them. I have been doing some research and the problems seem not to bad and easy fixes. The main ones I am concerned about are the stalling and ignition issues. Did they ever solve these problems, or do you still need to be careful about bumping the ignition switches?

Previously I owned a WJ Laredo with the V8 and Quadradrive, not the Quadratrac, and loved it for daily driving and highway cruising. We are looking at Limited with the 5.7 hemis, and looking at the 2009 or 2010 versions with the variable valve timing.

Please let me know what you like and don't like about your Commander, and if there are any fixes to the nagging little problems (stalling) thanks.
 
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MrWesson

Adventurer
My issue and there's only one with the WK and Commander is the lack of cargo space. How did they make something so big with so little space?

Commander cargo 7.5 ft³, 68.5 ft³ with seat area
WK Grand Cherokee 34.53 ft³, 67.4 ft³ with seat area

Land Rover LR3 44.5 ft³, 90.3 ft³ with seat area
3rd Gen Montero 39.8 ft³, 91.7 ft³ with seat area
2001 4runner 44.6 ft³, 79.8 ft³ with seat area
2001 Tahoe 63.6 ft³, 104.6 ft³ with seat area
2001 Toyota Rav4 29.2 ft³, 68.3 ft³ with seat area
 

Concours14

New member
I have a 06' Commander Limited w/quadra drive II. Overall it is a great vehicle but for interior space not so much. They are not much longer than a Grand Cherokee but with an extra seat so leg room is decreased in the second row and almost non existent in the third row. I have never had a problem with the ignition switch. The quadra drive II works fantastic off-road
 

Seumas

New member
My wife and I have a '08 Commander Limited w/ the 5.7 Hemi and Quadra-Trac. We bought it a little over a year ago with 62,000 miles on it, and now we are at 85K. We did not have any trouble with the original ignition switch, but since there was a factory recall for it, we went ahead and had it replaced. The new switch came with two new key fobs (FOBIKs) which are actually nicer looking than the originals. Performance-wise, it runs like a top with plenty of power for hauling and towing. The ride is also much smoother than my two previous solid-axle Cherokees --though I will add that I find the stiff leather seats with zillion-way adjustment a bit difficult to get comfortable in. My wife, on the other hand, says it's the most comfortable vehicle she's ever driven. We've not had much off-road experience with it, but it seems very capable. It is true what they say about the interior space --the second and third rows of seats fold down flat, but they still seem to take up a lot of room. Overall, we really like our XK, but a change in our commuting needs is prompting us to sell it in favor of something less thirsty until we are ready to adopt a second vehicle for overlanding.
 

paroxysym

Adventurer
ive had my 2007 WK for 6yrs, 172k. the 4.7 in it has plenty of power to move her, even when she had 32s on her and a lift she was great. its the first vehicle I have paid off and decided to keep around- as its perfect for my family of my gf, 2 year old and 2 dogs. I do belive it has a decent amount of cargo space, and yes compared to a tiguan it trumps it in the cargo dept(brother owns a 2010 tig). I looked in the rear of his the other day and he had the stroller for his newborn and that took up practically the entire trunk- when my son was in a larger stroller I could keep the stroller in the back and load the piss out of the rear with groceries or whatever else i wanted. overall a great vehicle if you ask me, at 172k shes starting to show her age/mileage but shes still trucking. hope to get her to the 250k mark.
 

MrWesson

Adventurer
I have a 06' Commander Limited w/quadra drive II. Overall it is a great vehicle but for interior space not so much. They are not much longer than a Grand Cherokee but with an extra seat so leg room is decreased in the second row and almost non existent in the third row. I have never had a problem with the ignition switch. The quadra drive II works fantastic off-road
Love Quadradrive II its an amazing 4wd system.

As a LR3 owner that's an amazing compliment and i'll take it 1 further.. Its a better system than Land Rovers's traction control.


Like I said an amazing rig but for an overlander it just lacks the space of competitors.. Maybe they just look large and aren't but I expected more from a Commander(looked at one before buying my LR3 coming from 2 WJ's).

That being said it have obvious advantages over my LR3 such as Weight(alot of it), Reliability(mines been good but very "needy"), Faster, Parts cost, and initial purchase(although I got my LR3 for $7,500). I also think it looks the part more than a WK but that's just me(those headlights are goofy).
 

kootenay

Intergalacticsuperintendent
My issue and there's only one with the WK and Commander is the lack of cargo space. How did they make something so big with so little space?

Commander cargo 7.5 ft³, 68.5 ft³ with seat area
WK Grand Cherokee 34.53 ft³, 67.4 ft³ with seat area

Land Rover LR3 44.5 ft³, 90.3 ft³ with seat area
3rd Gen Montero 39.8 ft³, 91.7 ft³ with seat area
2001 4runner 44.6 ft³, 79.8 ft³ with seat area
2001 Tahoe 63.6 ft³, 104.6 ft³ with seat area
2001 Toyota Rav4 29.2 ft³, 68.3 ft³ with seat area
I sometimes find these numbers to be misleading. Usable storage space is different then overall that, that being said the New Rav4 are big vehicles with tiny motors and uncomfortable seats. And the New 4runners are the same size as the original Sequoias just with a V6 instead of the V8.

Glad to hear most people are having good luck with their Commanders. I am not afraid of Maintenance I just hate nagging problems. In fact I may have found a good deal on a low mile Commander with a howling rear end. This sounds like a great way to get the gears in it I want.

Those that have the Factory Nav, how is it? How is the backup camera? That is a priority for my wife.
 

Jonathan012

Observer
I have an 06 Commander and love this car, only had it a short while but I feel like people are really not giving it a lot of credit for its space. I have 2 golden retrievers and a ton of camping gear and with the seats down there is a lot of room. Very cozy vehicle and very capable. Grab one, you'll love it as long as your okay with 20mpg average or less if you go with the v8. I do not have the back up camera but I can attest to the rear sensors. I like them but they can be a tad loud an annoying. Thankfully there is a button to turn it off/on. Happy trailing.
 

DesertJK

Adventurer
We have an 06 Commander with a Hemi. Bought it used with 80K, it now has 140K and has very few things go wrong. I installed OME heavy duty springs and shocks, and a trailer tow package. It tows our camper quite well at the cost of 10 to 12 MPG. On the road it has gotten 19 to 20 with no trailer.
Right now I need to do some maintenance. I have a set of brake rotors and pads, nice power stop stuff, ball joints, and other suspension stuff. Also got a inexpensive brush bar for it to possibly deflect a bit of damage if we hit bambi.

We have the JKUR, so have not had the desire to do any off road, but where we live there is more dirt 2 track and gravel than black top. My wife sells real estate and often goes up some pretty undeveloped roads and driveways, and through a lot of orchards and vineyards. Some may consider that off road. Anyways, it does great. It has A LOT of power and traction and is one of the most sure footed snow vehicles we have ever had (Audi's, Several models of Land Rovers, JKUR)
It doesn't feel any bigger than a Grand Cherokee of the road, and is quite comfy on road trips.
As far as interior space, I think it has quite a bit and have never really realized the numbers tell a different story. I wonder how it compares in square feet of floor space rather than cubic feet? Pretty much anything I ever need to haul that I'd consider hauling in it rather than the Comanche fits. We usually have 3 big dogs, and a weekend worth of stuff when we head over to visit family on the wet side of the state, and usually return with more than we left with.
 

DesertJK

Adventurer
My issue and there's only one with the WK and Commander is the lack of cargo space. How did they make something so big with so little space?

Commander cargo 7.5 ft³, 68.5 ft³ with seat area
WK Grand Cherokee 34.53 ft³, 67.4 ft³ with seat area

Land Rover LR3 44.5 ft³, 90.3 ft³ with seat area
3rd Gen Montero 39.8 ft³, 91.7 ft³ with seat area
2001 4runner 44.6 ft³, 79.8 ft³ with seat area
2001 Tahoe 63.6 ft³, 104.6 ft³ with seat area
2001 Toyota Rav4 29.2 ft³, 68.3 ft³ with seat area
There is no way there is only 7.5 feet of space unless that is with the 3rd row up. That isn't fair for comparison. Consider it a 2 row with a occasional use 3rd row as a plus. Especially if you are comparing it to 2 row SUV's
 

Cottontail

Easy Street on Mud Tires
I've had 3 XJs, 2 ZJs, a WJ, and a WK. Of those, the only one I have no interest in building is the WK. I've already built 2 of the XJ's I've owned. I think the ZJ and the WJ are considerably more comfortable than the WK, considerably easier to work on, and have a considerably better aftermarket support system. My 2001 Anniversary Edition XJ is my current explorer, but when I've thrashed it enough that I need to start over, I'd likely look at a WJ.

I looked at the Commander as a daily driver/tow vehicle but quickly decided against it simply due to the leg room in the backseat area. I am 6'6" and we have enough trouble in the ZJ and WK with backseat leg room and they are roomier than the Commander.
 

olso3904

New member
I have had a WK for the past 3 years and put 60,000 miles on it in that time, up to 165,000 right now. Overall it has been reliable and cheap to repair when stuff does go wrong, jeepforum and wkjeeps have a wealth of knowledge on these. A few things I have run into are the non-serviceable u-joints, which means sooner or later I will need to drop $500 a piece on replacement driveshafts, interior door handled and steering wheels a blatantly cheap and easily worn, but a cheap steering wheel cover and a replacement door handle kit fixed those issues easily. Living in minnesota meant the front strut forks were seized in the control arms when I did the lift, but I ended up replacing all the control arms and struts for around $600. Water pump, radiator and A/C compressor went out this summer, but all were inexpensive and really easy to replace and that has been the biggest suprise, how easy and cheap it has been to repair. As a dailydriver/roadtripper/occasional rallycrosser, it has been great, even still gets around 20mpg on the highway after the lift and 32s.
 

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VanIsle_Greg

I think I need a bigger truck!
I have an 05 WK with the Hemi. I really wanted a Diesel, but could not find one for what I wanted to spend. I got an amazing deal on my one owner WK, and it only had 62,000 KM on it. I was stoked on getting a V8 again as it had been a long time since owning one, and man that lump does not disappoint. Decent mileage, lots of power and good towing characteristics. We routinely haul around our 6000# travel trailer and it tows it like a champ.

Issues, well they do have a few but as mentioned, they are mostly minor and reasonable to fix. There was an issue with the 4x4 actuator that appears to be resolved with a software update (again). Other than that mine has been stellar. I have only replaced or repaired:

- Front breaks at 80,000 KM
- Front Struts
- Starter went at 90,000 KM
- Left upper ball joint (only after lifting it)

I have modded it slightly with the RC puck leveling kit, and added the JBA Lift UCA's. I am running 265 x 75 x 17 on JK wheels with some rubbing. Need to mod the pinch weld. I love this Jeep, I also wanted a Commander, but people seem to hold on to them here, so they are hard to come by.

Personally, I would buy one again. Mine is at 98,000 KM now, and for all intents and purposes feels like a new vehicle still. Hemi is fantastic, Diesel is very good (Merc unit), Trans and QDII is stellar, and its a great travelling rig.

[/URL]20150719_135725_zpsaworgpis by Gregory Bird, on Flickr[/IMG]

:coffeedrink:
 
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Bubblegoose1

@PNWINFERNOPRO
2010 WK Limited Hemi. Turned 100K this morning; have had it since last July at 85,100. Had to replace heater core and starter recently. Very happy with it. The Hemi is a beast motor. Built a JK for 8 yrs prior; would never go back.

Running: Diablosport tuner, high flow cat-back exhaust, Volant CAI, 3" coil and steel spacer lift up front, 4" OME HD coils and 2" steel spacers at rear, JK Moabs w/ 32" BFG take offs, Wilco Offroad Hitchgate MAX carrier w/custom dual Rotopax mounts, FrontRunner Symmetric Storage Drawer system.
 
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