American SUV specialist Jeep's line-up was missing a seven-seat full-size SUV with the discontinuation of Commander in 2010. Now the Ohio-based automaker has revealed new full-size SUV quite logically named the Grand Commander. A full-fledged revealing of the Grand Commander has been scheduled for the Beijing auto show in April this year while the company has started accepting bookings for the SUV in China, which is the exclusive market for now.
The China-only model is the offspring of FCA (parent of Jeep) and partner Guangzhou Automotive Group (GAC) that also produces Jeep Cherokees and Renegades for the Chinese market. The Grand Commander is essentially the production-spec version of the Yuntu concept revealed at the Auto Shanghai 2017. The concept showcased with a plug-in hybrid powertrain, panoramic glass roof and suicide rear doors while the company has toned down such snazzy bits in the Grand Commander.
The Yuntu is a stylish and rugged SUV concept that blends with signature Jeep DNAs. The Grand Commander also carries a similar design of the Yuntu concept, especially the silhouette. The Grand Commander feature slim headlights framing a broad seven-slot grille, large windows, beefy square wheel arches and U-shaped tail lights, all in line with the recently-facelifted Cherokee.
The pictures suggest Grand Commander has longer overhangs at both front and rear and low ride height. This indicates that the SUV may not be launched as a hardcore off-road machine but a utilitarian model. Having said that four wheels drive system will be standard in the SUV. Other notable characteristics on the exterior are a thicker tailgate and a wider C-pillar.
The SUV will draw power from a 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine that develops 234hp or 265hp depending on the trim level. The mill will be mated to a nine-speed automatic transmission. In case you wonder why such small engine for such a big SUV, China imposes heavy taxes on bigger engines. Hence plonking smaller capacity engine will help keep the price in check.
Will it be launched in India?
It is too early to comment on that. For now, Jeep Grand Commander is a China-only model. However, considering the growing demand for full-size SUVs in India, FCA bringing the SUV here cannot be written off. In that case, we can expect the launch of the Grand Commander in 2019.