Jeep has been on the busy side lately, having recently launched new Compass, Cherokee and Wrangler models, but there are still plenty of gaps in its line-up, particularly at the upper end where the trendy SUV brand lacks a large seven-seater.

That void has just been filled, at least as far as the Chinese market is concerned, with a new seven-seater that revives the Commander name that was last used for a boxy seven-seater that Jeep produced for world markets between 2005 and 2010.

At this stage, however, it appears that the new Grand Commander you see here is a China-only deal - with the rest of the world instead tipped to get a reincarnated Jeep Wagoneer (and larger Grand Wagoneer twin) around the end of this decade.

While the more upmarket Wagoneer will likely be based on the Grand Cherokee’s rear-wheel-drive platform, the Grand Commander is said to utilise FCA’s more cost-effective front-wheel-drive architecture that underpins the Cherokee and Chrysler Pacifica, although the large Jeep still offers four-wheel-drive.

Not much info has been released as yet, but from what we could decipher on Jeep China’s website, the Grand Commander is powered by the same 2-litre turbopetrol engine that was also recently added to the Cherokee and Wrangler line-ups, mated to the familiar nine-speed autobox.

Although it’s too early to predict at this stage, South Africa would likely follow world markets in offering the new Wagoneer rather than the Grand Commander.



IOL Motoring