Parkers overall rating: 3 out of 5 3.0

There are only two engines in the line-up – a huge (and thirsty) 5.7-litre V8 petrol and a 3.0-litre CRD diesel sourced from Mercedes-Benz. The V8 is pointless and far too expensive to run – so although it covers the 0-62mph sprint in 7.4 seconds and is very smooth, a woeful average of just 15mpg in everyday driving (and even less if you spend a lot of your time in town) means it’s not worth considering.

It’s no surprise that it was dropped from the line-up towards the end of 2007. This leaves the 3.0-litre CRD as the only choice. It does a great job of hauling the Commander, which weighs more than two tonnes, getting to 62mph in a healthy 9.0 seconds. There’s plenty of low down pulling power too, so it always feels willing to deliver decent pace. Only one gearbox is offered – a five-speed automatic that makes smooth, well-timed changes.

Despite the toned down looks, the Commander, like many Jeeps, is really at home off road with superb ability on rough or slippery terrain. It’s fitted with Jeep’s excellent Quadra-Drive II system, which is exceptionally easy to use. Engaging four-wheel-drive is simple and the clever on-board electronics do all the thinking for you, so the Commander can keep moving even if three out of the four wheels are slipping.

The ground clearance is good too, allowing you to tackle the steepest and toughest terrain and it can wade through 500mm of water. However, on road (where it’s likely to spend much of its time) it fails to match-up to other big 4x4s, as the ride is lumpy, there’s considerable body roll and the steering is vague – particularly at speed or on the motorway.

It’s also a bit of a handful around town, but at least visibility is good plus there are front and rear parking sensors.