all-wagon line of Jeep, Chrysler
brand devoted exclusively to four-wheel-drive
vehicles, expands to four models in
2006. Jeep Commander is the newest member
of the family and the first Jeep rigged
with three rows of seats for a capacity
of seven passengers. But Grand Cherokee
SRT8, packing a 6.1-liter HEMI V8, becomes
the most powerful Jeep -- and the quickest.
big wagon with three powertrain options,
Commander looks like a modern interpretation
of Jeep classics, thanks to sheetmetal
styling with crisp lines and planar
surfaces. It shares a 109.5-inch wheelbase
Cherokee but the structure measures
inches longer, carving out more room
in the cabin. A stepped roof design
adds headroom for passengers on second
and third rows as optional skylights
bring in more light.
powertrains, Commander offers the 330 hp and 5.7-liter
HEMI V8 with multi-displacement system (MDS),
which can switch seamlessly to fuel-saving four-cylinder;
Jeep's 4.7-liter Power Tech V8 with 235 hp, and
a 3.7-liter Power Tech V6 rated at 210 hp. For
4WD action, Jeep adds options with three different
systems -- Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive
II. Standard safety equipment includes an anti-lock
brake system (ABS), electronic stability program
(ESP) and a traction control system (TCS).
Jeep's mid-size SUV staple for 2006 offers four
different levels of equipment under labels of
Laredo and Limited, new deluxe Overland and the
souped-up SRT8. Grand Cherokee Laredo scores a
more powerful standard engine with the 3.7-liter
V6 pumped to 210 hp. The Limited draws from Jeep's
4.7-liter V8 with 235 hp but offers the 5.7-liter
HEMI V8 with MDS for 330 hp.
Overland packs the HEMI V8 MDS engine combined
with Quadra Drive II, Jeep's ultimate 4WD system.
Soft leathers and real wood trim the cabin, while
the exterior flashes unique platinum accents on
grille, side moldings and 17-inch alloy wheels.
Grand Cherokee SRT8 with a massive 6.1-liter HEMI
V8 easily becomes the most powerful Jeep ever
at 415 hp. It romps from zero to 60 mph in less
than five seconds.
Jeep's compact-class Liberty SUV applies ESP as
stock safety equipment on all three trims of 2006
-- Sport, Limited and Renegade. Other standards
range from air conditioning and power windows
and door locks to a remote keyless entry system,
ABS and an audio package with six speakers and
a CD deck. Powertrains this year extend to four-cylinder
and V6 gasoline-powered engines as well as a 2.8-liter
common rail diesel (CRD) with turbo-charging for
160 hp. The diesel becomes a torque-heavy variation
for Sport and Limited trims.
goes further for running on rugged off-road trails
by adding off-road foglamps and taillamp guards,
functional rock rails, four protective skid plates
on the undercarriage and an optional light bar
on top. Fresh clear-coat paint colors for 2006
include Dark Khaki and Bright Silver, while add-on
cabin gear extends to side air bags, a power sunroof
and Sirius satellite radio subscription.
Jeep's icon wagon skews to multiple models for
2006 including new Wrangler Golden Eagle with
premium gear and Ravine aluminum wheels trimmed
in gold. Wrangler comes in two wheelbase lengths
-- short and long. The short version trims as
SE, X, Sport, Unlimited plus serious off-roader
Rubicon. The stretched version is called Wrangler
Unlimited with ten inches added to the wheelbase
and a structure that is 15 inches longer. Wrangler
Unlimited Rubicon packs diamond-plate sill guards,
heavy-duty Dana 44 axles and Goodyear Wrangler
"Maximum Traction/Reinforced" tires
on 16-inch aluminum wheels.
comfort gear includes air conditioning and power
steering, a fold-and-tumble back seat and a soft
top with rollback roof panel that works like a
sunroof. Jeep's mega-torque in-line-six engine
with 4.0-liter displacement shows up in Unlimited
and most Wrangler models, while Wrangler SE the
price-leader gets a 2.4-liter four-cylinder good
for 147 hp.