Jeep Wrangler guy here looking for a more comfortable DD. Wife owned a Commander back in 07/08 and we liked it. I am thinking of getting one as a DD, (gas mileage isn't a factor) and I would like a small lift and Rubicon wheels and tires. I can't leave anything stock!
What's everyone's driving and handling impressions of a lifted Commander? How much effect does the lift have on the handling of the Jeep? I am asking because whenever I lifted one of my Wranglers the driving/handling changed quite a bit. I don't want a lifted uncomfortable Commander! Might as well DD a Wrangler!
Thanks from a Commander Newbie! So to speak!
I had to get rid of my toy; 2 door 09 Wrangler JK, 35x12.5x17, 3.5" lift, lockers, Quick discos etc.
I got a Commander now since family life slowly demanded it and I didn't want to buy another Wrangler.
As far as the difference. Well, it's nice to feel safe on snow & ice. A 2 door Jk with 12.5" wide tires and rear wheel drive in snow and ice was just dangerous unless the road allowed for 4hi. This full time 4wd system in the XK Commander is great. I only wish I had the option to engage the lockers manually like in my old JK's selectable set up.
Around town its a dream. You feel it being a much wider and longer vehicle but in comparing my old set up also very low to the ground. I feel like I'm in a car in the driver's seat in comparison...teeny tiny. It looks taller from the outside due to the theater seating and roof rack. This makes me feel a bit vulnerable off road.
Power is on another level in comparison to my JK which had the 3.8L. Having the Hemi now I won't go on about the obvious...no comparison to make.
I miss the ground clearance but you'll never run a 35" on a commander, most people anyway as you'd have to spend thousands in mods and cutting and custom work. 33's is a stretch for most as that gets into the thousands as well. This is a downside for me but having a hemi and the QDII was a fair trade off so far. Mainly, because I wasn't out wheelin' much anymore so I am primarily comparing dry road, snow/mud/ice between the two. In that area, moderate off road and around town the Commander is better. Way smoother, more power, more features and room. Off road nothing will compare to the JK. Even if it doesn't do the job its a tonka truck, you can buy a million aftermarket parts. However, that can be a downside when you realize your down the road $8000 in ad ons
The Commander, is very easy to park and I was very surprised at that coming from a 2 door Jk. In that you can almost look behind you and see the curb at the rear wheels
I would say its a tie believe it or not.
Highway cruising the XK is also an easy winner.
So, it all depends what you want to do. When I got my JK years ago it was to primarily off road but also to be daily driver. I sacrificed road manners for being unstoppable off road. The Jk is not a good around town vehicle as it is rough, noisy, the big tires will like to walk around on the road a lot, and well...its a normal Wrangler. Not to mention a poor highway driver, in comparison. There are always pros and cons. Being a convertible, and having the freedom tops is awesome.
Now, my situation is change and it has reversed so the XK made more sense, better on road and moderate off road. The QDII system is very good and nothing bad to say about it at all. Probably 90% as good as a full selectable locker set up so in the end you may not even notice the difference there its so close. You will in ground clearance not only from the factory but in tire size too. Approach and departure angles will be better in the JK....all around better off road. Around town you'll enjoy the comfort and power of the XK and feel confident in some off road situations lifted, bigger tires and running QDII. Not to mention the XK being able to out tow a JK by over x2.
Tough comparison! In a perfect world I would have both!