I get what you are talking about. When I was shopping for a 3 row SUV, I did not think much about a Commander until I actually looked at one and took it for a test ride. I liked how it drove but was unimpressed with the body styling until I really looked at it and saw the potential with just a few changes. First I did not like the monochrome look but much of the body styling and ride reminded me of my old classic 1977 Bronco. So I purchased a Commander knowing that I would be making changes to make it less boring. First was to paint it 2 tone by painting bumpers, flares and lower door panels in a rough texture contrasting color bedliner. Then I widened the stance with wheel spacers ( did the same with my old Bronco but with wheel offset ). I also added a roof carrier, A/T tires, color matching wheels and front tow shackles. I now like how it looks (and getting Jeep waves) except for the torpedo shaped front bumpers that I will be cutting to expose the tires more, giving it more of a "Jeep" look once the weather is permitting. I have experienced most of the flaws that other owners have dealt with, broken door handles, leaking sunroof drains, cracked heater hose T's and need for burping the cooling system. But just about any other vehicle with over 100k miles also develops problems over time and I find the Commander is easier to work on than most. I Love My Commander! A classic? Only time will tell.The Commander doesn't get a second look from anyone on the street when I'm driving. That could be a good thing or a bad thing, but it doesn't stand out much, no matter what customizations I've done to it. It gets lousy m.p.g., even after fixing my fuel leak. It is more than ten years old with only a five year run, parts are becoming scarce. It is not an easy car to work with. The engine compartment is stacked with stuff that you have to disconnect and move aside to work in there. For another example, changing the headlamp out means removing the grill and front bumper. Just being an SUV, it is overpriced today. Mine was overpriced in 2015 when I bought it. Post-pandemic, it is still overpriced, but that is mostly due to other factors.
A classic? Don't get me wrong, I love my Commander, and I totally get why anyone on this board does. It is a great starting point to all kinds of mods, and the spacious interior is great to work in. And it drives like a dream, definitely one of the most comfortable cars I've ever driven in (or been a passenger in). But I think that the classic status is seriously muted for this car. The folks who are already Commander fans seem to be the only folks who hold it in any kind of esteem. Even the rest of the Jeep world looks down on the Commander. A lot of the bad rep it has is actually deserved: water leaks from seemingly nowhere even without sun roofs, worn-out stock suspension under a big heavy frame, dropped valve seats due to a design defect, radiator that springs a leak for seemingly no reason at all, the list goes on and on. I get that everyone here loves their Commander but as a classic I'm just not seeing it.