Jeep Commander - It's Soft in the Middle

In a previous job of mine I had to interview people whose benefit payments from the Government had been stopped for one reason or another. To say I saw 'life' is an understatement. To say those that I interviewed weren't happy would be a one that is off the understatement scale. There was one guy who obsessed in telling me that he had lots of meat to sell and that he could make £1000 per week if he wanted. Perhaps I suggested this is why we'd stopped his benefits, to which he replied "You're a mimbo". Now I take care of my appearance because it makes up for the rest of my face, but I doubt combining 'male' with 'bimbo' is wholly appropriate. Certainly not in today's society where there's more waxing and fake tan going on in the Welsh rugby team's dressing room than a beauty saloon. And now the world of cars and most notably Jeep has caught the mimbo drug too.

If you didn't know, Jeep pretty much started the whole off-road routine, as they began supplying the US Army with the Jeep Wrangler from the 1940s - well before some bright spark had the idea that mums might want a 4x4 to take the children to school. This heritage has always been the appeal of Jeep and the company's refusal to water-down and refine their road cars is well documented. Whilst this commitment to their principals is admirable, it's meant that sales in recent years have been dwindling. In a world where 'going green' is the be all and end all of anyone with decision-making powers, buying a gas-guzzling skyscraper for the road invites social ridicule and abuse faster than if you wore a Manchester United shirt to a Manchester City convention. If you do decide to take on the abuse, you don't want to be uncomfortable doing so, hence why there are an abundance of 4x4s that would run scared at the sight of mud on our roads - none of which are adorned with a Jeep badge.
To combat this, Jeep have wrestled with their conscience and in recent years have been softening the edges of their designs with the Cherokee, Grand Cherokee and Compass attempting to move the marquee into the noughties. The problem has been that they've got things the wrong way around. It's not the exterior that has needed refining - the rugged good looks have set Jeep apart for years. It's the cheap plastic interiors, wallowy suspension, poor handling and lack of interior space despite the large proportions that have hindered Jeep. Finally the answer could be here - the Jeep Commander.
If looks could kill then the Commander would win a war on its own. Looking not too dissimilar to a Hummer, the Jeep manages to teeter on the precipice of chic styling and off-road prowess without falling over the edge. The square lines are back along with the trademark seven-slot grill finished in chrome. The huge wheel arches are flared, housing stylish yet workmanlike five spoke alloy wheels and even the roof rack somehow seems to make the car look sporty rather than practical. The version I saw was finished in black and although I may have looked like a pimp, I felt on a par with the BMW X5s and Volvo XC90s around me in the style stakes.
Even better than the exterior though is that the Commander is the most technically advanced Jeep to date with traction control, an electronic stability system, electronic roll mitigation and a four-wheel drive system called Quadra Drive II. Yes they're all silly names but it all equates to a driving experience that belies the fact you're in a 4x4. For example the Quadra Drive II makes sure torque goes to the wheels touching the ground so power is always available whether on a country lane or sand dune. As for choosing the power, two engines are available for the UK market: a 3 litre V6 diesel built by Mercedes or a 5.7 litre V8 Hemi which will empty your wallet faster than a mugger.
As if this wasn't enough, the Commander is also Jeep's first foray into seven seats and little touches impress - like having the rear seats higher than the others to help prevent travel sickness for the little ones in the back. Luxuries such as separate air-conditioning zones, illuminated vanity mirrors, personal cup-holders, storage bins and lumbar adjustable leather seats all mean one thing. You can be a mimbo in the Jeep Commander [] whilst all those around you think you're an army tough guy.