After making its debut in Brazil, Argentina, and India (where it is called the Meridian), the Jeep® Commander will expand even further by reaching the shores of Japan. The American adventure brand has been growing its portfolio in the Japanese marketplace, with models ranging from the Renegade, Compass, Grand Cherokee L, Gladiator, and Wrangler.
It marks the return of the Commander nameplate to Japan after the Commander (XK) was sold there from 2006 to 2009. This time the Commander name will be on the smaller front-wheel drive-based architecture, but will still retain its three-row capability.
The Commander will be produced at the Ranjangaon Assembly Plant just outside of Pune, India, as it is currently the only plant that produces the right-hand drive (RHD) Commander, something that is needed to help boost sales in the RHD Japanese market.
While not many details are known about the Japanese-spec model, we believe they will mirror the Indian market Meridian model. The Meridan is offered with a single powertrain option, with a 2.0-liter turbodiesel inline-four-cylinder engine (also known as the “TD350” in Latin America). The engine puts out 168 horsepower (172 PS) and 258 lb.-ft. (350 N⋅m) of torque.
Unlike the Commander, the Meridian turbodiesel is fitted with both manual and automatic transmissions, as well as, a front-wheel-drive (FWD) and four-wheel-drive (4×4). Those Meridians that are fitted with FWD will come with a 6-speed C635 manual transmission. For 4×4 models, a ZF-sourced 9-speed 948TE automatic transmission will be standard equipment. We expect the Japanese market to be the same.
There are three rows of seats, seven seats in total, and one of the largest rear cargo spaces in the category with 1,760 liters (62.15 cubic feet) with the seats down, 661 liters (23.3 cubic feet) with the five-passenger configuration, and 233 liters (7.8 cubic feet) with all seven seats up – the largest volume with seven passengers for the segment. In addition, the model also has a surprising storage space of 31 liters of volume.
The Commander is scheduled to make its official debut in Japan, this fall.