Best Daily Driver Replacement for a 2008 Jeep Commander? [Ask TFL]

Best Daily Driver to Replace a Jeep Commander?
[Photo: FCA]

In today’s Ask TFL, we have someone asking which vehicle is best to replace his aging Jeep Commander.

Hello gentlemen,
First off, I love your YouTube videos – not just facts about the cars, but the emotion, feeling and all the history behind them comes out in your videos.  
Second, I seek your guidance on a car decision. Here’s some background – we are a family of three. Currently have a 1989 Porsche 930 turbo and a 2008 Jeep Commander with the 5.7-liter HEMI that acts as our daily driver.  The Jeep needs replacing.
Here are the candidates:
  1. Alfa Romeo Stelvio Ti Sport
  2. Jeep Grand Cherokee High Altitude
  3. Volkswagen Atlas SEL Premium
Plus two outliers as they are more expensive, but great:
  1. BMW X3 M40i – love it, but can get 80% of this with Stelvio and significantly lower price
  2. Jeep Grand Cherokee SRT – love it, big enough to satisfy wife’s need for larger more comfortable truck, but a gas guzzler that would be worse than my Commander as a daily driver.
And last outlier, there’s the Jeep Wrangler Sahara JL.
Lastly, I am looking to lease this vehicle as auto technology changing so fast and I envision moving to an electric vehicle in a few years (Jaguar I-Pace??).
I know you have driven all of these and seek your expert advice.
With much appreciation,

There are a lot of good options there, Kevin! Personally, of all your choices, I’d recommend the Alfa Romeo. I think it’s the most characterful and one of the best to drive among your list.

The Atlas is certainly the most practical choice, but that practicality does have drawbacks in terms of size, as you mentioned. Personally, among the three row SUVs, I liked the Hyundai Santa Fe Limited Ultimate. It’s about the same price and size as the Atlas, it isn’t too unwieldy to drive, and it has all the features you’d need. The only down side is it doesn’t get great fuel economy. There is a new Hyundai Santa Fe and three-row SUV coming as well, so that’s worth considering.
I’d agree with you on the Jeep as a good compromise. I especially like FCA’s Uconnect system (which you can also get in the Stelvio), and having four-wheel drive does offer a good sense of security in Chicago winters. Plus the new Grand Cherokee is more refined than the Commander, by several degrees of magnitude.
It’s definitely a tough decision since the field’s so crowded – sorry if that didn’t really narrow it down. It really comes down to how much you want something fun to drive versus something thoroughly practical. The new Wrangler JL is also a much better road car than the outgoing JK, and you can have some fun off-road with it as well.
So many choices! What do you think would be the best option, TFL community? Let us know in the comments below! Many thanks to Kevin for submitting this question. If you have one of your own you’d like us to help try and answer, send it in to!
And for your amusement (or bewilderment), I’d like to share this photo I found of a man licking his way through 100 pounds of chocolate covering a Jeep Commander, just so he could have the chance to win a Jeep Liberty. Is it a relevant picture? Probably not. But I just had to share it with you all.