These images come from China, of all places.
There have been on-again, off-again rumors regarding a three-row Jeep, but we’ve yet to see anything materialize. Perhaps Jeep was simply too busy prepping its new Wrangler and upcoming facelifted Cherokee. But based on these leaked patent drawings, courtesy of Chinese-language website AutoHome, it appears the final design has been locked down. Reportedly called the Grand Commander, these patent images were part of filings to China’s trademark office – not America’s.
Chinese media claims the Grand Commander will debut next April in Beijing, but there’s still no word about a possible US market version. However, the fact that China may receive its own three-row Jeep unique specifically built for its market says quite a lot. More than likely the Grand Commander will also be built in China at a new factory. The last time Jeep offered an SUV larger than its Grand Cherokee was the Commander, built from 2005 to 2010. It was, essentially, a stretched Grand Cherokee. It was never a strong seller, likely due to the fact it arrived not long before gasoline prices surged and SUVs suddenly become vehicular non grata.
Will Jeep have another go at a three-row US market SUV? Based on current trends, we’d say it’s a pretty good bet. Could it look like the Grand Commander shown here? Possibly, but the final design will surely be modified to suit American tastes and safety regulations. Same goes for the engine lineup. In China, the Grand Commander will reportedly come powered by a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder with 270 hp. Very likely that's the same four pot found in the new Wrangler. But we all know that engine simply won't do in America for a three-row SUV. The previous Jeep Commander, for example, was offered with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8.