NEW YORK — DaimlerChrysler AG's Jeep division on March 23 unveiled its first sport/utility vehicle with three rows of seats at the New York International Auto Show, according to Reuters. Chrysler, which will show the Commander at the New York event, said the launch is the beginning of an expansion of the Jeep brand over the second half of the decade. It has high expectations for the vehicle. One Chrysler official recently told Reuters he expected the Commander to outsell the Grand Cherokee — Jeep's best-selling model. The Commander, which is 2 inches longer than the Grand Cherokee, has a retro, boxy design, with an upright windshield and a large overhang at the back to accommodate the third row of seats. Its top-of-the-line V-8 5.7-liter Hemi engine comes with technology that boosts fuel efficiency by 10-20 percent, though with this engine the Commander gets an average of only 13 miles per gallon in the city and 18 miles per gallon on the highway. Jeep previously used the name Commander for a concept vehicle in 1999, but the two vehicles are not related.

Originally posted on Fleet Financials