The 2010 Jeep Commander CRD Makes Sense

I was fortunate enough to get behind the wheel of this black n’ chrome SUV, navigating it from Tagaytay City to Metro Manila, and I’d say that I was delighted with the experience overall.

Driving this truly makes one feel like a commander.

This sport-ute feels very solid, being a true and capable off-roader (and not a crossover on lifters).  Yet the ride is comfortably supple, and the power is torquey and adequate. I know, the description I’ve just made is like stating the obvious, especially for an SUV that’s in the Php3-million price bracket.

But what really sets the Jeep Commander CRD apart from all others in its class is the fact that it’s diesel powered. (Yes! You read right) This makes a lot of sense, with rising fuel costs and the gas guzzler stigma stamped on American SUVs. Another SUV in this price range that “gets it” is the Toyota Land Cruiser Prado, which is also diesel powered and closely priced at Php3.45M. If you ask me, I’d go for the Commander than the Prado. The Jeep is cheaper, yet more exclusive. All others in this price range are gasoline powered (i.e. Ford Expedition) which is plainly stupid, from a practical standpoint. Ford Philippines also offered an LPG converted Expedition. Now that’s even more stupid.

The Php3M price point is also very sweet and sensible: it’s a level up from the Fortuner and Montero Sport world, and way below the Php6M realm of BMW X5’s and Land Rovers. Three Million may sound a lot per se, but in the context of the Jeep Commander CRD, it actually equates to value thats short of amazing.

Oh, and a word about the Commander CRD’s 3-liter engine: it’s derived from Mercedes-Benz. It’s turbocharged and intercooled, pumping out 218 ponies and the same amount of torque as the Jeep Commander’s other engine option, the V8 Hemi! I reckon it’s more than adequate in Philippine driving conditions, including the occasional trip up to Baguio.

Postscript: On the road, I got a lot of turning heads and smiles of approval. It is a handsome 4×4, not to mention rare. I even saw one bystander look in awe and mouth the words “Jeep Commander” upon reading the badge. It’s natural for Filipinos to love this thing, simply because we are a Jeepney and owner type Jeep culture. For all Pinoys, the Jeep brand and the 7-slat grille is identifiable and more importantly, iconic. If an uninformed Pinoy would lay his eyes on the Commander he would probably think that its a gift from the owner type Jeep gods, or a Jeepney from the Star Trek future sent back in time.


Sightings #2: Cassette Tape

Ok, there’s already too many tributes about the most popular music medium of the ’80s and I’m not here to make another one…


While walking down Pasong Tamo Extension one Saturday morning, I chanced upon this abandoned piece of audio relic lying on the sidewalk:

Abandoned Mixtape

By the way, the tape was unaltered: I took a pic of it as I found it, with the tape ribbon pulled out and what not. The cracked pavement and the autumn like fallen leaves added drama, I couldn’t help but get sentimental at the sight. Indeed, making mix tapes, high-speed dubbing, auto reverse, Dolby B, cleaning heads and capstans, TDK D or the more expensive but better sounding chrome and metal tape types, Walkmans and setting the correct record level are all part of an audio culture long forgotten. Oops! I promised I wouldn’t write tributes. I’ll stop right there.

Here’s a close up of the tape, so you can see the label that was written on it:

I wonder what songs were in it...

I was tempted to bring it home and to give it a listen (yes, I still have a working tape deck!). But I reckon the tape was in such disrepair and couldn’t be played; the music contained within, lost forever. Was it a time capsule that contained well recorded and rare classics or just a crappy compilation of Elvis and The Beach Boys?

More Sticky Stuff

More sticks in the mail, straight from San Fran!

Illest stickers fresh from the Fatlace Online Emporium

You can just look up the meaning of illest in, but more importantly, these decals have become a part of the NorCal automotive scene.

In NorCal, people stick these in random places on the car...

...or neatly decked slanted on glass, like this.

(Credit to Hellaflush for the 2 photos above)

I stuck my stick here. My Scoob's now rocking it San Fran style!

Isn’t it obvious yet that I love stickers? Still thinking of where I will stick the others. Stay stuck!

Sightings #1: Like Cholesterol to Arteries?

One of the reasons why I got a mobile phone with an 8MP camera and HD video recording is so that I can capture and blog “Sightings.” Anything that I consider interesting, funny, bizarre, stupidly Filipino, beautiful (or a combination of any of those) is a Sighting. I’ve been posting Sightings previously in Multiply and Facebook, and even posted a collection a few months ago here at The Lounge. I’ve decided to assimilate Sightings into The Geek Lounge.

Here’s the first one (officially, for The Geek Lounge). It’s a menu of Sunburst Chicken, a Cebu City only restaurant. The tag line is catchy and almost Japanese…

maybe it means that the taste is unforgettable?

Sunburst’s specialty is greasy fried chicken and fried chicken skin. I leave it to you to interpret how and why the taste sticks.