The Jeep suits you, sir?

PUBLISHED: 10:08 03 August 2007 | UPDATED: 14:47 20 February 2013

Essex motoring

Essex motoring

Southend fashion clothing specialist Neil Raven tries on the Jeep Commander 3.0 LTD for size and finds it a comfortable fit

Southend fashion clothing specialist Neil Raven tries on the Jeep Commander 3.0 LTD for size and finds it a comfortable fit

Tell us about yourself and what you do
I am managing director of Ravens of Southend, a family-run department store that has supplied mens and womenswear, watches, jewellery, ceramics, leather goods, cufflinks and other quality products from classic designers for more than 100 years. Brands include Gant, Lacoste, Ted Baker, Crew Clothing and Melka, for men, and Basler, Gerry Weber, Libra, Apanage, Marie Mero and Gil Bret in all women's sizes.

How much do you enjoy motoring?
I like driving, although I'm not really a motoring enthusiast. I make a lot of business trips to and from shows at the NEC, in Harrogate and around the country, which keep me on the road. Although I drive company cars nowadays I had a Porsche Boxter which I bought two years ago and really enjoyed. It had to go when the children came along and so I got something a bit more practical. I'm a closet car fan and like to watch Top Gear as I think the presenters make the programme entertaining.

What do you drive and what would your dream car be?
My first car was a Renault 5, which I was given for passing the driving test. It was a great little car with a strange hockey stick gear lever that stuck out from the dash. After that I had a Toyota Corolla, which I liked cruising about in, and now I have an Audi A4 Avant which is ideal for my work. The Porsche was the highlight, though.

How would you sum up the Jeep Commander?
The Jeep Commander is a big, roomy car which looks and feels well constructed and comes with lots of safety and security features such as air bags, electronic stability control and front and rear parking assist, which you need on a car of this size. It has seven seats and I like the fact that it's got a 3-litre diesel engine, though the big V8 engine option will appeal to other people. It's quite obviously a Jeep and it has lots of luxuries including leather, a decent sound system, nice alloys, climate control, cruise control and things you find on more expensive 4x4s.

How does the Jeep Commander drive?
This feels a big car when you first get behind the wheel, but it rides well and gets more manageable the more you drive in it. It has a good driving position and the vision forward is superb thanks to the high seats. It's got a lot of space in the back, especially if you fold the third row of seats down. I like the large side mirrors and the dashboard layout, and the dials and instruments are clear and easy to read. Everything is where you'd expect it to be, which is good.

So, how do you rate the Jeep Commander?
I'm not a committed 4x4 man as most of my driving is on roads, but my family would like the practicality of the Jeep. It's a larger vehicle than I'm used to, but I'm sure I'd get used to it if I owned one.

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