The Wagoneer returns and it is more luxurious than ever.
The Jeep brand expands yet again, just months after adding a three-row variant of the Grand Cherokee. We test drove the Grand Cherokee L this summer and found it well-suited for the midsize segment. Now, a pair of full-size models in the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer has quickly displaced the Gran Cherokee as this brand’s largest SUVs.
Jeep sent a Grand Wagoneer Series II model our way for testing in September. This is the largest model Jeep has ever built. Importantly, it is on a unique platform – it does not share its underpinnings with the Ram 1500, another Stellantis N.A. model. That was a surprise to us and is a point that this writer needs to correct with a few people who learned erroneously otherwise.
Further, the Wagoneer and the Grand Wagoneer share a common wheelbase and length. In other words, they’re the same, but with one important distinction. That is, its target competitors. Notably, the Jeep Wagoneer targets the Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon XL, and the Ford Expedition. As for the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, that model goes after the Cadillac Escalade and the Lincoln Navigator.
And this arrangement appears to work as Jeep approaches the market with a two-prong approach. Not many brands can get away with that as there is typically a separation between mainstream and luxury models. However, in some markets, such as in Europe, brands like Mercedes-Benz cover it all. Further, Hyundai gave it a try in the U.S. for several years before separating its Genesis models.
What do you need to know about Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer? Probably many things as this model family travels to an unchartered territory for the old Chrysler Group as well as for the Jeep brand.
2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer
We think looking at the Wagoneer as a family or as a sub-brand is the way to go. This does not mean Jeep has additional models in mind, although with electrification spreading throughout the brand, it might eventually yield something else.
Longer Than the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator
The Wagoneer models sit on a 123-inch wheelbase and are 214.7 inches long. On the other hand, the Cadillac Escalade ESV sits on a 120.9-inch wheelbase and is 211.9 inches long. As for the Lincoln Navigator L, it sits on a 131.6-inch wheelbase and is 221.9 inches long. Thus, the new Jeeps are slightly bigger than the competition. We didn’t include information about the standard wheelbase Cadillac and Lincoln models, however.
As for cargo space, the Wagoneer models have 27.4 cubic feet behind the third row, 70.8 cubic feet behind the second row, and up to 116.7 cubic feet overall. The Cadillac Escalade supplies 42.9 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third row, 81.5 cubic feet behind the second row, and 126.6 cubic feet behind the first row. The Lincoln Navigator measures 34.3 cubic feet behind the third row, 73.3 cubic feet behind the second row, and 120.2 cubic feet behind the first row.
Passenger volume measures 179.2 cubic feet with the Wagoneers. The Escalade comes in at 170.4 cubic feet, while the Navigator measures 172.1 cubic feet. Thus, the Jeep models put slightly more priority on passenger space over cargo volume.
The long length of the Wagoneer family places these Jeep models in a unique category. With so much sheet metal to work with, in some ways the design is far removed from what we think a Jeep might look like. Still, there are design elements that hint at Jeep goodness, including the trademark seven-slat vertical grille common to all models that are pressed in by headlights that flow to the bumper. The look is stately and imposing.
Three sets of upright windows adorn the sides of the Jeep. Unlike some competing models, the last set does not flow into the rear roof pillar. Thus, the Jeep seems a tad shorter than it is. Chrome trim, squared-off wheel wells, and elegant 20- or 22-inch alloy wheels burnish the profile. From the rear, integrated LED lighting dominates.
You will be hard-pressed to find any reference to Jeep on this model. All the Jeep badging is absent in favor of Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer lettering. Subtle Jeep references adorn the headlights and side mirrors, but the emphasis with this model is the Wagoneer family. Special packages include 18-inch wheels with all-terrain tires, roof rails, and power-operated running boards. A power liftgate is standard.
Head up to the Grand Wagoneer and this model makes all Wagoneer options standard. There are subtle embellishments that give the premium model a more refined look. Place them side by side and the differences become evident.
A Tale of Two Engines
Jeep chose a pair of familiar V8 engines to power its Wagoneer models. The Wagoneer itself comes with a 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with an output of 391 horsepower and 404 pound-feet of torque. It is assisted by a 48-volt mild hybrid system that can add up to 130 horsepower under full throttle. Power travels to the rear or to all four wheels utilizing an 8-speed automatic transmission.
The Grand Wagoneer comes with a 6.4-liter V8 engine with 471 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. It is the same engine utilized in SRT models for Dodge and Jeep. This model comes with standard four-wheel drive and an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Like other Jeep models, the Wagoneer family offers multiple four-by-four systems. The two top four-wheel-drive systems enjoy an impressive 48:1 crawl ratio, thanks to a two-speed transfer case. Yes, this huge Jeep can handle tough terrain and rock outcroppings, including some familiar to Jeep Wrangler owners. Jeep equips these models with steel springs and load-leveling rear dampers; air springs on the Wagoneer Series III and all Grand Wagoneer models raise ground clearance by up to 2 inches to an even 10 inches, then lowers it by 1.6 inches for ease of access. These models feature a double-wishbone front suspension and a multi-line independent rear suspension.
Towing and Payload
The Wagoneer models offer a class-leading 10,.000-pound tow rating, while the Grand Wagoneer comes in at 9,850 pounds. Payload ranges from 1,360 to 1,580 pounds, depending on the configuration.
In all, the Wagoneer line supplies a comfortable ride with strong engines, silky smoothy shifting transmissions, and excellent off-road chops as equipped. Moreover, the steering is direct, there is some body roll on turns, and getting this SUV into tight spaces requires deft maneuvering.
Room for Seven or Eight
The Wagoneer models come with standard 7-passenger seating or room for eight. The second-row captain’s chairs can be swapped out for a bench seat. In any case, the big Jeeps are in a rare category where as many as eight adults can sit inside with no compromise. Moreover, the middle-row seats slide and tilt forward with just a push of a button.
The seats are padded and wrapped in leather. Soft-touch materials dominate the Wagoneer’s interior with some hard plastics found in out-of-the-way places. The Grand Wagoneer goes further with its standard Nappa leather upholstery. Move up the trim walk and fine Palermo leathers are used. Wood and metal trim decorate the interior. Other high-end materials cover the roof pillars and ceiling.
To say that the Wagoneer isn’t a vast improvement over the Jeep interiors from not long ago is an understatement. Yes, smaller and far less expensive models such as the Renegade and Compass are replete with hard surfaces and plastic. This is expected given the price point of each.
As for the Wagoneer, this model abounds in soft-touch materials, attractive trim pieces, and standard leather seats. Moreover, power-operated heated and ventilated front seats are standard. Heated second-row seats and a heated steering wheel are available. All trims come with three-zone climate control. Heated second-row seats and a panoramic sunroof are among the available options.
Make your move to the Grand Wagoneer and the distinctions quickly become evident. Besides the standard Nappa leather upholstery, Jeep supplies this model with a tri-panel sunroof; four-zone climate control; and heated, ventilated, and massaging front seats. A heated steering wheel, heated second-row seats, and reclining and power-folding third-row seats are also present. But what sets this model apart is all the high-end materials mentioned earlier. It is on par with the best of Cadillac and Lincoln, although we think the latter’s Black Label line rules the roost.
There are differences in tech features between the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Some of the differences are the usual trim distinctions, while others are exclusive to the Grand Wagoneer.
Jeep equips the Wagoneer with a 10.1-inch touchscreen display and a 10.3-inch digital gauge cluster. Bluetooth, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, navigation, and wireless phone charging are included. Further, this model comes with a 9-speaker audio system, 8 USB ports, and satellite radio. Among the upgrades are a 10.3-inch passenger-side touch screen, a rear-seat entertainment system with a pair of screens, and a 19-speaker audio system.
Move up to the Grand Wagoneer and this model comes with a 12-inch touchscreen display, a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster, and a 10.25-inch display fixed to the second-row console. Bluetooth, Amazon Alexa, Apple CarPlay, and Android Auto are standard. USB ports, a Wi-Fi hotspot, and wireless device charging are included. There are a few options too, including a front-passenger interactive display, and a 23-speaker McIntosh audio system, as well as a dual-screen rear entertainment system.
Jeep equips the 2022 Wagoneer with a host of standard driver-assist safety features. These include forward automatic emergency braking, pedestrian and cyclist detection, and lane control. Also, Jeep supplies adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and rear cross-traffic alert. Front and rear parking sensors are standard.
On the options list are such features as automatic high-beam headlights, road sign recognition, and hands-free parking assist. Jeep also offers a head-up display and a surround-view parking system.
Move to the Grand Wagoneer and nearly all the standard and available features of the Wagoneer are incorporated. The Jeep also adds parallel and perpendicular park assist. The options list includes a digital rearview mirror, intersection assist, and night vision assist.
As of this writing, not every Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer trim are available. In any case, the Wagoneer retails from $57,995 to $75,995. The Grand Wagoneer starts at $86,995 and reaches $103,995. Add $2,000 for the destination charge. Customers can also choose any one of 12 pre-configured models available in their choice of five colors.
For the record, our test Grand Wagoneer Series II model retailed for $102,125. Fully equipped, a Grand Wagoneer can top $112,000. Choosing any Wagoneer also brings with it select customer service features. These include a remote showroom, a service loaner, over-the-air updates, five years of maintenance, and ’round the clock support.
All in all, the Wagoneer family raises the bar and expectations for the Jeep brand. The appeal of either model is limited to a core group of consumers. We can see Jeep poaching Chevrolet and Ford fans as well as Cadillac and Lincoln devotees. At the same time, Jeep now supplies a clear path from its diminutive Renegade to the Grand Wagoneer, enabling this brand to reassert its place as the premium four-by-four manufacturer in the world.
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