Jeep’s fullsize SUVs are larger than the Grand Cherokee L, sized to battle the Tahoe and Escalade.
We’ve known about the return of the Jeep Wagoneer for a few years now, and the American automaker teased us last year with the Grand Wagoneer Concept – which looked suspiciously production-ready. As it turns out, that show car was a thinly disguised version of the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, which officially debuted today as a pair of fullsize SUVs built to take the brand into larger and more premium segments.
However, between the GW concept and the production Wagoneer family, Jeep mystified automotive shoppers by revealing the Grand Cherokee L, a long-wheelbase midsize SUV that offers three rows of seats. Further muddying the waters, the next-gen Grand Cherokee arrives in L form first, with a standard wheelbase coming next year. To clear up any confusion, the two-row 2022 Grand Cherokee and three-row 2021 Grand Cherokee L ride on a unibody midsize-SUV platform – think Honda Passport and Pilot, Ford Explorer, and Dodge Durango – while the 2022 Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer get body-on-frame construction, three rows of seats, and full-size capability.
The Wagoneer, which starts at $57,995, will square off against full-size SUVs like the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, and Toyota Sequoia – all of which cost a fair amount less but don’t come standard with leather. Meanwhile, the $86,995 Grand Wagoneer gets a nicer interior, bigger V8 engine, standard four-wheel drive, and revised styling to rival the Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon Denali, Lincoln Navigator, and Lexus LX (on that list, only the LX is cheaper). Setting the Jeeps apart are class-leading third-row and cargo space, up to 10,000 pounds of towing capability, and some off-road chops expected of that seven-slot grille.
A New Jeep Family
The 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer bring the off-road automaker to two very new segments, without sacrificing four-wheel-drive capability for passenger room and excellent interior materials. Both will be available in three trim levels (Series I, Series II, and Series III), boasting seating for up to eight, standard leather upholstery, plenty of active driver-assistance technology, and best-in-class cargo space.
They also share large, imposing styling. Borrowing liberally from the Grand Wagoneer concept, the new SUVs feature an upright stance, with a forward-leaning front grille, nearly vertical hatch, and big side windows. Bookending Jeep’s signature radiator slats are LED headlights – taken in whole, the wing-like grille and lighting structure recall the shape of either model’s dashboard, as well as the rear lighting array on the Grand Wagoneer. A subtle shoulder line runs around the entire vehicle 360 degrees, recalling the original Wagoneer’s distinct two-box shape.
On either SUV, a thin strip of bright trim spans the A-pillar’s diagonal, bending around the entire roof before tumbling down the opposite A-pillar. The Grand Wagoneer adds U-shaped metallic trim that band around the side windows. Further differentiating the two is revised badging – the Wagoneer gets a scripted logo on the hood, while the Grand Wagoneer’s is integrated into the grille top. Both get Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer wordmarks on the front doors (that incorporate a patriotic American flag emblem) as well as corresponding badging on the hatch. The Grand gets two-stage “Liquid Chrome” exterior brightwork for a more premium appearance.
Inside, Jeep designers attempted to pay homage to the original Wagoneer via a two-spoke steering wheel and horizontal HVAC outlets, but it’s clear that this is a very modern SUV. Digital instrument clusters are standard (10.3 inches on the Wagoneer and 12.3 inches on the Grand), and large center touchscreens visually float above a wing-shaped dashboard – the Grand Cherokee L uses this same motif to great effect. Nappa leather comes standard on all Wagoneer versions, as well as the Grand Wagoneer Series I. Series II and Series III versions of the G-W get even richer Palermo leather to go with the nameplate’s upmarket image.
Both Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer ride on a 123.0-inch wheelbase, with overall length, width, and height of 214.0, 83.6, and 75.6 inches respectively. The Wagoneer family has 2.1 inches of added space between the front and rear axles relative to the Chevy Tahoe and Cadillac Escalade, and the Jeeps are 3.3 inches longer overall. The Tahoe and Escalade are 5.4 inches wider. Even so, with all three rows in place, the Jeeps boast 27.4 cubic feet of cargo volume, compared to 25.5 cubes for the GM sport-utes. Total passenger volume sits at 179.6 cubic feet for the Wagoneer and 168.4 for the Escalade – the 2021 Tahoe is TBD.
Gallery: 2022 Jeep Wagoneer Debut
The Jeep Wagoneer gets a 5.7-liter V8 with mild-hybrid capability, boasting 392 horsepower and 404 pound-feet (292 kilowatts and 548 newton-meters). An eight-speed automatic and rear-wheel drive are standard, but Jeep will also offer the Wagoneer with one of three different optional four-wheel-drive systems. Quadra-Trac I is a full-time, single-speed unit, while a two-speed transfer case shows up on Quadra-Trac. At the top of the heap is Quadra-Drive II, which gets a two-speed transfer case and an electronic limited-slip differential that responds more quickly than the standard mechanical LSD.
A robust body-on-frame structure offers up to 10,000 pounds of towing capacity with either rear- or four-wheel drive. Helping smooth out the ride is a standard short/long-arm front and five-link rear suspension, with coil springs and monotube shocks at all four corners. Jeep’s Quadra Lift air suspension is optional, bringing maximum ground clearance to 10.1 inches – a still-impressive 8.3 inches of clearance appear under the standard steel springs. The available Advanced All-Terrain Package adds the underbody protection of four steel skid plates to the Jeep.
In spite of that roster of equipment, the off-road automaker decided against giving the Wagoneer a “Trail Rated” badge, owing perhaps to its rather commanding footprint. Taking full advantage of its size is a huge cabin with standard leather seating and room for seven or eight passengers, depending on the standard second-row bench or optional captain’s chairs. The third row is supposedly large enough for adults, and we believe it. Jeep claims 39.0 inches of headroom and 36.6 inches of legroom, comparing well to the Ford Expedition (37.3 and 36.1 inches) and Chevy Tahoe (38.2 and 34.9 inches).
Uconnect 5 infotainment comes standard on the Wagoneer, displayed on a 10.1-inch touchscreen display. A 10.3-inch screen serves as the instrument cluster on all Wagoneers, while an optional 10.3-inch screen at the bottom of the center stack appears on higher trim levels to control HVAC and other comfort features. Uconnect 5 is one of the easiest-to-use infotainment systems on the market, though this will mark the first time that it gets pressed into climate-control duties. We hope the split-screen setup is more user-friendly than similar systems from Audi and Land Rover.
Gallery: 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Debut
A Grand Entrance
Setting the Grand Wagoneer apart from its sibling are a bigger, more powerful 6.4-liter V8 that creates 471 hp and 455 lb-ft (351 kW and 617 Nm), sending it via an eight-speed auto to Quadra-Trac II four-wheel drive with a two-speed transfer case. The spec chart sends out a taunt to the 420-hp Cadillac Escalade and 450-hp Lincoln Navigator’s standard rear-drive layouts, though both get a 10-speed auto to make use of. They may need those extra gears, since both are down on power relative to the Jeep (although the Navigator does have a lot more torque, at 510 lb-ft (691 Nm).
Also standard (and expected, at its lofty starting price of $86,995) is an air suspension that eases step-in and loading height when parked, lowers the SUV at speed to cheat wind resistance a little, and opens up space underneath for up to 10.1 inches of ground clearance. That said, we find it difficult to believe anyone who spends 90 large on an SUV to take it off-road. Those folks will likely be far more interested in interior comfort and technology, which the 2022 Grand Wagoneer promises to deliver.
Captain’s chairs come standard in the first two rows of seats, with a fixed center console that apes that of the front row – remember, it’s second-row, not second-class. That said, large families can opt for a bench seat if they need seating for up to eight. Extensive use of genuine wood and aluminum trim helps the Jeep compete in this rarefied class of vehicle, and its craftsmanship looks at least equal to its domestic competition. What’s more, the Grand Wagoneer also gets adjustable ambient lighting, giving it a gorgeous appearance at night.
In addition to the 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster and 12.0-inch Uconnect 5 touchscreen, the Grand Wagoneer also offers an available passenger-facing 10.3-inch productivity screen on the right side of the dashboard. It offers several “co-pilot” features, allowing the driver to focus on the road while the front passenger finds navigation destinations, plays audio, and adjusts vehicle settings. Additionally, the screen can display a true smartphone mirror, allowing the passenger to do things like answer emails, play videos and games, and access social media. A privacy filter keeps the screen obscured from the driver, limiting distraction.
And second-row passengers get in on the fun too, with a pair of 10.1-inch entertainment screens mounted on the front seatbacks. They can each access distinct audio and video sources, including an in-car Fire TV function that syncs with your own Amazon account to stream movies and TV shows directly to the Grand Wagoneer. On SUVs with rear buckets, a 10.3-inch comfort screen also shows up on the center console.
In addition to the Uconnect 5 infotainment system and its attendant screens and productivity features, the Jeep Wagoneer family will be one of the first Stellantis products to offer hands-free Active Driving Assist, which incorporates lane-centering technology, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and forward collision warning. Specifics aren’t immediately known, but we predict it’ll be available on the Grand Wagoneer, as well as perhaps the Wagoneer Series III. It’s a late-availability feature that should arrive before the end of the year to rival Cadillac’s excellent enhanced Super Cruise.
The Wagoneer Series III and all Grand Wagoneer models come standard with McIntosh audio, an automotive first for the company known for high-quality home stereo and speaker systems. The base McIntosh MX950 offers 19 speakers (one of which a 10-inch subwoofer) and 950-watt amp, which should provide good enough sound for most listeners. True audiophiles will want to step into the Grand Wagoneer Series III, which comes standard with an MX1375 Reference entertainment system – 23 speakers, 1,950 watts of power, and immersive 3D sound processing for clear and true-to-life audio. MX1375 will also be optional on the Grand Wagoneer Series I and II.
The 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are already available for pre-sale reservations, with the first customer deliveries happening closer to summer. Those looking for the absolute best Jeep has to offer can opt for the late-availability Grand Wagoneer Obsidian, which includes black-finished 22-inch wheels and “Dark Onyx” metallic exterior accents, as well as lots of luxury features. The Obsidian starts at $98,995, or $12,000 more than the base Grand Wagoneer and a whopping $41,000 more than the normal Wagoneer. That’s a whole lot of coin, but Jeep is clearly targeting a higher socioeconomic sphere with its newest models.
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