2022 Jeep Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer: Four-wheeler in limo-like spaciousness

There have been many sizes and types of Jeep vehicles over the years, but nothing really big or luxurious.

For 2022, the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer nameplates, believed to be consigned to the history books, have been dusted off to take on the task. Look out Tahoe, Suburban and Escalade, there’s a new kid on the block.

The Wagoneer and more luxurious Grand Wagoneer are at the top of the scale in terms of size, and overall are significantly larger than both the seven-passenger Grand Cherokee L SUV introduced for 2021, and the regular five-passenger Grand Cherokee that is new for 2022. Together, this four-wheeler for utility vehicles represents unmatched market saturation for the Jeep brand.

What distinguishes the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer duo from the Grand Cherokee is above all how they are constructed. The larger Jeeps – which are the same size as each other – use a body-on-frame chassis similar to that of the Ram 1500 pickup (both Ram and Jeep are part of the Stellantis group), only with an independent rear suspension in place of solid rear axle of the truck. The idea is to provide a more comfortable ride. That definitely helps, but the test Grand Wagoneer still rode stiffly (but comfortably controlled) over rough surfaces.

In contrast, the Grand Cherokee’s frameless unit construction is similar to how most passenger cars and wagons are designed.

The Wagoneer comes with a 5.7-liter V-8 and a 48-volt electric motor. Net output is 392 horsepower and 404 pound-feet of torque. PHOTO: JEEP

All four Jeeps look the same, but the larger and taller Wagoneers have blockier shapes, facilitating passenger and cargo space. Their rear doors are also nice and wide, making it easier for up to three passengers to access both the second and third rows. High-back second-row bucket seats are optional on the Wagoneer and standard on the Grand Wagoneer. With both rows folded, cargo capacity likely exceeds what most owners will ever require.

The Wagoneer gets a 5.7-liter V-8 and a 48-volt electric motor. Net output is 392 horsepower and 404 pound-feet of torque.

The Grand Wagoneer has a 6.4-liter V-8 that produces 471 horsepower and 455 pound-feet.

An eight-speed automatic transmission is standard.

Both engines provide lively acceleration. Jeep claims a zero to 60 mph (96 km/h) time of 6.0 seconds for the Grand Wagoneer, which weighs 2,910 kilograms. That’s about 180 kilos more than the Wagoneer.

All-wheel drive with a two-speed transmission (providing high and low ranges) is optional on the Wagoneer and standard on the Grand Wagoneer.

As you might expect, fuel consumption isn’t exactly frugal. The Wagoneer is rated at 13.8L/100km in combined city/highway driving and the Grand Wagoneer is rated at 16.0L/100km.

Of course, these numbers will likely drop significantly with a boat or travel trailer attached. The Wagoneer’s 4,545 kilo towing rating edges out the Grand Wagoneer’s 4,475 kilos.

The difference between Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer depends on the equipment.  The base Wagoneer Series II rings in at nearly $83,000, so it's not exactly basic.  (A less expensive lineup I'll be coming later in the model year.) The Grand Wagoneer starts at about $106,000.  PHOTO: JEEP

The difference between Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer depends on the equipment. The base Wagoneer Series II rings in at nearly $83,000, so it’s not exactly basic. (A less expensive lineup I’ll be coming later in the model year.) The Grand Wagoneer starts at about $106,000. PHOTO: JEEP

Pricing starts at $82,800 (including destination charges) for the Wagoneer Series II. The Series I will be available later in the model year for a starting price in the $70,000 range.

The Series II comes with a panoramic sunroof, secondary infotainment display for the front passenger, dual-screen rear entertainment system, 360-degree surround camera and a self-parking system. The Series III adds more substance and is available with an optional air suspension that can provide up to nine centimeters of extra ground clearance for off-road driving. Hey, this is still a Jeep.

Pricing for the Grand Wagoneer starts with the Series I at $105,800 while the top-level Obsidian lists for $118,800. This one challenges the Cadillac Escalade for price and content with quilted leather seats (electronically folding for all three rows), wood-grain interior, 23-speaker McIntosh-branded entertainment system, and power-retractable running boards.

With the launch of the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, Jeep enters an arena currently dominated by similarly sized General Motors and Ford vehicles. With style, capability and performance in Jeep’s favor, acceptance is virtually guaranteed.

With both the second and third rows folded, cargo capacity likely exceeds what most owners will ever require.  PHOTO: JEEP

With both the second and third rows folded, cargo capacity likely exceeds what most owners will ever require. PHOTO: JEEP

What you should know: 2022 Jeep Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer

Type: Full size four wheel drive utility vehicle

Engines (hp): 5.7-liter V-8 (392, Wagoneer); 6.4-liter V-8 (471, Grand Wagoneer)

Transfer: Eight-speed automatic

Market position: It seems clear that the Stellantis would offer a rival to the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban, GMC Yukon and Ford Expedition. These models are also based on body-on-frame pickup platforms.

Point: Styling is similar to the Grand Cherokee but on a larger scale. • Modern interior offers the latest technology and plenty of room for people and cargo. • Standard V-8 power and expected fuel economy. • High price levels compared to competitors. • Breakout models compete in a bracket primarily dominated by Chevrolet, GMC and Cadillac.

Driver Assistance: Blind spot warning with cross traffic warning (standard); active cruise control (std.); forward and emergency braking (standard); inattentive driver warning (opt.); file anomaly warning (std.); pedestrian detection (opt.)

L/100 km (city/highway): 15.6/11.7 (Wagoneer)

Base prices (incl. destination): $82,800/$105,800

BY COMPARISON

Chevrolet Suburban AWD

  • Basic price: $66,000
  • Eight-passenger model has three engine options including an I-6 turbodiesel.

Ford Expedition Max AWD

  • Basic price: $80,500
  • The longer “Ex” offers a choice of two turbo V-6 engines producing up to 400 hp

Nissan Armada AWD

  • Basic price: $69,200
  • The eight-seater comes with a 400-hp V-8. The Infiniti QX-80 version adds luxury.

– written by Malcom Gunn, Managing Partner at Wheelbase Media

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