2022 Jeep Wagoneer Series II Review

Dormant since the early 1990s, the Wagoneer nameplate lays claim to being the original SUV—long before crossovers became commonplace purchases. Now, Jeep has revived the Wagoneer as a full-size, body-on-frame SUV with premium appeal and, in the case of the upscale Grand Wagoneer, an ambition to take on the established luxury brands. We tested a mid-range Series II Wagoneer in city and highway driving.

2022 Jeep Wagoneer Packaging and Pricing

In the US, the Wagoneer consists of three basic grades labeled Series I, II and III. Each is available in RWD or 4WD, with a Carbide package (black wheels and trim, three-panel sunroof) and/or in extended wheelbase, “L” shape. Canada simplifies the lineup by omitting the Series I and offering all Wagoneers with at least the basic Quadra-Trac I 4WD hardware. Here is the full summary:

  • Wagoneer Series I $61,995
  • Wagoneer Series I Carbide $68,135
  • Wagoneer Series II CAD 80,995/US$72,640
  • Wagoneer Series II Carbide C$85,995/US$76,835
  • Wagoneer Series III CAD 86,995/US$77,640
  • Wagoneer Series III Carbide CAD 91,995/US$81,835

(All prices are MSRP for 4WD models. Deduct $3,000 for US-only RWD variants.)

Option packages add more luxury and additional features to the Series II Wagoneer we drove. The vehicle was finished in Velvet Red Pearl paint (C$695/US$645) and had the C$4,695/US$3,495 Convenience Group (including second-row seat heaters, air suspension and additional driver assistance systems) plus the Premium Group (C$3,995) /US$3,495 – 22-in. wheels, three-panel sunroof).

This took the total as-tested price to C$93,175 including taxes and destination charge – about US$82,330 if you spec the vehicle the same way south of the border.

Also available but not fitted here are second-row captain’s chairs and a power third row ($1,495/$1,195) or a heavy-duty drop package to tow up to 10,000 lb ($1,995/$1,495 on 4WD models). The Advanced All-Terrain Group (C$2,795/US$2,295) upgrades to the Quadra-Trac II with a two-speed, on-demand transmission and electronic limited-slip rear diff, and adds all-terrain tires and undercarriage plates .

Finally, a rear-seat entertainment setup features the first car implementation of Amazon Fire TV (C$2,695/US$2,195); the same feature is offered in the unusual passenger-side screen, which is an additional C$1,595/US$1,395.

New Wagoneer interior and styling

Design options are limited when creating a three-row SUV, which inevitably results in a large, two-box silhouette. But at least Jeep has created a distinct new contender to compete with the established products of Ford, GM, Nissan and Toyota.

Our test Wagoneer came with 22-inch wheels instead of the standard 20s as part of the Premium option; it’s a measure of the Wagoneer’s three-tonne, 18ft/5.4m bulk that they don’t look oversized.

Inside the large passenger cabin

We’ve grown accustomed to premium interiors from the Stellantis designs, and Wagoneers are no exception—and no surprise, given Jeep’s luxury ambitions for the Grand Wagoneer, which gets even nicer materials than those deployed here. The build quality is also excellent.

There is also plenty of space. Configured as standard with a bench in the second row, there is room for eight people. Jeep claims class-leading third-row headroom and second- and third-row legroom. Our two teenagers had room to stretch out on the third row bench, but didn’t find it particularly easy to reach.

Cargo space of 776 liters (27.4 cu.ft) behind the third row is also said to be best in class, but as an SUV, you’ll need to lift your bags to load them.

The Series II’s 10.1-inch head-up display and configurable driver dashboard run the new Uconnect 5 operating system, which features a high-resolution display and a claimed five times the speed of the previous Uconnect. You will still find conventional switches for major functions in the cabin.

Driveline: engine and transmission

The only engine option in standard Wagoneers is the 5.7-liter V8. It produces 392 hp and 404 lb-ft of torque. Paired with an 8-speed transmission, it makes for smooth, unaffected progress, but the Wagoneer is no hot rod off the line.

The engine’s 48V eTorque mild hybrid system refines stop/start performance, adds torque on throttle and saves fuel when coasting or braking. It’s a sensible addition to the thirsty Hemi (which also has cylinder deactivation) and you don’t notice its presence.

However, note that the effect on fuel consumption is nowhere near that of a full hybrid system. The Wagoneer still drinks 13.8L/100km (17mpg) on ​​the combined cycle – a nod in times of high fuel prices.

Driving impression

With good comfort and little roll, the Wagoneer drives well for a body-on-frame SUV. On our test car, the standard fully independent suspension was boosted by the optional Quadra-Lift air suspension and adaptive shocks that are standard on the Series III. The resulting ride and handling are more than acceptable for a vehicle of this size and weight in everyday driving.

Just as you’re unlikely to throw the Wagoneer into corners, so it’s unlikely to see service on the Rubicon Trail. It’s a Jeep, though, so a decent level of off-road ability is a given (and the air suspension allows you to raise it for that purpose), although you’ll need the extras package or an upgrade to the Series III to get the full suite of 4WD hardware.

Take-out

Benefits

  • stylish design, inside and out
  • fast and innovative Uconnect 5 with Amazon Fire TV
  • peace of mind maintenance package

Disadvantages

  • no full hybrid or plug-in options
  • Hemi is thirsty even with mild hybrid
  • premium positioning comes at a cost

For families whose needs are best served by a three-row SUV, the Wagoneer is an attractive contender priced close enough to less premium-focused rivals to be worth considering. Leasing customers can also benefit from free service packages. Look out for the new turbocharged inline-six engine coming in 2023 and especially for a future plug-in hybrid model that will build on the success of the 4xe Wrangler and Grand Cherokee – and make a dent in the Wagoneer’s hefty fuel bill.

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