Grand Wagoneer Sets the Bar for Jeep Luxury – Shaw Local

I remember when the Grand Cherokee L came out, the “L” was longer, which was a big deal at the time because it allowed engineers to finally get a third row in the hugely popular SUV. It was a long-awaited move from Jeep that kept the brand’s enthusiasts firmly in-house.

Possibly just as overdue was the resurrection of the iconic Wagoneer name. And if the “L” is too long in Grand Cherokee, there should have been an “H” somewhere in the Grand Wagoneer’s name – too huge. The all-new 2022 SUV combines luxurious appointments with more than 10 inches of extra length over the Grand Cherokee L.

The Wagoneer has two variants: standard Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Both SUVs have three rows, but the Grand Wagoneer’s distinctive styling and enhanced luxury, and more powerful engine, have elevated it to become Jeep’s flagship SUV.

Criticism from consumers who criticized the old-school SUVs for their rigid construction with truck-style ladder frames won’t have a leg to stand on as all issues have been addressed. Jeep engineers have addressed concerns about ride and handling—so much so that the Grand Wagoneer I recently tested suffered from none of those ailments.

My tester was the exclusive 2022 Grand Wagoneer Obsidian 4×4. If you spend just a few hours in it, you’ll know exactly what was on the minds of Jeep executives who targeted the new SUV as a legitimate competitor to the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade. I’d even say it has the interior luxury and 4×4 capability to knock Land Rover off that list.

To get on the Grand Wagoneer list, you have to pony up some serious cash. The 2022 SUV has five trim levels, ranging from $88,995 to $105,995. If you’re all about bling in your big off-road capable SUV, a fully loaded Grand Wagoneer can set you back around $125,000 after taxes and destination charges.

While the V8 power under the hood gives the Grand Wagoneer superpowers for towing (10,000 pounds), it will be the luxury cabin that wins over most on the market for this level of SUV. With up to seven digital screens, including one dedicated solely to the front seat passenger, there’s enough eye candy on the screens and the ability to interface on so many levels, most people may never take full advantage of everything that’s going on.

The seats are spacious, comfortable and covered in leather. You can expect heated and ventilated seats, power adjustments galore, and power-folding rear seats that can be activated from the rear tailgate, as well as from the driver’s seat.

Obsidian Edition

The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are essentially the same vehicle, but only the Grand Wagoneer offers the distinctive Obsidian package, which appeals to fans of the blacked-out look. From my experience testing vehicles with the popular “black-out” look, this Obsidian Edition has more black details, inside and out, than anything else I’ve been in.

The Obsidian comes standard with a 6.4-liter V8 engine that generates 471 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque. Paired with an 8-speed automatic transmission, the Obsidian has serious potential with its standard 4×4 all-wheel drive.

The base window sticker price for my Obsidian 4×4 Edition was $94,845. Options included: metallic paint ($595); Obsidian Appearance Package ($5,000); Convenience Group ($3,595); Heavy Duty Trailer Towing Package ($995); and rear entertainment cluster ($1,995). Yep, it settles quickly, but boy does it all come together as an incredibly comfortable and convenient setup inside the cabin.

Inside the cabin, the fun begins. The Obsidian Appearance Package begins with ventilated and heated front and rear seats, a folding cargo screen, premium tinted glass, piano black exterior accents, adjustable roof rack beams, black clear coat exterior paint, a McIntosh Studio Reference entertainment system with 23 audio motorized speakers, an interactive digital front passenger display, a set of 22-inch tinted and polished alloy wheels with black spokes, a beverage cooler in the center console, black interior accents, a black-painted roof and gloss black daylight opening moldings.

It’s really hard to compare a Jeep Grand Wagoneer to many of the other full-size luxury SUVs in the class. There is so much enrichment in the entire cabin experience that it would probably take an owner a year to work through it all. With a price that could be north of $100,000, that’s good.

• John Stein is a freelance journalist based in Chicago. He has more than 25 years of experience driving, testing and writing about the automotive industry, its latest innovations and vehicles.

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