This is how it’s to drive a new $ 100,000 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

This level of excitement will not last long – the news will disappear when people have seen some – but it is a strong indication of interest and, clearly, there is a lot.

I drove the luxuriously equipped Grand Wagoneer, with a total price of more than $ 100,000, towards a terrain course on private land.

I could not help but think that owners of Grand Wagoneers (or the less luxurious Wagoneer, for that matter) would ever take their expensive full-size SUVs anywhere near actual rocks. But since it is a jeep, the terrain capacity must be shown. As with sports cars, although few will approach their top speeds, owners like to know that these possibilities actually exist.

Unlike the familiar Jeep Cherokee and Grand Cherokee, two very distinct models with very little in common beyond the name – which an Native American tribe would like them to stop using – the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are two versions of the same large three-row SUV. As the first name suggests, Grand Wagoneer is more sumptuous, with nicer interior materials and more advanced technology options.

The Grand Wagoneer has a starting price close to $ 90,000, a big step up from $ 60,000 for the two-wheel drive base version of the Wagoneer. However, the lowest price version will not be available until later. The Wagoneer currently on the market costs almost $ 70,000.

Grand Wagoneer I test drive, in addition to having a nicely decorated interior with aluminum details, it had an advanced McIntosh stereo, seats that massaged in several ways and a variety of computer assistance functions for the driver.

If it were a race, the Grand Wagoneer would make a strong game for the leader within the total touchscreen space inside an SUV. There was even a screen only for the front passenger, one each for the rear seat passengers and one in the middle between the passengers in the second row.

The the touch screen user interface is clear, easy to use and easy to customize. The front passenger’s screen allows them to safely locate navigation destinations while driving and send them to the large central screen for the driver. (The passenger can also entertain himself with streaming videos, just like the drivers in the back seat, while the driver’s visibility is blocked by a special screen coating.)

What impressed me most about the Grand Wagoneer was how satisfying it was to drive on paved roads where it will undoubtedly spend most of its time. It felt controlled, almost like a big car rather than a big, junk truck. Even the latest versions of competitors, such as the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator, feel heavy in comparison. Large European luxury SUVs, such as the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS, are more refined but make you feel very isolated from your surroundings and the road, which is nice if it’s your thing. Grand Wagoneer offers a nice center. It rides quietly and smoothly but still lets you feel full control without large, barge-like body movements.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer has a surprising level of technology throughout.

Grand Wagoneer is available with assistive technology that helps it keep the lane on the highway and maintain a set speed in traffic without driving into vehicles in front of it. Most luxury vehicles nowadays come with these Tesla Autopilot-like technologies, including many non-luxury brands, such as cars from Nissan and Subaru.

However, Grand Wagoneer’s driving assistance system is not among the best. It did not hold the track as smoothly as it should, which made the large SUV sometimes feel like a pinball machine in a chute and required frequent steering adjustments. A more advanced version of this technology will be available later which, like the General Motors Super Cruise, will allow drivers to completely remove their hands from the steering wheel on selected motorways.

Still, the best things about both Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are built into their legs. These are basically excellent large SUVs that are comfortable, practical and capable. The more expensive Grand Wagoneer is in a price range with the most lavish European SUVs. But even though the European SUVs may not be so good at crawling over rock beds, they provide a more luxurious experience for those who want to ride like royalty. Still, Grand Wagoneer and Wagoneer are clear contenders for the king of the mountain among big SUVs.

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