The new Grand Cherokee and Grand Wagoneer are the first three-wheel drive jeeps since Commander, the large SUV Jeep introduced in 2006. While the Grand Cherokee is a unibody design related to Jeep’s current range, just like the Commander that came before it, the Grand Wagoneer is a brand new design.
Like the Tahoe / Suburban / Yukon / Escalade family from GM and the Ford Expedition / Lincoln Navigator, the Grand Wagoneer has its roots in a pickup. Based on Ram 1500, Grand Wagoneer has a solid foundation. And it’s better to start strong, because this Jeep costs $ 110,000.
Here’s what you learn after driving the first six-digit Jeep.
It is big
Seems obvious, right? This is a truck-based three-wheel drive SUV. If you normally drive a Tahoe or Expedition, you will not find much difference here. But if you regularly drive a Miata or a Volvo V60 (like me), some adjustment will be required. At 215 inches long and 84 inches wide, the Grand Wagoneer is 30 inches longer and almost a foot wider than our Volvo. It’s almost big enough to park the Volvo inside its footprint. And as you notice that perimeter from the outside, it becomes more apparent as you drive.
Because you sit so high, the interior feels big. The Jeep’s steering is light and excessive, with basically no sense of connection to the road. You feel more like navigating a cargo ship than driving a truck. It is the same in parking lots, the edges of the car so far from where you sit that it is almost impossible to park in any elegant way.
It’s (for the most part) nice
This is of course subjective, but from most angles, the Grand Wagoneer looks handsome, a classic Jeep that is sent off to the tailor. Too bad it does not go back more directly to the old Wagoneer names, a streak of wood panels hung along the side. Our test Wagoneer was an Obsidian edition, which includes dark accents instead of chrome, plus 22-inch wheels.
Just do not look at the Jeep profile. From that angle, the perimeter of the Jeep overwhelms. It looks slablike, just a big rectangle on wheels. Even wheels larger than 20 inches in size look toy-like on the truck, like Grand Wagoneer’s body on roller skates.
There is a lot of technology
Jeep does not just charge six figures for a larger Wrangler. The Grand Wagoneer is loaded with pretty much everything you would expect from a truck in this price range. Not only is the interior lovely, but it is full of screens to control every little thing, including a screen for the front passenger, so that they do not have to suffer the insult of extending over the center console to change radio station. The Jeep is driven on an adjustable air suspension, cameras cover the outside. There is even a night vision system to help you spot wildlife after dusk. That system was the biggest surprise, as it is one that was a novelty in luxury cars just a few years ago, and which is now actually useful. There were also interior cameras to monitor the back seats, in case you can not see so far behind you with a quick look.
It’s really comfortable
If you buy Grand Wagoneer to use around town, you will be disappointed. It’s too big, feels awkward and the huge gas-swallowing V-8 – 471 hp of 6.4 liters found in a bunch of Stellantis products – will see you stop for gas after every purchase. But that’s not where this truck stands out. It is best for a long distance.
On the highway, everything belongs together. The 23-speaker (!!!) McIntosh Stereo drowns out any road or engine noise. The 6.4 only barks when you press the throttle, which makes it easy to fold or keep up with the traffic. The interior has heated, cooled and massage chairs. And at speeds when gasoline runs out of single digits, the Grand Wagoneer is just a great place to spend a few hours.
The Grand Wagoneer, even in its cheapest configuration, costs almost $ 90,000. The standard Wagoneer, which has the same engine but without the high-end luxury interior, costs $ 58,995. This puts it in line with its direct competitors from Detroit, and also with European luxury SUVs such as the Range Rover, BMW X7 and Mercedes GLS. But no one will buy a Jeep and a Range Rover. They are so different in character that it simply does not make sense.
Jeep’s real competitors to the Grand Wagoneer are the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator, and right now these are the two finest versions of these luxury SUVs that GM and Ford have built. Grand Wagoneer is a first attempt. A fantastic first effort, but still a first effort. And even though it lacks the Navigator’s wonderful interior or the Cadillac’s elegance and elegance, it has a name that belongs to a beloved truck from a brand that has been known for SUVs for decades.
They will sell as many as they can build.
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