The Jeep Grand Wagoneer reveals Jeep is critical about taking over the posh gamers within the full-size SUV recreation. It’s the most costly, finely crafted car the model has ever created. It’s additionally massively extreme within the worst methods.
Full Disclosure: After months of forwards and backwards, Jeep lastly received round to letting me get behind the wheel of the Grand Wagoneer. The corporate dropped it off with a full tank of gasoline. For every week, it hauled my household and issues round in living-room consolation and luxurious.
What Is It?
Earlier than you have a look at what the Grand Wagoneer is, it’s important to have a look at the Jeep model as a complete, and the reasoning behind this newest, largest mannequin. Jeep is a gravy prepare for Stellantis. The model prints cash with gross sales of the Wrangler alone. Jeep might be essentially the most beneficial model underneath the Stellantis umbrella. However Stellantis needs to maneuver Jeep upmarket, to play within the realm of Vary Rovers and Escalades.
The revival of the Wagoneer nameplate has been a very long time coming, however Jeep appeared to take awhile to totally decide to the concept. A tough timeline:
- January 2011: Fiat-Chrysler boss Sergio Marchionne publicizes the Grand Wagoneer, a brand new full-size SUV coming to market in 2013.
- September 2013: FCA delays manufacturing of the Grand Wagoneer to present the just lately launched third-generation Dodge Durango (nonetheless on sale immediately) an opportunity out there, avoiding a scenario the place two FCA three-row SUVs compete for a similar consumers.
- June 2015: FCA says it is going to present the Grand Wagoneer to sellers at a conference in August of that yr.
- August-September 2015: FCA announces that the Grand Wagoneer might be constructed on the identical plant because the Ram 1500, however that the car has been delayed till 2018.
- October 2016: Teaser images of a Grand Wagoneer prototype hit the web. The car appears to be based mostly on the Durango. Jeep says it is going to go on sale for the 2019 mannequin yr.
- December 2019: New spy pictures present a Ram-based three-row Jeep SUV in testing.
Lastly, in September 2020, Jeep unveiled the massive, opulent Grand Wagoneer idea. Jeep instructed us it was meant for manufacturing for the ‘21 mannequin yr, and it could be the first six-figure Jeep.
Now, two years later, it’s right here, and it’s large. Technically talking, that is the fourth-generation Jeep Wagoneer, and the primary car to put on that identify in additional than 30 years.
The Wagoneer isn’t only a mannequin, it’s a whole lineup of Jeeps. There’s the usual Wagoneer, a Tahoe or Expedition competitor. Subsequent is the Grand Wagoneer, which is what I’ll be reviewing right here. This goes up in opposition to the like of the BMW X7, Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator, or Mercedes GLS. On prime of all that, for the 2023 mannequin yr, you will get your Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer in extended-wheelbase type, denoted by the letter L.
Specs That Matter
The Grand Wagoneer is … large. And for good cause. It’s a correct, old-school SUV beneath, constructed body-on-frame and utilizing a modified model of the Ram 1500 platform. One way or the other, the Grand Wagoneer appears greater than a Ram in each dimension. It’s practically 18 toes lengthy, seven toes large, with a wheelbase that’s simply over 10 toes in size and a curb weight of 6,420 kilos. Even the doorways are large. Each entrance doorways measure practically 4 toes from entrance to again.
To maneuver all of that requires a worthy engine. Whereas I hoped to check out the brand new twin-turbo Hurricane straight six, that engine is simply obtainable on ‘23 model-year Wagoneers. The 2022 you see right here makes due with V8 energy.
Not simply any V8, both. Jeep went and dropped in the identical 6.4-liter V8 that powers each Scat Pack Charger or Challenger, together with the SRT Durango and Wrangler Rubicon 392. Whereas it makes as much as 485 horsepower in these functions, this SRT-darling engine is barely detuned within the Grand Wagoneer, making 471 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque. That will get mated to an eight-speed computerized and Jeep’s Qudra-Drive full-time four-wheel drive system.
The mix is as thirsty as you’d anticipate. EPA rankings for the Grand Wagoneer are 13 mpg metropolis, 18 mpg freeway, 15 mixed. However that’s not what you’ll get in the true world.
No matter you had been pondering of relating to the Grand Wagoneer’s worth, I’m betting you want to purpose even increased. Together with a $2,000 vacation spot cost (Stellantis has the industry’s highest vacation spot fees), pricing on the Grand Wagoneer begins at $90,640.
There are three trims, known as Sequence I, II, and III. Stellantis despatched me a Grand Wagoneer Sequence III, loaded to the hilt. The Sequence III begins at $109,995. This factor has so many options I might write a publish simply in regards to the choices. I’m speaking a 23-speaker McIntosh sound system, evening imaginative and prescient with pedestrian and animal detection, tri-pane panoramic glass roof, beverage cooler within the entrance console, twin 10.1-inch second-row screens with built-in Amazon Hearth TV. On and on. The entire worth of this specific Grand Wagoneer was a whopping $118,720.
We’d like extra blue interiors! After I came upon that Jeep supplied blue leather-based upholstery on the Grand Wagoneer, I hoped I’d get to see it in individual. And Jeep delivered.
I imply have a look at this inside. It’s in all probability top-of-the-line interiors Jeep has ever created. All the things feels high-quality and opulent. From the quilted Palermo blue leather-based seats to the embossed metallic inside accents (a part of a $1,295 possibility package deal) that coated sure switches and dials in actual metallic, there’s a sense of expertise to the inside.
There’s room to stretch out, too. With a complete passenger inside quantity of 179 cubic toes, there’s room in spades. The second-row legroom rivals what you’d get in a Rolls Royce Phantom. Individuals of sure heights will be capable to cross their legs with out kicking or bumping something, because of 42.7 inches of rear leg room within the second row.
What’s much more spectacular is that precise, grownup people can sit comfortably within the third-row seats. There’s simply over 36 inches of legroom within the way-back. Cargo quantity is simply as spectacular. Jeep claims the Grand Wagoneer affords best-in-class cargo quantity; in case you skip the second-row captain’s chairs and heart console seen on this instance, you’ll have a New York Metropolis studio condo’s value of area with all of the rear seats folded — 116.7 cubic toes in whole. Go for the rear console and captain’s chairs, and also you quit 22.5 cubic toes of hauling room.
This factor is opulent as hell. There are options that may coddle, delight and cater to your each want: 4-zone local weather management, 20-way adjustable energy seats with heating and cooling for the primary and second rows, massaging entrance seats with six completely different therapeutic massage sorts and three depth settings. As you stroll as much as the Grand Wagoneer, the air suspension lowers the car for simpler entry and exit. The working boards fold out and all the inside lights come on. It’s tacky to say this, however the entire dance made me really feel particular about piling into the Grand Wagoneer.
The Jeep even has a “rest mode,” greatest loved at evening. When activated, the three screens up entrance play stress-free photographs as soothing ambient gentle and peaceable, spa-like sounds envelope the cabin. You may show a crackling hearth or a soothing aquarium on the dashboard screens, with the inside accent lighting echoing the colour palette of what you’re watching.
Jeep says there’s over 75 inches of screens contained in the Grand Wagoneer. It sounds unbelievable till you see for your self. Up entrance, the driving force will get a 12.3-inch digital instrument panel that may present all the pieces from a nav map to a stay feed of the evening imaginative and prescient digicam. The middle infotainment show is a 12-inch landscape-oriented monitor powered by Stellantis’s glorious UConnect system.
Beneath that heart display screen is one other 10.2-inch articulating touchscreen for local weather management and the settings for the heated, ventilated, massaging seats. The local weather management display screen flips up with the contact of a button to disclose a wi-fi charging pad and 7 completely different charging ports plus an HDMI port.
The entrance seat passenger will get their very own 10.2-inch contact display screen show. Whereas I believed it was gimmicky at first, it’s a godsend for folks. The shotgun touchscreen permits the front-seat passenger to regulate what’s enjoying on the rear FireTV shows, in addition to the power to lock out sure touchscreen settings for back-seat passengers. The entrance passenger may even monitor what’s happening behind them with the FamCam, a ceiling-mounted digicam that permits you to see the passengers within the second and third rows from a few completely different angles. The optionally available $2,195 rear leisure group provides particular person 10.1-inch touchscreens on the again of every entrance seat, so the children can watch FireTV. One more display screen adorns the second row console, providing controls for the rear local weather and changes for the captain’s chairs.
What Individuals Suppose
Nobody is aware of it is a Jeep! You’d suppose the “Grand” within the identify would tip off some extra observant folks, however in my week with the Grand Wagoneer, most individuals appeared to be left questioning simply the place this large luxurious SUV got here from. And whereas the GRAND WAGONEER lettering is large, I counted simply 4 locations on the the physique the place the Jeep identify seems: within the headlight and taillight bezels and on the entrance and rear windscreens.
And whereas the Grand Wagoneer is gargantuan, the styling principally works. The signature seven-slot grille offers some household connection to the remainder of the Jeep lineup. Whereas some might not take care of the styling, it comes throughout as muscular and dominant. Sturdy.
How It Drives
I’ve made my dislike of SUVs identified many occasions earlier than. My thoughts hasn’t modified. However that doesn’t imply I don’t get the enchantment of a commanding view of the highway. Within the Grand Wagoneer, I felt like I used to be on the helm of a ship. Merely put, this factor simply dominates the highway — and easily. When you’re very conscious of the truth that this factor is a giant, heavy beast, the steering and experience are plush. Jeep did a superb job with the Qudra-Carry air suspension system, which soaks up each single bump and imperfection on the highway. It’s a sleep inducing experience: Many of the passengers that rode with me within the Grand Wagoneer ended up dozing off on longer drives.
The Grand Wagoneer additionally defies logic with how rapidly it might stand up to hurry. That 6.4-liter V8 is all the time keen to present you each horse it’s received on faucet. Whereas it wouldn’t make sense to speak understeer, skidpad g’s or braking distance in one thing like this, you want to perceive: This factor will go away a wake of confused drivers in its mud coming off a crimson gentle. I determine it constantly does the dash to 60 mph in round 5.5 seconds, which, for a three-ton household hauler, is wild.
If you want to enterprise off-road, don’t fear: That is nonetheless a Jeep. The air suspension can increase as much as present a full 10 inches of floor clearance. And with drive modes for rocks, sand/mud, and snow, together with low-range 4WD and off-road pages that present wheel articulation and pitch/roll on the middle dashboard display screen, this factor looks as if it might deal with its personal on a tricky path — in case you didn’t thoughts the chance of scraping all that paint and chrome on some tree branches or rocks.
Pricey lord Jesus, this factor is thirsty. I by no means even touched the claimed EPA figures. In practically 900 miles of driving, I averaged 11.8 mpg. The Grand Wagoneer has a 26.5-gallon gas tank (which you’re required to fill with premium), but it surely struggled to come back near 300 miles of estimated vary on a full tank. It took me practically $90 to place half a tank on this factor.
And if you wish to save gasoline, Jeep’s recommendation to you is “drive slower.” This is likely one of the solely new automobiles I’ve pushed lately that doesn’t have some form of Eco mode or fuel-saving drivetrain setting. The air suspension will drop down into its lowest “aero” mode on the freeway, however that’s about it.
There have been nearly too many options within the Grand Wagoneer I sampled. And despite the fact that this car was basically brand-new, lower than 5,000 miles on the clock, I encountered various electrical gremlins.
On three separate events, after I began the Jeep, the windshield wipers got here on for no obvious cause. The wiper management stalk was set to OFF, and it didn’t appear to be any form of automated luxurious characteristic. After the third time, it by no means occurred once more. As soon as, after I began the Grand Wagoneer, I received a warning that Tow/Haul mode was faulting. After about 5 minutes of fidgeting with numerous controls and settings, the issue corrected itself and by no means returned.
The UConnect system utterly crashed at some point as I used to be on the freeway. The middle display screen went utterly darkish for about 3 minutes earlier than rebooting itself, throughout which my music saved enjoying, with me unable to vary tracks or alter the amount.
The middle show additionally had a glitchy means of beginning up. When it’s working as designed, the central touchscreen performs a Grand Wagoneer-themed animation because the system boots up. I hardly ever received to see it — as a substitute, the display screen would flicker like a damaged PC, exhibiting flashes of pink, inexperienced, blue, and TV static. This occurred each time I began the Jeep.
There have been little high quality points too. The switches to open and shut the panoramic sunroof and its solar shade each had “Auto” marked on them, however I couldn’t get any one-touch operation to work. And a number of the haptic controls within the cabin had been both too delicate, or didn’t work in any respect. The worst was the haptic management for 4WD, which sits subsequent to the rotary gear shift. The haptic was so delicate, I unintentionally engaged low-range 4WD on a number of events, even when the button had merely been grazed by a fabric lanyard.
Lastly, the touch-sensitive controls for the driving force’s heated and ventilated seat, therapeutic massage perform, and heated steering wheel by no means labored for me. Even urgent laborious, nothing occurred. If I wished any management over these options, I had to enter the middle display screen or the local weather management display screen beneath it to drag up these capabilities.
There’s loads to love in regards to the Grand Wagoneer. It has distinctive, American styling, and it’s a hell of a primary effort from an organization that has by no means performed on this worth bracket earlier than. I can actually say I’d select a Grand Wagoneer over a comparable Escalade, GLS or Navigator. The Jeep has a selected benefit over its American opponents: Not like the top-dog luxurious vehicles from GM and Ford, the Grand Wagoneer will not be a dressed-up model of a extra reasonably priced on a regular basis SUV. Whenever you purchase a Grand Wagoneer, you’re getting one thing unequalled within the Stellantis lineup. That units this car aside.
However the Grand Wagoneer will not be with out some main downsides. This can be a mammoth machine, laborious to park and troublesome to maneuver in tight spots. And the gas economic system is atrocious, which is difficult to swallow even as gas prices fall from their summer record highs.
It makes you marvel if Jeep may need been higher off launching a brand new Grand Wagoneer eight or 10 years in the past. Again when huge, thirsty SUVs felt barely much less maliciously extreme. Jeep might have gently joined the full-size luxurious area and labored its means as much as the ostentatiousness of the car you see right here.
Then once more, the tactic of constructing an enormous splash late within the recreation appears to be paying off: Jeep moved 3,932 Grand Wagoneers within the second quarter of this yr. In whole, the corporate has bought simply over 7,000 Wagoneers to date in 2022. For a home car with a six-figure price ticket and barely-double-digit MPG, that’s fairly spectacular.