Auto123 gets in a first drive of the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.
It's fair to say that Jeep is present in just about every utility segment and subsegment on the market. With the addition of the new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, Jeep fills one of the few holes left in its lineup, by joining the fray in the lucrative large luxury utility market.
In case you’re wondering: Jeep did let slip that there was actually some discussion at HQ about bringing back wood panels on the exterior as a nod to the past, but in the end the answer was no.
Currently, it's GM with its Tahoe, Yukon and Escalade trio that takes the lion's share of the large luxury SUV segment, with the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator duo in second place. These models account for 70 percent of segment sales in entry-level models like the Tahoe and Expedition. Jeep wants to play on two levels, and so there’s the Wagoneer, less richly dressed, which will compete with the Tahoe and Expedition, and the Grand Wagoneer, which targets the Escalade and Navigator and even the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS.
Pricing for the Jeep Wagoneer starts at $69,995. For the Grand Wagoneer, you’ll be laying out quite a bit more: the price starts at $100,995, and for a well-equipped model, the damage climbs to $130,000.
Despite its name, the Grand Wagoneer isn't actually bigger, but it's far more luxurious and offers more powerful mechanics. The Wagoneer model comes standard with a familiar 5.7L V8 that makes 392 hp and 404 lb-ft of torque, and it’s equipped with the eTorque system, a 48-volt battery pack that assists various functions and adds 130 lb-ft of torque. The Grand Wagoneer gets a more powerful 6.4L V8 that produces 471 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque. In it, you'll be able to do the 0-100 km/h in about six seconds.
However, that's not all. Jeep claims a towing capacity of 10,000 lb for the Wagoneer. That's substantial, and in fact no other vehicle in this segment does better.
Because this is a Jeep, all models sold in Canada will be 4x4s. The Selec-Terrain system will offer the following driving modes: Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow and Sand/Mud. The Quadra-Lift air suspension (available on the Wagoneer and standard on the Grand Wagoneer) can raise the ride height by more than 9 cm. Depending on the model, you can choose between three 4WD systems. Full-time Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II with a two-speed transfer case, or Quadra-Drive II with a limited-slip rear differential, which is the most advanced.
Given that price tag at over $100,000, you can bet our expectations were high as we got set to discover the newest Jeeps. The first thing we noticed is that the Grand Wagoneer has more screens than the Wagoneer. Both have a centre screen, but the Grand Wagoneer's is larger (12 inches versus 10.1 inches). Second, the Grand Wagoneer has a total screen area of 75 inches, including a 10.25-inch screen reserved for the passenger. This means the front-row passenger can control navigation and phone pairing as well as the rear entertainment system controls.
A second 10.25-inch screen is also located below the Grand Wagoneer's main screen. Rear passengers enjoy a 10.25-inch centre screen and two 10.1-inch entertainment screens respectively. You also have the option of choosing between two captain's chairs or a bench seat for the second row.
Both the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are equipped with a variety of connectivity features such as Alexa virtual assistant, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto wireless, SiriusXM 360L, 4G LTE Wi-Fi, Tom-Tom navigation and Fire TV, which provides access to hundreds of movies and TV shows - just like on a plane.
The new Uconnect5 system is called upon to handle all of these features. In addition, when you park the vehicle, you can activate the Relax Mode, which uses the screens and ambient lighting to create a peaceful atmosphere.
A McIntosh MX950 entertainment system with 23 speakers is available on the top-of-the-line Wagoneer and most Grand Wagoneer models. Grand Wagoneer buyers can opt for a 1,375-watt amplifier.
Does the Grand Wagoneer stand up to the competition? The short answer is yes. It's not as big as a Suburban, but it’s quite to a Tahoe or a Yukon Denali.
Much like Ram trucks, which offer the most beautiful truck interiors, Jeep’s Grand Wagoneer offers a high-calibre finish. It’s not outrageous to compare it with what you get in a Cadillac, Lincoln or Mercedes model. You have different combinations of natural wood and leather that range from honey tones to lavender blue leather shades to darker colours. It smells like fine leather.
The heated and ventilated power-adjustable seats also offer a massage function. They’re not as comfortable as the German big shots, but comparable to Lincoln and Cadillac.
Driving is actually a very pleasant and simple affair, which is surprising for such a big beast. However, you'll have to be prepared to put in gas, and lots of it. The 6.4L engine in our Grand Wagoneer gave us an average consumption of nearly 16L/100 km, this when driving on the highway with only one person on board. The 5.7L engine with the 48-volt battery will do a little better, but only a little.
Both models have an independent rear suspension that adds to the comfort of the ride. Our tester came with an adaptive air suspension that can raise its ride height by 3.6 inches or lower it by half an inch, as well as absorb holes in the road without a problem. It also has 10 inches of ground clearance, 2 feet of water clearance.
Jeep, which is firmly intent on stealing market share from its American competitors with its Wagoneer / Grand Wagoneer duo, offers the right ingredients to do so. It remains to be seen whether people will be willing to pay six figures for a Jeep.
An impeccable finish
Advanced and intuitive technology
Great towing capacity
We like less
Reliability still unknown