By Cars.com EditorsAugust 15, 2021
About the video
We get up close and personal and drive the 2022 Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer from Jeep. Watch our video to find out more.
(chill music plays) For the last couple of decades, if you wanted a big full size body-on-frame SUV in this country, you really only had four choices. Ford, General Motors, Nissan and Toyota.
Conspicuously absent from that group was the automaker, formerly known as Fiat Chrysler automobiles, and currently known as Stellantis. Well, the folks at Stellantis have remedied that situation with this. This is the new 2022 Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer from Jeep. Now notice, I didn't say Jeep Wagoneer and Jeep Grand Wagoneer. And that's kind of what the Stellantis folks would also like you to think. You see, they're positioning the Wagoneer as a premium brand above the Jeep brand. It's still going to be sold in Jeep dealerships, although a very special corner of the Jeep dealership. And they're going to cost significantly more than a number of other Jeep vehicles. They're going to compete with everything from the Chevrolet Tahoe, all the way up to the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade. And we've come up here to upstate New York to try out these new Wagoneers to see if what Stellantis has created can really compete with America's best luxury brands. Now, Wagoneer is going to come in two flavors. This is the regular Wagoneer. It's available with two wheel drive. It's available with things like 18 inch wheels and off-road packages. It comes with a 5.7 liter Hemi V8 engine. And visually you can tell it apart from the Grand Wagoneer through a couple of ways. First, you have the Wagoneer script on the hood. It's actually stuck-on letters that are on the hood itself. And the Grand Wagoneer looks a little bit different. You've got LED headlights as well. These are not LED projector lights but they are still LEDs. The front face shows a little bit different. And down the side, you'll see there's a lot less chrome. You have dark trim instead. This black trim, instead of chrome trim, like you see on the Grand Wagoneer. And the roof is body colored. On Grand Wagoneers, all the roofs are black so they're two-toned instead. Now, whereas the Wagoneer is meant to compete with things like the Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition. The Grand Wagoneer is the more premium offering and it's meant to compete with things like the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade. Visually, you can tell the differences because there's a lot more chrome on the Grand Wagoneer. And it also has more equipment. Things like a 6.4 liter Hemi V8 engine and standard four-wheel drive. The biggest difference between the Wagoneer and the Grand Wagoneer comes inside. And just in terms of the grade of the interior and how nice they are, but that's also the biggest difference between the Wagoneer and a lot of its competition as well. Things like the Chevy Tahoe, the GMC Yukon, the Ford Expedition. They're not anywhere near as nice as this is. Now, you have to get up towards the Cadillac Escalade and the Lincoln Navigator to really be competitive with, specifically, this model. This is the Grand Wagoneer Series III, and the color in here is called tupelo honey. It is opulent. It really is a fantastically done interior. Everything in here that looks like wood is wood. Everything that looks like leather is leather. And it's just screwed together in such a way that it's beautiful. It's modern. It doesn't feel retro at all. It really does look like some premium American content in here. There's a lot of technology in this vehicle and a lot of screen space as well. Up to 75 inches of screens in this version of the Grand Wagoneer Series III. Now that includes screens in the front and the back. You've also got some interesting features in here that we haven't seen before, such as this climate control comfort panel. It's a touch screen down here that controls everything from the seats to the massage functions, to the front and rear climate control. And it allows you to have everything right your fingertips and gives you also some haptic feedback as well. So it's not just a flat dead panel. We don't really like touch sensitive controls that don't give us any kind of feedback. But Jeep's done a pretty good job in making sure that you actually get some feedback when you touch a lot of these touch controls. Now, as nice as this interior is, it's not perfect. There are a couple of areas that we look at. Mm-hmm, kind of scratch our head at. The first is the selector here for the various modes. Rocks, sand, snow, auto and sport. And on the other side, the air suspension ride height controller. Both of these things on a flat plastic surface that slopes away from the driver. So in bright sunlight, when they're back-lit, they're really kinda hard to see. I'm not quite sure why they would slope them that way. And the other thing is that despite the fact that this interior is gorgeous and it really is well done, you have this Grand Wagoneer stick-on script on the wood, on the passenger side there that really doesn't look right at all. It does kinda look a little sketchy. It could have been just a nice little badge like we have on the steering wheel. But instead it's pasted on across the entire length of the dashboard over there. I think we could have done without that. From the outside, you might think that this really isn't all that different in terms of space from the new Jeep Grand Cherokee L, the new long wheelbase Grand Cherokee that also has seating for seven, but I assure you these two are very different animals. On the inside, there is a lot more space in the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer than there is in the new Grand Cherokee L. It's got seating for seven like this Grand Wagoneer does, or you can get seating for eight as well if you eliminate the center console. My only complaint about this is that the center console is frankly kind of wide. I mean, yeah. I'm kinda wide too. But this thing is wider than it normally should be. But there's plenty of room up here in the second row, or even in the third row. I fit back there without a problem. There's plenty of headroom as well, either in the second row or the third row. And Jeep says it has a couple of best in class kudos. Like overall interior passenger space, like second row leg room, third row room as well. And you know what? I frankly believe 'em. There's plenty of room back here. When the Jeep engineers told us what it felt like to drive this new Wagoneer, we were a little bit skeptical. They said it was going to be the biggest small car you've ever driven. And we were a little skeptical about that. I mean, this thing is an enormous seven or eight passenger SUV. It's a body-on-frame design. It's actually derived from the Ram 1500 pickup. That's what most big SUVs are, basically. They're just passenger pickups. So we were a little bit skeptical that this thing was actually going to be something that would handle well or drive nicely. But you know what? It actually does. The steering ratio is extremely quick. The body is very well controlled. It's not wallowy. It's not tippy. Yeah, it is a large vehicle. And you do feel some of its heft and weight, but they've even gone to great lengths to try and minimize a lot of that weight. The hood, the fenders, the doors, they're all aluminum. The rear tailgate is actually made out of composite plastic. So they have done quite a lot to try and take some weight out of the Wagoneer. Now this is the regular Wagoneer. It has a 5.7 liter V8. We've also driven the Grand Wagoneer with its larger 6.4 liter Hemi V8. And both of them are really quite powerful. Frankly, you could be happy with either of these engines. They both sound great. They both have more than enough power. And we're told that either of them can actually tow a 10,000 pound trailer, which is best in class for the large SUV segment, for sure. The Jeep designers made a big deal about the glass in this vehicle. About how it has so much of it and how the dash is really low, but the windows are very tall. And it's really reminiscent of the original Grand Wagoneer. And what they really wanted to try for was that big, open, airy greenhouse. And I think they've really succeeded quite well. The visibility out from this cabin is excellent. The dash is fairly low. You have a great commanding view of the road, but I don't feel like I'm sitting up super high. Like I'm going to fall over if I take corners a little bit too fast. Seat comfort is also excellent. You've got two different kinds of seats depending on whether or not you've gotten the Wagoneer or the Grand Wagoneer. The regular Wagoneer has very well adjustable seats, of the adjustments are actually on the side of the seat. If you opt for the Grand Wagoneer, you can get some fancier seats with more adjustability. And that actually happens up here on the side panel by the door. It's easier to reach them. And given the fact that there's a lot more to it, just having your seat controls a little bit higher makes a little bit more sense. There's really not a lot of road or wind noise in here, either. It's a very aerodynamic vehicle despite the fact that it's basically shaped like a single-family home. But you don't get a whole lot of Russia-wind noise from anywhere in here. It's extremely well sealed. And they've used quite a lot of sound deadening in this thing to really have a more serene experience when you're driving down the road. The big thing that you hear more than anything is the V8 rumble. It's pretty prominent in this Wagoneer with the 5.7 but when you get into the Grand Wagoneer with the 6.4 liter V8, that thing absolutely roars from inside or outside the cabin. Now you can make the case that the Wagoneer and the Grand Wagoneer are really more about being on-road SUVs than off-road SUVs. Yes, it's a Jeep. And it does have to have some certain minimal level of off-road ability, but a vehicle this size really is more comfortable and at home doing suburban duty. You know, shuttling families around or executives. Or you know, being more of a luxury vehicle than an off-road vehicle. Jeep makes other vehicles that are more at home in the rough. Now you can go off-road in a Grand Wagoneer. We've done it in the regular Wagoneer with a special off-road package. It comes with 18 inch wheels and large sidewall tires and specific skid plates underneath to protect it from boulders. But honestly, the experience of doing it, isn't all that satisfying. It really is best meant for something like this. Cruising boulevards and interstates in quiet, serene comfort. We've come away really impressed with the new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. They're pretty much everything that SUV buyers are asking for these days. They're big. They're powerful. They're spacious. There's plenty of room inside for seven or eight people. And more than anything, they really are opulent and expensive. They're gonna start right around $60,000 for a base Wagoneer Series I and range all the way up to nearly $110,000 for a Grand Wagoneer Series III. Now that is quite a lot of money, but that's pretty much what people are paying for these vehicles these days. Now they're gonna go on sale sometime later this year. And if you'd like to know more about the new 2022 Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer from Jeep, you can look everything up on cars.com.
Here Are the Recalls for Our Long-Term 2023 Jeep Grand Cherokee 4xe (So Far)
By Brian NormileFebruary 23, 2024