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Video: 2024 Ineos Grenadier Quartermaster Review: To Truck or Not to Truck?

10:33 min
By Cars.com Editors
June 21, 2024

About the video

As West Coast Bureau Chief Conner Golden experienced over the dusty, rock-strewn trails that cut through Joshua Tree National Park, the new truck version of the (also new) Ineos Grenadier SUV is one of the most capable and focused 4x4s on the market.

Transcript

You come to us in, well, the middle of nowhere really. We are right next to a dry lake bed in the middle of a Californian desert. And it's a place that I would really charitably describe as quite inhospitable.
So it's a good thing we are here with an overland expedition off-road, whatever you wanna call it, a very capable off-roader like the Ineos Grenadier. But this specific one is not like any other Ineos Grenadier you've seen on the road or video before up to this point. Because as you probably will notice, this is the quartermaster. Yes, or this is the first time it's been on American soil. It is an addition to the 12-inch stretch. In wheel base, you've got this 61 and a half inch truck bat on the back. Yes, think of all the possibilities you can put back here, but everything else is more or less the same over the station wagon. Yes, that is what Ineos calls its closed cabin, SUV. So let's get into it. Let's get out here. Let's get dirty. Let's get dusty. (graphics whooshing) (vehicle whooshing) (upbeat music continues) Yeah, a truck bed. Let's see what it's got. So, well, eh, first thing you've got to know when you pick your new quartermaster up is... (door thudding) Yeah, it's not damp, so be cognizant of that. The second thing of course you're gonna notice is the full sized spare tire and wheel. And now an Ineos engineer on hand told me that the reason that this is mounted to the bed and not underneath on the chassis as some other off-road vehicles have, they believe that it sucks to have to lie on your back in the mud, even though it's all part of the experience to drop that heavy full-size spare from the chassis mount of positions. Also standard as this very thick integrated roll cage here you have a fixed window right here with no past or anything like that. That's all right. Each quartermaster has a plastic bedliner over the standard steel bed base. This pillar, this corner of the bed right here, has a plug for all the accessories. And of course the most important is you have the requisite four mounting points, loops right here, front and back. So yeah, fully usable truck bed. But everything from the bed forward and everything underneath, it's the same grenadier that you know and probably think that's really cool. So that means we've got the same body unframed construction, the same solid front and rear axles, the same full-time, four-wheel drive with all the locking differentials and the same three liter turbo BMW sourced inline six with 282 horsepower and 332 pounds feet of torque. We're driving the Grenadier Quartermaster on so highways, which is is not its favorite place to be, is doing quite well. There's been a lot of hullabaloo about the grenadier's recirculating steering and how quite different than even most other off-road vehicles you're gonna get from the factory, including trucks and Broncos and stuff like that. Because this is a solid front axle with recirculating ball, you're gonna have to put a lot more effort or attention into centering it back after you turn it ping pongs a little bit more. There's just more steering effort that you have to put in and more thought to it. I don't really find that too big of a problem. I adapted quickly. I've driven the Grenadier station wagon as it worth. I got used to it in 20 minutes. I mean, this is what it's built for it. That's part of the robustness of the grenadier. But it's fine and you know, right off the bat, the quartermaster, the truck version, which has 12 extra inches of wheel base on paper, it's gonna be more comfortable. And in practice it is it, it rides nicer, it soaks up the kind of undulations on road noticeably better than the shorter wheel base standard grenadier. Immediately we probably put about 20 miles off-road under these tires of the quartermaster, between the very slow requiring spotters, rock crawl areas in these faster desert tracks that we've done. Two things have become clear. One, this is a premium vehicle in the sense that compared to off-road packages for other production SUVs and trucks, it's clear that this has been designed for what we're doing right from the get go. There's no lower capable trims. There's no higher capable trims of this for off-road. This is kind of an out of the box thing and it's been developed as such. It feels quite heavy duty. It also feels with the suspension tuning, this is not gonna be a desert bomber like a raptor where you're just going to hit whoops at high speeds. But at the same time, this is also not like a Rubicon where it's only geared or primarily geared for low speed stuff. By geared, I don't mean the actual transfer case or the transmission or the differential. I mean, you know, aimed towards low speed rock crawling. It's a mix of both. It's capable of doing moderate speeds over the whoops, in faster areas. And then when you slow things down and you lock it all up, all the diffs and everything, very capable. But the suspension tuning and the body composure, the control observably premium. I mean, compared to, like I said, some other pickup trucks and SUVs that were, have packages for them that have a different suspension. Those are great, they're phenomenal, they're extremely capable. But this feels very cohesive. It feels more comfortable. I mean, it's just kind of a more comfortable experience to ride around in. In some of those. It's less jostling, even though you can see it all over the place. That's the first thing that is a premium vehicle. The second thing that has become apparent is that it's not a digital vehicle. Duh, it's an off road vehicle. It's not supposed to be digital. Well, what I mean is it is full-time, four-wheel drive. So the selection between high and low and the process of locking the differentials, the center diff and the front and the rear. It's not, I wouldn't say complicated. It took me just like the steering, which I will say works fantastic off-road. That recirculating ball, the virtues of it become quite apparent on trails like this and everything. It doesn't jump out of your hands when you hit a rock. It doesn't tram line or track too hard. It feels robust, it's great. Whereas on the highway, it's all over the place. Back to the lock and dip situation, the selector, you really have to manhandle that. You kinda have to fiddle with it a little bit to make sure the lockout disengages that wasn't already apparent. It is distinctly a very analog premium vehicle. And I like that. And I will tell you for a right off the bat, I mean consider that this is Ineos's first ever vehicle. And the development period was relatively short. So we're looking at a vehicle that was engineered from the ground up, and this is their first effort. Tremendously impressive. The choice of the turbocharged BMW in line six, I think it pairs perfectly to the character of the vehicle, to the use case of the vehicle. My mind immediately jumped to all the people that are tuning this family of BMW engine to, you know, crazy power 6, 700, 800, 900 horsepower builds up. I'm waiting until we see the first insane tune of one of these things. But I was talking to Ineos and they use their own proprietary, I think it's Bosch engine management software so good luck cracking that. I'm sure in the aftermarket is very endeavoring. I'm sure that will happen in near future. And we'll see a insane thousand horsepower Grenadier builds. It's not as refined as the current Land Rover Defender that it's not designed to be. And the more time I'm spending with the Grenadier, I'm really appreciating the interior details. They're pretty cool. Hard knobs, hard switches, hard toggles, big and chunky. Kind of imagine getting in a tank, but also little touches that they kind of went the extra mile. So the wheel center strip on the top of the steering wheel, instead of being what I'm used to, is a colored leather strip that's stitched into the top. That's fine. That's always it's expected and cool. This is a little ring of nicely appointed plastic. Looks good. There's a country horn and city horn. (laughs) So you're British. So after about an hour or two hours, totally off road, we have convoy has joined a paved road. And with that, we have no more off-road mode. All the systems are back on. And I don't know if you heard that y'all have viewers at home, but now we're dealing with the Grenadier's infamous Intelligent Speed Assist, which is a European union mandated safety technology. That is no matter what is on all the time, unless you toggle it off. So that's with ignition cycle. And there's been a lot of chatter about this in the Grenadier community. Ineos says it's addressing it for the US market. We don't know what that means. Are they going to disable it? Are they gonna make it a lot easier to disable? We don't know. We'll see. But now on the more pressing things, like how is the powertrain on the road versus off-road, eh, it's the same. It's got plenty of great torque when you need it in slow areas for, you know, rock crawling. The throttle tuning is quite easy to modulate for the low crawling areas when you just need to maintain steady state throttle for these low speed sections are pretty intuitive, easy to adapt to. I just gotta get hit with the speed warning again, sorry. On the road, plenty of power. It's not what you would call quick, but it's torquey and it is more than enough, way beyond what you'd need for city driving. Flooring it on an on-ramp will easily, easily gets you to and beyond merging speeds, it's reasonably quiet. There is a bit of a growl, which is always nice, and an enthusiast vehicle of any type. All the couple hours I've spent, I'm completely accustomed to or adapted to the controversial steering even on the road. No problem. And I can imagine as an owner, I would get very accustomed to this steering using it every day to the point where I think the reverse might happen. If you hop in something doesn't have steering like this, you're probably gonna overcorrect. To truck or not to truck. That is the question you are gonna have to answer. If you wanna pick up a grenadier in 2024, but I have some information that might make that answer a little bit easier for you. Let's talk pricing. The station wagon will cost you around 74, $75,000, including destination. This bad boy will cost you no less than around $89,000 with destination. And before you get upset at Ineos for overcharging for just a truck bed, you actually have Uncle Sam to thank for that due to the infamous chicken tax that's been around for a while. Yes, the 25% tariff on imported light duty trucks. So that's really just Ineos offsetting the cost of that. But of course, for more information and for my full thoughts and review, you gotta go to cars.com/news. (upbeat rock music)

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