Jeep just unveiled the Jeep Grand Wagoneer concept, a vehicle meant to foreshadow a three-row Jeep to be built in Detroit next year. Here’s a first look at the upcoming luxury Jeep.
Born for the 1963 model year with a design owing to the legendary stylist Brooks Stevens, the Jeep Wagoneer, and later the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, were symbols of American luxury for decades. For a while, this space has remained vacant in the Jeep lineup, with the Grand Cherokee having to fill the duties of luxo-Jeep, though that vehicle has never offered a third row. In fact, it’s been roughly a decade since Jeep offered an SUV that can seat more than five.
The off-road brand is mending this oversight with a new “portfolio of SUVs” called Wagoneer. Here’s a first look at the Grand Wagoneer concept unveiled earlier today. Yes, it’s just a concept, but the production model—which will be the first Wagoneer since the “SJ” platform one bowed out in 1991—is likely to look quite similar:
The new Grand Wagoneer concept strays quite a bit from the SUV that we know and love. The body sides aren’t straight, with the fenders and quarter panels protruding around the wheel openings; This makes me concerned about how well this vehicle would look with the wood trim that every Jeep with the name “Grand Wagoneer” should wear.
The rear light treatment, with the horizontal theme that stretches across the tailgate, is nothing like the Grand Wagoneer of yore, but you can see based on the panel gap above the light that there will be a tailgate! This is great:
The front end is a bit gaudy with all the chrome and lighting, and—thank to the lights, grille, and hood shape—looks perhaps a bit too similar to that of the current Jeep Grand Cherokee. I’d like a bit more distinction; this is the Grand Wagoneer we’re talking about, after all—a legend!
I find the grille to look a bit short and squished. In the luxury space, tall grilles have always exuded an air of opulence; the old Grand Wagoneer’s grille took up the majority of the vehicle’s face. This just doesn’t quite look right to me. The grille’s curvature doesn’t help:
Though I’m clearly not sold on the exterior design, I think the Grand Wagoneer concept’s cabin looks modern and great. It features aluminum, wood, suede, and a number of “environmentally conscious” materials, Jeep said in its debut.
Look at that steering wheel. It’s simple with its two spokes, it’s wrapped in leather, and it features a clean “Grand Wagoneer” badge surrounded by stitching. It’s lovely.
More importantly, there are lots of screens, including one on the dash in front of the passenger seat, one on the top of the center stack, one standing upright on the base of the center stack where it meets the transmission tunnel, and one behind the steering wheel making up the gauge cluster.
This concept, Jeep mentioned during the debut, is a plug-in hybrid:
Jeep mentions three four-wheel drive systems, air-suspension, and fully independent suspension. The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are set to hit dealerships next year, Jeep writes in its press release.
This post is being updated, as this is breaking news.