The Jeep Grand Wagoneer name has returned for the first time since 1991, and while the new SUV doesn’t have the iconic look of the old woody, the overall level of swag might be even higher. And that’s thanks in large part to its incredibly luxurious interior.
Hey look, there’s a new Jeep that shares a name with an old Jeep, meaning I am contractually obligated by the car gods to start this article talking about the history of the name, and how this vehicle compares with its predecessor.
But I’m never again falling for that classic marketing trick of getting customers to build an association between the new machine and the extremely awesome old one with which it shares very few traits. Nope, the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer is an entirely new vehicle that needs to stand on its own, without help from an underpowered V8-equipped and fake wood-wrapped design icon.
And I think it does. The new vehicle’s exterior styling looks decent. It stands confident and upright, the lights look sleek, and though the grille seems a bit short, the texture looks nice. I’m not sure that I love the blacked-out A-pillar and roof, and there’s something about that rear end that’s a bit odd, but overall I can dig this.
More important is that I can dig this:
Damn that’s a nice interior!
And look at all of those screens. The Grand Wagoneer can be had with a 12-inch center stack screen, a 10.25-inch HVAC display down below, a 10.25-inch passenger’s screen and a 12.3-inch gauge cluster display. There’s also lots of wood, leather, brushed aluminum and just general opulence. It just works.
The seats can be adjusted 24 different ways, the pedals can move fore-aft, there are 23 speakers for the available 1,375-watt premium audio, there are four-zones for the climate control system — the list goes on and on. The Jeep Grand Wagoneer is fancy, and that’s a good thing, since it starts at around $89,000, though a less luxurious version of the up-to-eight-passenger SUV, called the Wagoneer, comes in at around $60 grand.
There’s only one type of engine available at the moment: a V8. The Grand Wagoneer gets a 471-horsepower, 455 lb-ft 6.4-liter powerplant, while the standard Wagoneer gets a 392-horsepower, 404 lb-ft 5.7-liter unit. The motors are backed by an eight-speed automatic transmission and one of several available full-time four wheel-drive systems: Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II. (Note: The Grand Wagoneer comes standard with four-wheel-drive, and the Wagoneer comes standard with rear-wheel-drive).
The body-on-frame platform, Jeep says, is all new. There’s a fully independent suspension with an available Quadra-Lift air suspension, which can jack the vehicle’s ground clearance up to 10 inches.
The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer can be had with low range (if you choose Quadra-Trac II or Quadra Drive II; Jeep says the crawl ratio reaches up to a respectable 48-to-1), tow hooks and off-road cruise control. Both vehicles have approach, departure and breakover angles of 25, 24, and 22 degrees, respectively, allowing for a 24-inch water fording limit.
The Wagoneer, Jeep says in its press release, can have its belly protected from terrain by skid plates for the front axle, fuel tank, transfer case and rear stabilizer bushing. (I’m assuming that last one is pretty small.)
The 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Jeep Grand Wagoneer are huge eight-passenger monsters, with the former probably a better off-road vehicle to compete with the likes of the Chevy Tahoe Z71. The Grand Wagoneer is clearly the one to go for if you want Escalade levels of swagger. Again, look at this interior: