Chrysler, or no matter it was often called at any given time, has been puzzlingly gradual to get into the big-SUV recreation. That it lastly determined to take action below the Jeep model (slightly than, say, Ram) and with the Wagoneer nameplate is smart — the nameplate’s historical past buys instantaneous credibility. The Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer has been a very long time coming. It was a fixture of former FCA CEO Sergio Marchione’s future product shows and was initially supposed to seem in 2014. It’s unclear why Jeep dithered for thus lengthy.

It undoubtedly wasn’t to create one thing revolutionary. The Wagoneer hews to conference in some ways. It’s constructed on the modified body of the extremely regarded Ram 1500 pickup, though with an impartial slightly than a live-axle rear suspension. A pair of off-the-shelf naturally aspirated V8s present the facility. An eight-speed automated handles shifting duties, and though the Wagoneer comes customary with rear-wheel drive, most can be outfitted with one among Jeep’s present four-wheel-drive techniques.

Its dimension, clearly, is just not one thing we have seen tried by Jeep, Ram or something within the Stellantis portfolio. At 214.7 inches in size and with a 123-inch wheelbase, the Wagoneer duo is barely bigger than the standard-size Ford Expedition/Lincoln Navigator and Chevrolet Tahoe/Cadillac Escalade. Three-row seating is, naturally, customary. With the third row in use, the Wagoneer has extra baggage house than its rivals, with a genuinely helpful 27.4 cubic toes. Its most cargo quantity varies with tools, however primarily straddles the FoMoCo SUVs and runs shy of the GMs. All these dimensions are for the standard-wheelbase variants, which launch now. There additionally can be extended-length variations of each fashions, mirroring the choices of GM and Ford.

The Wagoneer, pictured above, is meant to compete in opposition to mainstream-brand SUVs, whereas the Grand Wagoneer (pictured within the high gallery) pushes upmarket to tackle the luxurious nameplates. The visible variations between them are delicate. The 2 are differentiated by their grille design, entrance fascia, lighting, hood, wheels, and liftgate trim. The obvious level of distinction, although, is the black roof that’s unique to the Grand Wagoneer. Neither mannequin has any Jeep badging, a part of the trouble to push them upmarket.

As ever, styling is subjective, nevertheless it’s arduous to not suppose that Jeep was much less profitable in conjuring the spirit of the Wagoneer’s iconic predecessor than Land Rover was in its redo of the Defender or Ford in its resurrection of the Bronco. The Jeeps’ lead exterior designer factors to the upright pillars, tall aspect home windows, and metal-finished grille as components that reference the unique Wagoneer, which debuted as a 1963 mannequin and was final offered in 1991.

The 2022 Grand Wagoneer is powered by the Stellantis 6.4-liter V8, right here with new consumption and exhaust manifolds and a particular exhaust system. It places out 471 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque. These horsepower numbers higher GM’s 6.2-liter within the Cadillac Escalade/GMC Yukon/Chevrolet Tahoe and the three.5-liter turbo V6s within the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator. The 6.4’s torque output, nevertheless, trails these rivals.

The common Wagoneer makes use of the company 5.7-liter Hemi V8, which is rated at 392 horsepower and 404 lb-ft of torque. Its eTorque mild-hybrid system includes a belt-driven generator and a small lithium ion battery (charged through regenerative braking) and might add a short enhance of 130 lb-ft. It additionally allows engine shut-off when decelerating.

Even with that modicum of fuel-saving tech, the rear-drive Wagoneer’s EPA estimates are 16 mpg metropolis and 22 mpg freeway, with the 4WD model at 15/20 mpg. The 6.4-liter 4WD Grand Wagoneer is a thirsty beast at 13/18 mpg. These numbers aren’t a lot decrease than a Cadillac Escalade’s 6.2-liter gas-powered V8, however its consumption is significantly worse than GM’s 5.3-liter V8 and diesel-powered choices in addition to Ford’s EcoBoost V6s.

Do not simply blame the massive Jeep’s engines, although. Its curb weights are crushing. The Wagoneer 4×2 is simply barely below three tons at 5,960 kilos, and the Grand Wagoneer can hit 6,420 kilos. The Escalade, in contrast, ranges from 5,635 to six,015 kilos.

That does not stop a hefty towing capability, nevertheless. The rear-drive Wagoneer tows 10,000 kilos; subtract 150 from that complete for the 4WD model or for Grand Wagoneer, regardless of its bigger engine. Both method, these figures are tops within the class, eclipsing the Expedition (9,300 kilos), Navigator (8,700), Tahoe (8,400), and Escalade (8,200), in addition to all of the Europeans. A category IV receiver hitch is customary, and an obtainable heavy-duty trailer-tow package deal contains upgraded engine cooling, a trailer-brake controller, a hitch zoom digital camera, and hitch line-up help — however no automated steering help for backing up with a trailer.

Typical of Jeep, there’s a couple of obtainable four-wheel-drive system. The Wagoneer comes customary with rear-drive, and presents Quadra-Trac I or Quadra-Trac II as choices. The JGW comes customary with Quadra-Drive II (though a peek at signifies that it, too, will provide a rear-drive model). Quadra-Trac I has a single-speed switch case; the opposite two get a selectable low vary, with Quadra-Drive II including digital controls to the mechanical limited-slip rear differential.

Not like most Jeeps, there isn’t any off-road-oriented Trailhawk (no Wagoneer is even Path Rated), making essentially the most succesful model a Wagoneer with the Superior All-Terrain Group. That package deal, not obtainable on Grand Wagoneer, brings a two-speed switch case, air springs, skid plates, a 3.92:1 rear axle ratio, off-road pace management, tow hooks and 18- or 20-inch wheels with all-terrain tires.

We drove a so-equipped Wagoneer on a brief off-road course particularly laid out to indicate off the massive Jeep’s talents. Axle articulation isn’t as nice as in additional hardcore Jeeps — a few instances we have been left with a tire hanging within the air — however the Wagoneer, which has 10 inches of floor clearance with the air suspension on its tiptoes (or 8.3 inches with the fastened suspension), nonetheless clambered over the rocks and dips with out wheelspin or hesitation. And a characteristic known as Energetic 4 Low (on each of the higher 4WD techniques) additionally allowed it to maneuver across the tight turns in low vary with out crabbing.

The remainder of our drive time was within the Grand Wagoneer. With its 6.4-liter V8, acceleration is actually enough, although it’s not on the frenetic degree of the Grand Cherokee SRT with the identical engine. As an alternative, the 6.4-liter is clean and quiet; the accelerator is linear in its response; and the eight-speed automated’s shifting is completely unobtrusive. As a result of Jeep makes use of a dial shifter, manually downshifting — or, extra precisely, setting a most gear — is finished through buttons on the steering wheel.

Air springs and adaptive dampers are customary on the Grand Wagoneer (and non-obligatory on the Wagoneer), and so they ship spectacular journey high quality. Driving north out of New York Metropolis, we have been on the West Facet Freeway and, later, the Noticed Mill River Parkway, each older highways with storm drains on the fringe of the lane, typically significantly beneath the pavement degree. In some sections, you hit one after the opposite, and the Grand Wagoneer acknowledged them with a single physique movement, and that’s it. There was no head toss and no shudder via the construction. A goodly portion of this automobile’s appreciable mass should have gone towards structural rigidity, as a result of the GW felt stable it doesn’t matter what patched and pockmarked pavement we traversed. The adaptive dampers additionally successfully quell physique motions, however toggling between Sport and the default Auto drive modes didn’t make a lot discernable distinction. The drive modes solely have an effect on the powertrain and suspension, not the steering, so cranking the two-spoke steering wheel at all times stays a low-effort affair.

No-effort steering is feasible with the Freeway Help System, which is Jeep’s adaptive cruise management with lane-centering that is unique to the Grand Wagoneer. It did a succesful job maintaining the massive SUV centered in its lane with only a hand on the wheel, besides on the Noticed Mill’s sharper curves, when it alerted the motive force to retake steering duties. We’re instructed a hands-free, GM Tremendous Cruise–type semi-autonomous system is coming, however as to timing, Jeep officers would solely say “quickly.”

The Grand Wagoneer cabin includes a wealth of rich-looking supplies, together with the huge expanses of wooden proven above. Predictably, the Wagoneer has fewer leather-wrapped surfaces and less-intricate detailing, however at the least leather-based is customary fare, which is often not the case elsewhere. Critically for a road-trip automobile, stowage is plentiful together with an obtainable cool field below the entrance middle armrest — or, alternately, a keypad-lockable secure.

Jeep claims best-in-class second- and third-row legroom, and certainly, with the entrance seat set for a 6-foot driver, there’s oceans of legroom in row two and greater than enough legroom and headroom in row three. With extra hip room than both the Escalade or Navigator, the Grand Wagoneer third row additionally feels genuinely viable for three-across seating. And right here’s a rarity: The third row truly has padded armrests (within the GW, not the Wagoneer). Again-benchers additionally get USB retailers on either side, and people are among the many eight to 11 complete USB retailers scattered all through the cabin. Observe that every gives the selection of utilizing both a USB-A or USB-C output.

For the Wagoneer and significantly the Grand Wagoneer, screens are the defining aspect of the inside. Whereas the sheer variety of them appears extreme, the primary ones that you simply work together with are extraordinarily effectively performed.

There’s the central infotainment show (10.1 inches within the Wagoneer and 12 inches within the Grand proven above left) and the usual digital instrument cluster (10.25 inches within the Wagoneer and 12.3 inches within the Grand proven above proper). Some fashions even have touchscreens devoted to the local weather management system within the entrance and within the rear. One also can spec a touchscreen for the entrance passenger and a rear-seat leisure system with twin 10.1-inch screens and Amazon Fireplace streaming TV functionality amongst different media choices. So, seven in complete — and that’s not even counting the digital rear digital camera mirror or the head-up show.

For the 2 foremost screens, configurability is the watchword. We’ll begin with the digital instrument cluster, which works far past the everyday alternative between “sporty” or “basic” renditions of gauges. A full-screen show of the navigation map is feasible, as in another automobiles, however there are additionally six different capabilities that may take delight of place, equivalent to evening imaginative and prescient (for automobiles so outfitted), off-road data, or audio. One can additional tweak the format by having a shrunken speedo and tach seem on the far edges of the display, or go for a digital pace readout up high and a band-style tach on the backside. After which you’ll be able to decide what extra readouts stay on the very high of the display. Naturally, setting all this up utilizing four-way buttons on the steering wheel isn’t simple (even for the man who designed it and was demonstrating all of it for us). Plan on spending a good bit of driveway time studying your method across the system and establishing your most popular format.

The central show is extra conventionally configurable, with the house display capable of present two, three or 4 capabilities. A number of dwelling pages might be saved, and also you swipe to maneuver from one to a different. Moreover, there are touch-sensitive buttons to take you to foremost capabilities. You even have some say over what’s within the dock-like band of icons throughout the highest of the display — one merchandise you’ll wish to put up there’s the digital camera (since there’s no bodily button to name it up) plus possibly the fam-cam in-cabin digital camera. There’s additionally wi-fi Apple CarPlay/Android Auto with the mandatory wi-fi charging to go together with it.

The non-obligatory entrance passenger show appears somewhat like overkill. It, too, has a customizable dwelling web page and might present audio data, navigation, the cameras, and the video participant (a privateness display prevents the motive force from having the ability to view it). Then there are the entrance and rear climate-control touchscreens, which additionally smack of extra, though Jeep is just not the one producer to make use of them. Helpfully, there’s additionally a row of bodily buttons for ceaselessly used climate-control capabilities.

So, there are various capabilities. How is it in observe? The bigger digital cluster and central show look nice. The graphics are as trendy and sharp as any on the market, and the quantity of customization truly is helpful, even when the setup is somewhat daunting. We did expertise a couple of bugs, nevertheless, in our pre-production automobiles. The tuning knob was typically laggy in scrolling via satellite tv for pc radio stations, the map within the instrument cluster refused to load, and the quantity knob briefly went on strike. Right here’s hoping all the various options work easily within the salable models. And naturally, the inevitable updates might be carried out over-the-air.

For house owners puzzled by the in-car tech, or with different questions in regards to the automobile, “Wagoneer Ambassadors” are standing by to assist. These devoted customer support reps can be found to reply questions throughout and after the acquisition course of and are a part of Jeep’s push to raise the possession expertise with the intention to compete with Cadillac, Lincoln, Mercedes-Benz, and different six-figure SUVs. Jeep can also be providing automobile pickup and dropoff for service, with the automobiles washed and cleaned upon return.

Sellers will equally have to up their recreation, as pricing for these autos pushes the boundaries for the Jeep model. Beginning costs, together with the $2,000 vacation spot cost (!), are $59,995 for the Wagoneer Sequence I (with delayed availability), $69,995 for the Sequence II and $75,590 for the Sequence III. The Grand Wagoneer is available in Sequence I, Sequence II, Obsidian (darkish exterior trim), and Sequence III grades, and right here beginning figures vary from $88,995 to $105,995.

As followers of the basic Grand Wagoneer, we would have favored if this new model drew a stronger line to the unique (although stopping in need of plasti-wood siding). For many patrons, although, the mixture of stretch-out house, a luxe inside, a nice driving expertise, and stout towing functionality are actually sufficient to earn this Jeep its share of the profitable market. We simply can’t assist however surprise: What took so lengthy?

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