By: Tyler Domecq
“Grand” succinctly sums up Jeep’s ambitions for the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer (not to be mistaken for its frugal cousin, the Jeep Wagoneer). This rough and tumble brand has been better known for its vehicle performance off the road in recent years, but don’t knock their attempt to break back into the lanes more familiarly traveled by the Range Rover, Escalade, Yukon or other SUVs either approaching or exceeding six figures. With its 471-hp V-8 engine, four-wheel drive, three-row seating, state-of-the-art tech and almost 10,000-pound towing capacity, this pioneer believes it’s due for a new Manifest Destiny. However, does this unique blend of edge and luxury have what it takes to claim ground on this new frontier, or will it remain left in the past like its 1984 heritage model? We’ll break it down for you.
Before this All-American revival, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer’s stint through 1984-1991 gained it a reputation as “the gold standard of the SUV market”. Noted for its characteristic wood trim and stereo radios, along with its cameo in Beverly Hills Cop 2, the Grand Wagoneer’s blend of tech and comfort made it a status symbol within suburban America.
Grand Wagoneer trim levels will range from Series 1, 2, 3, and 3 Premium (priced approximately between $88,995-$109,980 respectively).. The Series 2 comes with 22-inch wheels, a two-tone roof and a 10.3 inch touchscreen. It will also have upgraded upholstery, a rear monitor system, and new tech such as night vision and a semi-autonomous drive mode. When it comes to getting the most out of its conceptual promises, the Series 3 looks comparable to what an Escalade or Navigator can supply at their top-level trims. It also has the added benefit of second–row seats that have their own 10.1 inch touchscreens and FCA’s all–new Uconnect 5 system to serve as its infotainment. Its deep levels of personalization help fill the need of increasing demand for more optimized user experiences within the upper–end SUV market.
A unique quirk that the Grand Wagoneer provides is that it’s currently the only vehicle to have an audio system powered by McIntosh, keeping the Americana spirit it embodies alive in more ways than one. Its 23 custom speakers and 24-channel amplifier can bring a concert to its listeners and are styled in their signature aluminum and gloss black colorings, not unlike the styling found on their home audio counterparts.
Another element to consider when examining the Grand Wagoneer is its uncompromising dedication towards its plug-in hybrid electric vehicle powertrain system. With the modern innovations behind electric engines, the Grand Wagoneer gets superior torque and immediate engine response, proving that its electric elements do not compromise on power. It also falls in line with Jeep’s overarching goals of going fully electric within the next few years. This, along with its exterior being made from renewable materials, keeps the Grand Wagoneer forward–thinking while still giving homage to its prestigious past.
In conclusion, while the Grand Wagoneer is entering into a market full of rivaling competition, the Grand Wagoneer has a legitimate chance of regaining its status of being a household name within the luxury SUV market. The question is just how much rugged elements and American heritage help it to get an edge on the usual suspects that have crowned the premier SUV market. Don’t sleep on the Grand Wagoneer, or much like a beginning player trying out 1971’s Oregon Trail for the first time, you may end up dying of dysentery.