Jeep models like Wrangler and Grand Cherokee win kudos for their go-anywhere capability, but the Detroit brand hasn’t kept up with competitors like Land Rover in marrying SUV ruggedness with luxury. Until now, anyway. Jeep ups its game with the revival of the Wagoneer nameplate after a three-decade absence. While the production model won’t have lavish teak wood accents like last year’s concept, it’s still loaded with luxury details, including state-of-the-art audio and video gear that take Jeep far beyond its plebian World War II roots.
Inside, you might think you’re sitting in a premium luxury sedan. Available as either a 7- or 8-seater, the SUV’s cabin is quiet, comfortable and lavishly appointed. You’ll find such details as diamond-stitched heated and cooled leather seats, wood trim and metal accents. The instrument panel has multiple video displays running nearly pillar to pillar. One screen allows a passenger in the front seat to track your travels or settle back to watch some video. The 2022 Grand Wagoneer is the first production vehicle to integrate Amazon’s streaming Fire TV system for the front and rear video screens. It’s also the first automobile ever to boast a McIntosh audio system, with a customized package of up to 23 speakers—and a center display that replicates the distinctive look of the company’s home audio technology.
But one thing Jeep didn’t do is sacrifice the sort of path-forging capabilities you’d expect from its nameplate. The new Grand Wagoneer can claw its way across the boulder-strewn trails of Moab, Utah, ford up to 24 inches of water and tow as much as 10,000 pounds. Its Quadra-Lift air suspension will add extra height when you’re maneuvering across rough terrain, then squat down to make it easier for passengers to get in or out.
The power to go pretty much anywhere you want is delivered by a 471-horsepower, 6.4-liter V-8 that comes standard with four-wheel-drive. Grand Wagoneer also features a Selec-Terrain traction management system that takes the guesswork out of going off-road. Instead of bothering with the suspension, transmission, standard electronic limited-slip rear differential and other vehicle systems, you tap a toggle on the center console and Selec-Terrain and automatically pick the right settings for mud, snow, rocks—or smooth pavement.
Fully loaded, the Grand Wagoneer pushes into the six-figure territory. For those on a little tighter budget, the Wagoneer model begins at $68,590. You’ll sacrifice some of the premium details but retain features like the Selec-Terrain system—and even the
optional McIntosh audio package.
While luxury buyers are migrating from sedans to utes, many SUVs are little more than station wagons on steroids. However, the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer models deliver what is true utility as well as a premium luxury experience.