A BIG Jeep Utility for Growing Jeep Families to Grow into
The last decade has seen tremendous growth in all things SUV with some brands dropping traditional cars all together. Already all-utility all the time, Jeep too added models, but mostly small and mid-size designs. Well, now they’ve gone big family in a big way with the 3-row Grand Cherokee L and a full-size Wagoneer family. But it is the truly opulent Grand Wagoneer that aims to change the high end 3-row segment.
The 2022 Grand Wagoneer is not just a bigger Jeep, but a much more luxurious one as well; a “premium extension” of the Jeep brand designed to “redefine American premium,” according to Stellantis. In fact, they see the entire Wagoneer family as a new Jeep sub-brand.
Regardless, first and foremost, Grand Wagoneer remains a Jeep at heart and a truck down below; with 3 different 4-wheel-drive systems available and a modified version of the Ram 1500’s full steel frame as its foundation. And of course, it looks all square and imposing, with a clear favor to the original Wagoneer series, yet assuredly modern with the laser-etched treatment of Jeep’s iconic 7-slot grille.
The series includes both the premium Wagoneer and our over-the-top luxurious Grand Wagoneer tester. The former competes with the Tahoe and Expedition; the latter aimed at Escalade and Navigator.
Grand Wagoneers also distinguish themselves with a 2-tone black accent roof, unique hood, special LED lighting, fender flares and power operating running boards. Wheels are either 20 or 22-inchers.
Full-size requires 3 rows of seats with up to 8-passenger capacity, but Jeep not only went big, they went big-big; with class leading passenger volume and 3rd row headroom, and generous legroom for both 2nd and 3rd row occupants. Behind the 3rd row you’ll find 27.4 cubic-ft. of cargo space, another class best, growing to 70.9 with it folded, and maxing out at 94.2.
For better or worse, life today is all about screen time, and there’s up to 45-inches of it on display in Grand Wagoneer’s dash. The center stack gets 10 and 12-inch ones; plus there’s an optional one in front of whomever is riding shotgun, and a 12-inch one for the virtual gauges. Need to adjust the climate control in back? Yeah, there’s a touchscreen for that too.
A big truck needs big truck power. For Jeep that still means a V8; their 392-horsepower 5.7-liter comes standard in the Wagoneer, while the Grand Wagoneer gets the 471-horsepower 6.4-liter V8 with 455 lb-ft. of torque. Both with an 8-speed automatic transmission.
Tow rating comes in at a stout 10,000-lbs. for the Wagoneer; 150-lbs. less for the heavier Grand Wagoneer. Plenty of oomph off the line for such a big heavy SUV; jumping to 60 in just 5.7-seconds. Shifts into 2nd and 3rd were a little clunky, but they smoothed out as we worked our way down the track. Best ¼-mile time: 14.1 at 99 miles-per-hour.
Expectations were low heading to the handling course, but the GW handled itself quite well; feeling way more nimble and lighter than its size would indicate. Very little body roll; and even a decent amount of feedback through the steering wheel.
Both the Wagoneer and the Grand Wagoneer are available in Series I, II, and III; Grand Wagoneer adding an extra Obsidian into the mix. Wagoneer starts at $59,995, the Grand Wagoneer at $88,995.
With surging fuel prices and a volatile economy, it’s debatable whether this is a great time to be launching a whole new luxury-minded mega utility. But, as of now, America’s appetite for large SUVs is still ravenous. The 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer may seem like a bold step from Jeep, but really, they’re just delivering what their customers have been demanding for years: a big utility for their growing families to grow into.
Engine: 5.7L V8 | 6.4L V8
Horsepower: 392 | 471
Torque: | 455 lb-ft
0-60 mph: 5.7 seconds
1/4 Mile: 14.1 seconds at 99 mph
60 - 0 : 121 feet
EPA: 13 CITY / 18 HWY / 15 COMBINED
MotorWeek Test Mileage: 16.6 mpg