Jeep reveals new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer

Neither 4x4 wears the Jeep badge, but the trademark seven-slot grille and trapezoidal wheelarches are there

Jeep has dusted off its much-loved Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer badges with the reveal of an all-new extra-large SUV that will sit in its line-up above the recently revealed fifth-gen Grand Cherokee. The nameplates previously ran from 1963 to 1991, but Jeep now saw an opportunity to reprise them on all-new offerings that will take the fight to the likes of the Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator and GMC Yukon.

The new-age Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer go on sale in the US this summer, but we have to wait until the first quarter of 2022 for the former, and the second quarter of next year for the latter in the UAE.

Luxurious off-roaders

During the online global reveal, company execs billed the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer as luxury all-terrainers that are meant to be exposed to the rough-and-tumble of an outdoors life. “This is a luxury SUV that’s meant to be, at certain times, full of mud. It’s meant to be used,” says Jeep chief executive Christian Meunier.

Unlike the new-gen Cherokee, which is underpinned by an Alfa Romeo-sourced monocoque platform, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are built on the rugged Ram DT body-on-frame chassis. Apart from the huge towing capacity (up to 4.5 tonnes) this architecture provides, it also delivers the scale necessary to accommodate the massive dimensions of the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer, which measure a gargantuan 5,453mm in length and 2,388mm (including mirrors) in width.

The Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer’s 3,124mm wheelbase enables a generous three-row seating layout, with Jeep boasting of best-in-class legroom in the second- and third-row seats, as well as class-leading headroom in the third row.

Neither the Wagoneer nor Grand Wagoneer wear Jeep badges, as company execs say the pair are essentially positioned as a premium sub-brand. Even so, the familiar Jeep design cues – such as the trademark seven-slot grille and trapezoidal wheelarches – are there. Interestingly there are no “Trail Rated” badges to be found, either, as the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer don’t meet the criteria relating to dimensions and manoeuvrability required for this status.

Power monsters

Three 4x4 systems are on the menu – Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II – with the last of these providing active low range and rear electronic limited slip differential. The Selec-Terrain traction management system offers five terrain modes (Auto, Snow, Sand, Mud and Rock), and Jeep says the vehicle can wade through 610mm of water. The Quadra-Lift air suspension (standard on Grand Wagoneer) provides more than 250mm of ground clearance, in addition to the promise of a supple ride.

Propulsion for the Wagoneer comes from Jeep’s trusty 5.7-litre Hemi V8, which sends its 392hp/548Nm to all four wheels via an eight-speed automatic transmission. The Grand Wagoneer ups the ante to 471hp/617Nm, as it gets the larger 6.4-litre V8 as standard.

Jeep execs are keen to emphasise the rugged, all-terrain nature of the newcomers, even though the Grand Wagoneer is pitched as an offering that’s claimed to set new standards for “premium American luxury”.

Premium features

There’s a new digital instrument cluster, along with a 10.1-inch and 12-inch reconfigurable centre stack touchscreen for the infotainment system and vehicle settings.

The Grand Wagoneer is said to be stuffed with more “wood, leather and metal than imaginable”, making for a genuinely premium cabin ambience. In a nod to their ancestors, the new vehicles are equipped with a two-spoke steering wheel.

The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are packed with more than 120 standard and available advanced safety and security features. Available driver-assist technologies include head-up display, adaptive cruise control, Active Driving Assist, Hands-free Active Driving Assist, night vision, drowsy driver detection and Traffic Sign Recognition. Jeep also boasts of an industry-first McIntosh 1,375-watt premium audio system featuring 23 speakers, including a 12-inch subwoofer with 3D Surround System to provide an immersive audio experience.

Pricing in the US starts at $57,995 for the entry-level Wagoneer, so we’d estimate the entry point in the UAE could be in the Dh240-Dh250k range, but Jeep’s ME office can’t as yet provide an indication of how much the vehicles will cost here. The range-topping Grand Wagoneer Obsidian costs $98,995 in the US, so we’d suggest it will be priced north of Dh400k in our market.

Published: March 12, 2021 07:39 AM

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