Jeep Grand Wagoneer Test Drive: A Luxe Giant That Rivals Cadillac Escalade

The full-size SUV and Jeep flagship is a far cry from the rugged Wrangler.

The 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer is big. It’s the “need its own zip code” brand of big. Folks riding in the back row of seats need an intercom to talk to the driver because the steering wheel is in a different time zone. Remember that big thing you saw yesterday? This is bigger. 

(Jeep)

It’s so big the word “Grand” called in sick because it couldn’t take the pressure of representing the Wagoneer’s bigness. Neil deGrasse Tyson said he was having trouble getting his head around the size of this thing. Bond villains think it’s a little oversized to be a lair. Buffalo are afraid to roam in its cargo bay because the space is too wide open. It’s that kind of big. 

(Jeep)

In fact, its sheer size begs the question if the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer needs to be this big – especially in the golden age of the smaller SUV or crossover. 

(Jeep)

The Grand Wagoneer is making its comeback in 2022 after coming and going in three generations between 1963 and 1993. It now looms over the road in two builds—the Wagoneer and its Grand sister. Both are huge, but the grander of the two has a bigger engine—a 6.4-liter, 471-horsepower V8 over a 5.7-liter in the standard Wagoneer—and more bangs and whistles to justify a significant price difference. The Grand Wagoneer sells for $88,640, while standard has a price tag starting around $58,995.

The new Grand trim is 214.7-inch-long, seats eight, weighs 6,340 pounds and can tow a school (or 8,260 pounds). Those dimensions rank it up there with the largest and most prestigious full-size SUVs such as the Lincoln Navigator and the Cadillac Escalade. However, if a buyer can settle for a more basic model of the latter two vehicles, he or she will save money as the Grand Wagoneer is more expensive by about $10,000.

Considering the Grand Wagoneer’s origins, it’s difficult to come to terms with the machine costing more than a Cadillac or a Lincoln. Still, there it is. For that $88,640, the buyer gets power everything, adjustable seating and storage space, dual climate control, voice activation, multi-adjustable seats, infotainment system with HD screen, distance pacing cruise control, etc.

So, there’s no shortage in tech, safety and comfort add-ons in the Grand Wagoneer—separating the ride somewhat from the rest of the Jeep line. When the driver thinks “Jeep,” there come along images of studded tires, muddy running boards and detachable doors. The Grand Wagoneer leans more into the world of luxury people carrying.

(Jeep)

The driving experience is smooth enough as modern drivers aids make even the biggest SUV or pickup truck as easy to maneuver as a hatchback. However, it’s tricky to determine for whom the Grand Wagoneer is intended. The market for SUVs is hot, but for the crossovers and smaller members of the class. 

The luxury buyer is more likely to opt for the Navigator or Escalade. You can say the same for livery industry fleet shoppers. The Jeep lover is more likely to embrace the Wrangler or Rubicon. While the Grand Wagoneer is a pleasure to drive and capable of doing its job, it’ll be interesting to see who decides to employ it.

(Jeep)
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