2022 Jeep Wagoneer in blue (left) and a 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer in red (right)

Jeep turned to a storied nameplate for its two all-new, full-sized SUVs. The Wagoneer and the more premium Grand Wagoneer are the same vehicle, distinguished by powertrain, equipment, and trim details. This two-pronged strategy enables Jeep to use one model to compete with the likes of the Ford Expedition and Lincoln Navigator, or on the GM side, the Chevrolet Tahoe and Cadillac Escalade

The original Wagoneer launched in 1963 and left the market in 1991. Among its distinctions, the Wagoneer was known for its pioneering combination of four-wheel drive and upscale amenities.  In recent years, nearly every other automaker has applied that same formula to great success, while Jeep’s lineup only grew as large as the successful midsized Grand Cherokee.

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This latest body-on-frame incarnation draws from the impressive Ram 1500 platform, but it uses an independent rear suspension like its domestic SUV competitors. It measures slightly longer than a Tahoe, and it's powered by a choice of V8 engines. Rear-wheel drive is standard and three different four-wheel-drive systems with varying degrees of capability are available.

The Wagoneer seeks to set a high standard for interior appointments, with an emphasis on infotainment screen size and quality, along with available premium touches such as abundant wood trim and an audiophile-grade 23-speaker McIntosh audio system on the Grand Wagoneer, which can top $100,000 depending on trim and options.

Jeep is among many international brands under the Stellantis corporate umbrella, but the focus for the Wagoneer’s identity is decidedly American, as symbolized by flags on the exterior. The Wagoneer will be built in Warren, Mich.

What it competes with: Cadillac Escalade, Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, GMC Yukon, Lincoln Navigator
What it looks like: Exactly like the concept vehicle: a massive, boxy SUV with a thin seven-bar Jeep grille
Powertrains:
Wagoneer: 392-hp, 5.7-liter V8 engine; eight-speed automatic transmission; rear-wheel drive.
Grand Wagoneer: 471-hp, 6.4-liter V8 engine; eight speed automatic transmission; four-wheel drive
Price: $59,995-$103,995
Destination charge: $2,000
On sale: Summer

CR's Take

Jeep is finally making a serious run for the full-sized SUV market. The Grand Wagoneer looks to set a high standard for comfort and convenience features, but the more humble Wagoneer will likely be the bigger seller. 

The bold, brash V8 engines add to the American character, especially as each has long powered Dodge muscle cars. But for 2022, it seems a notable omission to launch such a vehicle without a hybrid or plug-in hybrid option, as teased with the initial unveiling of the concept vehicle that preceded the production models. The 48-volt mild-hybrid setup fitted to the 5.7-liter V8 may help fuel economy somewhat, but we haven’t seen a big consumer benefit from such systems in the past. It did help smooth out the stop/start system in our Ram 1500 equipped with the same engine.

These large SUVs command serious prices, with the top Grand Wagoneer Series III starting at $103,995. All versions carry a stunning $2,000 destination charge. As we reported on a recent investigation into destination charges, they have been on the rise, with Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (now Stellantis) showing the most aggressive price increases in recent years. Clearly that trend continues. (Learn more in Sticker Shock: The Truth About Destination Fees.)

We look forward to seeing these models in person and testing them to see if they live up to their promise. In particular, we're interested to see what CR members report about their ownership experience, because Jeep doesn't have a strong reliability track record, especially with all-new models. And the Wagoneers look to be a whole lot more complicated than a Wrangler.

Outside

2022 Jeep Wagoneer
2022 Jeep Wagoneer

The production versions of the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Jeep Grand Wagoneer look nearly identical to the concept, which itself is a nod to the original Wagoneer. Both have rather flat sides, simple window designs, and a front fascia that slants forward. The wheel arches and squat version of Jeep’s traditional seven-vent grille borrow from current models for a familial connection.

While all Wagoneers are painted in a single color, Grand Wagoneers come with a contrasting black roof and front roof pillars. In addition, the Grand Wagoneer’s grille is slightly taller, has slightly flared fenders, and gets standard power retractable running boards.

While both models get standard LED lights all around, the Grand Wagoneer gets a different taillight treatment.

The Wagoneer comes standard with 20-inch wheels; 22-inch painted and polished wheels are optional. Depending on the trim level, the Grand Wagoneer comes standard with either 20- or 22-inch wheels.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Inside

In order to compete with the Tahoe, Expedition, and Yukon—let alone Escalade and Navigator—the two Jeeps need to offer an interior experience that's commensurate with the price. The interior is similar to what was seen in the concept vehicles: opulent and filled with screens. But there are differences between the two models.

The regular Jeep Wagoneer gets a 10.1-inch touch screen for the infotainment system, mounted on the center dash between two air vents. Drivers have a 10.25-inch display for all gauges and instruments nestled into the dash behind a stylish two-spoke steering wheel. 

Grand Wagoneer owners get more opportunities for screen time. The key gauges and instruments are housed in a larger 12.3-inch screen, and the infotainment system's touch screen grows to 12 inches. But there’s an additional 10.25-inch touch screen below that, which is where front-seat occupants interact with the standard four-zone climate control system. The regular Wagoneer uses physical buttons for the three-zone climate system.

Passengers don’t get left out in a cold, screenless world. There’s an optional 10.25-inch touch screen that sits in the dashboard ahead of them, where they can interact with infotainment and navigation functions or watch digital content via an HDMI input or streamed over the air. 

Topping off all of that are available twin 10.1-inch screens mounted on the back of the front seats, while models with the four-zone climate control system get a 10.25-inch screen to control those functions. 

If you’re trying to do that math, Jeep says the Grand Wagoneer is available with up to 75 inches of total digital display area, while the Wagoner is at a paltry 50 total inches. 

Stellantis’ corporate Uconnect 5 system handles the infotainment duties, and wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay capability is standard. Buyers can add a full-color head-up display and digital rearview mirror, and night-vision capability that's displayed in the gauge cluster.

Jeep prominently places a rotary gear selector knob in the front section of the center console, where it’s surrounded by toggles for various drive and 4WD modes, if so equipped. It’s nice that this is the only controller in this location, so it isn’t easily mistaken for an unrelated function. In both vehicles a row of buttons sits ahead of the gear selector, handling duties such as traction and stability control on/off, hazard lights, parking sensor activation, and tow/haul mode, among other features.

Wagoneers get USB Type-A and Type-C ports for the front and rear, and the HDMI input up front is in a bin that can be covered with a drop-down door. In the Grand Wagoneer, these ports are hidden away.

Jeep says both Wagoneers are positioned as upmarket alternatives to their competitors. Leather seating surfaces, steering wheel rim, and dash trim are standard in the Wagoneer, which also gets a woodlike material across the lower dash and center console. The Grand Wagoneer ups the ante with richer leather, available quilted leather seats with contrasting piping, real walnut wood and aluminum trim, a Piano Black mid-dash piece, and contrasting stitching on the dash, door panels, and seats. 

The Wagoneer comes with standard 12-way power front seats that feature lumbar adjustment and a four-way adjustable head restraint. Grand Wagoneers feature 24-way power front seats, which have massage and power-adjustable head restraints. Options include heating and ventilation for the front- and second-row seats, a heated steering wheel, and adjustable pedals. 

Buyers looking for maximum seating capacity will have to go with the Wagoneer, which comes with a three-person second-row bench seat, bringing total seating to eight. Optional captain’s chairs, which are standard on the Grand Wagoneer, cut seating capacity to seven. The three-person third-row bench seat folds flat in a 60/40 split, so two children can sit back there in the center and right-side positions while the left-side seat is dropped to carry longer items. All seats power-fold flat to carry long items, though the leather-covered center console between the second-row captain’s chairs appears to prevent the entire cargo area from being a flat space.

A large panoramic sunroof that opens over the front and second-row seats is available, as is a fixed panel over the third-row seats. 

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

What Drives It

Initially, the Wagoneer will be available with a 392-hp, 5.7-liter V8 engine paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and standard rear-wheel drive. This engine includes the eTorque 48-volt mild-hybrid starter/generator motor, similar to what is used in the Ram 1500 pickup truck. It allows for the engine to shut off during idling situations, and it provides quick and seamless restarts of the engine. Jeep says that regular 87-octane gas is acceptable but that 89-octane gas is recommended.

Buyers will be able to add one of three different four-wheel-drive systems that have increasing levels of off-road traction. The top system, called Quadra-Drive II, includes a two-speed transfer case, limited-slip rear differential, and adjustable modes for powertrain response, braking, suspension, and traction settings.

The Grand Wagoneer debuts with a 471-hp, 6.4-liter V8 engine and an eight-speed automatic transmission, which Jeep claims can propel the SUV from 0 to 60 mph in 6 seconds. Four-wheel drive is standard. The engine doesn't include the eTorque system, and it requires premium fuel.

Those engines have a lot of work to do, because these aren’t lightweight vehicles. Jeep claims the Wagoneer’s base weight is 5,960 pounds, while the top-trim Grand Wagoneer Series III is 6,420 pounds. (Our tested Tahoe weighed 5,810 pounds.)

Jeep says that when properly equipped, both engines can provide towing capabilities up to 10,000 pounds. The Grand Wagoneer comes standard with a five-mode air suspension, which is optional on the regular Wagoneer. All Grand Wagoneer trims and some Wagoneer trims get a load-leveling rear suspension.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer cargo
2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Safety and Driver Assistance Systems

Both SUVs come standard with forward collision warning, automatic emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, blind spot warning, adaptive cruise control, lane keeping assistance, and rear cross traffic warning, as well as rear park assist sensors that will stop the vehicle if needed to avoid a crash. 

A number of active driver assistance systems are also available. Similar to the Cadillac Super Cruise system, Jeep’s Hands-Free Active Driving Assist will allow for hands-free driving at all speeds on approved roads. It will keep the SUV centered in the lane and slow it down in turns. And it will have the ability to automatically resume control if the driver overrides it, and will use technology to determine if the driver is paying attention to the road. It won’t be available when the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer initially go on sale.

The Jeeps also feature an available system with radar sensors and a camera to look for vehicles approaching from the right and left at intersections. If the system determines a collision is imminent, it will warn the driver audibly and visually, and then activate the brakes if the driver fails to respond.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer rear
2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer