For the first time since the old Commander, Jeep has put its chips back in the full size SUV table. Paying tribute to the old Grand Wagoneer, the new one aspires to be ahead of its class. Boasting a crazy amount of screens just on the front dash itself and sprinkling in some easter eggs all across the huge SUV, Jeep dictates the starting price at just over $88,000. Here’s a first, the price to weight ratio is also quite intriguing, at about $9/lb, cause this big boy tips the scale at around 10,000 pounds. Boasting a huge 471-horsepower V8, the Grand Wagoneer outpaces its more relaxed tandem— the Wagoneer, and attempts to join the likes of the Escalade and the Yukon. Interesting terrain for the company who still puts out the Compass. With four-wheel drive and a whole troupe of high-tech features, the Grand Wagoneer attempts to be the stalwart of the Jeep lineup.
As Jeep’s new halo vehicle, FCA explores somewhat uncharted waters for the Jeep brand. Mixing a high-end luxury vehicle with their rugged and bulky lineup isn’t exactly one’s first thoughts. An Escalade competitor doesn’t exactly sprint to mind when you think of Jeep, and I don’t think that’s what Jeep is trying to achieve either. However, in order to power this land yacht, Jeep has put a 6.4 L Hemi V8, the same one in the Hellcat. Albeit, not supercharged. 471 horsepower outpaces all its competitors, with the Lincoln Navigator lagging behind at a relatively measly 450 horses. Don’t get it twisted, this isn’t a sports SUV, no sir. Put it on the scale, and you’d be bound to get a “Yo Mama” joke from somewhere. In typical Jeep fashion, you’re looking at about 10,000 lbs of pure American luxury. A subtle hint to the the era from where this SUV was based. 10 inches and ground clearance and an adjustable air suspension system give the Grand Wagoneer a supposed “Grand” ride and make that ginormous frame a bit more usable.
That V8 gives the Wagoneer a huge tow rating as well, able to tow just shy of 10,000 lbs, making it a solid and capable vehicle to travel with. With that huge lumpy V8, you shouldn’t expect fuel economy numbers to be through the roof, but they’ll be acceptable at least. Reliability should be a concern, especially in my book. While this may be a modern car, it’s still a FCA product as well as having many moving parts and technology. It’ll certainly be interesting to see how this will stand the test of time.
7 or 8 people is allowed with the setup of the Grand Wagoneer. 2nd row seats are captain chairs but can be configured for a full length bench seat unlocking the full space potential of the Wagoneer. Compared to the simpleton Wagoneer (a separate model), the Grand Wagoneer is colorfully adorned with various luxury pieces. Leather, wood, and piano black materials are all placed strategically in contrast with its lower counterpart. Screens are galore, with 3 on the dash itself. A 12.3 inch full digital display for the gauge cluster, and even one for the passenger make the traditional Grand Wagoneer seem like it came from the Jetsons, a huge contrast from its somewhat traditional roots. A McIntosh stereo system complete with Apple Carplay and Android Auto make the interior fully adept. Touchscreens behind the front seats make the Grand Wagoneer a play spot for kids and all ages, a far cry from the Jeeps of past.
The Grand Wagoneer attempts to cross into a new path, following one that has worked for so many other brands. FCA is pushing for new sales, and this may be the region where they get it. One worry is how they’ll adapt it into the new electric world, but that’s yet to be seen, and a story for another time.