by Jay Traugott
Jeep's quest to go upmarket has just taken a significant leap forward. The 2022 Jeep Wagoneer is not only bigger than the Grand Cherokee but more luxurious with some big-name rivals in its sights. Customers who want to go even further upmarket can check out the also-new Grand Wagoneer. Both SUVs share an all-new platform and similar styling inside and out. The main difference is packaging and engines. The Wagoneer is, perhaps, the more important of the two because it costs less (though it's not cheap) and is still an extremely capable off-roader when needed. It's a Jeep after all.
The Wagoneer is also important for the brand because the nameplate returns after a nearly three-decade-long absence. Designers knew they were dealing with a historical name and made sure to incorporate various styling bits to commemorate the past. More importantly, the SUV has a major role to fill in the Jeep lineup and by the looks of things, it'll accomplish its mission.
5.7L V8 Gas
The Wagoneer's overall exterior design is very Jeep-like, and that's a good thing. If you look carefully, however, you'll notice the lack of any 'Jeep' badges; they're strictly 'Wagoneer.' The reason is that Jeep wants the Wagoneer to be its own luxury sub-brand. Premium LED lighting is standard on every trim, as are 20-inch wheels and up to 22-inch optional wheels. Seven exterior colors are on offer, including Diamond Black, Bright White, and Velvet Red (pictured here).
The overall exterior styling is very much inspired by the original Wagoneer. The must-have seven-slot grille returns and optional steel skid plates protect the front axle, transfer case, and fuel tank. Its wide stance indicates both elegance and an adventurous spirit. We also like the clean roofline and the character line that wraps entirely around to pay homage to the original. Out back there are LED taillights and a standard hands-free power liftgate.
Three trims levels are offered: Series I, II, and III. Only Series I cannot be equipped with a 4x4 setup. Within these trims, buyers can choose from seven different configurations, such as Series III Premium 4x2 and 4x4, and Series III Off-Road.
Jeep claims the Wagoneer offers best-in-class overall passenger volume, total volume, third-row headroom, and second and third-row legroom. Three rows of seats are standard and a pair of second-and third-row captain's chairs are optional.
Moving to the front, the one-piece instrument panel provides a clean and graceful design with a generous amount of aluminum accent trim. The start button is even surrounded by a knurl-patterned bezel while the HVAC vents have liquid chrome bezels. Leather upholstery, tri-zone automatic climate control, and 12-way power front seats with memory settings are standard on all trims.
Jeep equipped the Wagoneer with its latest Uconnect 5 infotainment system. Fully-optioned, the Wagoneer has 50 inches of digital display area that includes the standard 10.25-inch driver display and a 10.1-inch infotainment display. A second 10.25-inch touchscreen is located beneath the main screen. Even the front passenger can get an optional 10.25-inch touchscreen. Second-row occupants receive two 10.1-inch screens with HDMI inputs and available Amazon Fire TV for Auto. A 10-inch full-color head-up display for drivers is also offered, as are heated and ventilated seating, configurable ambient lighting, wireless charging, up to 11 USB ports, and a McIntosh premium sound system.
Just one engine is offered: the 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with 392 horsepower and 404 lb-ft of torque, plus a 48-volt e-Torque hybrid system for better fuel economy. An eight-speed automatic is the sole gearbox. Both 4x2 and 4x4 configurations are offered and there's up to 10,000 pounds of towing capability when properly equipped.
Three 4x4 systems are available based on chosen trim: Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II, and Quadra-Drive II, the latter featuring a rear electronic limited-slip differential. Buyers planning to do some off-roading can opt for the Quadra-Lift air suspension with up to 10-inches of ground clearance and Selec-Terrain traction management system.
With over 120 standard and available advanced safety features, buyers can rest assured they're in good hands. Among the options, there's a fully digital rearview mirror and the Surround View Camera that provides a 360-degree, bird's-eye view of the vehicle that's projected to the touchscreen. Automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, blind-spot monitoring, and Active Lane Management are all standard. Active Driving Assist, Hands-free Driving Assist, and Drowsy Driver Detection are just some of the additional options to select from.
The 2022 Jeep Wagoneer Series I 4x2 will carry a starting price of $57,995, not including the $2,000 destination fee. Moving up to the Series II 4x2 costs another $10,000 and the cheapest 4x4 model will set you back $70,995. The top trim Series III 4x4 begins at $75,995, with 4x2 costing $3,000 less.
The Wagoneer will face some stiff competition from proven SUVs, specifically the Ford Expedition, Lincoln Navigator, Cadillac Escalade, GMC Yukon and Yukon Denali, and the Infiniti QX80. It'll obviously matter how one equips their Wagoneer for direct pricing comparisons against these rivals, but there's literally a configuration for everyone willing to pay. That's exactly what Jeep aims to do: a broad Wagoneer lineup that can lure away buyers from multiple competitors. Of course, a fully-equipped Escalade exceeds $100,000. In that situation, there's the Grand Wagoneer.
All Wagoneer buyers receive exclusive client services with 24/7 customer support, a full tank of gas upon delivery, and complimentary maintenance. Preorders are now underway with a $500 deposit required. Deliveries will get underway this spring.