Chances are, we'll only see the new full-size SUV next year.
The last few weeks have been an extreme exercise in patience, as millions of people wait out lockdowns at home. It's been much of the same for automotive enthusiasts, as some of the most anticipated vehicle reveals/launches have had to be pushed back. One of those is the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, which will mark the return of the long-running Wagoneer nameplate, which was last in production in the early 1990s.
Along with the Grand Wagoneer, the all-new Grand Cherokee was to be unveiled this year, too. Now, according to Automotive News, we'll have to wait even longer to see both, as Fiat Chrysler Automobile (FCA) has delayed production of the SUVs by three months. Of course, this is as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.
Due to the delay, the SUVs are only anticipated to arrive on the market in 2021. While the new Grand Cherokee is an exciting prospect, the larger Grand Wagoneer will finally allow Jeep to take on other three-row SUVs like the Toyota Land Cruiser, Ford Expedition, and the Land Rover Discovery, not only increasing seating capacity to seven or possibly eight but providing the off-road ability expected of a large Jeep. The Grand Wagoneer is also expected to use a body-on-frame construction, unlike the unibody Grand Cherokee, a move that should please loyalists.
Two wheelbase options will be offered, with the regular version dubbed the Wagoneer and the long-wheelbase variant called the Grand Wagoneer - it's the latter that should provide true three-row passenger space.
The all-new Grand Cherokee will replace the much-loved but aging current version that has been on sale for over a decade. The new model will introduce a raft of changes to the model line, with the most exciting news being that it could be built on the same platform as the Alfa Romeo Stelvio; this is excellent news since the Stelvio is one of the most enjoyable SUVs to drive. Other changes include a more spacious cabin with a lengthened wheelbase, the fitment of the latest Uconnect infotainment system, and the expected availability of a hybrid option.
With FCA intending to resume US operations gradually starting on May 4, while devising measures to protect employees who return to work, it's not guaranteed that this is the last production delay for these new SUVs. Whenever they do arrive, we expect them to be well worth the wait.