BEHIND THE WHEEL: Big Jeep, lots of power and not like the Wagoneer of old – the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
This is one of the big jeeps. A throwback, a reminder. It’s the one that can carry you, your immediate family, and the in-laws. And you can tow all the luggage too - up to a maximum of 10,000 pounds while you are at it.
Who could ask for more?
The 2022 Grand Wagoneer matches passenger experience to primo towing capability with one big smile of satisfaction. In the case of an apocalypse, you have a way out with this monster’s off-road capability plan.
Comparing the likeness of this Jeep Grand Wagoneer’s competition is an interesting conundrum. The list of competitors includes some major luxury brands. Then you have the Jeep – ew to the class but it’s like trying to compare a big strong cowboy to a handsome aristocrat. The Lincoln Navigator and the Cadillac Escalade are among the competitors beside the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer. Each have their own high marks, however, does an elegant dynamic or a higher-end technology really alter the fact that a Jeep – even at this size – is kind of hard to beat. There is also the BMW X7, Lexus LX 600 and Mercedes-Benz GLS, luxury yes, off roading, probably not.
This three-row luxury SUV can take as many as eight passengers. You can pick from one of the four trims including the Series 1, Series II, Obsidian and Series III. All arrive with 20-inch alloy wheels, adaptive air suspension, a hands-free liftgate, retractable running boards, a tow hitch, a panoramic sunroof, leather interior, heated and air-conditioned front seats with massage, a heated and adjustable steering wheel and in the back the second-row captain’s chairs are heated and in a 60/40-split configuration and the last row can be altered for more space if needed.
On the Series I take note of the additional driver assistance features. If you opt for the Flexible Seating package there is no-charge and replaces the second-row captain’s chairs with a more work-truck style vibe. There is also the power-adjustable 40/20/40-split bench seats that recline.
The optional Convenience Group adds adjustable roof rail crossbars, a rear-seat camera, an infrared night vision camera with pedestrian and animal detection and even traffic sign recognition. There is also a Rear Seat Entertainment Group package with dual screens, and USB video port.
If you plan to tow a good deal the Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow package is for you with upgraded engine cooling, trailer brake control and a few stand-alone features like 22-inch wheels and a front passenger interactive display.
The Series II upgrades to 22-inch wheels, improved leather, a suede headliner, a digital rearview mirror an optional Premium Group II package with adjustable roof rail crossbars, color-tinted windows, air-conditioned second-row seats and the Convenience Group is available for the Series II.
The Series III is luxury with the Convenience and Premium Group II packages teaming up on this trim and add quilted leather upholstery. For an add-on there is the Rear Seat Entertainment Group.
And finally, the Obsidian trim (the one I drove for the week) is much like the Series II, but it stands with a blacked-out roof and wheels and piano-black accents. Add to that adjustable roof rail crossbars, a front console cooling box, and the 23-speaker McIntosh sound system and the Obsidian could be what you are need.
UNDER THE HOOD
No matter the trim, the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer is equipped with a 6.4-liter V8 engine. This, in an eight-speed automatic transmission with 471 horsepower and 455 pound feet of torque. There is also the option for a turbocharged inline six-cylinder later in the year with 510 horsepower and 500 pound feet of torque. Always four-wheel drive on this one as well as low-range gearing.
The 2022 Jeep Wagoneer has all the standard safety features. The Series 1 has safety additions that include the head-up display, forward collision warning if a collision is imminent and, in some cases, this will cause the vehicle to apply the brakes with now human intervention. There is also the blind-spot monitor with rear cross-traffic alert, lane keeping assist, adaptive cruise control, and a 360-degree surround view and automated parking helper.
The Series II adds a few extra safety functions that highlight driver attention and warnings when danger is recognized.
INTERIOR AND EXTERIOR HIGHLIGHTS
Interior and exterior are both impressive on this Jeep and I love the customizable ambient cabin lighting, what a mood that can set. The 12-inch infotainment touchscreen and integrated navigation system are good features and you an expect Apple CarPlay and Android Auto along with a wireless charging pad. For good measure the Jeep folks have even added a 115-volt household-style power outlet. Head room in the back rows is sufficient and the second-row seats tilt and slide with just a button to allow passengers easy in and out.
The touch controls could still use an overhaul and can be frustrating to use at times as can be the retracting touch screen with techno ports hidden behind. However, there are a number of USB power ports onboard the Wagoneer and even a hidden wireless charging pad. There is 27.4 cubic feet of space behind the third row, but the maximum space gets up to 70.9 cubic feet when the third row is folded or 116.7 cubic feet when all the seats are folded down.
ALONG FOR THE RIDE
Sure, a Jeep of any kind might be a bit rougher ride, for me that always means a more secure ride on the road. The fuel efficiency is a disappointment as compared to the competition, but that has never been a high point for Jeep. After all, this one is the Wagoneer. Speaking of the name “Grand Wagoneer” remember the good ‘ol days – did you know last time the Wagoneer moniker was so used was in 1991. Of course, the “name” Grand Wagoneer is really all you will find that can be compared to the rugged version from earlier years. The 2022 is all about luxury think wood and aluminum trim, in some cases diamond-quilted leather upholstery, up to 24-way adjustable seats and even massage functions.
One for thing is for certain, the Grand Wagoneer has the get up and go that means you aren’t going to be left behind even when towing and hauling people around. For Jeep junkies who keep trading up, this one will cost you depending on how high you want to go. Remember though, Jeep is tough and will take you around the crowd if needed - whereas the competition might not have what it takes for the challenge of an offroad adventure.
Should You Need to Know: One highlight of the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer is the brand new, and quite large three row seats in this SUV.
Miles: The 2022 Grand Wagoneer came in at 15 miles per gallon combined with 13 in the city and 18 on the highway.
Cost: This Jeep starts at around $87,995 to $107,995, however it can go higher because the Obsidian trim I drove had a price tag of $112,475.
Rita Cook is a member of Women’s World Car of the Year and Texas Motor Press. She has published 10 books, and is the Editor-in-Chief of The Insider Mag as well as covering lifestyle, car, travel, crime, and the political beat for an array of outlets. You can follow her at @ritatheroguewarrior on instagram and @ritacook13 on twitter.