Close to 60 years since the original was launched and 30 years since the last one was sold, the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are finally back. As expected, the production SUVs look nearly identical inside and out to the concept. Most of the changes made for the production version are minor, save for what’s under the hood, and it should make it quite competitive with other full-size SUVs.
Visually, the thick, body-color pillars and wide, boxy shape are exactly what we saw a few months ago. The grille and headlights look a tad taller, and the taillights aren’t as wide. And of course, the real wood accents in the lights and roof rails are gone. But if you liked what you saw before, you should like this. Between the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, there are some minor design differences. The Grand Wagoneer gets a black roof and a slightly taller grille with the Wagoneer lettering directly attached. The regular Wagoneer has a body-color roof and a shorter grille with the lettering mounted to the hood. Around the back, the taillight designs are slightly different, though both come standard with LED lighting all around. Each model also is available with 20- or 22-inch wheels, though the Grand Wagoneer gets unique designs and finishes.
There’s a lot of Wagoneer to go around, too. It’s about 4 inches longer than a Chevy Tahoe or Ford Expedition, or their more luxurious Cadillac, GMC and Lincoln counterparts (though still quite a bit shorter than their extended-length versions). The big Jeep’s extra size gives it quite a bit more cargo space overall than the Ford, and the 27.4 cubic feet of space behind the third row tops the Tahoe. The Wagoneer also boasts up to 10,000 pounds of towing capacity, more than any of those other American full-sizers offer.
The interior is also virtually unchanged. The same bi-level dashboard, two-spoke steering wheel and model dash lettering make the transition. In the regular Wagoneer, you get a 10.25-inch instrument display, a 10.1-inch infotainment screen, and leather-trimmed seats and steering wheel. Upgrading to the Grand Wagoneer adds a 12.3-inch instrument panel and a 12-inch infotainment screen. Below that is a 10.25-inch touchscreen that controls climate functions. In addition to those extra screens, the Grand Wagoneer gets real aluminum, walnut wood and more leather-wrapped dash components. Available as an option are a 10.25-inch passenger-side screen that can access media and navigation, plus an HDMI-in port for watching movies or shows. Rear-seat passengers aren’t left out, either, with available 10.1-inch media screens and another 10.25-inch climate screen when the vehicle is equipped with four-zone climate control. And of course, the slick McIntosh audio system is available on both Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. The fancy technology continues with an available 10-inch color head-up display, night vision camera, automated parking and even a new hands-free driving assist, which will be available a bit later into the Wagoneer launch.
While the production Wagoneer models are faithful to the concept everywhere you’ll look, they’ve lost the plug-in hybrid powertrain. Instead, they launch with a choice of V8. The Wagoneer gets a 5.7-liter V8 with the eTorque 48-volt starter-generator motor similar to the Ram 1500’s. It makes 392 horsepower and 404 pound-feet of torque. The Grand Wagoneer upgrades to a 6.4-liter V8, but without the eTorque motor. That engine makes 471 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque. Both are coupled to an eight-speed automatic. That’s a lot of power to be sure, but it needs every horse it can muster: the Wagoneer’s curb weight starts at 5,960 pounds with the Grand Wagoneer Series III topping things off at 6,420 pounds. For comparison, the V8-powered Escalade starts at 5,635 pounds; the Lincoln Navigator at 5,655.
Rear-wheel drive is standard on the Wagoneer, and there are three different four-wheel-drive systems available. The basic version is Quadra-Trac I, an automatic system with a single-speed transfer case. Above that are Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II that add a low-range gear to the transfer case for up to a 48:1 crawl ratio. The latter gets a rear electronically-controlled mechanical limited-slip differential, whereas the others make do with a plain mechanical limited-slip diff. The two-speed transfer case systems also get Selec-Drive drive modes that adjust powertrain, braking, traction control and suspension settings.