Jeep‘s reputation is built on the backs of hardworking, durable vehicles that double as daily commuters and off-roaders. But the brand is well aware of other aspects of the auto industry to tap into. The automaker has decided it’s time to become a player in the luxury SUV segment. It has revived the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer and set the latter up to compete with the Land Rover Range Rover and Cadillac Escalade.
The 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer debuted in 1963 and retired in 1991. Back then, the quintessential American SUV was famous for its boxy body and wood panels. Jeep Fandom claims one of the reasons the Grand Wagoneer remained popular was because the automaker resisted the urge to tweak it constantly. During the SUV’s nearly 30-year run, Jeep made few changes. The Grand Wagoneer’s consistency encouraged a strong sense of brand and model loyalty.
Finally, after 30 years, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are making a comeback. In fact, the brand-new 2022 Grand Wagoneer is slated to debut this summer.
One of the interesting things about the upcoming Grand Wagoneer is that, like the Wagoneer, it won’t bear the easily recognizable Jeep logo. That’s because the automaker is treating these models as a sub-brand.
Jeep is reintroducing Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer as a sub-brand to emphasize their upscale status as more modern, tech-laden, and sophisticated vehicles relative to the brand’s other offerings. The new SUVs don’t have Jeep badging and don’t need it. Instead, they scream “Wagoneer” or “Grand Wagoneer” in bold letters on the front, back, sides, and interior.
Jeep CEO Christian Meunier recently explained to MotorTrend the decision to use the words “Wagoneer” and “Grand Wagoneer” on the SUVs rather than the logo. He said the company believes the vehicles’ iconic looks don’t require an emblem because “the Grand Wagoneer name and design make it obviously Jeep.” It’s a trend many brands have adopted. Ford did the same with the Mustang and the new Bronco.
The Grand Wagoneer probably won’t be the vehicle you select for an off-road adventure, though. Meunier told MT: “We call it the premium extension of Jeep.” It boasts a 6.4-liter V8 engine, 10.1 inches of ground clearance, 20- or 22-inch aluminum wheels, independent front and rear suspension, seating for seven passengers, and seven entertainment screens.
Differentiating between the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer
As for telling a Jeep Wagoneer from a Grand Wagoneer, it might not seem easy with a passing glance. But your first clue is the grille. The Grand Wagoneer’s front end looks fancier, with more chrome accents than the Wagoneeer’s. And, of course, there’s the word “Wagoneer” or “Grand Wagoneer” emblazoned across the front, sides, and back.
Once you’ve sat inside the two vehicles, it’s easy to tell which is which. Though the Jeep Wagoneer’s interior is nice, it lacks the Grand Wagoneer’s obvious luxury vibe. The Grand Wagoneer has a few more entertainment screens, and each of the screens is larger than what you’d find in the Wagoneer. The 5.7-liter V8 engine that provides 392 hp and 404 lb-ft of torque in the Wagoneer isn’t quite as powerful as the Grand Wagoneer’s engine.
And though four-wheel drive is an optional feature with the Wagoneer, it comes standard on the Grand Wagoneer.
“The Wagoneer comes standard with an eight-passenger setup with a second-row bench seat and offers captain’s chairs as an option,” Car and Driver reports. “The Grand Wagoneer is the opposite and comes standard with the seven-passenger layout with the bench available as an option.
Deciding between the two SUVs
If you’re trying to determine whether to purchase a Wagoneer or a Grand Wagoneer, your decision will come down to your tastes and budget. The biggest advantages to purchasing a Wagoneer: It’s available now, so you wouldn’t have to wait until later this summer. It also has a marginally higher towing capacity, and its starting price is $59,995.
The advantages to purchasing a Grand Wagoneer: It’ll likely become a status symbol. It’s also a well-made SUV, and many luxuries that usually cost extra on other vehicles come standard on this model. However, the starting price is expected to be about $88,995.