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Jeep is one of the most celebrated names in the automotive world. However, luxury is one thing Jeep is not, but it seems the automaker seeks to change this reputation with the Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Of course, the Wagoneer name has been around for decades, but most people are familiar with the version that came just a few years ago. Now, it seems the more luxurious Grand Wagoneer is here to take aim at full-size luxury SUVs like the iconic Cadillac Escalade.

So, has the Jeep Grand Wagoneer been successful at taking ground from more established luxury SUVs? Well, to the dismay of those who want to keep the market balanced, the answer is yes.

The original Jeep Grand Wagoneer

The Jeep Grand Wagoneer name has been around for quite a while. However, the station wagon didn’t officially debut until 1884. Most classic models you’ll find from this year have a 5.9-liter engine with a maximum output of 140 hp and a torque output of 280 lb-ft. However, there is a more efficient version that uses a 4.2-liter straight-six engine.

Unfortunately, Jeep discontinued the Jeep Grand Wagoneer after the 1991 model year. The reason wasn’t low sales, as this was a popular vehicle for the upper class. The main reason the automaker stopped making the classic Jeep Grand Wagoneer was because the safety regulations of the time were changing. It just made more financial sense to replace the Grand Wagoneer instead of trying to alter it.

The obnoxious opulence of Jeep’s luxury SUV

The 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer is one of the most excessive SUVs on the market. This makes sense as it seems the automaker wants to overtake options such as the Escalade. There are two powertrains for the SUV. The first is a 6.4-liter V8 engine that makes 471 hp and has a torque of 455 lb-ft. It uses an eight-speed automatic transmission and can tow up to 9,850 pounds.

The other powertrain for the Grand Wagoneer is a turbocharged 3.0-liter inline-six engine with a maximum output of 510 hp and a torque of 500 lb-ft. This is a four-wheel drive SUV. Performance is one of the biggest strengths of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, and it’s one of the ways it truly competes with some more established full-size rivals.

One problem with the rebooted Jeep Grand Wagoneer is that the automaker is trying too hard to make luxury happen. Because of this, some of the features are a bit obnoxious and don’t really advance the vehicle in a meaningful way. The biggest example of this would be its interior technology. Sure, it’s opulent, but options like the Cadillac Escalade have substance.

Everyone loves touchscreens in a vehicle. Typically, the bigger, the better. For the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, the way they designed it just doesn’t work. There are 75 inches of total display area throughout the first two rows. The problem is that much of it isn’t connected, and other parts aren’t needed. For example, there is an available 10.25-passenger display, but the main display(s) are perfectly within reach. Secondly, there is a separate display to adjust the climate right below the main infotainment screen. This use of interior technology seems excessive.

Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer sales

The Grand Wagoneer and the less luxurious Wagoneer models are popular for full-size vehicles. Of course, their respective sales figures pale compared to smaller options, but these numbers show real promise. According to GoodCarBadCar, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer sold about 2,676 units in its first year on the market. This is even though it didn’t go on sale until the end of the year. However, the Jeep Grand Wagoneer has sold over 8,419 units in 2023.

As for the Wagoneer, it has sold over 20,884 units, which makes sense because it’s less expensive. This sales figure is less than the previous year, but it should be noted that the current data ends in October of this year. Still, more people bought the Jeep Wagoneer in 2022 than this year. Of course, sales go up and down, so this may not be a worry for Jeep.

Rival sales numbers in the full-size luxury SUV class

The Jeep Grand Wagoneer is a significant success in the full-size luxury SUV market. However, the Cadillac Escalade is still the royalty in this segment. So far, in 2023, the Cadillac Escalade has sold about 18,354 units. This is quite impressive for a nameplate that’s been around as long as the Escalade. However, it is beating the Lincoln Navigator and the Infiniti QX80. In fact, both the Wagoneer and the more luxurious model beat the Lincoln and the Infiniti SUVs.

Overall, there’s much for buyers to be excited about regarding the Jeep Grand Wagoneer. The problem is that it seems to be too much. This tactic seems to be working as both models have found success, but the question is how long will buyers be excited about obnoxious opulence. At some point, the substance of this full-size SUV will need to outweigh the frills.


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