Stellantis is entering the full-size, luxury SUV market in a big way. The automaker built a high-tech SUV on the Ram 1500 chassis and dusted off the beloved Jeep Grand Wagoneer nameplate. The resulting Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer leads their class in towing capacity, passenger volume, and cargo volume. And while the Grand Wagoneer doesn’t have the timeless style of more retro vehicles such as the Jeep Wrangler and Dodge Challenger, certain configurations look decidedly more retro.
The vintage new Grand Wagoneer
To maximize cargo space and passenger space, the engineers at Stellantis had to design a Wagoneer without an especially distinct shape. Much of the new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer’s retro styling is only surface deep. This includes its classic Jeep grille, rear fascia, and angled rear windows.
If you look at the iconic, SJ-generation Jeep Wagoneer and the new Wagoneer side-by-side, you can see the family resemblance. That said, the latest Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer is a large, modern SUV. Vintage touches include its seven-segment front grille, a Jeep signature. At the other end of the SUV, its rear taillights and license plate surround have a decidedly timeless style. Finally, its angled rear windows make it look distinct, and go against the grain of other modern SUVs.
In addition, the Grand Wagoneer’s two-tone style is straight out of the golden era of motoring. Every Grand Wagoneer comes with a black roof and roof pillars, regardless of exterior color.
The most retro Grand Wagoneer configuration
You can order a very modern-looking Jeep Grand Wagoneer, such as the blacked-out “Obsidian” edition. But you can also order a more retro configuration.
A brighter, art deco color, such as Velvet Red grants the Grand Wagoneer a more timeless look. Midnight Sky is a dark navy blue that also harkens back to past Wagoneers. But I believe the most retro color is the flat gray/blue named River Rock.
Some trim levels of the Grand Wagoneer are also available on 22″ wheels with machined aluminum noise pockets. These rims are reminiscent of the original Wagoneer’s distinct “turbine” style rims.
Finally, the Grand Wagoneer offers several interior themes. You can order its quilted Palermo leather in Global Black which is relatively modern and distinct. The slightly more retro option is Tupolo tan. But for a truly vintage look, go with blue Agave. This distinct offering harkens back to the blue vinyl and blue velvet interiors popular in decades past. A Blue Agave interior also perfectly compliments a River Rock exterior.
Finally, to keep your Grand Wagoneer looking as timeless as possible, stick with the American Walnut open-pore wood trim; don’t bother upgrading to the embossed, satin-finish metal interior trim.
Retro aftermarket accessories can transform the new Grand Wagoneer
One of the most distinct elements of the 1963-1991 Jeep Wagoneer was its vinyl, wood-grain trim. Even in the 1960s, this wood trim was relatively unique. It gave the Wagoneer and Cherokee Wagoneer Limited a personality both woodsy and timelessly distinguished.
Wagoneer fans were disappointed to find out that Stellantis would not be offering any wood-grain options on its reincarnated Jeep Grand Wagoneer. Luckily, the aftermarket industry has risen to the challenge.
Wagonmaster is an aftermarket parts supplier that specializes in classic Jeep Wagoneers. As soon as Stellantis launched the new Wagoneer, the team at Wagonmaster bought one. They then designed aftermarket vinyl, wood-grain paneling for the sides and rear of the new Wagoneer. They used the same grain from their reproduction vintage Wagoneer panels, but designed an all-new shape to accentuate the lines of the new SUV.
The folks at Wagonmaster paid attention to every detail. The aftermarket woodgrain kit has a grain and borders identical to the original Wagoneer’s. It even includes an insert for the license plate recess, similar to what the classic Wagoneer had. Install a Wagonmaster kit and find a chrome luggage rack, and your 2023 Grand Wagoneer will be a blast from the past.
Wagonmaster is selling its wood grain kit to Wagoneer owners, as well as to dealerships. Some dealerships actually install the kits so they can offer buyers wood-paneled versions of the groovy new Grand Wagoneer.
See an extended review of the Grand Wagoneer in the video below: