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2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer is a $100,000 Escalade Hunter

Grand Wagoneer aims squarely at the Escalade; top trim cracks the six-figure barrier.

Today Jeep will formally reveal the 2022 Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, bringing back a classic nameplate for the first time this century. The goal is no less than breaking up General Motors’ hegemony in the full-size three-row SUV segment, with a focus on pure American craftsmanship.

Let’s sort out the name right away. This isn’t a Cherokee-and-Grand-Cherokee situation, which are two very different vehicles. Instead, those five letters push the Wagoneer into the headier luxury SUV space, aligning it closer to the Escalade than the Chevy and GM equivalents. You can read about the standard Wagoneer here.

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Whether Grand or not, the new Wagoneer is certainly an imposing rig. Both models measure 214.7 inches (5,453 mm) nose to tail, making them a few inches longer than the Tahoe/Yukon/Escalade, but up to a foot shorter than the long-wheelbase Suburban/Yukon XL/Escalade ESV. Speaking of, the Jeep twins feature a 123.0-inch wheelbase. Width is also up slightly over the relatively smaller GM models.

You won’t mistake these big rigs as anything other than Jeeps. Last year’s Grand Wagoneer concept gave us a pretty clear look at the finished product. The production GW features a blinged-out seven-slot grille with laser-etched rings, but ditches the LED unibrow for a cleaner, statelier headlight treatment. The name sits slightly proud of a tiny grille opening, and higher trims feature badging trimmed in what Jeep calls copperchino (bronze). A contrasting black roof and pillars is standard, as well as generous helpings of chrome to line the windows. Later in the summer, an Obsidian package will offer stealthier trim. Standard wheels are 20-inch items, with 22s available.

SEE ALSO: 2021 Cadillac Escalade Review: Ghost Protocol

Inside, the standard setup in the Grand Wagoneer involves second-row captain’s chairs; a bench is optional. Everything comes trimmed in Nappa leather, but if that’s not fancy enough for your tastes, you can get quilted Palermo goodness. Nearly everything you can look at is either former cow or tree: in the latter’s case, that’s pretty satin-finish American walnut. The dash can be leather-wrapped, and so can the starter button, complete with French stitching. The front seats are 24-way power adjustable, and the first two rows benefit from heated and ventilated seats. It’s an impressive-looking space, and Jeep’s Jim Morrison is understandably proud of it. In a pre-release talk, he said it wasn’t just better than the rest of the class, but “anything in the marketplace.”

Jeep says the Wagoneer twins offer best-in-class second- and third-row head and leg room. With all seats up, they also offer the most cargo storage out back, at 27.4 cubic feet. Every Wagoneer features the powered Tip n’ Slide second-row seating system, and the third row can fold flat for extra storage.

You won’t find an equivalent to the Escalade’s sprawling 38-inch screen within the Grand Cherokee. Instead, Jeep says there’s up to 75 inches of digital real estate here, including the second-row entertainment screens. The Wagoneer is the first Stellantis product to feature Amazon Fire TV integration, which will allow every applicable screen to watch a different TV show. Of course, Uconnect 5 is standard, with the 12.0-inch screen featuring a customizable home screen, wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, over-the-air updates, and a 4G LTE wi-fi hotspot capable of connecting eight devices. A wireless charging pad is available, and up to 11 USB ports if you’d rather go old-school. An additional 10.25-inch screen is available for the front passenger.

Jeep partnered with McIntosh for the Grand Wagoneer’s audio system. A 19 speaker setup is standard, but audiophiles will want to move up to the 23-speaker MX1375 system.

What lies beneath

The Wagoneer twins use a body-on-frame chassis distantly related to the Ram 1500, with independent suspension at all four corners. The Grand comes exclusively with the 6.4-liter Hemi V8, producing 471 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque, hooked up to an eight-speed automatic transmission. Jeep’s Quadra-Drive II four-wheel drive system is standard, complete with electronic rear limited-slip differential. That’s not to be confused with Quadra-Lift, the standard air-suspension system, capable of providing 10 inches of ground clearance, or lowering the Grand Wagoneer for improved high-speed fuel efficiency. Select-Terrain includes five drive modes: Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow, and Sand/Mud.

Jeep quotes a 25-degree approach angle, 22-degree breakover, and 24-degree departure angle.The Grand Wagoneer can also ford up to two feet of water. You won’t find a Trail Rated badge on any trim, though: Jeep says that mostly comes down to the sheer size of the rig.

The more luxurious of the Wagoneer siblings sees a slight dip in its towing capacity: it maxes out at 9,850 lb, or 150 lb less than the regular Wagoneer.

Pricing and availability

The regular Wagoneer may start for a Big Mac combo less than $60,000, but you’ll have to cough up a lot more for the Grand experience. The lineup begins with the Series I, with a sticker price of $88,995 including $2,000 in destination. The Series II rings in at $95,995, and the Series III goes for $105,995. In the summer, the afore-mentioned Obsidian will slot between the latter two, at $100,995. Grand Wagoneer will begin arriving in dealerships in the second half of the year.

Discuss this story at our Jeep Grand Wagoneer Forum.

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