2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer First Drive Review: The Six-Figure Jeep Has Landed

Kyle Patrick
by Kyle Patrick


Engine: 6.4L V8
Output: 471 hp, 455 lb-ft
Transmission: 8AT, AWD
US fuel economy (MPG): 13/18/15
CAN fuel economy (L/100KM): 18.6/12.8/16.0
Starting Price (USD): $88,995 (inc. dest.)
As-Tested Price (USD): $110,575 (inc. dest.)
Starting Price (CAD): $103,590 (inc. dest.)
As-Tested Price (CAD): $130,270 (inc. dest.)

Nothing quite prepares me for the sheer size of the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer.

The Grand Wagoneer might as well be a shipping container, or a mountain. It dwarfs every other car parked nearby.

Get a Quote on a New Jeep Grand Wagoneer

For its long-overdue riposte to the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade, Jeep has revived an iconic name from its past. The American brand has stuffed this new rig to the rafters with tech, as it enters a much spendier part of the market than it typically plays in. Has Jeep built a vehicle worthy of a six-figure asking price? It’s time to find out.

What’s new?

While the name isn’t new, the platform is—to Jeep, anyway. Underpinning the reborn Grand Wagoneer is architecture closely related to the current Ram 1500. Jeep has remixed the setup for SUV duty though, most notably at the rear. Here, the driveline goes through the chassis rails, to ensure the floor stays flat over the rear axle. The result is more interior space for the way-back, which Jeep says is best-in-class.

Why does this class matter, to the point that Jeep is taking a two-pronged approach with both this and the regular Wagoneer? According to the company’s own research, full-size utility sales figures ballooned by 27 percent in the US between 2015 and 2019. It was an even sharper climb in Canada, at 65 percent. In the Grand Wagoneer’s case, five of its rivals account for over 80 percent of the luxury pie on either side of the border. It’s a big, lucrative market.

The Grand Wagoneer is certainly big, too; it’s too early to tell about that other bit. The exterior design is imposing, and crucially, looks like it carries a six-figure asking price. But as the old cheer goes, it ain’t got no alibi. There’s so much visual heft, particularly around the back half of the body, that even the 22-inch wheels look like they’re drowning under it all. The fridge-like shape of the tailgate doesn’t help, either.

That all said, the Grand Wagoneer is sort of the opposite of the latest BMW 4 Series; as you get closer, there are more details you can appreciate. The grille uses a combination of laser-etching and paint to give it a wonderful three-dimensionality, and the ice-cube shape in the headlights is mirrored in the fog- and taillights. The bronze bevel on the lettering and badges is classy touch, too.

I fully acknowledge that tastes are subjective of course—and I’m far from the target audience, anyway.

An interior worth the price of admission

Any reservations I may have about the exterior are negated once I get inside the Grand Wagoneer. Climbing up on the sizeable, powered side steps, the interior that greets me is far beyond anything I’ve ever witnessed in any Jeep product—or anything across the Stellantis empire, really.

SEE ALSO: 2021 Jeep Wrangler 4xe Review: First Drive

There’s leather everywhere, a rich tan that Jeep calls Tupelo, after the rare honey. (The photos here are of a different unit.) Even in this pre-production model, the leather is gorgeous, and the stitch work is excellent. Small details, like matching seatbelts and stitching, elevate the experience further. What isn’t leather is either Alcantara, chrome, or open-pore wood. Jeep will even sell you a blue-leather interior option, which gives the whole cabin a nautical vibe.

In the middle of the dashboard, two bronze-accented air vents flank a 12.0-inch central infotainment screen—one of up to seven available interior screens.

With the gargantuan exterior dimensions, of course there’s a ton of room inside Jeep’s range-topper. The company says the Grand Wagoneer has class top honors for passenger volume, second- and third-row leg room (42.7 and 36.6 inches / 1085 and 930 mm), and third row head room (39.0 inches / 990 mm). With the enormous panoramic sunroof and mega-comfy captain’s chairs, the first and second rows are sublime for grown-ups. I’m surprised at the lack of power adjustments for the middle row, however. Even the third row is totally adult-friendly. There are plenty of deep storage pockets in the car, but the one that takes the cake is the chilled center console storage. It’s so cold there’s actual frost forming in it.

SEE ALSO: 2020 Mercedes-Benz GLS 580 Review: Wafting Wunderkind

Tech time

As mentioned above, there is a lot of screen real estate inside the Grand Wagoneer. Four of the seven—yes, seven—screens are standard, including the central item, the instrument panel, and the second-row climate controls. There’s also a dedicated climate screen down low in the front center console, the same 10.25-inch size as the second-row item. If for some reason you’ve had enough massaged buns for the day, this screen can fold up and away, revealing the wireless phone charger behind it.

There’s another (optional) screen in front of the passenger, like we’ve seen on the Porsche Taycan. From the driver’s seat, it’s practically invisible, but whoever is riding shotgun has access to a whole range of actions. They can search for restaurants, and then fling the resulting directions towards the central infotainment screen. From there, the driver can choose to preview or set the new route. The front passenger can also control the media for the (optional) two second-row screens. If someone’s getting rowdy back there, the passenger can also activate FamCam, though only the central screen lets you pinch and zoom.

Why bother when there’s a central screen? The passenger and both middle-seaters can listen/watch/play completely different sources from each other.

The Grand Wagoneer’s infotainment system runs Uconnect 5. It’s an excellent system, though new GW owners will want to seriously sit down and learn the myriad apps that come with it. One they shouldn’t miss is the McIntosh app, which shows the same real-time levels as the brand’s pricey home systems. The 23-speaker sound system is epic, elevating Bach, Daft Punk, and everything in between with its crispness and power. Freelance photog Harry Zhou plays Yosi Horikawa’s “Bubbles” and it really sounded like someone had just dropped a jar of marbles across the dashboard.

On top of all that, Jeep has also fitted this tester with night vision, as well as a large head-up display (HUD).

SEE ALSO: 2021 Cadillac Escalade Review: Ghost Protocol

Going the distance

All that leather, wood, and powered-all-the-things adds up. In top-shelf Series III trim, the Grand Wagoneer doesn’t just tip the scales, it crushes them, weighing in at 6,420 pounds (2,912 kilograms). This might be a body-on-frame design, but Grand Wagoneer features a thoroughly modern air suspension as standard to keep everything in check, with double wishbones up front and an independent, multi-link setup out back.

On the early morning drive out of downtown Toronto to scenic Niagara-on-the-Lake, the Grand Wagoneer earns early points for a well-damped, comfortable ride. Tire noise becomes quite apparent once on the highway however, those big 22s thwapping their way over expansion joints and any minor surface imperfections. There’s a fair amount of wind noise from the chunky side mirrors too, but nothing excessive for something this size and shape. Mid-corner bumps upset the rear suspension, which has more vertical movement than I’d like. Luckily, the steering is light and consistent. I’d prefer more bite from the early portion of the brake pedal’s travel, too, especially if towing were involved.

The only engine available in the Grand Wagoneer is the larger 6.4-liter V8. With 471 horsepower and 455 pound-feet, it certainly isn’t wanting for power, even if that curb weight blunts its performance. The eight-pot is quiet too, only really making itself known when the eight-speed auto holds a gear for passes.

What’s it like off-road? I couldn’t tell you: the worst the GW handled during our time together were some loose-gravel roads. There’s no Trail Rated badge anywhere on its acres of body work, but it does feature a two-speed transfer case. There are multiple drive modes and the air suspension can be adjusted from the center console. Fuel economy is pretty terrible, at just 15 mpg combined (16.0 L/100 km). That’s the biggest miss in my eyes: Stellantis previewed the GW with a PHEV setup, and every one of its competitors offer a more fuel efficient drivetrain as an option.

Grand Wagoneers are tow-rated up to 9,850 lb (4,468 kg) if properly equipped, just slightly less than the even 10,000 lb (4,536 kg) of the Wagoneer.

Final thoughts: 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer First Drive Review

The 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer is an important move for Jeep. With brand good will riding high, and the full-size SUV market booming, it’d be silly not to make the Wagoneer twins.

Good news first: from within its vast interior, the Grand Wagoneer is a properly premium product. The workmanship, the materials used, even the smell; this is every inch the Escalade alternative. It can stand up to the German giants from Mercedes and BMW, too.

It’s not a home run, however. When you’re not cocooned within it, the Grand Wagoneer can be … erm, challenging to look at. The ride is inconsistent. Its V8 engine is exceptionally poor at the pumps, as well.

Some will balk at the $88,995 ($103,590 CAD) starting price, but that’s right on target for the class. Even this nearly-loaded one feels worth its substantial six-figure sticker. The bigger hurdle is getting would-be Merc GLS buyers to even consider heading into the proletariat Jeep dealer to look at a Grand Wagoneer. Once they do, they’ll find a beautifully-finished, uniquely American take on the big luxury SUV.

Discuss this story at our Jeep Grand Wagoneer Forum.

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  • Beautiful interior
  • Loads of intuitive tech, sweet McIntosh sounds
  • Big land yacht ride


  • The size (and shape) of a shipping container
  • Dreadful fuel economy
  • Doesn't like mid-corner bumps
Kyle Patrick
Kyle Patrick

Kyle began his automotive obsession before he even started school, courtesy of a remote control Porsche and various LEGO sets. He later studied advertising and graphic design at Humber College, which led him to writing about cars (both real and digital). He is now a proud member of the Automobile Journalists Association of Canada (AJAC), where he was the Journalist of the Year runner-up for 2021.

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