First and foremost, you must remember that what you are looking at is a concept vehicle. This is not the full-fat production version of what is anticipated to be the 2022 Grand Wagoneer, no matter how rabid many seem to be over it. When the name of the SUV game is bigger, better, and more plush, Jeep hasn’t really been present. At least, not since 1991, when the last FSJ-based Grand Wagoneer was produced. Since then, the ZJ Grand Cherokee tried and more or less succeeded in holding down the fort as the semi-opulent Jeep, but it didn’t have the size, and it didn’t have quite the presence that buyers of the Range Rover and the G-wagen were looking for. And I’m not 100% sure if the Grand Wagoneer is going to compete with either of those vehicles, but more on that in a minute.
First, what it is: the Grand Wagoneer Concept is at least 8/10ths of what the 2022 vehicle will be, so outside of minor detailing changes, we suspect that this will be the face of the full-size, body-on-frame three-row SUV that we’ve been teased about for years. The underpinnings are directly from the Ram half-ton line, and we know that plug-in hybrid technology is present, as Jeep is currently working on touting their move to being…and I quote…”the leader in “green” eco-friendly premium technology”. Sadly, that’s about as much detail as we get on the Grand Wagoneer’s hard bits.
In case you were hoping for a bit of the old Grand Wagoneer, or even the older Wagoneer/Cherokee SJ lineage, we think we have to abandon pretense here. This isn’t a Trail-Rated rig. This is an arcade on wheels. Among the features that are touted in the press release, you have the passenger screen in the dashboard, to match the full digital gauge cluster, the headlights that are “cradled by genuine teak wood” (their words, not mine), all of the LED light treatments, the custom font for the badges, and so on and so forth. This isn’t a Jeep. This is a halo vehicle, the moneymaker that is going to ride the Jeep name to the bank.
You will note that I have not used the word “Jeep” to describe this vehicle. That’s because Grand Wagoneer is an extension of the Jeep family, an upmarket push for the company, and not a model name for yet another Jeep SUV. If there is one bit of hope in the distance, it’s that the Grand Wagoneer is one of two models coming. The other, simply called Wagoneer, might still have hope. Some bits from the Ram Rebel, a mild height increase, and an emphasis on towing and maybe some off-road chops might salvage this operation. Until then, meet the newest exercise in overindulgence.