Having established itself as the pre-eminent SUV maker alongside Land Rover, Jeep is now set on irritating its competitor in the luxury segment with the new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. The classic nameplate is being reintroduced as a separate sub-brand for upmarket vehicles, in a similar fashion to Range Rover.

Occupying a position above the already massive Grand Cherokee L, the Wagoneer models share the same imposing, upright body, with the pillars painted in body colour instead of the usual black to add a strong structural aesthetic. They also feature the same general design, sporting slim head- and taillights, the trademark seven-slot grille, squared-off wheel arches and a simple wraparound shoulder line.

But there are a few differences between the two. The Grand Wagoneer has by far the more intricate front end, with paint-over-chrome laser-etched grille rings and chrome grille “dashes”. And while the Wagoneer has its nameplate on the bonnet, the Grand Wagoneer integrates its badging on the top grille surface. Series III models even get raised aluminium lettering with copper accents.

Elsewhere, the Grand Wagoneer sets itself apart with a separate downturned centre air intake, body-coloured wheel arch mouldings, additional chrome trim and a black roof, plus premium LED lighting with gloss black internals, sequential indicators and a “welcome” lighting sequence. Depending on the variant, the car also comes with 20- or 22-inch wheels as standard, whereas all Wagoneers get 20-inch rollers (22s optional).

The interiors are also largely similar, with both models receiving a wing-shaped dashboard, wide centre console, rotary aluminium gear selector and two-spoke steering wheel with a bolstered bottom handgrip. Again, the difference is in the details – while the Wagoneer gets Nappa leather upholstery, the Grand Wagoneer Series II and III come with Palermo quilted leather and a leather-wrapped dash and door cards.

The Grand Wagoneer is also fitted with a two-piece dashboard, a leather-wrapped starter button bezel and Satin American Walnut trim with an aluminium “Grand Wagoneer” inlay – taking inspiration from the exterior wood panelling of the original Wagoneer. Its 24-way power-adjustable front seats are also an upgrade over the 12-way pews of the standard model, with memory and massage functions. Options include heated and ventilated seats, a heated steering wheel, steering column memory and even adjustable pedals.

Jeep is promising plenty of space for all passengers, with room for eight occupants as standard and optional second-row captain’s chairs that are standard on the Grand Wagoneer. The company is claiming best-in-class overall interior volume, second- and third-row head- and legroom and boot space behind the third row. There’s also a second-row Tip ‘n Slide power release function for easy access to the reclinable third row.

You’ll find plenty of tech on offer with these two, as the Android-based Uconnect 5 infotainment system comes as standard. The sizes of the displays vary depending on the model – the Wagoneer gets a 10.1-inch touchscreen and a 10.25-inch instrument display, while the Grand Wagoneer upgrades these screens to 12 and 12.3 inches respectively. It also gets a 10.25-inch “comfort” touchscreen for the climate controls.

If you want, you can fill the rest of the Grand Wagoneer with screens, including a 10.25-inch passenger touchscreen, two 10.1-inch seat back displays and a second 10.25-inch “comfort” touchscreen in the second row. Passengers get access to Amazon’s Fire TV for Auto – the first such application in the industry – with Alexa functionality and Amazon Kids+.

Speaking of kids, those at the front will be able to monitor passengers at the back with an optional rear seat camera, which even allows users to zoom in on a particular seat. Buyers can also specify a head-up display, a digital rear-view mirror and two McIntosh sound systems – one with 19 speakers and 950 watts, the other with 23 speakers and a whopping 1,375 watts. All Grand Wagoneer models get a McIntosh system.

Safety-wise, the Wagoneer models come with a full suite of driver assistance features, including autonomous emergency braking, lane centring assist, blind spot monitoring and rear cross traffic alert. Later on, the cars will also be offered Hands-free Active Driving Assist, allowing hands-off autonomous driving on approved roadways. The Grand Wagoneer also gets parking assist and a 360-degree camera system, the latter being optional on the Wagoneer; traffic sign recognition is also available.

Unlike the unibody Grand Cherokee L, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are body-on-frame vehicles that feature fully-boxed frame rails and double sheer-welded cross members to increase durability and roll stiffness. The body itself utilises high-strength steel, aluminium bonnet and doors and a composite tailgate to reduce weight, while the inclusion of around 6,500 welds results in a rigid shell.

Despite the rugged ladder-frame construction, the Wagoneers come with all-round independent suspension, with double wishbones at the front and a multilink setup at the rear. Coil springs with self-levelling rear suspension is fitted as standard, while air suspension with semi-active dampers is optional (standard on the Grand Wagoneer). Refinement is improved through the use of an active/electronic-tuned mass module, active noise cancellation, special door seals and acoustic glass windows.

Both models are powered with V8 engines. The Wagoneer is a mild hybrid vehicle, utilising a 392 hp/548 Nm 5.7 litre mill and a 48-volt eTorque belt-driven electric motor/generator unit that delivers an additional 176 Nm of accelerative torque. The latter is juiced by a 390 Wh nickel manganese cobalt battery and enables the engine to shut itself off while coasting and restart itself instantly and seamlessly.

Step up to the Grand Wagoneer and you’ll get a 6.4 litre V8 producing 471 hp and 617 Nm of pure petrol power. Both models come with cylinder deactivation and an eight-speed automatic transmission, along with one of three available all-wheel drive systems.

These include a Quadra-Trac I full-time system, Quadra-Trac II with a two-speed transfer case and Quadra-Drive II with a rear electronic limited-slip differential (a mechanical diff is standard). The last two feature Selec-Terrain with Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow and Sand/Mud settings.

Quadra-Lift air suspension adds up to 91 mm of extra ground clearance, and for additional off-road prowess, the Wagoneer also gets steel skid plates for the front axle, transfer case, fuel tank and rear anti-roll bar bushings as part of the Advanced All-Terrain Group. Jeep is also claiming a best-in-class towing capacity of up to 4,500 kg.

GALLERY: 2022 Wagoneer Series II


GALLERY: 2022 Grand Wagoneer Series III