Thursday, January 26, 2023
First Reviews 2022 Grand Wagoneer First Drive Review: Massively Good Entry in the Massively...

2022 Grand Wagoneer First Drive Review: Massively Good Entry in the Massively Lucrative Full-Size Luxury SUV Segment

The new 2022 Grand Wagoneer merges design, opulence, nostalgia, and capability in a segment where everything matters

  • Pricing for the 2022 Grand Wagoneer starts at $100,995 in Canada, $87,590 in the US.

  • The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are impressively crafted and highly capable premium SUVs.

  • The full-size luxury segment has been put on notice.

An astute neighbour of mine spotted the all-new 2022 Grand Wagoneer parked in front of my house as it waited to be picked up after a day of driving. His comment was brief but impactful: “Another massive SUV?” He was also alluding to the fact that one of the Grand Wagoneer’s main competitors happened to be parked in my driveway, and that a few others have been spotted at the house in the recent past.

2022 Grand Wagoneer Series III | Photo: Olivier Delorme

My reply was essentially that these vehicles, however wrong given the climate crisis and the cost of energy, are necessary. Sales of these ultra-highly profitable oversized SUVs are largely responsible for funding the development of the electrification of future vehicles. This strange plot twist means that SUVs like the Cadillac Escalade, Mercedes-Benz GLS, and other like-sized vehicles must be at their best.

A worthy successor to the legendary name

And Stellantis has knocked one out of the park. To be fair, among the car company’s many-storied roots is the first-ever premium utility vehicle, the original Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. In 1963, Jeep birthed the luxury UV segment but phased itself out after 30 years. And now they’re back and they’re on top.

2022 Grand Wagoneer Series III | Photo: Olivier Delorme

The design process behind the Grand Wagoneer’s final styling was far more complex than meets the eye. The more I visually explored the truck, the greater my appreciation became for everything that’s been done. The front fascia, with its signature seven-slat grille, is undoubtedly the most striking and eventful portion of the Grand Wagoneer. It’s also the face I was expecting when I drove and reviewed the all-new Jeep Grand Cherokee L a while back.

As imposing and regal as the outer shell is, the 2022 Grand Wagoneer’s allure is found in the cabin thanks to the impressive craftsmanship, materials, and attention to detail. In a few words, this luxury has everything and more of it than any other vehicle in its segment.

Loaded to the brim with class and technology

2022 Grand Wagoneer Series III | Photo: Olivier Delorme

As standard with the $100,995 Series I, all include first and second-row heated seats, a heated steering wheel, cooled and 24-way power-adjustable front seats, a 12-inch touchscreen display, and driver instrument display, Uconnect 5, a McIntosh audio system, head-up display, leather, and on, and on. The reviewed $120,995 Series III delivers 75 inches of the display surface, night vision, Palermo leather with quilted accents, genuine wood interior surfaces, and again, far more.

Loaded only begins to describe the 2022 Grand Wagoneer’s level of kit. For the most part, the numerous screens are well integrated into their surroundings. This is especially true for the front passenger interactive 10.25-inch display. The display includes “co-pilot” functions and control the rear entertainment system or display what the cameras can see (trailer for example). The only mistake made is with the lower power-operated comfort display. It covers the larger and most accessible front storage bin that includes the USB ports. With two wires, the display would not close thus not work. As such, it stayed open all day.

2022 Grand Wagoneer Series III | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Otherwise, the Grand Wagoneer’s interior is quite nearly perfect. The seats are comfortable and supportive in all three rows. The cabin is quiet and cosseting – it’s an amazing place to spend countless hours discovering the world.

Luxo super-cruiser

As standard, the 2022 Grand Wagoneer is powered by Stellantis’ naturally-aspirated 6.4-litre V8 mated to an 8-speed automatic transmission and Jeep’s Quadra-Trac II 4WD system. Despite tipping the scale at a scathing 6,400lbs, the V8’s 471 horsepower and 455 lb.-ft. of torque effortlessly brings the SUV to speed. The only “consequence” is fuel consumption which will, no matter what, hover near 18L/100km.

2022 Grand Wagoneer Series III | Photo: Olivier Delorme

Also included as standard are Jeep’s Selec-Terrain Traction Management System and Quadra-Lift air suspension. Though we did not test the Grand Wagoneer’s off-road chops, there’s no doubt that it will conquer all terrains, or nearly. As always, a proper air suspension, with adaptive dampers, in this case, is the best way to make a chassis work. With five positions including Aero and Off-Road II, the Grand Wagoneer will provide 10 inches of ground clearance or “hug” the tarmac at highway speeds.

Through the various drive modes, the chassis can also firm up in sport conveying a palpable level of surefootedness on country roads along with a wonderful level of refinement that is expected in such a vehicle. Truly, the 2022 Grand Wagoneer is unlimited: It can ford through 24 inches of water, tow up to 9,850 lbs, and comfortably cruise North America’s highways and byways.

Is this the full-size premium SUV?

2022 Grand Wagoneer Series III | Photo: Olivier Delorme

This segment is heaped with ultra-competent vehicles. All of these players are flagship models for their respective brands and are therefore windows into the best these automakers have to offer. This is also why there are no wrong answers.

The segment is currently dominated by the previously mentioned trucks, namely the Cadillac Escalade and, the leader, the Mercedes-Benz GLS. In a near three-way tie in the third position are the Range Rover, BMW X7, and Lincoln Navigator.

2022 Grand Wagoneer Series III | Photo: Olivier Delorme

In my video on our YouTube channel, I conclude by saying that I might prefer the GLS over the Grand Wagoneer but I’m not so certain anymore. The return drive in the new truck highlighted the V8’s fuss-less nature, the chassis’ ideal state of tune, and the cabin’s incredibly ambient serenity. Though I’m also a huge fan of the BMW X7, for the power, prestige, heritage, and value, the Grand Wagoneer might now be the better choice.

The bottom line here is that the new 2022 Grand Wagoneer is exceptional. With the included Wagoneer premium client services for three years, is a good choice.

2022 Grand Wagoneer Series III | Photo: Olivier Delorme

2022 Grand Wagoneer Series III | Photo: Olivier Delorme

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Matt St-Pierre
Trained as an Automotive Technician, Matt has two decades of automotive journalism under his belt. He’s done TV, radio, print and this thing called the internet. He’s an avid collector of many 4-wheeled things, all of them under 1,500 kg, holds a recently expired racing license and is a father of two. Life is beautiful. Send Matt an emai


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