2022 Grand Wagoneer Pros
- The best interior in the segment
- Easy and functional technology
- Outstanding towing capacity and off-road capability
- Decent HEMI power
- Superb handling (for a full-size SUV)
2022 Grand Wagoneer Cons
- Comfort could be a step better
- A bit pricier than an Escalade or Navigator
- Yeah… that’s about it
The world may be going electric, there is still a segment of the population that want’s the biggest SUV possible, and they want that SUV to deliver the highest level of make-your-neighbor-jealous luxury. The 2022 Grand Wagoneer is here as a new option for that kind of buyer and as far as premium full-size three-row utilities go, it may just have set the benchmark.
Now, it’s not cheap. It starts at over $100,000 in Canada while our tester jumped the $120k line. It starts at over $87,000 in the US.
It competes with the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator first and foremost, while its Wagoneer brother takes on the likes of the GMC Yukon, Chevy Tahoe, and Ford Expedition. The Grand Wagoneer has the chops to look the Mercedes-Benz GLS, Range Rover, and Infiniti QX80 in the eye (or headlight) as well.
The Ford F-150 Limited owner who stopped for about 5 minutes to walk around the Grand Wagoneer in a restaurant parking lot was the first of many who noticed the new, stately SUV during my test week. There was the previous-gen GMC Yukon owner at the grocery store too, and the BMW X5 driver at the gas station as well. This bodes well for the new Grand Wagoneer’s career as vehicles like this shouldn’t go unnoticed and their owners do tend to appreciate a little recognition.
When talking about the Grand Wagoneer, you must start inside where a cavernous interior awaits and where premium materials abound.
The Wagoneer already offers Nappa leather, so the Grand Wagoneer upgrades to what Stellantis calls Palermo quilted leather that covers just about everything and looks as good as any we’ve seen in any car, in any price range. The showstopper inside, however, is the walnut trim which isn’t overwhelming and really sets the scene for the Grand Wagoneer to compete with the GLS or the Escalade.
The luxury materials give the Grand Wagoneer an old school luxury feel, but the tech balances it all out. Two screens cover the centre console, measuring 12.0 and 10.25 inches respectively. The top screen houses the Uconnect 5 system, the latest generation Stellantis infotainment system while the bottom screen houses climate and seat settings.
Speaking of which, the seats in the Grand Wagoneer offer massage, heating and cooling while the second-row seats are also heated and cooled. Just about every manner of tech gizmos you could want are offered including adjustable pedals, head-up display, and even night vision which came in handy as we drove the Grand Wagoneer in the country in the middle of deer season.
Buyers can choose an available passenger-side 10.25-inch screen that can control functions such as navigation, Bluetooth, and rear seat entertainment, and there are two 10.1-inch screens in the back housing Fire TV for Auto by Alexa which offers TV and movie streaming.
Perhaps the best thing about all this tech inside the Grand Wagoneer is how functional it is. There isn’t a better infotainment system in the business than the Uconnect 5 which does wonders to organize and layout the Grand Wagoneer’s multiple features in an easy-to-use way. Everything makes sense and we have to give the Stellantis product top marks in its segment for its connectivity technology.
As you would expect, interior space is vast although the Grand Wagoneer doesn’t necessarily outshine its direct competitors despite claiming the best interior volume in the segment. Put it this way, everyone has a lot of space in the Grand Wagoneer, it just doesn’t necessarily feel larger than an Escalade or a Navigator. The third row was impressive, however, allowing my 6-foot frame to fit with ease.
Even with all three rows up there’s still decent cargo volume which is of course accentuated when you lower the second row, something you would do by pushing a button, of course. If you run of space in a vehicle like the Grand Wagoneer, well you just have too much stuff.
More Power Than Any Other Full-Size SUV Out of the Gate
The Grand Wagoneer sets itself apart from the Wagoneer inside, but it also gets a more powerful engine under the hood. It features a 6.4-litre V8 that delivers 471 horsepower and 455 pound-feet of torque which is paired to an 8-speed automatic gearbox.
This engine outperforms the Escalade by 51 horsepower and the Navigator by 31 horsepower, and although the difference isn’t as noticeable on the road, the Grand Wagoneer inspires confidence with its accelerations and its passing capability. It won’t throw you into your seat, but it feels quick and reacts with little hesitation.
Cyclinder deactivation helps keep fuel consumption reasonable, and we averaged around 13 litres per 100 kilometres during our week with the Grand Wagoneer which by any measure is impressive given the size of the thing.
Moreover, the Grand Wagoneer bests its competitors when it comes to towing capacity, offering nearly 10,000 pounds out of the gate which is essentially pickup truck territory.
The Grand Wagoneer was designed for the highway and posh suburbs, but it does pack some Jeep technology that gives it some surprising off-road capability. Standard on the Grand Wagoneer is the Jeep Quadra-Drive II four-wheel drive system, one of the most rugged systems in the Jeep lineup that actually powers the Jeep Grand Cherokee Trailhawk too.
A rear electronic limited-slip differential will distribute the engine’s massive torque to the tires that need it in order to preserve stability, and the Selec-Terrain system has five modes to ensure optimal performance in any setting: Auto, Snow, Rock, Sport, or Sand/Mud. The Quadra-Lift air suspension adds even more capability by increasing the Grand Wagoneer’s height by up to 10 inches.
I was expecting the Grand Wagoneer to offer a little more comfort than it ultimately did. It’s based off a Ram 1500 and you can sometimes feel the relationship a little more so than you expect. It’s hard to smooth out a body-on-frame SUV, but the Grand Wagoneer could be a little silkier. That’s not to say I was necessarily disappointed, but it felt more American than European and can’t really match up to a Range Rover or GLS for pure driving comfort.
On the other hand, handling is stunning for the Grand Wagoneer’s size. It feels more connected than the Escalade or Navigator, and slightly sharper as well. It also pulls with more authority coming out of corners, thanks to its massive HEMI powertrain. Back to the handling, the Grand Wagoneer felt a lot smaller than it is through corners or even around small city streets. Its electric steering doesn’t feel as loose or lazy as you traditionally find in SUVs of this size, and the adaptive air suspension which I expected to perform better on rough roads made up for it by leveling out the Grand Wagoneer in tight bends beautifully.
What You Get with a 2022 Grand Wagoneer
The 2022 Grand Wagoneer gives you a lot. The best towing capacity in the segment, the best off-road capability and the most luxurious, refined, and stunning interior. It also gives you impressive handling and more than enough power. It’s not as comfortable as you would initially think it is looking inside, but it’s not bad either.
It also gives you something no other full-size SUV gives you: A personalized buying experience. Grand Wagoneer buyers get treated to a concierge service that includes maintenance pick-up, 24/7 dedicated support, and remote test drive before your purchase.
Cadillac and Lincoln have taken notice and should be concerned, but so should Range Rover and Mercedes-Benz.