L stretch means more cargo space for Grand Wagoneer and Wagoneer
Two flavours of Hurricane I6, both go hard
Getting in is easier, but passenger space stays the same
The Jeep Wagoneer L and Jeep Grand Wagoneer L bring two versions of a great new engine to the Wagoneer lineup, along with a foot of length and loads of cargo space. We drove both to check out the changes and take a look at how they stack up against the other extra-long beasts of burden.
We were quite surprised when the new 3.0L I6 engines were announced. The new family, called Hurricane, will be the only engine offered in the L models and will be an option in the standard wheelbase variants alongside a 5.7L V8 in Wagoneer and a 6.4L in Grand Wagoneer.
The base Hurricane makes 420 hp and 468 lb-ft of torque, just shy of the 440 hp Expedition’s uprated motor offers (and well up on the 375 of other trims) and a horsepower match for GM’s 6.2L V8. The Hurricane High Output, found in the Grand Wagoneer L, dusts them all with 510 hp and 500 lb-ft, second only to the Cadillac Escalade V’s twin-turbo 682 hp V8. Since that model is $70k more than a Grand Wagoneer L, it’s hard to say they compete.
Like you’d expect, the I6 offers plenty of punch at both power levels. An eight-speed auto is quick to swap gears (even quicker in Sport mode) and keeps the engine on the boil when you need it. The 510 hp HO version is the one we like better, because of course we like more power. Either way, though, the smooth engines are more fitting of the Wagoneer family’s comfortable family cruiser reason for being than the V8s. An I6 will never offer the burble of a V8, but in this case it does everything else much better.
Stretching the wheelbase seven inches and overall length by a foot (18 and 31cm respectively) doesn’t actually add more passenger space. It turns out that with 42.7-inches of rear legroom and 36.6-inches for row three (1,085 mm and 930 mm), it was already best in class for one and near the top for the other.
The stretch isn’t entirely wasted on passengers, though. A longer rear door expands the opening to make it a lot easier to get in and out of the third row, a benefit often overlooked. While we couldn’t test this exhaustively, our memories of climbing into the back of a Suburban and Expedition say the Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L offers a big improvement.
Ride and handling isn’t hurt by the extra length and the hundred or so pounds of weight either. Highway stability is likely a touch better, and the Wagoneer models do a great job of hiding their size, but overall the drive experience is the same. Until you hit the gas, of course.
Cargo is where the L models are at their best. With 15.8 cubic feet (447L) more space than the standard-wheelbase model, the Grand Wagoneer L offers a best-in-class 44.2 cubic feet (1,252L) behind the third row.
How does it compare to the existing big SUVs? The Ls measure a whopping 226.7-inches (5,758mm) long. An inch longer than Suburban and 0.3 shy of the Cadillac Escalade ESV for being the longest SUV of them all. The Ford Expedition Max is tiny in comparison at just 221.9-inches (5,636mm).
Grand Wagoneer L’s second row beats these competitors by about an inch, with headroom nearly the same. Third row knee space trails Suburban by just a tenth of an inch, tying the Escalade and beating them all in hip and headroom.
Jeep’s cargo space with all the seats up beats the GM trio by 2.7 cubic feet (76L), the equivalent of 20 gallons of extra cargo, and is ahead of Ford by 8 cubic feet. Fold the seats, though, and the order changes. Behind the second row, the Grand Wagoneer L holds 88.8 cubic feet (2,515L), well under the 93.8 (2,656L) of the Suburban. It still crushes Ford’s 79.6 (2,255L). With all of the seats down, Wagoneer L can take 130.9 cubic feet (3,707L) while the Grand L takes just 112.9 (3,197L). GM won’t make you sacrifice as much for luxury, with 144.7 (4,097L) for Suburban and 142.9 (4,046L) for Escalade. Ford again trails with 121.4 (3,438L).
So if you’re using the seats, Grand Wagoneer L gives you the most space. If you’re planning to pack it to the gills, GM might be your best choice.
There is an alternative, of course, in the form of a trailer. All Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer L models can tow more than 9,450 lbs (with a max of 10k), while the Suburban maxes out at 8,300 (8,100 if you want 4×4), Escalade can do 8,000, and an Expedition Max can do 9,000.
GM’s beasts have long been the biggest. Jeep’s are finally giving them a run for the money for the first time since the late Ford Excursion. The sales chart will be very interesting to watch.