We heard them earlier we saw them.
Our merry set of journalists and PR folks were walking to meal successful Bozeman, Montana connected the 2nd nighttime of the 2023 Jeep Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer L property motorboat erstwhile we crossed paths with a clump of college-aged folks who were walking the other mode shouting “hi-ho, hi-ho, fossil fuels person got to go!”
If lone they could laic eyes connected this peculiar Jeep, which caused 1 workfellow to tweet retired a notation to The Simpsons' Canyonero.
Jeep folks volition archer you that the long-wheelbase Wagoneer has moved towards turbocharged six-cylinder powerfulness successful portion to amended substance economy, and they’ll besides punctual you that the EPA-estimated fuel-economy numbers are into the mid-20s for road MPGs, astatine slightest connected 1 mentation of this rig, which isn’t atrocious considering the size of this beast.
If they deigned to ask, I’d archer the protesters that the Wagoneer, contempt immoderate wonky exterior design, is rather bully inside, and rides similar a imagination connected creaseless Montana roads. I’d besides constituent retired that some of the Hurricane turbo sixes propulsion this ample barge up to road speeds amazingly quickly, with smoothness and small drama.
Finally, I’d constituent retired that making an extra-large, three-row SUV astir a ft longer means the 3rd enactment volition beryllium spacious (and comparatively easy accessible) adjacent for larger adults and that the cargo country volition swallow a batch of stuff.
That astir apt wouldn’t beryllium capable to enactment them astatine easiness – SUVs of this size are the poster vehicles for excessive consumption, whether of substance oregon money. But maybe, conscionable maybe, these folks would understand, arsenic I begrudgingly do, that immoderate folks need three rows, tons of interior/cargo space, and immoderate coagulated towing chops, and that immoderate I whitethorn deliberation of the wretched excess astatine hand, oregon the plan my eyes indispensable regard upon, astatine slightest these Jeeps bash what they’re asked to bash with an easiness borne of wide competence.
(Full disclosure: Jeep flew maine to Bozeman, Montana, and housed and fed maine for 2 nights truthful that I could reappraisal these Jeeps. I deliberation they offered a hat, I did not instrumentality it.)
Right earlier I departed for Big Sky country, I published a reappraisal of the standard-wheelbase Grand Wagoneer. It wasn’t my champion enactment – I struggled to get crossed the constituent that I find the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer’s exterior plan to beryllium oddly proportioned and not flattering portion I besides judge the compartment to beryllium well-styled and comfy – and I besides find the driving dynamics to beryllium conscionable fine.
I partially blasted a lawsuit of writer’s block, and I besides person an existential conflict erstwhile it comes to behemoth SUVs specified arsenic the Wagoneer and its contention (Chevrolet Suburban, Ford Expedition, et cetera). As noted above, immoderate folks person a usage lawsuit that requires them to ammunition retired for the biggest SUVs connected the market. And I can’t begrudge anyone with the means who wants to beryllium pampered. But I besides shudder astatine the excess progressive here, though that mightiness conscionable beryllium my ain bias arsenic idiosyncratic who prefers compact sports sedans and pony-car-type musculus cars implicit the remainder of the automotive landscape.
I notation this due to the fact that the summation of a ft of wide magnitude (226.7 inches now) and 7 inches of wheelbase (130 inches for the L) don’t truly alteration my wide content of the Wagoneer family, adjacent if that means 15.8 further cubic feet of cargo country down the 3rd row. I deliberation the L has the aforesaid stylistic problems arsenic its standard-wheelbase brethren – it looks beauteous decent close up until the C-pillar earlier a ample rear overhang ruins the proportions. Shifting the rear-wheel arch doesn't alteration that. I inactive deliberation tiny details request tweaking. I inactive deliberation the interior is simply a beauteous dang bully spot to be.
Outside of the wheelbase extension, the biggest quality is that the long-wheelbase Wagoneer household moves distant from V8 powerfulness (the standard-wheelbase vehicles inactive connection eight-cylinder options). The Hurricane sixes are some sized 3.0 liters and person duplicate turbos. One – modular successful the Wagoneer – makes 420 horsepower and 468 lb-ft of torque, portion the other, which is modular successful the Grand Wagoneer and dubbed Hurricane 510 to assistance folks differentiate, makes 510 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque.
I drove some and recovered some to beryllium appropriately smooth, arsenic luxo-barge engines are expected to be. Passing punch was surprising, fixed the heft of these Wagoneers – Jeep lists the curb value of a Grand Wagoneer Series III astatine 6,704 pounds, which is much than 2.5 times the value of a Miata. I managed to get astir a fewer slowpokes with comparative ease.
Jeep took america off-road, too, but the trial progressive a standard-wheelbase Wagoneer, not the L, and it mostly progressive a way that wasn’t peculiarly challenging. If you person capable abstraction to enactment with, the Wagoneer L volition apt bash conscionable good successful light-duty off-roading – but its abilities are limited.
Our trial units were pre-production models, which could explicate wherefore erstwhile I swapped vehicles with different scribe, helium reported backmost to maine that the infotainment screen, which to that constituent had worked flawlessly, was present showing a blank/black screen. It mightiness besides explicate why, aft said swap, Apple CarPlay besides went blank successful my caller ride, though the Uconnect strategy continued to enactment conscionable fine. Or wherefore the rig I went off-road successful started burping up informing lights aft the four-wheel thrust was disengaged, yet determination was nary motion of mechanical issues and it got maine backmost to basal with nary drama.
Certainly, the usage of pre-pro vehicles explains wherefore I noticed a fewer fit-and-finish issues.
Back to that infotainment strategy for a infinitesimal – Uconnect remains the modular for mill systems. It’s intuitive and casual to use, though it did occasionally, and uncharacteristically, lag a spot erstwhile switching menus. Perhaps different pre-production issue.
I besides liked the disposable swing-down surface that houses climate-control functions. Tap a fastener and it disappears, giving you entree to USB ports and a wireless cell-phone charger. You tin fell your telephone there, and complaint it. On the different hand, I shudder to deliberation astir the out-of-warranty replacement costs for said screen.
The compartment plan is somewhat antithetic from regular to Grand Wagoneer – the second has a two-piece instrumentality sheet portion the erstwhile is conscionable a one-piece. Both usage customizable integer gauges, and some person materials that mostly consciousness class/price appropriate, though occasionally a interaction constituent feels oregon looks a spot excessively downmarket – though conscionable a bit. Piano achromatic is besides a large portion of the interior acquisition connected definite trims, truthful hole your fingerprint wipes.
The fantabulous McIntosh audio strategy is disposable – and it sounds large erstwhile rocking immoderate outer vigor portion moving a agrarian Montana two-lane. There’s an disposable surface for passengers. The lone truly “bad” happening present is that immoderate buttons are haptic touch, but they mostly enactment well.
Space is plentiful – I stuffed myself successful the 3rd enactment with ease, and I had immoderate legroom to spare. Even getting backmost determination wasn’t ace awkward, arsenic it tin beryllium successful immoderate three-row vehicles. That’s wherefore you wage much for the other foot. Oh, and the 3rd enactment reclines.
One expects a compliant thrust from a conveyance similar this, and 1 volition not beryllium disappointed, though Montana’s roads, astatine slightest the ones we drove, are smooth. The Wagoneer L comforts without being soft. Semi-active damping and a Quadra-Lift aerial suspension are available. I can’t hold to spot however the Wagoneer L handles pock-marked Midwest roads.
The Wagoneer is beauteous bully for its size erstwhile it comes to gentle cornering, though the steering needs a spot of correcting. That applies erstwhile the roadworthy is straight, arsenic well. It's not obnoxious but it is noticeable.
Both the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer L are disposable successful 3 antithetic Series (I, II, III). There’s besides an disposable Carbide bundle (blacked-out wheels, grille, fascias, and different exterior trim bits, with much of the taxable continuing inside). The disposable features database is long, truthful we’ll deed immoderate highlights here, noting that immoderate features are bundled into options packages. Buyers tin get things specified arsenic a tri-pane panoramic sunroof, adjustable roof-rail crossbars, a cargo-management system, a head-up display, a 360-degree camera, drowsy-driver detection, model sunshades, heated second-row seats, rear amusement screens, Amazon Fire TV, 18-inch wheels, 20-inch wheels, 22-inch wheels, a powerfulness liftgate, trailer-brake control, and heavy-duty motor cooling.
That’s not all. Other modular oregon disposable features see tri-zone oregon quad-zone clime control, leather seats, heated and cooled beforehand seats, cooled second-row seats, heated steering wheel, second-row captain’s chairs, 8 USB ports (up to 11), Bluetooth, outer radio, wireless cell-phone charging, navigation, Alpine audio, McIntosh audio, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-path detection, active-lane management, forward-collision informing with progressive braking, intersection-collision assist, and hill-start assist.
There’s adjacent more: Adaptive cruise control, integer rearview mirror, off-road bundle with tow hooks and skid plates, and traffic-sign recognition. There’s adjacent much that’s not listed here, successful the involvement of brevity. As-tested prices were $87,000 ($71,080 base) for an options-laden Wagoneer L Carbide I tested and $116,185 ($110,995 base) for a Grand Wagoneer L Series III I drove. Destination is $2,000.
On the whole, the L mentation costs $3K implicit a standard-wheelbase Wagoneer of the aforesaid trim, with basal pricing ranging from $65-$75K for the Wagoneer L and $91K-$111K for the Grand.
Fuel system is listed astatine 17/24/20 (city/highway/combined) for two-wheel-drive models and 16/23/19 for four-wheel-drive models of the Wagoneer L, the Grand Wagoneer L is listed astatine 14/19/16 for 4x4 models. It should beryllium noted that buyers of four-wheel thrust Wagoneer Ls tin get either a one-speed oregon two-speed transportation case. The max towing capableness is up to 10,000 pounds.
One tin find the beingness of specified ample SUVs objectionable – though there’s nary denying determination is simply a usage case. There are well-heeled buyers retired determination who request 3 rows of abstraction and/or towing capability. These folks privation to beryllium coddled, some successful presumption of luxury and astatine the dealership. I can’t talk to the occurrence of the latter, though Jeep folks struck an optimistic code erstwhile I queried them, but I tin talk to the former.
The Wagoneer L and its Grand Wagoneer L sibling fulfill the ngo well. Perhaps they don’t marque the connection of a Cadillac Escalade, and possibly the styling isn’t arsenic eye-pleasing arsenic what’s connected connection from the different Detroit-based competition. But if 1 tin woody with the awkward looks from the C-pillar back, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer L are competent.
Hence my mixed feelings. Competence is nice, and truthful is the interior. But the exterior plan is simply a turn-off. The MSRP is simply a spot eye-watering, too, astatine slightest for the Grand model. And the substance economy, particularly successful the Grand, is simply a spot eye-popping successful a atrocious way, particularly with the prime to lop 2 cylinders disconnected (V8 powerfulness is inactive disposable successful the standard-wheelbase vehicles, astatine slightest for now).
Beauty, of course, is successful the oculus of the beholder. If you consciousness otherwise astir the Wagoneer family’s looks than I do, you volition find yourself successful a susceptible ample luxury SUV with an inviting interior, creaseless six-cylinder power, and an unobjectionable ride.
The question is, is that enough? The protesters I saw successful Bozeman won’t beryllium swayed, that’s for sure. For the remainder of the market, answering that question is the cardinal to Jeep’s ambitions.
[Images © 2022 Tim Healey/TTAC, Jeep]
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