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2022 Jeep Wagoneer: First Look


With the launch of the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, Jeep brings back its original SUV after a 30-year hiatus. The Grand Wagoneer is reviewed separately.

With an eye on yesteryear’s Wagoneers, designers, product planners and engineers worked to modernize this icon. Because capability was high on their list, it retains its forebears’ body-on-frame construction.

Wagoneer is roughly 10 inches longer than the Grand Cherokee L.

Wagoneer won’t simply represent a fresh model with an iconic nameplate. Jeep’s grand plan is to establish Wagoneer as a brand within the Jeep brand.

Two distinct, three-row models, the Jeep Wagoneer and the Jeep Grand Wagoneer will anchor a range of Wagoneer models – a portfolio of premium vehicles, according to Jeep executives.

As the foundation of this brand-within-a-brand scheme, Wagoneer is capable of transporting as many as eight in total comfort, while mastering the most difficult terrain and supported by leading-edge customer service.

Casting a big shadow, Wagoneer is huge inside and out, squeezing every inch of space out of a squared-off exterior. A six-footer can relax in complete comfort in the third row.

This hulking SUV boasts best-in-class passenger volume and total volume, best-in-class third-row head and legroom, best-in-class second-row legroom and the most cargo volume behind the third-row seat.

Jeep seems to have left nothing to chance. Not a detail.

Jeep dealers wishing to sell the Wagoneer models must meet J.D. Power certification and adhere to 10 customer promises for customer satisfaction. Free loaners and complimentary car washes are included with every service visit.

Jeep Wagoneer arrives in showrooms in late August.

What's New for 2022?

The Jeep Wagoneer is all-new.

What We Like

  • Large cabin
  • Upscale interiors
  • Powerful V8 engine
  • Latest Uconnect 5 infotainment interface
  • Available built-in Fire TV
  • Top-tier customer experience

What We Don't

  • Only pre-configured versions offered at launch
  • Less-than-stellar fuel economy

How Much?

$57,995-$103,995 (plus $2,000 factory delivery charge)

Fuel Economy

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) rates the rear-wheel-drive (RWD) 2022 Wagoneer at 16 miles per gallon city/22 mpg highway. With 4-wheel drive (4WD), the new Wagoneer is rated at 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway.

The only available engine is a 392-horsepower 5.7-liter Hemi V8 with hybrid assist powers the Wagoneer. It generates 404 lb-ft of torque. The hybrid system feeds some extra power to the engine during launches. Helping to keep mileage in line, the V8 has a start-stop feature.

An 8-speed automatic ushers output to the wheels. When appropriately equipped, maximum towing is roughly 10,000 pounds. This is more than competitors like the Chevy Tahoe and the Nissan Armada.

Jeep makes available three 4-wheel-drive (4WD) systems: Quadra-Trac I (optional for Wagoneer Series I), Quadra-Trac II (optional for Wagoneer Series II) and Quadra Drive II (optional for Wagoneer Series III). Each features Selec-Terrain with its five settings: Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow and Mud. These settings maximize the 4WD performance no matter the surface.

Wagoneer provides 10 inches of ground clearance and 24 inches of water fording.

Standard Features & Options

At the beginning of availability and for a limited time, Jeep only offers Wagoneer in several pre-configured versions. That is, trim levels with certain options already added and reflected in the price. Those are what we list here. The early grades for Wagoneer, are Series II, Series II Premium, Series III Off Road and Series III Premium. Wagoneer Series I won't be available until later in the year, probably without any included options or packages. The price range above reflects prices for the actual trim levels without options. Below are the introductory grades configured with options. Prices don't include the $2,000 factory delivery charge.

Wagoneer

The Series II ($67,995 RWD, $70,995 4WD) has as standard hill-start assist, 20-in. aluminum wheels, power lift gate, rain-sensing/speed-sensitive front wipers, 10.1-in. Uconnect touchscreen, navigation system with Tom Tom Traffic, 9-speaker Alpine audio system with satellite-radio capability, Apple CarPlay, Android Auto. LED exterior lights, power heated outboard mirrors with integrated turn-signal indicators, remote start, tri-zone automatic climate control, power tilt-and-telescopic heated leather-wrapped steering wheel, 12-way heated-ventilated power front seats, 60/40 folding split second- and third-row seats,and perforated Nappa leather-covered seats. Also standard is a suite of safety/driver-assist features listed below under "Safety."

Adding to Series II content, Series II Premium ($77,270 RWD, $83,465 4WD) includes 22-in. wheels, heated second-row seats, front-passenger screen, rear-seat entertainment with dual 10.1-in. screens, Amazon Fire TV for Auto (4WD only), and Trailer-Tow Group. Also in this package is the Premium Group with panoramic sunroof, parallel and perpendicular park assist, 360-degree camera system and head-up display.

If off-roading is important, your Wagoneer is the Series III Off-road ($86,665) featuring Quadra Drive II 4WD and Advanced All-Terrain Group with rear load-leveling suspension, 20-in. aluminum wheels, all-terrain tires, two-speed transfer case, chrome tow hooks, electronic limited-slip differential, Quadra-Lift air suspension system, skid plates and Select-Speed Control. Other features in addition to Series II are a McIntosh MX950 19-speaker entertainment system, tri-zone climate control and power side steps.

Stepping up to the Series III Premium ($83,970 RWD, $88,965 4WD) adds to Series II Premium with 19-speaker McIntosh audio system, tri-zone climate system, and Intersection Collision Assist.

Safety

The Wagoneer will arrive with the usual array of passive and active safety features like stability control and traction control, as well as eight airbags. Additionally, a full suite of safety/driver-assist features will be standard, including front-collision warning with emergency front braking, adaptive cruise control with stop and go, lane-keeping assist, blind-spot monitoring, rear cross-traffic alert, night vision and front/rear-parking sensors with automatic braking.

No third party has yet to crash-test the Wagoneer.

Behind the Wheel

We drove a 2022 Wagoneer recently in New York.

Initial impressions: The new Wagoneer, equipped with the eTorque 5.7-liter V8 and 8-speed automatic transmission, has a tremendously refined feel. It's remarkably quiet inside, and the powertrain, though a bit thirsty, represents a satisfying blend of power and composure.

It never feels like it's working hard, aided as it is by the electric hybrid assist. You hear the engine only when you hit the throttle hard, at which point you're soon moving very quickly. Cruising around town, the shifts of the 8-speed automatic are almost imperceptible. While we wish this gearbox had shift paddles to facilitate manual upshifts or downshifts, the small + and - buttons on the steering wheel accomplish the same thing.

Moreover, we found that although the Wagoneer suspension is tuned for occupant comfort, this big SUV can work. Max tow capacity is 10,000 pounds. And the chassis remains composed on curving roads, aided by natural-effort steering and a reassuringly firm brake pedal.

From the driver's seat, the 2022 Wagoneer feels smaller than it is, and it's one of those vehicles that masks its speed -- when you're cruising at 70 mph down the highway, it feels like you're going about 50. Perhaps it's best to use the adaptive cruise control, which smoothly keeps the gap consistent with the vehicle in front. And despite its size -- the new Wagoneer 214.7 inches long, versus 211.9 for the Cadillac Escalade -- there's nothing ponderous about how this big body-on-frame SUV responds to its driver.

Inside, the comfort quotient is expectedly high. Space is good in all three rows, and the digital gauges and infotainment systems allow a tremendous amount of personalization. We're big fans of the Uconnect 5 infotainment interface, and whether you're into Pitbull, the Plimsouls, Poco, or Peter Paul and Mary, you'll enjoy the rich sound quality of the available McIntosh audio system.

On a short off-road course, the Wagoneer also proved its worth, climbing rocky grades with ease in low-range and slowly negotiating tough dirt stretches riddled with alternating deep dips. While Jeep hasn't given the new Wagoneer a Trail-Rated designation, we feel it's the most off-road-capable 3-row large SUV.

Other Cars to Consider

2021 Chevrolet Tahoe – Redesigned for 2021, this is the best Tahoe ever. Powerful engines, well-appointed interior and lots of space highlight this popular SUV.

2021 Nissan Armada – Nissan gave its Armada a facelift for 2021. Another body-on-frame brute, Armada can't tow as much as Wagoneer, but it has a strong V8 and up-to-date infotainment interface.

2021 Toyota Sequoia – A bit long in the tooth, the Sequoia is a rugged, 3-row SUV. Its towing capability doesn't come close to Wagoneer, but it can haul a lot of cargo. Also, it owns that Toyota rep for reliability.

Used Mercedes-Benz GLS 450 – A bit short on cargo room, this SUV offered strong powertrains and a high-end passenger experience.

Autotrader's Advice

Jeep is currently taking orders for the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer. We believe, despite the price, demand will be high. So, the sooner you place your order, the better. If you don't want the enhanced introductory grades, wait for the dust to settle from the initial surge toward the end of the year. The entry-level Series I should be available by then and the other trim levels can be had without options you may not want or need.

Russ Heaps
Russ Heaps is an author specializing in automotive, financial and travel news. For nearly 35 years he has covered the automotive industry for newspapers, magazines and internet websites. His resume includes The Palm Beach Post, Miami Herald, The Washington Times and numerous other daily newspapers through syndication. He edited Auto World magazine, and helped create and edit NOPI Street... Read More about Russ Heaps

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