The 2022 Jeep Wagoneer is both an all-new vehicle and a new sub-brand that’s all about oversized luxury.
Available in Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer versions, this three-row SUV competes in Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator territory. Tested here is the Series II trim – there’s Series III as well, but no Series I – that starts at $83,690 including a non-negotiable delivery fee of $2,695. Mine was further optioned to $93,075 before taxes. Meanwhile, moving up to the Grand Wagoneer that boasts a bigger engine and even more luxury takes you from $104,690 to $117,690.
The Wagoneer is a people-mover, and a squared-off box is the ideal shape for maximizing headroom. It’s better-looking from the front, with its traditional Jeep seven-slot grille and integrated headlights. But it’s awkward at the rear, with an odd kick-up to the side window and uninspired back-end styling. The hatch opens well above the bumper, giving a high liftover for loading cargo.
The Series II includes 20-inch wheels, but my tester was outfitted with a $3,995 package that added 22-inch rims, a three-panel sunroof, and roof rail crossbars, along with a cargo mat and cover.
The Wagoneer hasn’t yet been crash-tested by the United States National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) or the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS). But it does come with a number of standard driving-assist technologies, including full-speed emergency front braking, adaptive cruise control with lane centring, blind-spot monitoring with rear cross-traffic alert, parking assist, and the rearview camera that’s mandatory on all new vehicles. However, a 360-degree camera and a self-parking feature are add-on options.
The Series II comes with a substantial list of standard features, including 12-way-adjustable heated and ventilated front seats, tri-zone automatic climate control, a 10.25-inch infotainment screen, auto-dimming mirror, 115-volt power outlet, wireless phone connectivity, eight-passenger seating (second-row captain’s chairs are optional), a hands-free tailgate, ambient LED interior lighting, and power-adjustable pedals.
It is the entry trim, however, and the ultra-luxury items are reserved for the Grand Wagoneer, including 24-way power seats, a digital rearview mirror, and four-zone climate control that can’t be added to the Wagoneer. That’s understandable, but there were extra-charge items on my options list that I’d expected to be standard on an $80,000-plus SUV, such as manual window shades, heated second-row seats, and automatic high-beam headlights.
User Friendliness: 9/10
Premium vehicles often have most of their functions stuffed into screens with large learning curves, but the Wagoneer is, for the most part, refreshingly simple. There are toggles for the climate control, dials for volume and tuning, and the Uconnect infotainment system – still one of the best in the industry – is very intuitive. As with some other Stellantis vehicles, the gear selector is a rotary knob, which I prefer to an awful push-pull electronic type
The second-row seats shift forward to provide easy entry into the third row, which is very roomy and suitable for adult passengers.
The Wagoneer has impressive leg- and headroom in all three rows. Its generous 776 L of cargo volume with the third row upright is more than what’s offered by the Cadillac Escalade or Lincoln Navigator in their regular-length models. There’s also a lot of small-item space, including a huge centre console bin.
The Wagoneer comes standard with eight-passenger seating but can be optioned to second-row captain’s chairs for seven occupants. Should you need to tow a trailer, this is your vehicle. The Jeep’s maximum towing capacity is 4,536 kg (10,000 lb), while the Lincoln tops out at 3,764 kg (8,300 lb) and the Cadillac can pull 3,628 kg (8,000 lb).
The supportive seats and all that space make the Wagoneer a comfortable place to be. Even the third row, while flatter than the other two, is fine for adults even on a longer drive, and both the second- and third rows recline.
The Wagoneer uses Stellantis’s tried-and-true 5.7L V8, found in everything from the Jeep Grand Cherokee to the Ram 1500 and Dodge Challenger. It makes 392 hp and 404 lb-ft of torque, but the trick up its sleeve is a self-charging mild hybrid system. The Wagoneer can’t drive on its battery alone, but the system adds fuel-free torque during acceleration for smoother performance and better mileage.
The 5.7L provides strong power from a stop or when passing on the highway, but settles in nicely when you only need to cruise around town. It’s mated to a smooth-shifting eight-speed automatic transmission. If that engine isn’t enough for you, the Grand Wagoneer exclusively uses a 6.4L V8 making 471 hp.
Driving Feel: 6.5/10
The Wagoneer’s V8 engine is a great fit, but the driving dynamics could be better. The Navigator and Escalade have tighter steering and give the impression of a smaller vehicle, while the Wagoneer’s response isn’t as quick and it feels as big as it is. This tester had optional adaptive damping suspension but the ride was too soft and wallowy, and tightening it up into sport mode gets it to where I’d expect a comfort mode to be.
The Wagoneer Series II has an automatic four-wheel drive system that adjusts to driving conditions, plus settings for auto, sport, sand/mud, or snow. It can be optioned to a system with low-range gearing and an electronic limited-slip differential. My tester had optional four-corner air suspension that can be raised for off-road or lowered for easier entry and exit.
Fuel Economy: 7.5/10
The Wagoneer’s 5.7L V8 is rated by Natural Resources Canada (NRCan) at 15.6 L/100 km in the city, 11.7 on the highway, and 13.8 in combined driving. I didn’t do so well, racking up 16.5 L/100 km in my week with it. It accepts regular-grade gasoline.
None of these big body-on-frame SUVs are fuel sippers, but the Wagoneer actually does better than all its gasoline-powered rivals other than the Lincoln Navigator, which uses a turbocharged V6 and is only slightly better at 13.2 L/100 km in combined driving. The Cadillac Escalade rates 10.5 with its optional diesel engine but 14.7 with its V8 gas engine. The Lexus LX 600 gets 14.5, while the Infiniti QX80 is rated at 15.1 L/100 km.
For those shopping in this segment, the Wagoneer is expensive but compares favourably to rivals with its starting price of $83,690. Including delivery fees, the Cadillac Escalade starts at $90,498 and the Lincoln Navigator at $108,300. The Infiniti QX80 begins at $84,440, but it will take $109,595 to start off in a Lexus LX 600.
This large-by-huge, top-level-luxury SUV segment is a relatively small one – and the Chevrolet Suburban/GMC Yukon and Ford Expedition considerably outsell their Cadillac and Lincoln counterparts at that – so it remains to be seen if Jeep will make a splash with the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer, or if it’s answering a question no one asked.
|Peak Horsepower||392 hp @ 5,600 rpm|
|Peak Torque||404 lb-ft @ 3,950 rpm|
|Fuel Economy||15.6 / 11.7 / 13.8 L/100 km cty/hwy/cmb|
|Cargo Space||776 / 2,005 / 3,304 L behind 3rd/2nd/1st row|
|Model Tested||2022 Jeep Wagoneer Series II|
|Price as Tested||$93,175|
$9,385 – River Rock Blue paint, $695; Convenience Group package (second-row sunshades, heated second-row seats, head-up display, automatic high-beam headlamps, air suspension, adaptive damping suspension, surround-view camera, park assist, drowsy driver detection and intersection collision avoidance), $4,695; Premium Group package (22-inch wheels, roof rail crossbars, three-panel sunroof, and cargo mat and cover), $3,995