2020 is a year for the books. So much to talk about but what has intrigued me the most is the nostalgia factor of the automotive industry, and their bet on new old car. LEts take a look the newest and biggest kid on the block. Jeep is introducing the 2021 Jeep Wagoneer.
Lets take a look and see what the Dodge/Jeep company will bring. The Full size SUV will be one of the most anticipated vehicles of the year.
No wood here.
The Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will be a larger and classier set of SUVs from the brand that’s more often associated with off-roading than luxury. While we’ve only seen the Grand Wagoneer concept, which has bold styling and an extravagant interior, Jeep says the production-ready version of it and the regular Wagoneer will reach showrooms next year. Based on the full-size Ram 1500 pickup truck and boasting three-row seating, the new Jeeps expected to face off against established SUVs such as the Chevy Tahoe and Ford Expedition as well as the BMW X7 and Cadillac Escalade. That suggests the Wagoneers will have a wide range of premium options, powertrain configurations, and price tags. We also expect that they’ll be endowed with competitive tow ratings, copious driver-assistance technology, and the company’s well-known trail-capable hardware. While in the last few years Jeep has concentrated more on making their brand a more luxury based
Even though Jeep has unveiled what looks like a close-to-production version of the upcoming Grand Wagoneer, we’re still not sure how it’ll compare with the non-Grand Wagoneer. We think that the standard model will occupy the mainstream space while the Grand will be marketed to a more affluent audience. With that said, we can only make an educated guess about the Wagoneers’ potential powertrains and final roster of features.
It seems that Jeep is trying to cover all the bases with the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer lineup, as this SUV is tasked with being a competitor not only to the Chevy, GMC, and Ford SUVs of the world but also to high-end models such as the Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator. While we had previously thought that the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer names would refer to short- and long-wheelbase models, it now seems that Jeep intends the Wagoneer to be the more mainstream offering and the Grand Wagoneer to be the luxury version.
Meunier did say that short- and long-wheelbase models will be offered, though, suggesting that both the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will be offered in multiple configurations. We are sure that the two models will share mechanicals, with both riding on the Ram 1500’s body-on-frame platform and offering V-6, V-8, and hybrid drivetrains. The Grand Wagoneer is likely to differentiate itself in terms of exterior and interior styling and higher levels of equipment to justify its higher price. The concept version of the Grand Wagoneer has a plug-in-hybrid powertrain, although Jeep isn’t sharing many details at this point.
An interior fit for a King/Queen
With three rows of seats, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will provide large families an opportunity to associate with the Jeep lifestyle, which hasn’t been possible since the old and unloved Commander was around. Based on the Grand Wagoneer concept, the cabin looks to be one of the company’s most elegant and high-tech. While we’re not sure if the concept’s generous use of glass and sustainable materials will be present on the production model, we think there’s a good chance the details that are inspired by the original Grand Wagoneer will, including the two-spoke steering wheel and the “EST. 1963” inscription that appears on the edge of the dashboard when you open the door. The driver will face a fully digital gauge cluster and a limited number of physical controls. (Many functions will be controlled through the infotainment screen.) The interior is also enhanced with customization of the ambient lighting and a full-pane glass roof. The Grand Wagoneer concept supports seating for up to seven passengers, with the second row featuring captain’s chairs and the way-back row having a bench for three.
Does this new Grand Wagoneer live up to the name? Perhaps it’s unfair to ask. The original Wagoneer was the first “luxury 4×4,” achieving that title by offering such niceties as an automatic transmission, automatic full-time four-wheel drive, and, briefly, optional independent front suspension. When the Wagoneer became the Grand Wagoneer in 1984, it was opulently appointed for the time, but still a rugged and capable off-roader at heart.
This feels like something different: A late, looming addition to the SUV-as-limousine segment, a massive house size of a vehicle with no clear design connection to the long-lived and beloved vehicle it uses as its namesake. Maybe that’s for the best—a retro-themed update, complete with wood wallpaper, would have seemed corny and backwards.
But it’s puzzling. Jeep—and Fiat Chrysler as a whole—has perfected the ability to honor legendary past models in modern designs. More than any company out there right now, Jeep should have the skill to make a Grand Wagoneer that looks like a Grand Wagoneer.
We’re certain the production Grand Wagoneer will be comfortable and capable, luxurious and pleasant, with all the top-spec niceties that customers in this segment have come to expect. Especially when priced above $100,000 in its top trim. But for us, this isn’t quite what we expected the return of the Wagoneer to look like, and we suspect a lot of you feel the same way.