Jim Bray's Car & Tech rants - publishing online exclusively since 1995
Mazda CX-50

Jeep supersizes an old friend

By Jim Bray
November 17, 2022

Whether you like your SUV and/or crossover to be big and luxurious, or small and sporty, there's an abundance of models from which to choose. And one particular carmaker that's famed for big time utility is offering a brand new iteration of the old SUV/Crossover theme.

It's Jeep, with its new Wagoneer, a huge and hedonistic land barge whose existence I don't understand in this day and age of supposed "small is better".

The Wagoneeris a huge, V8-powered beast that's guaranteed to have the Thunberg crowd curling up in fetal position. And for that we should all be grateful!

Click on the image to open a slideshow.

The Wagoneer is an all-new version of a long gone Jeep and, while it may not be as "off-road compatible" as some other Jeeps, it's certainly a substantial urban cruiser. Jeep Canada's sample was a 2022 Wagoneer Series II 4x4, with an initial sticker price (before options) of $80,995. That's a pretty substantial amount of lucre just to get into a Wagoneer but Jeep's sample also contained abundant options that swelled its sticker to $93,175.

That's thanks to such things as:

  • Velvet Red Pearl paint $695
  • Customer Preferred Package 22J

Convenience Group I $4,695

    • Second–row manual window shades
    • Second–row heated seats
    • Head–Up Display
    • Automatic high–beam headlamp control
    • Quadra–Lift air suspension
    • Traffic sign recognition
    • Adaptive damping suspension
    • Side distance warning
    • Surround View Camera System
    • Drowsy driver detection
    • Parallel and Perpendicular Park Assist
    • Intersection collision assist system
  • Premium Group I $3,995
    • Reversible carpet/vinyl cargo mat
    • Foldable cargo shade
    • Three panel sunroof
    • Adjustable roof rail crossbars
    • 285/45R22XL BSW All–Season tires
    • 22x9–in Polished alum whls w/ Black Noise pockets

Sure, that's a lot of stuff, but it's also pretty dear. On the other hand, you can spend as much on other brands' big SUV's as well, so affordability is in the eye of the wallet holder.

The V8 is the standard engine and, besides its lovely noise, it's a, well, substantial power plant as well. Jeep says the 5.7L V8 engine with eTorque cranks out 392 horses and a maximum of 404 lb.-ft. of torque. That's pretty potent power, but you must also remember it's propelling a vehicle that's about the size of a small school bus and can tow up to 10,000 pounds, supposedly.

Alas, I only had a quick preview of the Wagoneer before life threw me a curve and I had to leave for a couple of months, so this is a more superficial look at the Wagoneer than it deserves; hopefully, I'll get a second chance down the, er, road.

I did notice that the driver's seat caught my left cheek wrong, but this is something I find in an annoyingly increasing number of vehicles from various manufacturers, so the problem may not be seat design but the design of MY seat…

The LCD screen, as is typical of this company's products, is very busy. It works great, but there's so much stuff there and many of the virtual buttons are so small that it makes it hard to use, especially if you're wearing gloves. Ditto for the screen that makes up the instrument panel, though this depends a lot upon how you set it.

But the vehicle itself is very easy to like and, boy, do you cut a swath through traffic with it! I find the styling a bit boxy and out of date, but it isn't really any worse than some of the competition, such as the Lincoln Navigator. Besides, one person's silk purse is another one's sow's ear.

All three rows are comfortable, including the dreaded third row, and access to "steerage" is actually pretty good.

Parking such a large vehicle can be problematic for some, but Jeep has built self-parking features into the Wagoneer, so that should help get around that. I didn't get a chance to try them, however, so can only assume they work as advertised.  

And while the as-tested price of just over $93,000 is a lot, you can get a lot higher than that if you want to. The top line Series III Carbide model, for example, starts at $95,290 and when you option it up the tally can reach $105,960 or more. "If you got it, flaunt it!"

I have no idea if the world needs another behemoth on the highway, but it's really no one's business other than the manufacturer and the purchaser. So, while Algore and his ilk might freak out from the comfort of their beachfront homes, I applaud a company that thinks it's found a niche that needs to be served and is willing to serve it regardless of pressure from the so-called saints of the environment..

Copyright 2022 Jim Bray

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