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Jeep’s new $100,000 Grand Wagoneer takes on Mercedes and BMW


These new SUVs, which are equipped with three rows of seats and plenty of leather and wood trim, will come in a range of styles and with prices ranging from $68,000 for the Wagoneer to more than $100,000 for the most expensive and opulent version of the Grand Wagoneer.

After being out of production for nearly 30 years, these new models signal a much-anticipated return for the Wagoneer brand. They put Jeep, a brand built on its relationship to the famed World War II off-road vehicle, in direct competition with the likes of Cadillac, Mercedes-Benz, and BMW. All of those recognized luxury brands make full-size SUVs in roughly the same price range, although the lowest-priced Wagoneer models will be a little more affordable.

The lowest-priced Wagoneer will be a rear-wheel-drive model starting at $68,000, and the least expensive four-wheel-drive version will start at $71,000. Prices for the more luxurious Grand Wagoneer begin at about $88,000 and run to $108,000 for the Grand Wagoneer Series III Premium. These prices do not include an additional $2,000 destination charge.

The Grand Wagoneer will compete best against American rivals, the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade, said Akshay Anand, an auto industry analyst with Kelley Blue Book. It could also pull customers from Britain’s Range Rover, another brand known for off-road prowess.

It will have a harder time competing against luxury SUVs like the BMW X7 and Mercedes-Benz GLS, he said, because buyers of those SUVs value things, like brand prestige, beyond the ruggedness embodied in the Wagoneer.

Among the available features in the new Wagoneer is a touchscreen for the front passenger, in addition to touchscreens for the rear passengers. The front passenger’s screen will have a special surface covering making it invisible to the driver. With it, the front passenger will be able to watch videos using wireless headphones without distracting the driver. The front passenger can also put in a navigation destination for directions that will appear on the SUV’s main center screen.
Grand Wagoneer interiors will include lots of wood and leather. Plus an available touchscreen for the front passenger.

The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will also offer Amazon Fire TV Auto, a version of the Amazon Fire TV software customized for use in a vehicle. Passengers will be able to stream or watch movies that have been previously downloaded.

The most fully-equipped Grand Wagoneer, the Series III Premium version, will come with 22-inch wheels, a 23-speaker McIntosh stereo system, 10-inch screens for the rear passengers and a chilled center storage console in the front, among other features.

The Wagoneer will be powered by a 392-horsepower 5.7-liter V8 engine with a fuel-saving mild hybrid system. A small electric motor will assist the gasoline engine when accelerating and when restarting after a stop. Batteries for the electric motor are recharged during braking and by the engine.

The Grand Wagoneer will have a 471-horsepower 6.4-liter V8 engine. The Grand Wagoneer concept vehicle Jeep unveiled last September was a plugin hybrid, but Jeep has not announced a plugin hybrid version for the production model.

The appearance of the Wagoneer, though, closely resembles the concept version.

The Jeep Grand Wagoneer will be available later this year.

Interiors shown by Stellantis designers feature lots of wood trim, for example. During a video presentation for journalists, Jeep executives boasted about the amount of wood and real metal — as opposed to metal-coated-plastic — used in the Grand Wagoneer. Unlike the classic Grand Wagoneer, though, the new version will not have wood on the outside of the vehicle.

Controls for the front seats are on the door so the sides of the seat can show the Grand Wagoneer name. Vehicle names are often embossed on a so-called kick plate on the floor at the bottom of the door opening. But designers worried that, if it were located there, the name would get dirty and muddy.

The SUVs will be available with air suspension that can raise them to as high as 10 inches off the ground for off-road driving. They will be able to drive through as much as two feet of water, Stellantis said.

The first Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer SUVs will arrive at dealerships in the second half of this year, according to Stellantis.

The original Wagoneer was introduced in 1962. While based on a truck frame, the Wagoneer was much more stylish and car-like than other early SUVs, like the Bronco and the International Harvester Scout. It was also the first four-wheel-drive vehicle available with an automatic transmission. It introduced the modern concept of an SUV as a family vehicle, rather than something just for farmers and hunters. The Grand Wagoneer became a distinct model line in 1984. Production ended in 1991 in the face of rising gas prices.

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