2022 Jeep Wagoneer Review

Ron Sessions, Independent Expert | Aug 17, 2021

Introduction - Find the best Jeep deals!

After pausing the nameplate for 30 years, Jeep is resurrecting the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer nameplates. As before, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will be the most expensive and best-equipped offerings in the Jeep lineup, providing a level of luxury and technical content that's tops for the brand.

The Wagoneer will compete with large SUVs such as the Chevrolet Tahoe and SuburbanFord Expedition and Expedition Max, GMC Yukon and Yukon XL, Nissan Armada, and Toyota Sequoia. The range-topping Grand Wagoneer goes up against the Cadillac Escalade and Escalade ESV, GMC Yukon DenaliLincoln NavigatorMercedes-Benz GLS-ClassBMW X7Infiniti QX80, and Lexus LX 570.

This is new territory for Jeep, with a large, luxurious, body-on-frame SUV aimed at buyers who want all of the luxury amenities, the latest safety and infotainment technology, towing up to 10,000 pounds, and the ability to carry up to eight passengers and all of their gear.

Jeep is looking to create a new premium sub-brand with the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. You won't see any Jeep badges on either SUV.

The slightly less dear Wagoneer is the subject of this review. It gets different styling details than the Grand Wagoneer, slightly smaller driver and infotainment displays, fewer leading-edge tech features, and a 5.7-liter engine versus the Grand's 6.4-liter Hemi V8 but otherwise shares the same stout underpinnings.

Stretching 214.7 inches from nose to tail, the Wagoneer is slightly longer than the Tahoe and Expedition but less lengthy than the Suburban and Expedition Max. The Wagoneer's boxy shape and tall sides work in its favor, besting its main rivals in second-row headroom and legroom and third-row headroom. Cargo room is generous as well, topping the Expedition and Tahoe behind the third-row seats and offering minivan-like space with both second- and third-row seats folded.

Jeep was wise to avoid the mistakes of its previous "big" 3-row offering, the Grand Cherokee-based Commander of 2006-2010 that didn't look particularly luxurious and had substandard third-row passenger space.

Both two-wheel-drive (2WD) and 4-wheel-drive (4WD) models are on offer. Available 4WD systems include the Quadra-Trac I full-time system with one-speed transfer case on Series II, Quadra-Trac II active 4WD with a 2-speed transfer case, hill-descent control on Series III, and an optional Quadra-Drive II 4WD system that adds an electric limited-slip rear differential.

At launch, the Wagoneer is available in Series II and Series III trim levels with standard niceties such as leather seating, a 10.1-inch infotainment touchscreen, and an available air suspension. Later in the model year, Jeep will produce an entry-level Series I Wagoneer priced some $10,000 less than the Series II and aimed at entities desiring a big, rugged, body-on-frame truck without all of the luxury trimmings.

What Owners Say About the Large SUV Segment - Find the best Jeep deals!

2022 Jeep Wagoneer Series III 4WD Silver Front Quarter View

Photo: Ron Sessions

The Jeep Wagoneer competes in the Large SUV segment. According to data collected from verified new-vehicle buyers for the J.D. Power 2020 Automotive Performance, Execution and Layout (APEAL) Study, the demographics of Large SUV buyers are similar to those of the industry at large. Specifically, 59 percent of new Large SUV buyers are male (vs. 60 percent for the industry), and the median age of a Large SUV buyer is 55 years (vs. 56).

As part of the APEAL Study, owners rated the Large SUV segment in 10 primary categories. Listed below in descending order, you'll find their preferences from their most favorite thing about the vehicle to their least favorite:

  • Exterior styling
  • Driving feel
  • Powertrain
  • Feeling of safety
  • Interior design
  • Driving comfort
  • Setting up and starting
  • Infotainment system
  • Getting in and out
  • Fuel economy

The 2022 Jeep Wagoneer was not included in the 2020 APEAL Study as it is an all-new model.

What Our Independent Expert Says About the Jeep Wagoneer - Find the best Jeep deals!

In the sections that follow, our independent expert provides an analysis of a 2022 Wagoneer Series III 4x4 equipped with the following options:

  • Silver-Zynith exterior paint
  • Premium Group (McIntosh premium audio with 19 speakers, 285/45R22 all-season tires, tri-pane panoramic sunroof, power-deployable running boards, foldable cargo shade, reversible cargo mat, luxury floor mats)
  • Convenience Group (360-degree surround-view camera, drowsy driver detection, intersection collision assist, traffic-sign recognition, parallel and perpendicular park assist with stop, second-row manual window shades)
  • Rear Seat Entertainment Group (dual 10.1-inch second-row entertainment screens, Amazon Fire TV, video USB port)
  • Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow package (heavy-duty engine cooling, trailer brake control, trailer hitch lineup assist, trailer hitch zoom, 3.92:1 rear axle ratio, electronic rear limited-slip differential, chrome front tow hooks, removable rear tow hook, locking in-vehicle safe)

The price of the test vehicle came to $89,770, including the surprisingly high $2,000 destination charge.

Getting In and Getting Comfortable

2022 Jeep Wagoneer Series III 4WD Silver Front Seats

Photo: Ron Sessions

Although the Wagoneer has a relatively high seating position that's good for down-the-road visibility, getting in is surprisingly easy with standard fixed side steps. The Wagoneer Series III test vehicle was fitted with optional deployable side steps that fold out when you open a door and slide back under the body for a clean appearance when the doors are closed. Models equipped with air suspension can lower step-in height by 1-1/2 inches to ease ingress and egress.

Once inside, the Wagoneer's mission near the top of the Jeep food chain is readily apparent. Good-quality materials abound with soft-touch or wrapped surfaces proliferating and nary a speck of hard plastic to be found.

The large, comfy, perforated Nappa leather-covered front seats are power-operated, heated, and ventilated, with power lumbar adjustability. There is no massage function for Wagoneer, though, that embellishment reserved exclusively for the Grand Wagoneer.

An extra-wide center console between the front seats offers a place for auxiliary controls for air-suspension ride-height settings and Selec-Terrain drive modes, the rotary transmission shifter, a pair of armrests, cupholders, and plenty of storage in a deep center bin. In some models, that bin is configurable as a lockable safe or an insulated and chilled cooler.

The standard leather-wrapped steering wheel is electrically adjustable for tilt and rake. Pushbutton start is standard, as is a 3-zone automatic climate control system. Extensive soundproofing and thick acoustic glass for the front doors and windshield help quell a noisy world. An available 3-panel panoramic sunroof brightens the overall outlook.

Facing the driver is a configurable color 10.25-inch Multiview cluster display with a choice of layouts. It's time well spent scrolling through the available menus to select the driver-assistive and other features and the look you want in front of you, whether it's analog, digital, or something in between. The driver can then save these to one of five customizable profiles.

Second-row seating in the Wagoneer is a 40/20/40-split bench with a pair of individually adjustable captain's chairs an option. Using buttons just inside the rear door openings, the second-row seats can be folded flat or slid forward to facilitate access to the adult-friendly 60/40 split third-row seat. The second- and third-row seats offer head- and legroom that is among the most generous in the large SUV segment.

2022 Jeep Wagoneer Uconnect 5 Infotainment System Review

2022 Jeep Wagoneer Series III 4WD Silver Infotainment

Photo: Ron Sessions

Introduced first in the 2021 Chrysler Pacifica, the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer launch with the Android-based Uconnect 5 infotainment system that Jeep says offers processing that's five times faster than previous systems. In the Wagoneer, elements of the system include:

  • 10.1-inch high-definition touchscreen display
  • TomTom navigation with predictive search, natural voice capability, travel, and traffic updates
  • Wireless Apple CarPlay and wireless Android Auto
  • Up to 11 USB-A and faster USB-C charge ports (multiple ports at each seat row)
  • Wireless charging for Qi-enabled phones
  • Two 12-volt and one 115-volt power outlet
  • SiriusXM 360L (suggests genre-based musical selections, powered by Pandora)
  • HD Radio
  • Amazon Alexa compatibility
  • Over-the-air map and software updates

The Uconnect 5 system is user-friendly and intuitive. While not the largest display on the market, the screen tiles are easy to find and select, even when driving on less than glass-smooth roads. Simple analog rotary volume and tuning knobs at the lower corners of the screen and steering-wheel buttons reduce the need to take eyes off the road to make touchscreen inputs. Users can pair two phones simultaneously.

With standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, there's less console cable clutter. Another benefit is cellphones can be tucked securely away out of sight where they can't create distractions from the serious business of driving. A 4G LTE Wi-Fi hotspot allows for the connection of up to eight wireless devices.

The TomTom traffic feature (with a free 6-month trial) detected a traffic jam on the test drive route, automatically alerting me and suggesting alternative routes.

Standard with Series III Wagoneer trim is a color, 10-inch head-up display at the base of the windshield that offers three different configurations and is customizable to include the status of driver-assistance systems, road speed, turn-by-turn navigation, speed limit signs, and more.

Optional in the Series III Wagoneer is a segment-first front passenger display. The 10.25-inch touchscreen gives the front passenger their own screen to watch movies and other programming on Amazon Fire TV, plug in a tablet or phone to watch personalized content on a larger screen, view the Wagoneer's exterior cameras, or co-pilot for the driver on navigation searches and device management chores.

Also viewable when the transmission is in Park when equipped with the optional front passenger display is a Relax Mode that combines a choice of five preloaded videos and soundtracks of dramatic natural settings across multiple screens for an immersive experience accompanied by changing ambient cockpit lighting.

The Wagoneer's standard Alexa capability allows users to perform tasks like locking or unlocking vehicle doors and starting or stopping the engine from inside the home. You can also prompt Alexa to select a radio station or other audio source, get directions, or adjust the interior temperature from inside the Wagoneer's cabin.

I was able to use the system to find and get voice guidance to a nearby pizza place and had no trouble sending and receiving calls from my paired Android device. However, one thing to look out for is a small mute button on the left side of the screen that is easy to tap by mistake, thereby canceling voice guidance when you might need it most.

Replacing the Wagoneer's standard 9-speaker Alpine AM/FM/HD stereo in the Series III test vehicle was an optional 19-speaker, 950-watt McIntosh premium audio system. While this wasn't the 23-speaker, 1,375-watt McIntosh system only available in the Grand Wagoneer, the 19-speaker system easily filled the SUV's cavernous cabin and my ears with balanced, crystal-clear, and distortion-free audio entertainment.

Also aboard the Wagoneer Series III test vehicle was a second-row entertainment system with a pair of 10.1-inch flat screens on the back of the front seatbacks. This system includes Fire TV for Auto skills, allowing rear-seat passengers to choose from thousands of selections, and enjoy unique content separately on each screen using headphones or both rear screens using the Wagoneer's audio speakers. Also, passengers can view their content from a tablet using the included HDMI ports. Amazon Kids+ programming is included as well.

What It's Like to Drive the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer

2022 Jeep Wagoneer Series III 4WD Silver Profile

Photo: Ron Sessions

At launch, the Wagoneer is available solely with a 5.7-liter Hemi V8 engine paired with a ZF 8-speed step-shift automatic transmission. The engine produces a segment-appropriate 392 horsepower and 404 pound-feet of torque. The V8 uses the latest iteration of the automaker's 48-volt eTorque mild-hybrid system (first used in the Ram 1500 pickup a few years ago) that gives a slight boost to fuel economy and improves driveability, especially smoothing automatic engine stop/start restarts in Drive after pausing at a traffic light or stop sign.

The Wagoneer rolls on standard 20-inch or optional 22-inch aluminum wheels. The all-independent suspension (something Chevrolet and GMC didn't adopt for its large SUVs until just last year) is equipped with conventional steel coil springs on Series II models with air suspension standard on Series III 4WD models and optional on the rest. The air suspension has a load-leveling function that keeps the rear end from sagging under heavy loads. The electrically boosted rack-and-pinion steering is both variable-effort (adjustable in drive mode settings) and variable-ratio—quicker at low vehicle speeds for easy maneuverability and slower at higher rates for better on-center feel and stability.

On the road, the Hemi V8 provides ample acceleration without working up a sweat, and the muted rumble of the exhaust exudes a feeling of capability and confidence. It easily accelerates up to freeway speeds and overtakes slower vehicles when called upon. Placing the Selec-Terrain drive mode selector in Sport mode keeps engine revs higher and the transmission down a gear or two, which is handy for quicker response to throttle inputs when jockeying for open slots in the traffic flow.

The air suspension automatically lowers 0.6 inches in Sport mode and at speed for improved aerodynamics. It can be raised an additional 2 inches from its standard 8-inch ride height for added ground clearance off-road. The suspension delivered pleasingly pliant ride quality, even when traversing Manhattan's often tortured, wavy, and pockmarked pavement.

Once beyond the cratered big city infrastructure and out on winding exurban and rural two-tracks, the Wagoneer drove smaller than its 3-ton-plus bones might suggest. A near-perfect 51/49 front/rear weight balance helps here, as do the semi-active damping qualities of the air springs. Brake response was crisp and reassuring from speed as well.

The Wagoneer can tow up to 10,000 pounds when properly equipped with the optional towing package. During the test drive, I had an opportunity to pull a 7,000-pound trailer up and down steep grades and around sharp turns, which the Wagoneer handled with flying colors.

I also drove another Wagoneer with the Advanced All-Terrain package and equipped with 18-inch off-road tires, air suspension, 2-speed transfer case, electronic limited-slip rear differential, hill-descent control, and skid plates for the front suspension, transfer case, and fuel tank on a brief, 10-minute-long off-road course. With the air suspension set to its full 2-inch off-road lift position, Quadra-Drive II in 4WD Low, and the Selec-Terrain control set to Rock, the big Jeep eased its way over microwave-oven-sized rocks, a teeter-totter section that alternately put one front and its opposite rear wheel in the air, and various grades, gravel, and muddy sections without issue.

Jeep Wagoneer Advanced Driving Assistance Systems Review

2022 Jeep Wagoneer Series III 4WD Silver Driving Assistance System Menu

Photo: Ron Sessions

In addition to eight airbags, electronic stability control, and trailer sway control, Jeep offers a generous array of safety, security, and advanced driving assistance systems (ADAS) and features in the 2022 Wagoneer. Standard ADAS features on all Wagoneer models include:

Wagoneer Series III trim adds standard:

  • Automatic high-beam headlight assistance

An optional Convenience Group adds:

  • Surround-view monitor (gives an overhead 360-degree view of the Wagoneer and its immediate surroundings)
  • Drowsy driver detection (infrared camera checks if the driver is paying attention to the road)
  • Traffic sign recognition
  • Intersection collision assist (uses radar sensors and a camera to check for side traffic at an intersection and will brake automatically to avoid a collision)
  • Perpendicular and parallel parking assist system (when activated, can detect and steer into and out of a parking space but does not operate the gear selector, accelerator, or brakes)

Driving a big SUV in a highly congested, super competitive urban environment with rampant detours and road construction can test the patience and skills of any driver. In town, the relative absence of clear road sections with clearly delineated lane markings made semi-autonomous lane-keeping and adaptive cruise control systems moot.

But the Wagoneer's standard blind-spot warning system, which gives both visual and audible warnings when it is unsafe to change lanes, saved the day on more than one occasion as fast-moving motorcycle riders and hyper-aggressive car commuters challenged the big Wagoneer for any available opening in traffic, however small.

The Wagoneer's large side windows and broad windshield provide good outward visibility for such a big SUV. Still, it's hard to imagine driving it in today's traffic without a reversing camera, rear cross-traffic warning, and the aforementioned blind-spot warning system.

Some of Jeep's most advanced technology is restricted to the more expensive Grand Wagoneer. This includes night vision, which uses a heat signature to spot pedestrians and animals in the dark of night. Another is hands-free Active Driving Assist, which Jeep says will offer Cadillac Super Cruise-like hands-free automated throttle, brake, and steering control with lane-centering on certain pre-mapped limited-access interstates and freeways later in the 2022 model year.

2022 Jeep Wagoneer FAQ - Find the best Jeep deals!

2022 Jeep Wagoneer Series III 4WD Silver Cargo Area

Photo: Ron Sessions

How much cargo space does the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer have?

Accessible via a standard, hands-free power-operated liftgate, the Wagoneer offers a generous 27.4 cubic feet of cargo space behind the third-row seats, more than is available in principle competitors such as the Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, or GMC Yukon.

A bank of switches just inside the cargo door allows hands-free lowering or raising of the third- and second-row seatbacks. The Wagoneer presents an Expedition-topping 70.8 cubic feet of flat load floor with the third-row chairs folded flat. Dropping the second-row seat increases that figure to a minivan-like 116.7 cubic feet. Concealed storage for computer bags, purses, cameras, and other valuables is available under the rear cargo floor. Loading heavier items is made easier courtesy of an exceptionally low cargo floor.

Does the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer get good gas mileage?

Fuel economy was the least favorite of all the APEAL Study performance categories for which large SUV buyers provided ratings. That's not likely to change with the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer, although its 5.7-liter Hemi V8 does utilize a 48-volt eTorque mild-hybrid system that both aids driveability and takes some of the sting out of filling up the vehicle's 26.5-gallon fuel tank.

Moving passengers in comfort with 3-1/4 tons (6,400 pounds) of Jeep takes some energy. Specifically, the EPA rates the 2WD Wagoneer at 16 mpg city/22 mpg highway/18 mpg combined. It gives 4WD versions a rating of 15 mpg city/20 mpg highway/17 mpg combined.

On a 70-mile drive route that included a mix of limited-access highways, two-lane small-town and residential streets, numerous construction delays with the engine idling in 95-degree heat, and more than an hour and a half of crushing Manhattan city gridlock, the Wagoneer displayed an average 14.2 mpg in the onboard trip computer.

With the Wagoneer's generous 26.5-gallon fuel tank, that figures to a theoretical driving range of about 375 miles. The good news is Jeep recommends less-expensive midgrade unleaded (instead of the premium recommended in some import-brand competitors) and says regular unleaded is acceptable as well.

Is the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer safe?

As this review was published, neither the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA) nor the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) had published crash-test results for the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer.

How much is the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer?

Prices for the 2022 Wagoneer are $57,995 for the base, rear-drive-only Series I, $67,995 for the mid-level rear-drive Series II, and $72,995 for the well-equipped rear-drive Series III. Four-wheel drive is a $3,000 upcharge for Series II and Series III models.

The destination charge for all 2022 Wagoneers is a head-clearing $2,000.

What are the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer competitors?

In the J.D. Power 2020 Initial Quality Study (IQS), the Nissan Armada ranks highest in the Large SUV segment. The Chevrolet Tahoe and the Toyota Sequoia are the next highest-ranked models.

In the 2020 APEAL Study, the Nissan Armada ranks highest in the Large SUV segment. The GMC Yukon and the Chevrolet Tahoe are the next highest-ranked models.

Other competitors to the 2022 Wagoneer include the Ford Expedition, Chevrolet Suburban, and GMC Yukon XL.

Independent Expert Opinion - Find the best Jeep deals!

2022 Jeep Wagoneer Series III 4WD Silver Rear Quarter View

Photo: Ron Sessions

Channeling a nameplate from its Kaiser past, Jeep resurrects the Wagoneer as one of two new range-topping offerings for buyers looking to blend the brand's legendary capability with a cushy-but-rugged, truck-based large SUV that can carry eight passengers and their toys. It's a new white space for the Jeep brand.

Slotting between the Chevrolet Tahoe and Suburban and the Ford Expedition and Expedition Max, the Wagoneer offers a bit more room for the class but better maneuverability and garageability than the longest examples in the large SUV segment. Packed with the latest infotainment and connectivity technology as well as a relatively comprehensive roster of safety and driver-assistance features, the Wagoneer coddles its occupants in a richly appointed, roomy, and quiet cabin.

And if that's not rich enough for some buyers, there's the even more opulent Grand Wagoneer Jeep wants to show you.

Ron Sessions is a seasoned vehicle evaluator with more than three decades of experience. He has penned hundreds of road tests for automotive and consumer websites, enthusiast magazines, newsletters, technical journals, and newspapers.

The opinions expressed in this review are the author’s own, not J.D. Power’s.

No portion of these reviews may be reproduced, distributed, publicly displayed, or used for a derivative work without J.D. Power’s written permission. © 2021 J.D. Power

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