Is the Wagoneer Really a Jeep?

You may have heard an expression along the lines of: If it looks, swims and quacks like a duck then it’s probably a duck. This so-called duck test is meant to imply that we can often rely on appearance and characteristics when identifying something — oftentimes, but not always.

The Wagoneer is a modern example of something that challenges these assumptions. That is, it looks like a Jeep and functions like a Jeep… but is it really a Jeep? Keep reading to learn more about what the Wagoneer is and is not.

What Makes the Wagoneer Different? 

Many of us have a working idea in our minds of what it means to drive a Jeep, ranging from a comfortable on-road SUV to a rugged off-road Wrangler. How does the Wagoneer differ? The 2022 Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are meant to epitomize luxury. That’s not to say other Jeeps are lacking in this department, but rather that the company wants to differentiate the Wagoneer into its own class.

As The Drive reports, Michael Manley, Jeep’s CEO described the Wagoneer as having different values from the traditional Jeep lineup, particularly in its additional tech and design offerings. He went as far as to call it an “evolution from Jeep.”

To be certain, this is not merely a reprise of the beloved Jeep Wagoneer station wagon produced from the early 1960s until the early 1990s. Rather, going forward, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer offer the most premium version of Jeep technologies available on the market. While these vehicles are indeed manufactured and sold by Jeep, the company elected to leave its moniker out of the name to highlight these vehicles standing in a class of their own.

2022 Wagoneer Specifications & Features

One difference you’ll notice right away between the traditional Jeep lineup and the Wagoneer is the MSRP. Most models under this brand start in the ballpark of $30,000 — give or take about $10,000 depending on the exact vehicle in question.

The 2022 Wagoneer has a starting MSRP of $68,590, while the Grand Wagoneer starts at $86,995. This further illustrates how these models, while showcasing many Jeep technology and performance features, were ultimately designed with luxury in mind.

Here are some of the key specifications and features drivers will find in the new Wagoneer:

  • Seating for eight passengers in three rows
  • Uconnect 5 NAV with 10.1-inch touchscreen
  • Three-zone climate control
  • 506-watt, nine-speaker Alpine Audio stereo system
  • Flexible cargo area configurations
  • Wheel options from 18 to 22 inches
  • 10,000-pound towing capacity
  • 5.7-liter V8 engine
  • Leather-trimmed seats
  • 12-way power adjustable front seats

As you can imagine, these features represent just the tip of the iceberg on the overall Wagoneer experience. There are even more technology, convenience and design flourishes available for discerning drivers. For instance, as Car and Driver writes, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are actually the first SUVs available with Amazon Fire TV for Auto, meaning passengers will be able to enjoy a library full of thousands of titles while on the road. One hallmark of the Wagoneer and, even more so, the Grand Wagoneer is their plethora of screens located throughout the cabin.

Perhaps the biggest takeaway to keep in mind is that the Wagoneer is clearly meant to compete with other full-size luxury SUVs rather than compete with other Jeep models. For this reason, you won’t find any Jeep badges branding this vehicle despite its origins. Is it really a Jeep? Yes… and no. While the Wagoneer exhibits some Jeep technology as well as aesthetics, it is undoubtedly a luxury offering distinct from the Jeep lineup currently on the market. 

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