By on November 26, 2019

A late — but hopefully (for Fiat Chrysler) not too-late — entry in the full-size SUV segment is drawing closer to fruition, now appearing on Michigan roads wrapped in camo. That vehicle is the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, a boxy ute destined for the top of the Jeep food chain.

While past spy photos have shown a Ram 1500 test mule with an abbreviated back end, the latest shots are the first to show the vehicle in its final prototype form.

We don’t have the shots, but outlets like Motor1 do. Give them a look. Despite the heavy cladding, it seems Jeep’s going for a Grand Cherokee-on-steroids look to ensure the looming luxo-wagon places its pedigree front and center. Just how slanted that rear glass will be remains a mystery.

This being a range topper, interior volume will need to be generous to compete with the likes of the Lincoln Navigator and Cadillac Escalade.

Beneath the vehicle, see see evidence of an independent rear suspension — the same setup seen on the 1500 test mule. While the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are expected to utilize a modified 1500 platform, the segment necessitates ride quality above and beyond that of a pickup. This isn’t the ’80s.

Beyond that, little is known about the makeup of these vehicles, besides the obvious assumption that they’ll make use of the 1500’s line of powerplants. It’s expected that FCA will offer a plug-in hybrid option to lower the lumbering beasts’ environmental footprint. The jury’s out on whether the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will be seperate only in content, or in actual vehicle length. Given that Jeep has a long-wheelbase, three-row version of the Grand Cherokee on the way, as well as the fact that the Wagoneer test mule required a shortened bed, we can wager a guess that the latter is true.

Both SUVs will roll out of FCA’s Warren Truck plant in early 2021, their production greased with $1.5 billion in funding announced in February.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler]

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52 Comments on “Jeep Grand Wagoneer Making Itself Known… and Seen...”


  • avatar

    You know, FCA is about 18 kinds of stupid for not fielding a large SUV since circa 1992, not using the vaunted Grand Wagoneer name, and for focusing on Maserati and Alfa junk first when this model is cheaper to develop and will net greater sales volume.

    It’s so obvious it’s painful, yet they ignored it so long.

    • 0 avatar
      Vulpine

      Personally, Corey, I think some of your assumptions are invalid. While I agree that Jeep has needed a larger model, one based on the current Durango would probably have been enough. I also don’t expect the level of sales for a much larger model to be as good as you think. There will be an initial surge but I think average sales will be no better than the current Cherokee and maybe worse.

      I also don’t consider the Maserati or Alfa models ‘junk’, since they are selling decently here in the States and probably better overseas. Not great, mind you, but certainly better than any of their Fiat-branded sisters. And I’ve not read anything significantly bad about either one while I’ve seen several on the roads in my area.

      • 0 avatar
        DenverMike

        You’re not talking rational. Meanwhile GM, Ford, Nissan, Infiniti and TMC put close to a billion of them on the ground, or so it seems, but also way overpriced and pure profit.

        Or were you joking?

      • 0 avatar
        Mnemic

        Vulpine – the Grand Cherokee shares its platform with the durango. Alfa and Masi do not sell “decently” either, they are in the toilet. Maserati’s are just gussied up 300’s so no real loss there but the Alfa Giorgio platform cost between 2 and 3 billion dollars and isn’t making it back – that is a huge loss and makes the dart and 200 look like peanuts in comparison. This is why you’re going to see giorgio used on everything now and Alfa placed on the back burner. They over spent and the brand under delivered, now they need the other brands to make the cash that alfa was supposed to.

        A Dodge now based on the stelvio with 392 hemi scat pack versions is on the way and I’d say within the next month or 2 you’ll hear how the new charger and challenger will also use giorgio platform.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Apparently, you have not seen the Maserati CUV–it is by no means a “gussied up 300.” I live in a highly rural section along the Northeast Corridor and yet I’ve seen several different copies of each model, along with a surprising number of Teslas of each current model–so I will grant there’s decent money around where I live.

          I will acknowledge that I have no idea what these models cost to build but I see enough of them that they outnumber the current Cadillac models in the area. The only Caddy I see in any quantity is the truck-based model and almost none of the CUVs or sedans.

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        Vulpine, you must be kidding when you say you’ve never “read anything significantly bad” about the new Alfas.

        Fasten your seat belts, it’s going to be a bumpy night…

        https://www.caranddriver.com/reviews/a23145269/alfa-romeo-giulia-quadrifoglio-reliability-update/

        That’s next-level bad.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          Sorry, FM, the Giulia Quadrifoglio is NOT a Stelvia.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            Correct, but you didn’t mention the Stelvio specifically – you just mentioned Maserati and Alfa. Last I checked, a QF is an Alfa, and it’s a total shop queen.

            The Stelvio and Guilia are built on the same platform as the QF. I’m sure some of the QF’s problems are with components specific to that model, but based on that, I have zero confidence that the Giulia or Stelvio aren’t going to be shop queens too.

            Far as their sales are concerned…a little story. My daughter bought her first car (a Hyundai) a couple of weeks ago, and that dealership shares space with Alfa/Fiat, which has a free standing showroom. While she was wrapping up her car, I went over to the Alfa side to check one out – the showroom was dark and unmanned at 6:00 on a weekday evening. The salesperson who was working with my daughter said she can’t even remember the last time an Alfa or Fiat was sold – in fact, they had one salesperson to handle that whole half of the dealership, and they recently switched him to Hyundai because he couldn’t make a living selling Alfas.

            FYI, the area we live in is about 10 miles from Boulder, Colorado, which is tech-yuppie Nirvana, and should be RIPE ground for a car like an Alfa. But sales are so low that they turn the lights off in the showroom after dark. That’s decent sales? I don’t think so.

            Don’t get me wrong – I’d love to see them succeed. I actually love the way the Giulia looks, and I hear it’s a great drive. But they clearly botched the launch.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @FM: First off, the discussion was about CUVs and SUVs, so sedans are irrelevant. I must also note that the specific sedan being tested was a first-year model, with pretty much all that comes with being a first-year car. As such, even if the Giulia were relevant, the review becomes irrelevant.

            This isn’t to say there won’t be problems with the FCA products but I have discovered that later-year models tend to have fewer problems than early-year models.

          • 0 avatar

            You cannot simply excuse all quality issues as first year bugs because you favor the brand. It’s an expensive Italian car which is not reliable.

            You’ve just stated that all first model year car reviews are irrelevant.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @Corey: I acknowledge that FCA does have its issues; the vast majority of those issues show up in first-year and some second-year models, just like they do in every other brand. I do not excuse all quality issues as that but I am aware that the review FM referenced was based on a first-year Giulia and not a second- or third-year version, which invalidates his commentary re: what I said to you in the first place.

            And just so you know, my Chevy Colorado is only barely over a year old in a fourth- or fifth-year build and I have already experienced some electronics issues in the infotainment stack that don’t make any sense–such as an inability to find an Apple Car Play device to which it is already paired and vocal announcements that are getting progressively louder over time when they were already too loud when I bought the truck. Oh, mechanically it seems fine but I’m not a fan of the infotainment stack at this time.

        • 0 avatar
          Vulpine

          @FM: I can’t help it that you chose to veer away from the subject of the discussion. I was not talking about those brands in general but rather that TYPE of vehicle within those brands and I’m pretty sure Corey understood that (even if you and DM didn’t.)

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            So it’s all good because these are “first year problems”. Got it.

            Call me crazy, but if you’re a brand that got practically laughed out of the U.S. market for selling unreliable crapheaps, wouldn’t it make sense to make sure there were no first year problems at all when you reintroduced the brand? Nawwww….silly me.

            Sorry, when Alfa came back, it had one job: prove its’ quality issues were behind it. It failed. That’s why the dealer in my area turns the lights off in the showroom before dinner every night. Meanwhile, there are plenty of nice, well-lit Mercedes, BMW and Audi dealerships just down the street. It’s sad.

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            You know, FM, it’s funny how JEEP gets a pass on its issues because, “It’s a Jeep Thing” but other brands with similar issues get lambasted for the least little problem. Why is that?

          • 0 avatar
            22_RE_Speedwagon

            Hey vulpine, in my Chevy the vocal announcements were too loud at first as well. In my car you just need to adjust the volume knob while she’s talking and it will remember the volume level next time. Maybe that will work on your Colorado

          • 0 avatar
            Vulpine

            @22_RE_Speedwagon: Working on that idea and a couple of others in the settings… It may be that in trying to reduce announcement and other sounds, I’ve been pushing normal volumes downward which makes the announcement volumes excessive. I’m working on an idea to reverse that effect by making music and other input volumes louder, allowing me to lower the master volume as a result.

    • 0 avatar
      MrIcky

      @Corey, I think I would have totally agreed with you UNTIL I saw the latest greatest Ram 1500. I don’t think FCA was ready to build a vehicle like what the Grand Wagoneer should be until recently. They could have built one, and it would have been alright. But it wouldn’t have been able to meet the aspirations FCA has expressed for this vehicle until now and so every auto journo would have been grumbling about playskool quality this and rubbermaid that.

    • 0 avatar
      FreedMike

      Agreed on the first point, Corey, but as far as Alfa/Maserati are concerned, the concept – introducing an Italian take on an upscale luxury car – makes all kinds of sense, given that the upscale end of the market is seeing so much growth. Their problem, as you say, was bringing them to market half-baked. HUGE missed opportunity.

    • 0 avatar
      teddyc73

      “about 18 kinds of stupid” Using a phrase like that is number 19. The English language is on life support.

  • avatar
    Jon

    So… still no 3/4ton SUV options. Bummer.

    • 0 avatar
      jack4x

      Yeah, the fact that this niche goes unfilled while companies are rushing to cram a 4th or 5th CUV into the tiniest hole in their lineups is odd to me.

      Sure, it may be a low seller, but resale values on Excursions that are a minimum of 15 years old shows there is still some demand. The development costs can’t be onerous, since so much would be shared with a 3/4 ton truck. The transaction price could obviously be set pretty high based on what 1/2 ton BOF SUVs go for. No CAFE concerns for a true 3/4 ton. What am I missing?

    • 0 avatar
      R Henry

      You might remember that Ford received lots of hate over Excursion from Greens, as did GM for Hummer. Methinks the majors simply don’t want to deal with that anymore. The age of social media has changed everything–for the worse.

    • 0 avatar
      Spartan

      No need for it. GM quietly phased out the 3/4 ton ‘Burb and Yukon XL and few people complained. Those that did were probably in the “I wait and buy used” camp anyway.

      Most folks who require a 3/4 ton vehicle need it to pull a 5th wheel trailer, which you can’t do with an SUV for obvious reasons.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        The recent vintage “3/4 ton” GMs were based on the old 1500HD and were not truly heavy duty like the Excursion was. Tow ratings suffered as a result and were under 10,000 lb. Meanwhile a modern HD truck can conventional pull 15,000 or more. Plenty of big campers or boats that aren’t 5th wheel, and plenty of families that own them.

        Maybe you’re right that there’s no interest apart from weirdos like me, but its odd that no one has given it a shot given how SUV crazed the rest of the market is and how relatively easy it would be to create such a vehicle.

    • 0 avatar
      dal20402

      No 3/4 ton SUV other than the Excursion has ever sold more than a tiny number of copies. Take rates on 3/4-ton Burbs, Yukons, Avalanches, etc. were always minuscule. I agree that most of the buyers who really want that sort of capability also want a bed.

      For those with sufficient financial commitment, there are a couple of aftermarket vendors who will take a brand-new F-250 and make it into a pretty convincing Excursion.

      • 0 avatar
        jack4x

        That was true until recently, but once the 2017 Super Duty arrived with an all new body that finally shared nothing with the Excursion, the conversion using factory parts has not been possible.

        The fact that clean diesel Excursions are selling for $20-$30k despite being 15-20 years old tells me there is still some market out there for something more capable than the small block gas-only, not really HD 2500 Suburban. I remain baffled that no one wants to give it a shot.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      This, we need 3/4 ton options, or at very least a full-size 1/2 ton option with a decent suspension.

  • avatar
    Mnemic

    A body on frame Jeep will be awesome. They’ll be able to tackle a range of vehicles from the 4runner to the escalade.

  • avatar
    thejohnnycanuck

    If it’s all Jeep on the outside and Ram 1500 on the inside this should have all the trappings to be a real winner.

    Looking forward to this one.

  • avatar
    dal20402

    Now we know why Ram went so far upmarket with the 2019 Ram 1500.

  • avatar
    FreedMike

    A Ram-based SUV has been a no-brainer idea for about 20 years now. What took them so long?

    • 0 avatar

      NO IDEA

    • 0 avatar
      iNeon

      Y’all are assigning current demand and brand/product value to the past.

      There was no value in a BOF full-size Jeep in the intervening years.

      The vehicle you’re opining exists, and had no business case in our region during its production run.

      https://bangshift.com/wp-content/uploads/2017/12/mexican-ramcharger-6.jpg

      • 0 avatar
        FreedMike

        “No market”? I disagree with that – truck-based, full size SUVs have been selling in large numbers for a LONG time now. Heck, even Toyota got in on the game. These things are cash cows, and Dodge was foolish for not following suit.

        • 0 avatar
          iNeon

          No.

          The market for full-size BOF truck-based SUVs was saturated ca. 1993-2005.

          ChryCo successfully marketed a range of sub full-size RWD SUVs during that period— the profits from them eventually filled-out the Mercedes-Benz branded line.

          I like your bravado, Uncle Rico—

          • 0 avatar

            “ChryCo successfully marketed a range of sub full-size RWD SUVs during that period”

            And? So did the others. Your defense on Chrysler’s lack of product is…that everyone else had a product?

      • 0 avatar

        Ineon your argument is that there’s no demand for the Tahoe, Suburban, Expedition, Avalanche, or Navigator in the years from 1992-2019.

        Think about that, and reevaluate your commentary.

        • 0 avatar
          iNeon

          The value/demand relationship y’all are ascribing to the fantasy 1990s Ram-based Jeep Grand Wagoneer— didn’t exist in the 1990s.

          The 1990s had enough SUVs. If more were necessary, or there was more profit to have beEn made— the 1990s would have had more SUVs.

        • 0 avatar
          danio3834

          The HB/HG Durango/Aspen and to an extent the Commander were designed to compete in this space against the volume SWB players. Then the bottom fell out of the large SUV market.

          The market for the LWB monsters is more limited so it makes sense that not everyone would play there.

          As for the 90’s, Lutz said an SUV bigger than the Durango was axed because of CAFE penalties.

          • 0 avatar
            FreedMike

            So…instead of building a Ram-based SUV that would have actually been decent, and sold, they decided to build a crappy one that got equally bad mileage, and didn’t sell. And the blame falls on CAFE.

            People like to blame CAFE for everything but bad table manners. Apparently Lutz is one of them.

            Fact: Chrysler had a whole range of FWD cars that got good fuel economy 15-20 years ago. They sold boatloads of ’em. Lutz is full of s**t.

            Flash forward to post-BK FCA, which could clearly give a s**t less about CAFE, and there’s even less of an excuse *not* to build a Suburban fighter.

          • 0 avatar
            danio3834

            CAFE changed between then and now.

            Lutz was in the business at a high level. I believe him when he says they ran the numbers at the time and it didn’t work.

            You are not, so your analysis is shallow.

          • 0 avatar
            iNeon

            Chrysler made a Ram-based SUV. It was not sold in the United States.

            I can trust there was a good reason for that. Corey and Mike— why can’t y’all trust the decisions of the people that were running a successful company?

            Chrysler was incredibly successful during the first decade (the 90s) we’re discussing, and their brands were incredibly successful in feeding the parent company in the second— what am I missing here?

            The Grand Wagoneer name did not have cachet during the 90s— that value was built precisely because the name was left fallow while the Jeep brand itself was built.

            Now is the time for a Grand Wagoneer because those two values can be combined with the increasing value of nostalgia(which Chrysler has invested in quite heavily) as well as market demand.

  • avatar
    SoCalMikester

    freightliner and international still make high zoot crewcabs that can tow a stable of horses, no?

  • avatar
    Hummer

    “ the segment necessitates ride quality above and beyond that of a pickup”

    News to me.

    • 0 avatar
      Hummer

      This is another case of a name being mid applied, luxury off-road SUV and 4 wheel independent suspension do not go together. These aren’t geared hubs; making it BOF and then giving it independent suspension is like asking for utensils with your soup and being given a fork.

  • avatar
    sgeffe

    They’re already going to have a three-row GC, and they’re going to have a Wagoneer AND a GW!

    Way too much overlap!

  • avatar
    Whatnext

    Really? We wait all this time for a revival of the storied Grand Wagoneer, only to be served up something that looks like a bloated Grand Cherokee? Blecch, no thanks, I’d rather pay for the real thing, restored by Wagonmasters.

  • avatar
    FThorn

    Back in 1988, my roommate who had just worked at “Chrysler”, with Dick Dauch’s son/s over the summer, asked me what I thought of what was essentially the Grand Cherokee. I told him it needed to be an updated successor to the Grand Wagoneer. Especially size-wise. I still think the GC is too small even for two rows, btw. As an aside, I had worked at a Jeep dealership prior to this discussion. He went on to work for Chrysler/FCA; and Ford (US, China, UK).

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