By on June 8, 2020

We’ve talked an awful lot about fuel-sipping hybrids and virtuous electric vehicles in recent days; so much so, one could forget that a great number of buyers want nothing more than to take home the biggest, most spacious SUV on the road today. Ford sells plenty of Expeditions and Lincoln Navigators, and General Motors decided the time was right for an even larger Chevrolet Suburban, GMC Yukon, and Cadillac Escalade.

Big still sells, so it’s no wonder that Fiat Chrysler wants a piece of the action. It’s frankly bizarre that the automaker went the past decade without a full-size SUV.

Well, that streak will soon end, as there’s now rolling proof of the Jeep Wagoneer’s looming return.

Spy photos that hit the web Monday (see the Motor Authority-published pics here) shows a hulking, camo-clad behemoth stopped alongside a road, tilted somewhat alarmingly into a ditch. Seems a tow truck arrived to put the thing back on level ground. (No word on what that apparent drama was about).

Large and mostly in charge, the three-row vehicle’s FCA origins are clear, despite the layer of bulky clothes. FCA’s plan is to stage a two-pronged assault on the full-size SUV segment, fielding both the Wagoneer and ultra-lux Grand Wagoneer in a bid to battle both its mainstream and premium domestic competition. The vehicle is based off the new-for-2019 Ram 1500, though its role as plush family hauler means the rear suspension swaps to an independent setup (this can clearly be seen in the butt shots).

We can also see that the Ram’s 12-inch vertical infotainment screen makes an appearance in this vehicle, too.

As for what’s under the hood, it’s anyone’s guess, as the duo will be able to field whatever’s found in the 1500, surely mated to an eight-speed automatic. Jeep might even end up offering the automaker’s EcoDiesel V6 to counter the availability of a light-duty diesel inline-six in GM’s big boys. Standard mild hybrid power will be a must for the gasoline powerplants, as this vehicle will undoubtedly boast a significant curb weight — and FCA’s already in the EPA’s bad books.

The automaker claims “electrified” versions of both will see the light of day. This environmental offset could allow room for even brawnier variants to exist, but there’s no official word on that.

Construction of the Grand Wagoneer and its dressed-down sibling will take place at Warren Truck Assembly, recent recipient of $1.5 billion in retooling and modernization costs. Expect to see it appear sometime in 2021, possibly as a 2022 model. While the automaker originally slated the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer’s launch for early 2021, the lengthy pandemic shutdown likely saw that timetable pushed back.

[Image: Fiat Chrysler]

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26 Comments on “Good News for the Not-Quite-Eco Crowd: The Jeep Wagoneer Lives...”

  • avatar

    The MA article wasn’t too well researched (“Jeep has never really offered an upmarket SUV”). No one there is old enough to remember the Grand Wagoneer?

    I notice the prototype is wearing a set of cheap Nexen tires – interesting.

    • 0 avatar

      Good Point. AMC pretty much invented the upscale SUV with the original Wagoneer in the 1970’s. It was Chrysler that called it the “Grand” Wagoneer, until they stopped making it in 1991.

      It wasn’t all that big, and would be no match for a Suburban/Escalade in size. The 360 (5.9L) engine before smog restrictions was formidable, and fortunately FCA has a more modern 5.9L available. Unfortunately, It’s likely to be available mostly with a hybrid system.

      • 0 avatar

        Actually it predates even that; starting in 1966 Jeep offered the Super Wagoneer, a luxury model with air conditioning, tilt wheel, power accessories, plush interior fittings, and other accoutrements unheard of on off-road capable 4WD vehicles at the time. Jeep was still owned by Kaiser then although they did use AMC V8 engines.

        It became Grand Wagoneer in 1984 to distinguish it from some Wagoneers based on the new XJ Cherokee, which didn’t sell well and were dropped in favor of fancier Cherokees. That was still a few years before Chrysler bought AMC/Jeep.

  • avatar

    Typical modern Chrysler product: first one on the road already broke down and had to be towed. That’s not an “alarming” angle, it’s just pulled off the road when it broke down (throttle body went haywire, transmission came apart, etc.). Chrysler can’t sell anything because of their abysmal quality, but if they slap a “Jeep” badge on the same mechanicals, people will pay stupid money for it.

    • 0 avatar

      The people that buy these are barely people.

      • 0 avatar

        Soooo… if Wagoneer people are barely people, are neon people “too much people”? Is the relationship between vehicle size and people size inversely proportional? Where, in the range, is “just right”? Camry? CRV? Ranger? Corvette? Inquiring minds want to know.

        -barely people

      • 0 avatar

        Might be a bit harsh iNeon. I don’t see the point in a big hulking SUV that drinks gas in this day and age, but to each their own. My neighbor is a retired engineer who goes on the road a couple of months a year with his wife in an RV, and he just bought a new Chrysler Grand Cherokee (as it should be named) because it was one of the only 4WD vehicles that could be put in neutral and towed on all four wheels. He goes out to the Grand Canyon and points west and truly uses 4WD (been using an old Cherokee until it rusted away and I gave it last rites last year). I don’t normally recommend extended warranties (because most aren’t worth the paper they are printed on), but being that he keeps his vehicles forever (he has a 2000 Chevy Prism I still service), I recommended he get the extended powertrain coverage given what I see on those vehicles, and he did.

    • 0 avatar

      Several of my family members have been leasing Grand Cherokee’s for 10+ years and have had zero issues under warranty. My grandfather had an HVAC blend door fail on his 2013 Grand Cherokee with 100k on it. That’s the only issue they’ve had.

      • 0 avatar

        Leasing is the key. You turn them in before they have issues. They’re nice driving vehicles, and if you lease, it’s always under warranty, which is good. Enjoy! My comments here are for people who buy and end up holding the bag when the dreaded TIPM acts up, the throttle starts ignoring the accelerator pedal, or the transmission fails just outside warranty. There are exceptions to every rule, but I know what I see as a mechanic, and I’d never buy one. I gotta say they are nice to drive though. Just wish they’d be honest and put a Chrysler badge on them.

    • 0 avatar

      Well, had you bother to read the article, it sounds like user error put the vehicle in the ditch, requiring the tow truck. I’ve own Chrysler Products going back to the 1970. Every one was reliable and solid, including my current 2016 200s! My neighbor wants to unload his Fusion Hybrid that has had a failed Hybrid battery, door latch failures, lower rocker trim that just fell off, etc. He’s owned it about 2 years and only put on about 25K miles last time I talked to him about it.

    • 0 avatar


      Yankme is just trying to wind us up. Trying to punk us.

      70% of any car is purchased parts from suppliers. these suppliers supply the big 3 and the Asian transplants. All customers get the same level of quality. Like Joe Biden says, come on man.

      #2- A relative is a Sheriff’s Deputy in Florida. He put 150,000 miles on his Dodge Charger. Beat the crap out of it. 100 s of hours idling. 1000 s of hours of 0 – 100- 0 MPH runs. He runs a lot of radar for speeding tickets. NOT ONE QUALITY PROBLEM.

      • 0 avatar

        Redapple, I’m honestly not trying to wind anyone up. Just trying to share over 30 years experience as a mechanic delivering bad news to owners and maybe prevent someone some pain. As you say, come on man: they haven’t made a true “Jeep” product in decades. These are just parts-bin Chryslers. Comparing them to the last Ford cars is like comparing apples to rotten apples; quite possibly the only worse quality vehicles on the road. And police cars may rack up mileage but not years. Dodge chargers with the V-6 have the catalytic converters on the manifolds about an inch away from the frame with no heat shielding. The paint bubbles off from the heat and they rot out. Just saw one that failed inspection because it was rotted so bad the unibody seams were separating. Up here in the north, 5-year-old “Jeeps” are as rare as 5-year-old BMWs: the former are off the road because they rotted out, the latter are off the road because they cost more to fix than they are worth. (You can buy a used BMW cheaper than a Camry of the same vintage for a reason, and I always caution people not to do so.) Like I said, if you lease, no worries. They are nice driving vehicles and you have no risk other than driving a loaner while waiting for your new transmission. When the new 9-speed came out my local dealer had a whole row of them out there waiting to be fixed. Reminded me of the first generation Chrysler minivans in the 80s which took over a local dealer’s service lot waiting for transmissions and they had to start storing them off-site while they waited for parts.

      • 0 avatar

        “70% of any car is purchased parts from suppliers. these suppliers supply the big 3”

        The same suppliers yes, but you can order different levels of material quality from them. Right now I’m ordering bearing balls for a robot prototype. There’s a list of various materials and quantities from the same supplier. The bolts I have the same choices including mil-spec if I want it. So, just because it’s from the same supplier doesn’t mean it’s the same quality.

        That being said, a friend got over 300k miles out of a grand caravan completely abusing the thing bigtime. If there was a society for the prevention of cruelty to vehicles he’d be doing a perp walk in front of the TV cameras.

      • 0 avatar

        I mean. What’s the counter here?

        Thank you for your concern about my car’s integrated power module, Yank. You’re really sweet to think about us. Thoughts and prayers to you— and your car’s TPMS.

        • 0 avatar

          iNeon, wasn’t countering you so much as just urging against personal attacks at owners. There are a lot of complicated reasons people buy what they do. And thank you for your concern, but my car and truck are both too old to have TPMS sensors, lol…. When I have to get one newer the first thing I will do is put regular valve stems in and deactivate the indicator light. There was nothing wrong with the old speed-sensor derived TPMS systems except they couldn’t deliver specific pressure data, but the wheel-mounted sensors are a bad idea, imho. The batteries go dead and force expensive replacement to the point that most of my customers just ignore the light figuring “it’s another damn sensor” when in fact a tire is low. The ones that have rubber valve stems aren’t as bad, but the metal valve stems often corrode and leak. Had one snap off in my hand when I put a tire gauge on it.

    • 0 avatar

      “but if they slap a “Jeep” badge on the same mechanicals, people will pay stupid money for it.’

      There is a lot of truth to that statement. All of the Jeep Wrangler owners I know have had major issues with their vehicles and they all shrug it off as a “Jeep thing”.

  • avatar

    So, we’re looking at 2024 then… Maybe ;-)

  • avatar

    Cheap gas and everybody craves a big ride.
    The Jeep name really does have some juice behind it.
    This one is a no brainer for the product planners, why did it take so long?

    • 0 avatar


      Difficult to devote development dollars when you have an Italian constantly picking your pocket.

      • 0 avatar

        If the Italians had not rescued Chrysler they would be long gone. I like Chrysler products so I am glad that they are still around. If you don’t like who owns them today, don’t buy a Chrysler product no one will miss you.

  • avatar

    Wow. Where are the white wall tires? Grand Wagoneer has always had white wall tires and chrome or silver rims. The rims on the spy photo are wannabe sports truck wheels. I hope that’s just for the spy picture

    • 0 avatar

      I can deal with blackwalls as long as they put wood paneling on the thing

      • 0 avatar

        According to my most recent Motor Trend, it will have the wood grain! That’s a good start but it needs the white walls too. Car makers need to drop the pretense of CUVs as sporty vehicles and bring back the brougham era. I am hoping strong sales of the proudly wood grained Grand Wagoneer will nudge us in that direction. With any luck we’ll see Creme and Lipstick Decor Group Explorers next.

        • 0 avatar

          I mean, can you just imagine this luscious paint scheme on a huge Explorer?

          So choice! It would almost make these huge vehicles’ presence tolerable. I’d never buy one, of course, but it’d be fun for the rest of us to look at.

  • avatar
    White Shadow

    I’m on my third Grand Cherokee in a row (currently have a 2019 Trailhawk) and none of them have given me a single problem, in warranty or out. Before switching to Jeep, I had two 4Runners in a row (3rd gen, then 4th gen and both of them had issues even while still under warranty.

    Keeps are fantastic winter vehicles with amazing capability for people like me who can’t get to my winter cabin with a lesser vehicle. I also ski, kayak, and mountain bike regularly, so it fits my lifestyle very well. No need to bash people who choose utility vehicle, especially when they are as good as a Grand Cherokee. Oh, and for the record,I also own a daily drive manual transmission sports car too.

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