By on September 4, 2020


Big Jeep day yesterday, wasn’t it? Hoo boy. The off-road brand tempted buyers not just with a plug-in hybrid Wrangler, but also a taste of what’s to come in the full-size segment.

The Grand Wagoneer Concept, which closely mirrors a production vehicle we can expect next summer, generated an instant reaction from TTAC chatroom denizens — not all of it favorable. Far from it, in fact. Looking at this hulking, three-row SUV with ultra-premium aspirations, what would you do to turn a B into an A+?

Generally, the reaction here was that the Grand Wagoneer Concept was more “meh” than expected, with rear-end real estate that seemed to borrow too heavily from the largest Ford Motor Company SUVs. Something seemed just a little off.

Of course, we weren’t the only ones to air such opinions; the Twittersphere served up a bevy of similar observations, though the online reaction was generally more positive than this writer would have guessed. It’s a big, body-on-frame Jeep, after all, so at its core the Grand Wagoneer Concept is difficult to dislike — unless you’re the kind of person who spends your day bitching and moaning about Ford committing ecocide by not fielding a hybrid Bronco right out of the gate.

Maybe our quibbles about design decisions warrant no ear time from Jeep. Maybe it’s just the segment and the badge that count; styling be damned. Fault can be found in Ford and General Motors’ biggest products, too, yet they remain healthy and resilient in the sales department.

But let’s turn this issue — and vehicle — loose on you, dear readers. Looking over the Grand Wagoneer Concept, what changes would you make before putting this thing into production?

[Image: Fiat Chrysler Automobiles]

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46 Comments on “QOTD: Wishing for Something Grander?...”

  • avatar

    My only bitch is the size of tail lights. When I worked for a large auto lighting supplier the goal was always to treat external lights as jewels – to show off. Rear lights on this are too small and generic looking. Befitting a cheap brand.

  • avatar

    It needs more “Jeep”. It can be premium and luxurious AND expensive, but it also needs to say if you need to tour your lower 40 (acres) or crawl up to your mountain cabin this winter I’m ready to go. C’mon, man, butch it up a bit

    • 0 avatar

      I feel like their goal was to intentionally distance this vehicle from the rest of the Jeep lineup. I don’t think there’s even a Jeep emblem anywhere on it, which indicates they want people to see this as its own thing, and not a “Jeep” in the traditional sense.

    • 0 avatar

      It’s got plenty of Jeep — just the wrong Jeep.

      It takes way too many design cues from the current Cherokee, which has always been a really awkward interpretation of the Jeep styling language, and which has always read as cheap.

      Those elements — particularly the upswing in the belt line behind the C pillar — just look parts bin here, rather than trying to articulate a consistent brand story.

  • avatar

    What a freaking nightmare. They need to change the name, it’s more minivan that SUV. It has the off-road credibility of a suburban – none.
    A Grand Wagoneer should be smaller, narrower, two rows and not three, with an absolutely essential fold down tailgate so you can sit there and put on your waders and setup your tackle box. With a rugged flat load floor because you soldered the rear seats perfectly flat and you can put any old dirt, rough item in the back, like your dogs.
    This thing is an Escalade / Denali wannabe. They have neglected or ignored every single unique feature of the original Grand Wagoneer. This thing is just a minivan on steroids, boring, ponderous, ugly and in the way. What a complete and epic fail. FCA, you guys are morons.

  • avatar

    While I overall like this, especially the interior. I was hoping for a modern take on some of the iconic Grand Wagoneer design cues. Especially in the grille and a maybe a wood side trim option would have been fun. This just looks like an enlarged Jeep Grand Commander (China only), which isn’t a BAD thing. So I like it but am disappointed at the same time, if that makes any sense. I just recently saw a new Land Rover Defender and that to me was what I was hoping the Grand Wagoneer design would do. Capture the essence of the iconic details in a modern interpretation.

    • 0 avatar

      ^^This, the original Grand Wagoneer bridged that gap nicely. It was the first luxury SUV for it’s day. This new one wants to distance itself from that legacy, why?

      • 0 avatar
        MRF 95 T-Bird

        Agreed. This new one is a bit too Canyonero for me. The original Grand Wagoneer nicely sized just below a Suburban up until it went away in 1991 filled many a driveway in horse country as the Range Rover of the era.

  • avatar

    Honestly, I think it’s pretty well done as is.

    -I’d ditch the rotary gear shift for a traditional column shifter.

    -I’d offer the 6.4L as an option (maybe they are actually doing this, not sure)

  • avatar

    I understand why they used the Jeep name, given the popularity of the brand, but this massive thing screams Chrysler to me. Like the big Newport of yore.

    This thing looks like a massive minivan and it can’t have much offroad chops that a Jeep “should have”. Yeah I know… what do you expect these days?

  • avatar

    Hundred thousand dollar Ford Flex competitor.

  • avatar

    Look at the tire sidewalls smh. Yes it should be a Chrysler Aspen or some such. I was expecting a JEEP. This thing is Mall Rated for sure.

  • avatar

    I think it looks great from the front that rear 3/4 has some issues thou.

  • avatar

    To me, the front and rear don’t look “Jeep Grand Wagoneer” enough. The grill should have a foward-lean to it, as the later examples of the original did. I’m shocked that I’m saying this, but the grill should be a little larger (not like Lexus or Audi, but a bit bigger than the one on the concept). I’m not a fan of the waterfall lighting elements in the grill, but they tried for something unique.

    The original also had simple vertical taillights. They could do some amazing jewelry-like things with some simple vertical taillights, then, embellish them in some way, connecting the two vertical elements, to make it elegant looking.

    The teak trim on the exterior looks spectacular, although it’s probably NOT headed for production, and there’s too little of it. Maybe they could incorporate teak door handles or mirror surrounds into it.

    I doubt there’s going to be 24″ wheels on the production version, but there should be some serious sidewall on the tires, maybe starting a new trend back to reasonable sidewall height.

    Someone else mentioned a fold-down tailgate. That would be a great differentiator as well. Years ago, didn’t the Dodge Nitro have a pull-out drawer for a luggage area floor? Something like that could interesting as an option, all finished out in brushed aluminum and more teak trim.

  • avatar

    Real question will be if Jeep can build a full size suv that does not fall apart at 60,000 miles or even sooner.

  • avatar

    -The interior glamour shots appear on par with what you get in a Navigator Black Label.

    -The pillars are too chunky. The white paint of the concept doesn’t do the thing many favors because in general the exterior looks kind of bloated.
    – Outside of the grille it doesn’t look like a Jeep or a GW. I get that going “retro” may have been a bad idea, but for a brand so seeped in heritage this vehicle doesn’t have much of it.
    -All of the press photos are on pavement and those wheels are pure Escalade. There’s no nod or inference that this is a highly-capable utility vehicle. It just looks like a mall-rated notavan.

    Overall I was hoping for a Jeep Land Cruiser and what I see is a Jeep Navigator.

  • avatar

    All people can do is bitch and moan. If people actually thought Jeep would build some retro SUV with strong visual ties to the original they are morons who shouldn’t be reading car websites. Some of the quibbles and complaints people are posting are just petty and ridiculous nit picking. Good lord. It’s a good looking conservatively styled vehicle that will appeal to a large number of buyers which will get them to part with their money. Relax people.

    • 0 avatar

      “Relax people.”

      The only person that seems worked up about anything is you. I do not care for this Grand Wagoneer, but there are many things I don’t like that others do. Then there are many things I like that others do not. I don’t believe that one’s opinion on the Wagoneer or S-Class or Bronco constitutes a character trait. We all know the sun will still rise either way.

    • 0 avatar

      FCA typically goes pretty strong on strong visual ties to their heritage products though, especially with Jeep. There’s a lot of little things they could have done, that wouldn’t have been shameless retro pastiche, but chose not to. What we’ve got is an overgrown Jeep Renegade with car taillights. It’s not awful, but not strong enough for a beloved vehicle we had to wait so long for. At least the interior is nice, and with the Ram base, it should be great to drive (for what it is). As far as the exterior goes though, I’d still rather just have a Grand Cherokee.

  • avatar

    It is clear from the pictures they have released that this is the urban, on-pavement Jeep. (Their current ad agency is good at what they do and will be Subaru-consistent in this messaging.)

    As far as styling, they are embracing the 3-row-ness (instead of flitting around like Honda trying to disguise a minivan as a coupe with side-profile lightning bolts and low rooflines).

    One differentiator they have discussed so far will be towing capacity.

    I’m not the target market and I’m not making judgments – but they seem to have a plan.

  • avatar

    Sorry not a fan. From the sides I’m getting a Fiat influence and from the back some Ford/Lincoln. But then how do you style a high riding generic box on wheels in a world grossly overloaded with them.

  • avatar

    It’s too late to touch the metal but they could at least give it some sidewall, some chrome, and a seven slot grill that you can actually see.

  • avatar

    Frankly nothing needs to change. This vehicle has raised the bar for large luxury SUVs. Jeep won’t be able to make them fast enough

  • avatar

    The B and C pillars on this vehicle are monstrous. Some attempt should have been made to slim them down and chrome them in reference to the real Grand Wgonners of old. And seriously, why debut this in white, it makes it look like a fridge. I’d spend my money on a Wagonmaster restoration of a vintage Grand Wagoneer.

  • avatar

    When I hear the name “Jeep” I think of some simple vehicle repairable with haywire and pliers. Then can it finish ploughing the back forty.

  • avatar

    The Grand Wagoneer looks too much like a Mini Van or Estate car. That’s a shame because the interior pretty good. But that may not be enough. In the next 12 months there will be a new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport to compete with and if Land Rover were really really smart, they’d make an Estate version with 7 seats just to drop Jeep in it….

    • 0 avatar

      What exactly were you expecting? It looks just like the Range Rover actually. If you squint a little, they’re identical, and there’s a specific reason for that.

      I can’t say I’m a fan of the look, compared to the vintage era. Of either.

    • 0 avatar

      Except it’s fresh meat in a segment or class with very limited choices. Or not very good ones.

  • avatar

    My opinion is the same – call it Imperial, V12 and update interior with first class premium materials.

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