Jeep Grand Wagoneer concept previews brand’s first $100,000 model – Roadshow

This is technically a concept, but the production version is coming next year.

Jeep

The Jeep Grand Wagoneer was put to rest in 1991, but the full-size luxury SUV has remained in the hearts of many enthusiasts ever since. Looking to cash in on that nostalgia and break into the full-size luxury space once again, Jeep revealed the Grand Wagoneer concept on Thursday, ahead of a new production model hitting the road in 2021. And this won't just be any new model, Jeep's production Grand Wagoneer flagship is widely expected to crest $100,000 in top trims.

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Air suspension and plug-in power

In addition to the big Grand Wagoneer, Jeep will launch a smaller version, named simply "Wagoneer." But for right now, the Grand Wagoneer is the only one making its debut.

A number of the concept's features are already confirmed for production, including independent front and rear suspensions, a choice of three four-wheel-drive systems, a Quadra-Lift air suspension, best-in-class tow ratings and three rows of seats. Consider this Jeep's answer to the Land Rover Range Rover.

The concept uses a plug-in hybrid powertrain, but the company isn't offering any details right now, only saying it's "in line with the Jeep brand's plans to offer electrification options on all models in the next few years." Traditional gas-only versions should be offered with the plug-in hybrid positioned as a separate model. Don't forget, Jeep is also launching 4xe PHEV versions of other models like the Wrangler soon, too.

75 inches of screens

Inside the concept are screens, screens and more screens -- seven total -- including one just for the front passenger. The driver gets a 12.3-inch gauge cluster behind the two-spoke steering wheel, and there's a 12.1-inch central screen in the dashboard with a 10.3-inch display to the right for passengers. Your co-pilot can futz around to their heart's content on their own dedicated screen without distracting the driver, and can even wirelessly cast content from their phone.

Below the central infotainment display is another 10.3-inch screen that controls climate functions, and rear-seat passengers get their own 10.3-inch display to manage their heating and air conditioning settings, as well. On top of that, each of the second-row captain's chairs gets a 10.1-inch entertainment touchscreen (third-row passengers, sadly, will have to use their iPads). All told, Jeep says there's nearly 75 inches of screen real estate inside the Grand Wagoneer. Yowza.

The Grand Wagoneer uses Fiat-Chrysler's new Uconnect 5 system which made its debut in the 2021 Pacifica earlier this year. We've got a full deep dive of its features, so be sure to check that out. There's a McIntosh audio system with 23 speakers, too, connected to a 24-channel amplifier.

Screens and screens and screens and screens and screens.

Jeep

Big luxury

The interior sure looks luxurious, and Jeep says it focuses on sustainable materials. There are plenty of throwback touches that pay homage to the original Wagoneer: The two-spoke wheel, for starters, plus some "EST. 1963" badges. The wood paneling so strongly associated with the exterior of the Grand Wagoneer comes inside, with subtle hints of heat-treated lacewood.

The front seats look to be uber-comfy, with a massage function and separate center armrests for both driver and passenger. No more playing elbow games with your spouse. The upholstery colors in Jeep's photos are all pretty dark, but we'll be curious to see this cabin with some lighter options, too.

Bold design with some awkward angles

And that, friends, brings us to the most polarizing part of the Grand Wagoneer: the exterior design. Obviously, we haven't been able to see the concept in person, but from what we can see in the photos, this SUV gets some things right and some things wrong. The front fascia is delightful, with the traditional seven-slot grille lit up like a Christmas tree for a super cool light signature. Even the Wagoneer name that sits atop the grille is illuminated. LED headlights are framed in teak wood, and they look great.

A secondary split grille resides underneath the seven-slot opening, housing the LED foglights and tow hooks. Finally, an obsidian-black aluminum front skid plate finishes everything off. What could have ended up really fussy ends up looking well-proportioned; the front end is surely this Jeep's best view. We also dig the obsidian-finished, 24-inch aluminum wheels. A big SUV needs big wheels and while 24s sound excessive, it really works.

This is where the design starts to fall apart for us.

Jeep

Where the Grand Wagoneer kind of falls apart for us is from the side and rear. With its heavy pillars and wraparound LED taillights, this otherwise imposing Jeep kind of looks like a minivan. From the dead rear view, it's like a Land Rover Discovery -- minus the dumb, offset license plate, anyway. But really, those chunky pillars and tall windows really make this thing look awkward, at least in photos.

As we saw in an earlier teaser, the Grand Wagoneer has a map of Detroit etched onto the glass roof. It's a nod to the fact that the Jeep will be built in metro Detroit -- Warren, Michigan, to be specific. And look, maps are cool and all, but this seems like a lot. Unless you live in Detroit, that is, then it rocks.

Production model coming in 2021

The new Jeep Grand Wagoneer will go into production sometime in 2021. We don't know how much it will cost, but we've heard it might be quite expensive, with most industry analysts expecting it to exceed $100,000 all loaded up. For comparison, a 2021 Cadillac Escalade starts at $77,490 including destination and the Lincoln Navigator comes in at $77,480. A Land Rover Range Rover costs $93,350, but if you want three rows of seats, you actually have to get the smaller Range Rover Sport. Plus, it's easy to bloat most of these vehicles into six-figure territory with higher trims and options. Our best guess is that the Grand Wagoneer will be priced somewhere north of $70,000.

This Jeep might just be a concept for now, but it's easy to see how it will translate into a production SUV. Given consumers' demands for SUVs -- especially luxury offerings -- are hotter than ever, it's definitely a smart play. We can't wait to check it out (and get it dirty) when it hits the road next year.

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