Concept Cars

New Grand Wagoneer Concept drives Jeep deep into premium vehicle territory

The Grand Wagoneer Concept appears to be pretty close to what we'll see IRL from the model when it arrives next year.

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The Grand Wagoneer is back! Well, almost. Before the production-ready version of the SUV makes its way to showrooms across the U.S., Jeep is showing off the Grand Wagoneer Concept.

If you were hoping for a completely retro style throwback, prepare to be disappointed. However, there are design nods to the nameplate's heritage throughout the concept that, with any luck, will make it into production.

Born in America in 1962, Wagoneer evolved to Grand Wagoneer in 1984. It left the Jeep lineup in 1991 but has become a hot commodity as buyers appear willing to pay upwards of $100,000 for a used model.

2020 Grand Wagoneer Concept The model features a familiar rectangular backPhoto courtesy of FCA US LLC

"Our new Grand Wagoneer Concept marks the first step in the rebirth of Wagoneer – a true and rare premium American icon," said Christian Meunier, Global President of the Jeep brand – FCA. "With the electrification of each Jeep nameplate coming in the next few years, and the reintroduction of Wagoneer, we are quickly expanding into new segments and more premium space.

Jeep has given the concept a plug-in hybrid electric vehicle powertrain and 4x4 off-road system. Though it's just a concept, Jeep has confirmed that the model will get a Quadra-Lift air suspension, an independent front and rear suspension, "unmatched towing capability", and "powerful performance".

To achieve the "unmatched towing capability", it is likely that the model will have to be able to tow over the 8,500-pound high water mark that the Nissan Armada has set for three-row SUVs.

As shown, the SUV wears an Artic Ice exterior paint color.

2020 Grand Wagoneer Concept - Exterior

2020 Grand Wagoneer Concept

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The exterior of the concept is just as luxe as the interior, taking Jeep design in a direction it's never gone. There are Obsidian Black accents across the exterior including the Obsidian Black-accented grille that features the brand's iconic seven slots. Each slot has lightweight latticework. The space above and below each is lit creating a new signature LED design.

The grille is flanked by bi-function LED projector headlamps that are also seen on the current Jeep Grand Cherokee. The lamps are housed in teak wood. Below are LED fog lights and an Obsidian Black aluminum front skid plate and two tow hooks.

The design team created a custom-made font for all of the Concept's exterior lettering. It spells out Wagoneer on the front of the SUV, with the letters glowing in darkness thanks to subtle illumination. Raised aluminum letters with copper-side accents spell out "Grand Wagoneer" on the lower third of each front door. An American flag flanks the aluminum letters.

The Wagoneer has the common profile of a three-row SUV, but with a Jeep design twist at the front and rear. The concept rides on 24-inch multi-spoke Obsidian-finished aluminum wheels featuring 3-D printed elements. A three-piece wheel cap features the Wagoneer logo suspended in acrylic.

At the rear are LED taillamps that wrap around the body of the SUV. A rear diffuser sits below the SUV's power tailgate. At the rear, the concept has a back window reminiscent of that in the original iterations of the Grand Wagoneer, as well as a classic-ish stance.

The concept's taillights are designed to work together to create a welcome sequence illumination that engages when activated via remote.

As a nod to its manufacturing home and the Brand's headquarters, the Grand Wagoneer Concept's full-pane glass roof houses a map showcasing Detroit and the surrounding area. Though this likely won't make it into production, the inclusion in the concept is a fun nod to the Easer eggs in design Jeep has become known for. Flanking the roof are four tie-down hooks, each outlined in teak wood.

"The original Grand Wagoneer was the first premium SUV, and its timeless design combined with the soul of Americana helped it achieve an iconic place in many hearts," said Ralph Gilles, Head of Design – FCA.

2020 Grand Wagoneer Concept - Details

2020 Grand Wagoneer Concept - Details

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

"The Grand Wagoneer Concept's interior is spacious and features premium materials that accentuate our team's obsession to detail and celebrates American craftsmanship," Gilles added. "A full digital cockpit takes advantage of leading technologies that are beautifully presented with expansive and easy-to-use screens and limited buttons, allowing the focus to be placed on a pleasant and intuitive experience for the driver and passengers."

This concept design marks the first time Jeep has installed a third row in the Grand Wagoneer. It seats seven with captain's chairs in the first and second rows.

The interior of the model features sustainable materials, helping to further advance FCA's continued work to make their models, manufacturing, and design process more sustainable. An onyx glass mid-bolster runs the length of the instrument panel. The glass is a fully recyclable material that is made of an abundant natural raw material.

It appears to float as the eye moves halfway down the console thanks to a bolster made of raw aluminum, which was also chosen as the key material for creating the door speakers, shift knob, and vent surroundings.

2020 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Concept Interior Seats

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

Additionally, the SUV's headliner is made of Dinamica — a recyclable premium microfiber suede. The concept's carpets are made from Thrive fiber, which is comprised of recycled content using pre- and post-consumer materials. PUR, a sustainable synthetic material, was chosen to upholster all of the seating, console, door and instrument panel surfaces.

Many of the interior elements were designed to bring back memories of the Grand Wagoneer of yesteryear. The two-spoke steering wheel and "EST. 1963" inscription on the outer edge of the instrument panel just inside the front driver's-side door are two such elements.

Customizable ambient lighting enhances the SUV's interior.

Wood abounds in the cabin. The instrument panel features heat-treated lacewood while the entire panel features a raw edge design.

In front of the driver is a 12.3-inch driver's information screen. In the center of the vehicle is a 12.1-inch horizontal infotainment touch screen with a 10.25-inch horizontal comfort control touch screen below. The concept features a 10.25-innch screen in front of the passenger as well as twin 10.1-inch entertainment screens on the front seatbacks for second-row occupants to enjoy.

2020 Grand Wagoneer Concept - Interior

2020 Grand Wagoneer Concept - Interior

Photo courtesy of FCA US LLC

The infotainment system runs on FCA"s latest version of Uconnect – Uconnect5

The Grand Wagoneer Concept is the only vehicle audio system in the world powered by McIntosh. The system features 23 custom-designed speakers connected to a 24-channel amplifier. Audio elements are designed in aluminum and Gloss Black.

Jeep's plans for the Wagoneer don't end with just one model. The company plans to deliver Wagoneer as a portfolio of products that they say "redefines 'American Premium' and delivers a unique customer experience".

Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer production vehicles to be built in Warren, Michigan next year.

Expect to hear more from Jeep regarding the Wagoneer brand soon.

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Family-friendly three-row SUVs

Three of our favorite three-row SUVs for 2022

The Grand Cherokee L is available with two different powertrain choices.

Jeep

There are more three-row SUVs on sale than ever before, so it can be tough to make a choice between them. You need to balance space, performance, safety, and tech to make your decision, and doing your homework is important. To help you get started down the right path, we've selected three of our favorite three-row family haulers. These are SUVs that bring the latest features and excellent design features to help keep you and your family rolling. Let's get started.

2023 Toyota SequoiaThe Sequoia is all-new for the 2023 model year, and finally stands on level ground with its rivals.Toyota

Toyota Sequoia

Toyota gave the Sequoia a much-needed overhaul for the 2023 model year that brought it up to speed with its competitors. The thirsty V8 and outdated styling are gone, and in their place, Toyota installed a twin-turbo V6 with a hybrid system that produces 437 horsepower and 583 pound-feet of torque. A ten-speed automatic transmission and either rear- or four-wheel drive are available.

The Sequoia’s update brought a new infotainment system with a much more intuitive, fluid interface. It runs on a standard 8-inch or an optional 14-inch touchscreen. Toyota’s new software offers voice controls, standard wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, and much more.

Inside, the Sequioa’s interior feels much more upscale and modern than before, and there’s plenty of room for the entire family and all their gear across its three spacious rows. Starting with the Limited trim, Toyota gives luxurious standard features, including heated and ventilated front seats, a larger touchscreen, a hands-free liftgate, and a heated steering wheel.

2023 Kia TellurideKia updated the ultra-popular Telluride for 2023 with refreshed styling and features.Kia

Kia Telluride

The Kia Telluride is easily one of the best family vehicles from the last ten years, and it offers great value on top of its functional characteristics. Kia updated the SUV for 2022 with a new 10.25-inch infotainment system and a highway driving assistance system.

The Telluride comes with a 3.8-liter V6 that produces 291 horsepower and 262 pound-feet of torque. It’s paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and either front- or all-wheel drive. The SUV’s engine may not be the most powerful or thrilling, but it gets the job done and offers refined, smooth operation.

Kia equips the base Telluride with seating for eight, but the optional second-row captain’s chairs reduce capacity to seven. Interior fit and finish, materials, and styling are all far more upscale than the Telluride’s price tag would suggest, making the SUV an excellent family companion for longer road trips.

2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee LThe Grand Cherokee got a third row for the first time with the new L.Jeep

Jeep Grand Cherokee L

Jeep completely overhauled the Grand Cherokee for 2021 and added a new three-row “L” model shortly after. The new Grand Cherokee L features boxy, muscular styling that works with its stretched profile. Even with a new shape, the SUV is immediately recognizable as a Grand Cherokee.

Jeep offers two engines in the 2022 Grand Cherokee L. The base mill is a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 293 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque. A 5.7-liter Hemi V8 is available that produces 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque. Both come with an eight-speed automatic transmission and the V8 comes standard with four-wheel drive.

The L is more premium inside than most likely expect from a Jeep, but at the top end of the model line it’s deep into luxury territory, both on price and design. The Jeep is just shy of its competitors on interior space, but there’s still plenty of room for up to seven people. Top trims get luxury finishes like leather and woodgrain, and available tech like a rear-seat entertainment system helps keep everyone happy for the long haul.

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The IIHS may increase the speeds it uses to test advanced driver aids.

Insurance Institute for Highway Safety

The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) recently announced that it is considering changing the speeds it uses to test vehicle-to-vehicle front crash prevention systems. The agency currently tests the systems at 12 and 25 mph, but says that the speeds don't accurately represent the types of crashes the safety tech is meant to prevent.

Front crash preventionwww.youtube.com

Automatic emergency braking (AEB) is designed to notify of a possible collision and help respond with automatic application of braking. Just like a human using the brake pedal, it can stop the car, but higher speeds make it difficult to stop in time. The new tests would be conducted at 35 to 45 mph, which is the range where a large number of rear-end crashes occur. As Automotive News noted, an IIHS study showed 43 percent of rear-end crashes occur at speeds of 45 mph or less, so it's important to have a test that shows how well the tech performs at those levels.

A whopping 85 percent of 2022 vehicles earned a "Superior" rating in the current testing regime, so the IIHS will remove it from 2023 testing and Top Safety Pick award evaluations. Their view is that, since the majority of vehicles meet the criteria, it's no longer an accurate way of evaluating performance. In its place, the agency introduced a night test for automatic emergency braking systems that will begin next year.

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