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

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

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

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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The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder arrives on dealer lots this summer.

Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder doesn't have to be capable of rock crawling or deep water fording. What it has to do is service the needs of families in their daily life and give them the opportunity to competently go off-roading on rocky trails should they desire. The new, fifth-generation models does just that and adds in enough nifty features to make it among the most compelling choices for three-row SUV buyers.

The 2022 Pathfinder is thoroughly modern though not the boxy off-roader it once was. The SUV's styling harkens back to that time with a tilted, darkened C-pillar and a return to a more muscular body style. That styling makes straightforward visibility good but for shorter drivers seeing what is immediately in front of the grille is a challenge that necessitates using surround view camera technology (available only in upper trim levels) when navigating challenging terrain.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can easily handle the roads less traveled.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Under the hood is a 3.5-liter V6 that offers up 291 horsepower and torque - plenty to do the job without complaint. The SUV's nine-speed automatic transmission replaces the continuously variable transmission (CVT) from the previous generation and delivers smooth shifts. Though low-end torque isn't as robust as I like it to be, once up over 35 mph, the Pathfinder's powertrain delivers smooth, powerful sailing.

The redesigned architecture and components underpinning the Pathfinder make it stable on the road and don't allow it to wallow on winding roads. Even off-road, the suspension provides the right blend of stability while the drive dynamics allowing the driver to feel engaged with their surroundings whether on freshly paved roads, city streets, or muddy trails.

Nissan has given the Pathfinder a 6,000-pound towing capacity and even when maxed out the engine's functionality is strong as ever. The transmission can get held up in a gear mid-range when performing this function, however, with 5,000-6,000 rpms registering on the tachometer but a quick release of the gas pedal recalibrates the offering bringing it down to a more traditional 2,000 rpm range.

The eight-seater Pathfinder clearly has the Toyota Highlander in its sights, with good reason. It's the top-selling three-row SUV in the country. Nissan boasts that three adults can fit across the rear bench seat of the Pathfinder and, as long as they're average size or smaller, the marketing talking point holds up. There is gobs more room back there than there is in the Highlander.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder Nissan has given the Pathfinder ample cargo space.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

Getting in and out of the third row is easy thanks to one-touch buttons on the outboard side of the second-row chairs that move the SUV's captain's seats forward creating enough room to get through to the back. Smartly, Nissan's engineers have put duplicates of these buttons on the back side of the same seats allowing third-row passengers to simply press the button to move the seat up.

The third row can also be accessed via a split between the captain's chairs as well, a space traditionally occupied by a center stowage bin/cup holders/arm rest. Owners can quickly remove the center console by opening a panel on the front and pulling the release mechanism. The one-handed operation takes seconds and the console can be easily stored in the under-floor trunk space behind the third row seat for ease.

Speaking of cargo space... The Pathfinder is one of the most spacious midsize SUVs on the market today for both passengers and cargo. There is a substantial amount of room behind the third-row seat and the under-floor storage area is nearly twice the size of the one in the Highlander. Plus, it has a feature that allows the area cover to be automatically propped up when pushed up by a user. This is especially help when carrying groceries or plants home and keeps them from being crushed.

The first- and second-row seats are suitably comfortable, even for extended periods of time and standard trig-zone climate control makes finding the right in-cabin mix easy. Bottle holders in the pockets of the front doors are exceptionally large, fitting even bulky water bottles.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder's front row seats are comfortable.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

In front of the driver is a standard tachometer, speedometer, and 7.0-inch driver information display. Buyers can upgrade to a fully digital 12.3-inch instrument cluster and head-up display but they're not reason enough to upgrade to the top-tier Pathfinder Platinum on their own.

Nissan packs the new Pathfinder with a host of desirable features that make living with the Pathfinder easier including one-touch auto up/down windows, a wireless phone charger, grocery hooks in the rear cargo area, USB ports in all three rows, second-row sunshades, rear door keyless entry, wireless Apple CarPlay, and a motion-activated lift gate.

The 2022 Nissan Pathfinder is priced to start at $33,410 for the two-wheel drive S base model and $35,310 for the four-wheel drive S base model. The model tops out around $50,000 with destination and delivery included, which seems fair when comparing the Pathfinder to other vehicles in the market.

2022 Nissan Pathfinder The Pathfinder can tow up to 6,000 pounds.Photo courtesy of Nissan North America

If you're thinking of purchasing a Ford Explorer, Jeep Grand Cherokee, Hyundai Palisade, Kia Telluride, Honda Pilot, or Highlander, do yourself a favor and schedule a test drive of the new Pathfinder when it arrives at a dealer lot near you. You may just be surprised how seamlessly it fits into your daily life compared to the competition.

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The Grand Cherokee L features a third-row seat for the first time.

Jeep

The Jeep Grand Cherokee is one of the longest running and most off-road capable SUVs on the market today. But for buyers needing to haul more than a few people, the Grand Cherokee wasn't the roomiest choice. To remedy that problem, Jeep created the Grand Cherokee L, a three-row version of the popular SUV that will go on sale in 2021. Today, Jeep announced pricing for the new stretched Grand Cherokee.


2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Pricing starts under $40,000.Jeep


The Grand Cherokee L is the first three-row SUV to wear the nameplate, and will land in 2021 with a starting price tag that comes in under $40,000. The SUV will include four trims: Laredo, Limited, Overland, and Summit. The base Laredo trim will start at $36,995, the mid-range Limited trim at $43,995, and the range-topping Overland trim at $52,995.

The base powertrain for Grand Cherokee L models involves a 3.6-liter V6 that makes 290 horsepower and 257 pound-feet of torque. It's paired with an eight-speed automatic transmission and rear-wheel drive. Four-wheel drive is available. As in previous models, the Grand Cherokee L will be available with a V8. Here, it produces 357 horsepower and 390 pound-feet of torque.


2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L Higher trim levels can be quite plush.Jeep


Even the base Laredo trim gets a fairly generous list of standard features that include adaptive cruise control, blind spot monitoring, LED exterior lighting, an 8.4-inch-inch infotainment display, a 10.25-inch frameless digital gauge cluster, and Uconnect 5. Top trims get upscale features like ventilated seats, navigation, a dual-pane sunroof, an electronic limited slip differential, and more.

The new Uconnect 5 infotainment system enables advanced capabilities, such as wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. The Grand Cherokee L will also be offered with a head-up display system, a digital rearview mirror, and a 950-watt McIntosh audio system.


2021 Jeep Grand Cherokee L The Grand Cherokee L should bring better cargo space with seats folded down.Jeep


The three-row Grand Cherokee L beats its two-row counterpart to market. While the L is expected soon, Jeep says the standard Grand Cherokee and an electrified 4xe version are scheduled to debut later in 2021.

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