2022 Jeep Wagoneer review

OVERKILL

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My parents are once again considering a replacement for their ancient and somewhat derelict 2000 Expedition. Dad is 75 this year and he's driving around in a 22 year old vehicle in the rust belt. The blower motor just failed on it the other day, so it is once again in the shop. It has perpetual starter issues because you can't get an OE from Ford anymore and the China starters are all garbage. It also needs a manifold replaced again as it's ticking like crazy. The old 5.4L 2V and 4R100 combo are however still trucking along with everything seeming to want to fall apart around it.

My dad had my Grand Cherokee for two weeks when I was in the hospital for my heart surgery and thoroughly enjoyed it. He likes the smaller size, which he's finding gives him a bit more confidence at his age. My mom is overweight and needs her other knee replaced so has very poor mobility. She was unable to get into my SRT and it takes her considerable effort to get into their Expedition.

I showed dad both the Wagoneer and Grand Cherokee L. He of course liked the L better, so I brought that home first. I will review that separately. Mom was able to get into it, but it took a bit of work. The Wagoneer, she was able to very easily get into it due to the generous factory running boards, automatic kneeling for ingress/egress and location of access handles as well as large door openings, like a truck. We suspected this to be the case, as she has no problem getting in/out of my wife's RAM 1500, but she's adamant that they don't want a truck (dad wanted a truck, lol).

Since we are scaling back the towing (boats are being stored near the cottage now, rather than here in the city), towing requirements are not lofty, so both of these are overkill in that department.

Qualifiers from my parents:
- Conventional powertrain with V8
- Ability to lower for easier entry
- Good ride quality
- Leather
- Heated seats/wheel
- Power liftgate
- 3 rows of seats for transporting the grandkids

We looked at the Wagoneer, as the 5.7L HEMI is a massive power upgrade from their old 5.4L 2V. Backed by the excellent ZF 8HP, it's a proven powertrain that will be low maintenance, albeit, a bit thirsty (but so is the 2V, so that's not really an issue). Dad had no interest in the Grand Wagoneer with the larger 6.4L engine.

Some pics:

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Pros:
- Rides and drives like a RAM 1500. The ride quality is excellent, road noise is basically non-existent, it swallows bumps that you'd think it shouldn't be able to with ease. It feels firm and planted and is generally very relaxing to drive.
- Updated UConnect screen is VERY nice. The interface is responsive and intuitive.
- Wireless charging is well placed and there are multiple spots to place your phone if not charging it.
- Centre console buttons are well laid-out.
- Physical controls for HVAC along the bottom of the screen
- Passenger-side screen for navigation input
- Extremely well trimmed with quality materials throughout
- Electric folding middle and rear rows. Rear row is also electric coming back up (middle is manual)
- Excellent HUD that shows navigation information as well as speed limit and current speed
- Power liftgate with adjustable opening height
- HD camera with 360 degree view
- Alpine stereo sounded very good, likely the same system as the RAM 1500, which we have no complaints about
- Massage function on seats is something my parents were excited about
- Large, well placed running boards made entry/exit extremely easy

Cons:
- The brake pedal feel is a bit weird. It has a lot of initial bite, but it doesn't seem to modulate in a normal manner. I assume this is related to the eTorque system.
- The heated seat buttons, which are on the trim next to the uConnect screen, didn't always work when I pushed them and it isn't clear where you are supposed to push. These are capacitive buttons and there are two of them, one for the main seat heat, the other for the back heat, where you can choose where the heat goes on your back. This struck me as being overly complicated and of no real benefit.
- The physical HVAC buttons didn't adjust the temperature when I was not in the HVAC control screen on the display. That renders those buttons far less useful than they would be otherwise, working all the time. I'm not sure if this is supposed to be this way, but that's how it functioned.

Other than the weirdness with the seat heat buttons, my impression of the vehicle was quite positive. Build quality seemed very good, no weird panel gaps or anything unusual.

This was my mom's favourite of the two. She liked the size and how easy it was for her to get in and out. My dad was concerned about the size, he clearly wants to downsize. Will be interesting to see which direction they go.
 
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The Wagoneer just looks... odd to me. My wife says the same and we can't really put our finger on why.

I think it's a lot of things together. The windows are small and odd shapes, the wheels/tires are too small, there is no rear bumper so the rear is just a flat slab.

The Cherokee L looks great. The Wagoneer is a swing and miss IMO.
 

TCL

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Looks like the rear seat center cushion leans to the drivers side. $98,000 wow!
 
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The exterior is quirky looking but I actually like it. Unless I missed it, you made no mention of seat comfort. Looking at them I‘m not sure how they would be on rides exceeding a few hours. Echo others on the price.
 

OVERKILL

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Looks like the rear seat center cushion leans to the drivers side. $98,000 wow!
Good catch. Yes, that's where the seats do a split/fold (the centre and the passenger side are a unit, drivers side can go up/down by itself) so I expect that's an artifact of that arrangement and is what makes that cushion look odd.

Remember, these are Canadian dollars, everything is more expensive up here, lol.
 

OVERKILL

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The exterior is quirky looking but I actually like it. Unless I missed it, you made no mention of seat comfort. Looking at them I‘m not sure how they would be on rides exceeding a few hours. Echo others on the price.
The seats feel the same as the RAM 1500 seats, which are very comfortable. We've been in ours for 18 hours straight with zero discomfort.
 
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I hate to say this but I went through this with my parents until my step-father passed away last Fall.

If your mom becomes wheelchair bound or requires a walker how is your dad going to get her in the vehicle? If he can't get her in the vehicle and instead has to buy a minivan with a ramp, will they be able to easily resell the car?

My stepfather was overweight and once Parkinson's took over it was essentially impossible for my mother to get him loaded into the front seat of their RDX. He was just too heavy and too big. Eventually my mother sold the RDX and bought a van with a ramp as my stepfather was relegated to a wheelchair. TBH she they should've done it a couple of years earlier but he was too prideful and I imagine in denial.
 

OVERKILL

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I hate to say this but I went through this with my parents until my step-father passed away last Fall.

If your mom becomes wheelchair bound or requires a walker how is your dad going to get her in the vehicle? If he can't get her in the vehicle and instead has to buy a minivan with a ramp, will they be able to easily resell the car?

My stepfather was overweight and once Parkinson's took over it was essentially impossible for my mother to get him loaded into the front seat of their RDX. He was just too heavy and too big. Eventually my mother sold the RDX and bought a van with a ramp as my stepfather was relegated to a wheelchair. TBH she they should've done it a couple of years earlier but he was too prideful and I imagine in denial.
My mom rarely goes in the vehicle anyways, that's part of the debate. Dad is quite mobile and he is the only one in the vehicle 90% of the time. She stays home. The only time she'll be in it is when they go to the cottage and come back from the cottage, or if she has a doctors appointment, so really, despite her grumblings, this is really mostly for his usage.

My mom's family has a long history of what she's going through (large Scottish women who are overweight and get bad knees). My great Aunt Mary struggled like this until she was just shy of 100. Her aunt was 104, same sort of situation. My mom's mom died young at 78 from cancer, that was unusual. She had much better mobility (she took better care of herself and was more active) at 74 than my mom does. Mom is more like Mary. Nobody in our family has ever been wheelchair bound, not to say that the possibility doesn't exist, but it is unlikely given the history.

I'm actually heading over there in a few minutes to snap a few pictures for the electrician as dad is looking to get an elevator installed because mom constantly complains about the stairs (though they are good for her to be walking...).
 

OVERKILL

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The Wagoneer just looks... odd to me. My wife says the same and we can't really put our finger on why.

I think it's a lot of things together. The windows are small and odd shapes, the wheels/tires are too small, there is no rear bumper so the rear is just a flat slab.

The Cherokee L looks great. The Wagoneer is a swing and miss IMO.
Yes, it does have a bit of an odd look to it, but I don't find it bad, just weird. My WKII is a more attractive vehicle for sure.
 
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Looks nice , however the ingress and egress is critical for anyone older and especially knee issues.

Seems like optimal ride height is something at Subaru Forester or Outback level. I suspect a Wagoneer is a climb?

My dad at 80 gave up on a 2000 Tundra since new as he can’t get into it easily. I have to sell his truck.
 

CKN

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Trying to use the Jeep name to surpass the GM Suburban, Yukon, Escalade. Won't happen. I would think a fully loaded GM large SUV is almost as expensive. That's what they cost these days-so the $98,000.00 doesn't really shock me.
 
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i wanted to hate that thing, but it is the best product chrysler has made in a long time. the grand wagoneer series III with 6.4 hemi is impressive. i configured one to my liking. 148 072 canadian dollars with taxes where i live. it is a world class product. the 6.4 hemi version is fast for a 6326 pounds vehicle.


 
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