By Peter Perrotta
Way back in the 1970s, one of my editors used to drive a Grand Wagoneer. It was one of the old styled models, white with faux wood paneling sides.
The editor was not well liked by the young, brash reporting staff and physically, he was rather large, much like the Wagoneer.
Hence, his nickname – behind his back, of course – was The Wagoneer.
So, it was with much anticipation when I saw that I was going to be test driving the re-introduced 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer.
Moreover, I couldn’t help think back to that editor as well.
This week’s column will review the new Wagoneer and also provide a capsule look at the 2021 Land Rover Discovery.
The Wagoneer name badge first appeared in 1963. It was also used for a trim level for versions of the brand’s Cherokee and Grand Cherokee models in the 1990s.
However, this new 2022 Grand Wagoneer looks nothing like the hold folksy Wagoneer from the ’70s which really looked more like an oversized station wagon rather than a three-row SUV.
It also costs a whole lot more. There are seven different trim levels for the new Wagoneer starting at a base price of $60,995 for the Series 1 and elevating all the way up to the Series III Obsidian 4X4 trim model that carries a hefty base price of $94,845. The bottom line sticker price of the Wagoneer I tested comes in at $109,025 – that’s a far cry from the ’70s-era Wagoneers.
Added options on the Obsidian (all blacked out) model I tested include: $595 for the crystal pearl paint; $5,000 for the customer preferred package; $3,595 for a convenience package; $995 for a heavy duty tow package and $1,995 for a dual screen rear entertainment system.
The customer preferred package includes a McIntosch upgraded sound system; heated and ventilated rear and front seats; an Odsidian appearance package, and more.
The convenience package includes night vision an advanced security system and more.
The heavy price tag for this particular model puts it up there in some heady company like the Cadillac Escalade, Nissan Armada and Chevy Suburban.
Putting it mildly, this new Wagoneer is a monster of the three-row SUV. It sports an overall length of 214.7 inches, a wheelbase of 123 inches. It is 83.6 inches wide, 75.6 inches high, has a cargo volume of 27 cubic feet and weighs 6,244 pounds.
Folks, that’s a lot of truck.
For me, while it’s a comfortable big bear of a ride, it’s a bit too much. It certainly is opulent inside, sporting nice big screens, a chilled front console, a great sound system, expensive leather seats and all. But, it’s not an SUV that’s easy to get around town in. It handles rather clumsily.
But, really, at the end of the day, this is not a truck you are going to take into the middle of Manhattan with you. It’s more a truck for the wealthy ranch owner in Texas to take out into the country in the wide open spaces and enjoy.
Powering the Wagoneer I drove is a huge 6.4 liter V8 engine that puts out 392 horsepower at 5,600 rpm. Needless to say, this Wagoneer is not under powered.
However, with gas prices almost at all-time highs, this is not an inexpensive ride. The Wagoneer averages a paltry 15 miles per gallon overall according to its EPA fuel consumption ratings. It gets 18 mpg in city driving and 13 in the city.
The EPA estimates it uses about 6.7 gallons of gas per every 100 miles you drive it and that it will cost the average consume $2,950 a year to keep it running, on average.
Overall, if you are looking to own a hugely big three-row SUV, then the new Grand Wagoneer should be on your list to consider -but be prepared for the expense.
The folks at Land Rover gave the Discovery a fresh new look for 2021, including a new model, the R Dynamic and two new engines, a 296 horse four cylinder and a 355 horsepower turbo six cylinder.
I recently drove for one week the 2021 Discovery R Dynamic S model that carries a base price of $61,900 and a bottom line sticker price of $73,055.
My tester was outfitted with the more powerful v6 engine. Added options included an upgraded Meridian sound system ($1,250), 21 inch dark grey glossy wheels ($2,000), 18-way heated memory seats ($1,850), $970 for a heads up display and more.
There is no denying that the Discovery’s off-road capabilities are top of the line. The vehicle features several drive mode select options for almost any kind of terrain and weather.
Moreover, there is also no denying the shear opulence of the appointments inside and out offered up by the Discovery. These are also top-notch.
However, when driving in dry condition on regular highways and roads, the handling of this Discovery could be improved upon. It rides a bit top heavy and swervy.
The EPA fuel consumption ratings for this Discovery come in at 21 miles per gallon overall – 18 in city driving and 24 on the highway.
Overall, I liked the Discovery. However, before jumping in on this one, I would look around at other three-row SUVs in this price range to compare.
Peter Perrotta’s On The Road column appears every other week.
On The Road is sponsored by Capital Motor Cars of Springfield, N.J.