Attention GMC Yukon, Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator owners: Your rides don’t stand out.
That’s what the folks at Stellantis, formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles, say. They think you’d be a bit more impressive behind the wheel of a new 2022 Jeep Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer instead.
“You look at some of those vehicles (the Yukon, Escalade and Navigator), and they’re kind of black and white, or a little bit bland. That’s why we talk about the warmth of this vehicle,” said Jim Morrison, who heads the Jeep brand in North America, during a media preview last week.
Thursday marked the dual unveiling of the new large SUVs being built north of Detroit at Warren Truck Assembly. The company also said it will begin accepting preorders for the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer with a $500 deposit at wagoneer.com on models that should be available this summer.
It marks a return for the Wagoneer name after a 30-year absence. Times have changed, however, and Wagoneer returns to a world where SUVs, including high-end ones, are ubiquitous. In an ever more competitive market, Stellantis is looking to tap into a profitable vehicle segment it has left open to others.
Christian Meunier, global chief executive officer for the Jeep brand, said the segment has become plain, and Wagoneer and its premium sibling, Grand Wagoneer, will change that.
“Most premium SUVs on the road today are quite invisible,” Meunier said. “We will bring a soul to the segment.”
Wagoneer, he said, will be a brand within a brand.
Telling, perhaps more than all the premium touches, all the leather and wood and metal, that these vehicles represent something new for Jeep is the apparent absence of the Jeep name in its typical prominent spots. Instead, the company references the seven slot-grille, “hinting at family ties.” When asked whether the Jeep logo is anywhere, company officials noted that they’re proud of Jeep and said there would be some Easter eggs, little hidden references, to signify the connection.
Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will be 6 inches taller and 10 inches longer than the three-row Grand Cherokee L.