Car Reviews

2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer L First Drive Review: Bigger, stronger, thriftier

Jeep’s enterprise into full-size SUVs with the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer has gone impressively nicely. Our time with the massive brutes has been principally glorious, with attractive cabins, refined driving traits and really usable house. However the primary downside with the vans was their extremely thirsty V8 engines. Easy and wonderful sounding, however not low-cost or environmentally pleasant to maintain fueled. However Jeep has addressed this and, weirdly, it is available in even greater variations of the SUV. It is the brand new Hurricane line of twin-turbo straight-six engines, and till they trickle down into the smaller Wagoneer fashions, we won’t assist however overwhelmingly suggest the longer L varieties over their shorter twins. And you might even need to decide them over choices from Ford, GM and Toyota.

There are two variations of the Hurricane six-cylinder. They each have 3.0 liters of displacement and a pair of turbochargers. The fundamental model comes within the common Wagoneer L and makes 420 horsepower and 468 pound-feet of torque on premium gasoline, although it could run on common. In comparison with the 5.7-liter V8 it replaces, the Wagoneer L’s straight-six makes 28 extra hp and 64 extra lb-ft. The Grand Wagoneer L will get the Hurricane 510, which makes 510 hp and 500 lb-ft, and it requires premium gasoline. This six makes 39 extra ponies and 45 extra lb-ft than the 6.4-liter V8 it replaces.

Not solely are these six-cylinder engines stronger than their V8 counterparts, they’re extra environment friendly, even once they’re transferring extra truck. The V8 Wagoneer with two-wheel drive will get 16 miles per gallon within the metropolis, 22 on the freeway and 18 in mixed driving. Whereas ultimate EPA numbers have not been given, Jeep estimates that the I6 Wagoneer L will get 17/24/20 mpg. That is a 2-mpg enchancment total with a much bigger automobile, and though that will not seem to be so much, whenever you’re speaking about gasoline economic system within the teenagers, it truly represents an enormous gasoline financial savings. With four-wheel drive, the positive aspects are comparable, with the V8 Wagoneer getting 15/20/17 mpg, whereas the I6 Wagoneer L will get 16/23/19. These numbers high the Ford Expedition Max and Chevy Suburban with gasoline engines. The diesel GM vans do a lot better, however with considerably much less energy and with diesel gasoline prices.

The development from V8 Grand Wagoneer to I6 Grand Wagoneer L is much less noticeable, because the quick V8 model will get 13 mpg metropolis, 18 freeway and 15 mixed, whereas the lengthy six-cylinder one will get 14/19/16. These are official EPA numbers, by the best way. And the EPA revealed one thing else fascinating that Jeep hasn’t completely confirmed: a short-wheelbase Grand Wagoneer with the six-cylinder (which leads us to imagine the common, quick Wagoneer will get the I6 finally, too). That configuration brings economic system as much as 14/20/17. It isn’t as environment friendly because the Ford Expedition Max, but it surely does match the Suburban with the 6.2-liter V8 whereas offering extra energy and torque.

Lengthy, spec-laden story quick, the brand new Hurricanes are higher in each measurable means than the V8s. They’re extra highly effective and extra environment friendly, and within the case of the usual six-cylinder, it is about probably the most environment friendly possibility within the full-size phase. However how are they in observe? 

Properly, they’re nice. Throttle response is admittedly a tad much less sharp than the V8s, however solely a tad. And what you commerce in a little bit of throttle response, you get again in far more low-down torque. You do not have to work this engine very arduous to get transferring. The turbos spool rapidly and energy comes on easily. Certainly, your complete engine is notably easy and quiet. A part of this is because of Jeep including further sound insulation on the oil pan, engine block, gasoline rails and even a thicker sprint pad. In line with Jeep, the cabin noise is definitely 5 decibels decrease than with the V8 fashions. Our ears aren’t precisely calibrated that exactly, but it surely positive is quiet within the cabin, save for the very mild hum when matting the throttle. As for the eight-speed computerized hooked as much as these engines, it is suitably silky, although not precisely fast on modifications. However that is completely nice for cozy cruisers like these.

Between the standard-output Wagoneer L and the Grand Wagoneer L, the latter positively does really feel gutsier whenever you’re hammering it. However it’s kind of educational. Sure, it feels sooner, however the common one feels removed from underpowered. And contemplating the comparatively massive gasoline economic system distinction, we would positively go for an everyday Wagoneer L and simply possibility it as much as get it near a Grand Wagoneer.

The apparent query in fact, is, are the short-wheelbase Wagoneer fashions getting the Hurricane? Properly, Jeep hasn’t stated but. However the EPA already lists the Grand Wagoneer with the Hurricane 510. We’re betting that each will get it, however presumably as a mid-year replace or for the 2024 mannequin yr. It’s doubtless that, since manufacturing is simply ramping up on the brand new engine, Jeep is limiting the engine allocations to the most recent, most-expensive variations of the SUVs (the lengthy ones), and can part them in to the quick fashions as soon as the availability is regular.

2023 Wagoneer L Carbide

2023 Wagoneer L Carbide

Now, the engine is not every thing. As we have talked about, the Wagoneer L fashions are, nicely, the lengthy variations of the SUV. The entire thing is a full foot longer than the quick mannequin, and there is 7 inches extra size between the wheels. House behind the third row grows from 27.4 to 44.2 cubic ft, which is greater than the lengthy full-size GM and Ford SUVs. With the third row down, the cargo house reaches 88.2 cubic ft, and 130.9 cubic ft with the second row down. The GM SUVs slip forward, right here, however the Fords are nonetheless smaller. The rows all fold down such to create a flat load flooring, too, and a 4×8 sheet of plywood can match inside with the liftgate closed.

Passenger house is sweet, too, within the lengthy Wagoneers. The third row is the largest beneficiary, and adults can genuinely sit again there comfortably (though we discovered that to be the case within the common model, too). There’s sufficient leg- and headroom, even without having to maneuver the second-row seats to offer extra space. Entry is a breeze due to an enormous house between the captain’s chairs. A bench seat is obtainable for the second row, however even then, there is a fast slide and tilt lever to maneuver the outboard seats out of the best way. Mixed with the broader rear doorways, this makes third-row entry easy irrespective of the seating structure.

2023 Wagoneer L Carbide2023 Wagoneer L Carbide

One different be aware, the extra size would not actually have an effect on the driving expertise a lot. It does make it just a little trickier to maneuver at low speeds, with a wider turning circle and easily extra automobile to handle, however in any other case, it drives identical to an everyday Wagoneer, which is to say it’s nice. It is quiet, it is comfy and it is (dare we are saying it?) virtually enjoyable to hustle. The steering is correct, has a little bit of really feel, and it would not lean an excessive amount of. The GM SUVs are higher in these areas, however the Jeeps are shut. The Jeep can also be impressively put collectively, with only a few of the wiggles and jitters of body-on-frame SUVs.

And naturally, the lengthy Wagoneers have the identical fantastically appointed and designed inside. The Grand Wagoneers are notably opulent with actual wooden, leather-based and steel trimmings and high-end audio methods. They’re positively rivals for the likes of Cadillac and Lincoln. However even the non-grand Wagoneer is a step above the essential Chevy and Ford choices.

2023 Grand Wagoneer L

There’s one final slight draw back to the Wagoneer line, and that is the very fact it’s kind of dear. The bottom Wagoneer L with two-wheel drive begins at $64,495, and four-wheel drive provides one other $3,000. That makes the Wagoneer L a couple of thousand dearer than the Chevy and Ford choices. The four-wheel-drive-only Grand Wagoneer L begins at a steep $93,495, which is a number of thousand greater than an equal Lincoln or Cadillac.

Regardless of the additional value, we would nonetheless extremely suggest the lengthy Wagoneers. The brand new engines make them higher than ever on paper and in actual life. And now they’re greater than ever, too. And not one of the modifications detract from the already glorious cabins and driving dynamics. With these new engines and larger dimension, the Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L are arguably the most effective full-size SUVs you should purchase.


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