L is for ‘long’ and that means more room for people and stuff.
Words and Images by Scotty Reiss of AGirlsGuidetoCars.com
Jeep FINALLY gets us. We need room for everyone in an elegant, sporty SUV. So, the brand added a third row to the Jeep Grand Cherokee —dubbed the “L,” then came the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer (and no, the Grand Wagoneer is not simply a fancier version of it’s sibling…think of them as Sporty Spice and Posh Spice) and now, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer L are here.
These oversized Wagoneer SUVs, which carry a $3,000 premium over the standard models, have the most passenger space, the most cargo space, go the furthest on a tank of gas and tow the largest load. All with better fuel economy than its competitors.
Bigger Everything in the L Version
Before digging into all the niceties that the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer hold, I had to check out the main point of this SUV: The larger cargo space. So I climbed in and was happily surprised. Even behind the third row you can fit a family’s luggage and then some. That’s because there’s 44 cubic feet of space behind the third row of the Grand Wagoneer (42 behind the third row of the Wagoneer). That’s 7 more cubic feet than the cargo area of the Jeep Grand Cherokee, and 15 more cubic feet than the standard Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.
And for those who really need extra cargo space, perhaps for a pup in a crate or a family of competitive hockey players? The L offers a crazy 88 cubic feet behind the second row. You and a friend could camp in there. And you can put all your luggage and more in the second row.
What Else is Bigger in the L Model?
A lot. In fact, Jeep was pretty thoughtful in what a large wheel base SUV means to buyers: Trailering often means more gear and longer drives, and 3 row SUV typically means people in some or all of those seats. Here are the L version stats:
- Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L are 12” longer
- Wider openings for rear doors
- Both have about 15 more cubic feet of space behind the third row
- Cargo capacity behind the third row is 42.1 cubic feet in the Wagoneer L and 44.2 cubic feet in the Grand Wagoneer L
- There is up to 88 cubic feet behind the second row
- The 30.5 gallon gas tank holds 4 more gallons than the standard wheel base
- They can tow up to 10,000 lbs, that’s about 1,000 lbs. more than the standard models and 2,000 – 3,000 lbs. more than its competitors
- The L model benefits from a new engine with more power and better fuel economy
A New Engine for Improved Power and Fuel Economy
This is a very welcome thing in a larger, heavier, harder-working SUV. Jeep replaced the Wagoneer’s V8 engine with a new technology they call Hurricane, a twin turbo 6 cylinder engine. This smaller engine produces more power and better fuel economy:
- Wagoneer L generates 420 HP and 486 torque, a 28 HP improvement, and is estimated to get 16 MPG in the city and 23 MPG on the highway
- Grand Wagoneer L produces 510 HP and 500 torque; a 39 HP increase, and is estimated to get 14 MPG city and 19 MPG on the highway
- Wagoneer can use regular gas, though premium is recommended; the Grand Wagoneer requires premium gas
Yes, the fuel economy numbers are about the same as the standard size Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, but consider that the L versions weigh more—about 1,000 lbs. more—and have more power, and you can see the difference. The standard wheel base Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will also get the Hurricane engine in 2023, so imagine the improved MPG those vehicles should have!
L Means Great Passenger Space
While headroom and leg room are the same in the L models as the standard models, the longer wheel base allowed Wagoneer to make the rear door openings wider. This means getting into the third row is even easier. You can step up on the running board, then step into the car, and into the third row like a normal person. I pulled the center seat back into position and without moving it and had plenty of leg room; my knees didn’t touch the seat in front of me.
My test model was equipped with a center bench, which is great for families who need the extra cargo space for actual cargo, or families with three littles in car seats and want them all close at hand in the center row. All three center seats can be moved forward and back independently, and all recline and fold flat.
And, our model was equipped with slide and tilt seats, which is an option on some models and standard on others. Just push a button on the seat shoulder and it slides and tilts forward, even with a child car seat LATCH installed, to allow third row access.
All the Jeep Fun Behind the Wheel
We love that Wagoneer is everything we love about Jeep: Interior comfort and great off road capabilities. The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer have 8” of ground clearance, and can be lifted to 11.6” or lowered to 6.4 when needed. They have terrain drive modes including rock, sand/mud, and snow, in addition to automatic and sport. And for those who need to the this full size SUV to really go off road, the Wagoneer offers even more capability such as skid plates, off road wheels and tires and hill descent and ascent control.
On regular roads the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are comfortable and capable. We took a nice long drive across the Montana prairie, on highways and some long, narrow farm roads and it was easy to manage, even when parking in a relatively tight parking lot. It was even surprisingly easy accommodating when making u-turns; I made a u-turn on a 4-lane city street and didn’t have to back up, which was a lovely surprise.
Another lovely feature is the adaptive cruise system. I simply tapped the cruse control button and the speed control and lane management system kept us cruising comfortable and in our lane on the highway.
WAT It, Mom!
The Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L are designed to be capable on more challenging roads, too. Jeep’s engineers worked to make the suspension capable so you can keep up with traffic, curves and hills. We only found a few narrow roads that were about as wide as the Grand Wagoneer L, and it was firm and capable.
But Sara DeMars, engineering manager for Wagoneer, reports taking the Grand Wagoneer L on a twisty, windy road through the Tennessee mountains, her husband in the co-pilot seat and her daughters in the second row.
As she strove to keep up with motorcycles on the highway, accelerating through the curves and over hills, her daughters shouted from the back seat, “WAT it Mom! WAT it!” Clearly they are daughters of an engineer; WAT stands for ‘wide open throttle,’ a term engineers use to test the max performance of an engine. She floored it to keep up with the faster traffic to the delight of her kids and husband. And to her delight, no one got car sick.
Technology and Screens Galore
There are screens for everything in the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer (though you can also limit the number of screens). In addition to the drivers information screen, multimedia screen and optional head up display, there is a climate screen just under the media screen. This is where you’ll find the massaging seat option, but it’s also a panel that opens to reveal a cubby with a wireless phone charge pad and USB ports.
For passengers, there is a screen inset into the dash in front of the front seat passenger. This allows you co-pilot to set and send navigation to the HUD, to stream audio or video from a phone, to control rear seat entertainment and to check on vehicle diagnostics. Second row passengers have a climate control screen that’s inset on the back of the center console, and optional seat back entertainment screens with wireless Bluetooth headphones.
Other tech features that make time in the Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L a delight include:
- Head up display
- Digital rear view mirror
- Wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto
- UConnect 5 multimedia system
- Amazon Alexa
- Massaging front seats
- 8 USB ports and a household outlet – and all are standard!
- Night vision
- “Fam Cam” that allows front seat passengers to get a camera view of second and third row passengers
- Macintosh premium audio
All the Lovely Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer Interior Details
When I think of off road capable SUVs designed to get muddy, tow a horse trailer and make crushed Goldfish and over-spouting juice boxes easy to clean, Palermo leather, microsuede and American Walnut are not the materials that immediately come to mind.
Toss that idea aside.
These SUVs are are equipped elegant and refined interiors that are also resilient and designed to be easy to clean. Wagoneer has Capri and Nappa leather options; Grand Wagoneer has options for Nappa and Palermo leather. And, you might find that spending time vacuuming Goldfish out of the crevices is more pleasant when you’re appreciating the warm crystalline sea salt grays, the cognac stitching on black leather, the Blue Agave or the Tupelo Honey leather. These colors are designed to layer with the wood and and metal accents to let your eye focus on the necessary features, like screens or the road, and delight your senses. And to help you overcome the pain of spouting juice boxes.
The L is a $3,000 premium over the standard model
Wagoneer L base model $65,495
Series II $71,080
Series II Carbide edition which adds blacked out details and black accents, $74,775
Series III $77,220
Grand Wagoneer L base $91,495
Series II $98,090
Series II Obsidian $103,585
Series III $110,995
Series III Obsidian $111,990
On our test drive we drove the Grand Wagoneer Series II optimally outfitted for a large family: It had a second row bench seat with push button slide and tilt, tri-panel panoramic sun roof, rear seat camera and the advanced driver assist system. Ours didn’t have seat back screens in the second row or the passenger side screen, though I’d probably opt for the passenger screen. But all the niceties aside, the added fuel capacity and towing capacity are impressive. The Hurricane Twin Turbo engine performed effortlessly. But most impressive is the incredible amount of additional space. Or, put down the third row for a crazy amount of space. Enough for anything and everything you need.
Disclosure: I was Jeep’s guest for this test drive; travel and accommodations were provided but all opinions are my own.