2023 Wagoneer L: First Drive Review

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content Experience2023 Wagoneer L
Building on a legacy as one of the original premium Jeep SUVs, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer returned to the U.S. market for 2022. This revival expanded the Jeep brand for Stellantis, the parent company of Jeep created by the merger of Fiat Chrysler Automobiles and Groupe PSA. And for the new model year, Stellantis adds a 2023 Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L, both with longer wheelbases. These stretched variants offer additional cargo room and two new powerful twin-turbocharged inline 6-cylinder engine options.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceAdditional Capacity
The 2023 Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L are 12 inches longer overall than the standard models, at a total length of 226.7 inches on a 130-inch wheelbase, which is 7 inches longer than the standard platform. The additional length creates 44.2 cubic feet of cargo capacity behind the third row — 15.8 cubic feet more than standard wheelbase. The third-row seats remain in the same position relative to the second row, so no additional third-row legroom gets created even though the second-row doors are longer.

© Stellantis North AmericaWagoneer Brand
Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L are not considered Jeep models; Stellantis describes Wagoneer as “a premium extension of the Jeep brand.” Grand Wagoneer takes luxury and refinement to a higher level with unique styling, premium materials and exclusive features. One of the first sport-utility vehicles when it debuted in 1962 as a 1963 model, the Jeep Wagoneer was the first 4-wheel-drive vehicle with an automatic transmission and independent front suspension. Twenty years later in the 1980s, the Grand Wagoneer was Jeep’s first premium SUV. Today the new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are reimagined versions of the originals, sporting the utmost capability, driving dynamics and the latest technology.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceModel Lineup
Joining the standard wheelbase models that debuted last year, the 2023 Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L will be offered in base, Series II and Series III trim levels. The 2023 Wagoneer L will be offered in both 2-wheel drive and 4-wheel drive, while all Grand Wagoneer L trim levels will be 4-wheel drive. The 2-wheel drive Wagoneer L starts at $62,495, followed by the Wagoneer L Series II at $68,725 and the Series III at $74,865. The 4-wheel drive Wagoneer L starts at $65,495, followed by the Wagoneer L Series II at $71,725 and Series III at $77,865. Prices do not include a destination charge of $2,000.

© Stellantis North AmericaGrand Wagoneer L
All Grand Wagoneer L trim levels will include 4-wheel drive starting at $92,140, followed by the Grand Wagoneer L Series II at $95,735 and the Grand Wagoneer L Obsidian, based on Series II at $101,230. The Grand Wagoneer L Series III starts at $107,995 with the Grand Wagoneer L Series III Obsidian at $109,635. Prices do not include a destination charge of $2,000.

© Mike Meredith, Automotive Content ExperienceWagoneer L Carbide
The 2023 Wagoneer L also offers the Carbide edition with gloss black wheels, a panoramic tri-pane sunroof, Black Onyx grille rings with Gloss Black grille texture and a Diamond Black lower front fascia and lower rear fascia. Carbide also adds a gloss black roof rack, badges, window trim and headlight trim. Inside, the Carbide has a new technical hydrographic dash trim, a black headliner, Smoke accent stitching and Global Black seats, doors and instrument panel.

© Stellantis North AmericaUnder the Hood
The Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L feature two new twin-turbocharged inline 6-cylinder Hurricane engines. The Wagoneer L is powered by a twin-turbocharged 3.0-liter inline 6-cylinder Hurricane producing 420 horsepower and 468 lb-ft of torque at 3500 rpm. The Grand Wagoneer L is powered by the Hurricane twin-turbo 510 producing — you guessed it — 510 horsepower and 500 lb-ft of torque at 3500 rpm. Engineers estimate that both engines will achieve a 1-2 mpg improvement for the U.S. EPA combined fuel-economy rating compared to the V8 engines they replace.

© Stellantis North AmericaThree All-Wheel-Drive Systems
Available all-wheel drive systems are Quadra-Trac I, Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II. Quadra-Trac I is a full-time all-wheel-drive system with a one-speed transfer case for automatic operation in a variety of conditions, transferring torque to the wheel with the most available traction. Quadra-Trac II adds a 2-speed transfer case and takes input from a variety of sensors for quick response before tire slip occurs. Quadra-Drive II includes an electronic limited-slip rear differential. Selec-Terrain is standard with Quadra-Trac II and Quadra-Drive II with five drive modes: Auto, Sport, Rock, Snow and Sand/Mud.

© Stellantis North AmericaWagoneer Design
Inspired by the original model, the new Wagoneer’s exterior design offers a wide stance while emphasizing vehicle length with a flat roofline and a shoulder line that circumnavigates the entire vehicle, similar to the original. Wagoneer engineers minimized the pillars to allow large windows for better outward visibility. A chrome strip runs from one side mirror along the top of the window line, across the tailgate and forward to the other mirror. A seven-slot grille ties Wagoneer to the Jeep brand, and above the grille “Wagoneer” gets spelled out in bold letters on the front edge of the hood. Wagoneer side badging includes the American flag.

© Stellantis North AmericaGrand Wagoneer L
The Grand Wagoneer L grille features paint-over-chrome laser-etched grille rings, similar to a knurled finish. The leading edge of the hood steps up to surround the grille, and Grand Wagoneer lettering is on the top edge of the grille rather than on the hood. Grand Wagoneer Series III features raised aluminum badging with two-piece copperchino-accented letters. Grand Wagoneer also adds a contrasting black roof and chrome window surrounds.

© Stellantis North AmericaWagoneer L
At the rear, the LED taillights wrap from the rear quarter panels to the tailgate, connected by a chrome strip at the top edge of the lights and across the tailgate above the license plate. The Wagoneer name gets boldly spelled between the chrome strip and the rear glass, with a small badge in the lower corner of the liftgate denoting the Series trim level; additional chrome adorns the top of the rear bumper.

© Stellantis North AmericaGrand Wagoneer L
The Grand Wagoneer L is differentiated by liquid chrome trim that outlines the taillights and connects above and below the license plate. The area between the taillights, within the chrome trim, is finished in black with a textured surface.

© Stellantis North AmericaWagoneer Wheels
The Wagoneer L has 18-inch wheels standard, with 20-inch and 22-inch painted and polished wheels also available. The Grand Wagoneer L includes standard 20- or 22-inch aluminum wheels featuring four different finishes and textures. A three-dimensional wheel cap highlights the Wagoneer logo suspended in acrylic.

© Stellantis North AmericaInterior Design
Even though the elegant Wagoneer exterior design focuses on attention to detail, the interior is where this SUV really shines. According to Chris Benjamin, head of interior design for Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer, the exterior design makes a promise that the interior must uphold. Once again, designers looked to the original model not for specific design but for organization — looking to the future while honoring Wagoneer heritage.

© Stellantis North AmericaInstrument Panels
Wagoneer features a one-piece instrument panel, while the Grand Wagoneer is a two-piece design. The standard 10.25-inch frameless digital instrument cluster includes two dozen different menus. The available full-color 10-inch head-up display offers three configurations. The 10.1-inch center display features the all-new Uconnect 5 infotainment system with an Android operating system and a reconfigurable touchscreen with split-screen capability.

© Stellantis North AmericaGrand Wagoneer
Grand Wagoneer adds a 12.3-inch digital gauge cluster and 12-inch center touchscreen, along with a 10.25-inch comfort display touchscreen below and a 10.25-inch comfort display touchscreen for the second row. An available 10.25-inch passenger display gives passenger control with four major functions: co-pilot (navigation, device management), entertainment, Fire TV for Auto, and exterior camera views. Front and rear passenger screens feature an HDMI plug to use the screen for viewing a phone or tablet. When equipped with front passenger display, Relax Mode is available while the vehicle is in Park, combining multi-screen visuals with ambient lighting across the entire cockpit.

© Stellantis North AmericaWagoneer L Seating
Wagoneer L features standard Capri leather trimmed seats with 8-way power front seats, power lumbar support and 4-way manual head restraint adjustment. Wagoneer L Series II and Series III add Nappa leather seats. Interior ambient lighting features two zones with five colors choices: White, Blue, Aqua, Gold and Amber. Three-row seating with room for eight is standard, with second-row Captain’s Chairs and a removable center console optional.

© Stellantis North AmericaGrand Wagoneer L Seating
Grand Wagoneer L offers premium Nappa leather trimmed seats as standard equipment, while Grand Wagoneer Series II, Obsidian and Series III offer available quilted Palermo leather-trimmed seats with an optional leather-wrapped instrument panel, consoles and door panels with accent stitching. Grand Wagoneer L comes with 24-way power front seats with massage, power lumbar support and 4-way powered head restraints. Also standard are heated/ventilated front seats, heated steering wheel, adjustable pedals and heated/ventilated second-row seats. Second-row Captain’s Chairs are standard, but a second-row bench for eight-passenger seating is offered.

© Stellantis North AmericaRear-Seat Entertainment
Available rear-seat entertainment adds two 10.1-inch rear entertainment screens with independent streaming from major content providers. The system offers the first Fire TV for Auto integration featuring touchscreen displays, Alexa and access to hundreds of thousands of movies, TV shows and apps. Passengers can watch separately with headphones or through the vehicle’s audio system. With Fire TV for Auto built-in, parents also have access to Amazon Kids+ to control content availability.

© Stellantis North AmericaMcIntosh Audio
Wagoneer Series III and Grand Wagoneer Series I and Series II offer the McIntosh MX950 Entertainment System — a custom-tuned 19-speaker system (including a 10-inch subwoofer) powered by a 17 channel 950-watt amplifier. Available on Grand Wagoneer Series I and Series II, and standard on Grand Wagoneer Series III, the premium McIntosh MX1375 Reference Entertainment System creates a tailored and immersive 3D Adaptive Sound Processing experience. The system features 23 specifically tuned speakers, including one of the highest performing 12-inch subwoofers in the industry, powered by a 24-channel 1375-watt amplifier with dedicated channels to drive active speakers.

© Stellantis North AmericaDriver Assist
Available driver-assist technologies on the Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L include head-up display, adaptive cruise control, active driving assist, hands-free active driving assist, night vision, drowsy driver detection and traffic sign recognition.

© Stellantis North AmericaOn the Road
Jeep invited us to Bozeman, Montana, to drive the new Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L on mountain highways outside the bustling college town. Our first stint was in the 2023 Wagoneer L Carbide 4WD, and within the first few minutes our overall impression of the Wagoneer L was the same as when we first drove the Wagoneer in August 2022 — surprisingly, it doesn’t feel as big as it actually is. Although it is a large full-size SUV, the steering is responsive, it has plenty of power and a smooth ride.

© Stellantis North AmericaHurricane Power
The new twin-turbo Hurricane inline six cylinder provides commendable power for excellent drivability. From a standstill, acceleration is decent, but the new engine really shines at cruising speeds, where the available torque delivers plenty of power for easy passing on two-lane mountain roads. We also drove the Grand Wagoneer L with the Hurricane 510 engine — an increase of 90 horsepower and 32 lb-ft of torque over the Wagoneer L — which really minimizes the time needed for overtaking or passing.

© Stellantis North AmericaBeautiful Inside and Out
As mentioned earlier, we appreciate the exterior design of both Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L, although the interior design and materials take the vehicles to new levels of sophistication. The wing shape to the lower dash creates an open feeling, and wood and metal trim options can be tailored to any taste. We understand the 2-spoke steering wheel is a tribute to the original Wagoneer, but it feels a bit bulky with hands at typical 3 o’clock and 9 o’clock positions.

© Stellantis North AmericaOff-Road Capability
During a lunch stop at the Crazy Mountain Ranch, we also had the opportunity to take the vehicles and do some off-roading and hill climbing. We drove the Wagoneer  Series II 4 x 4 with Advanced All-Terrain Group, 18-inch wheels and all-terrain tires. It’s easy to see that Wagoneer has Jeep off-road capability — even if Stellantis wants Wagoneer to maintain an aesthetic distance from Jeep. Equipped with Quadra-Drive II, Quadra-Lift Air Suspension, semi-active damping and an electronic limited-slip rear differential, the vehicle climbs rocks and provides some serious fun in the dirt. And even though most Wagoneer owners will likely not take these premium SUVs off-road, the capability is always available as needed in adverse weather or slippery conditions.

© Stellantis North AmericaRight for You?
Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer fill a void in the Jeep lineup, adding a full-size luxury SUV while paying homage to the pioneering models of the same names. And the 2023 the extended-length Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L are great solutions for those who need additional cargo capacity (coupled with new Hurricane twin-turbo engines for improved drivability and fuel economy). Buyers in the market for a full-size luxury SUV should give Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer a close look, as well as the L variations if extra capacity is required.

© Stellantis North AmericaRating: 8.5
Pros: Great exterior design; luxurious interior; latest technology; new engines; additional cargo space; Jeeplike off-road capability.
Cons: Luxury has a high price tag; improved fuel economy, but still not very fuel efficient.
Bottom Line: The 2023 Wagoneer L and Grand Wagoneer L offer luxurious surroundings, more tech, additional cargo space and new turbocharged engines, while continuing to improve both refinement and off-road capability.

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