There Are Too Many SUVs On The Market

Confusion between Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer shows that having many SUVs to choose from demands extra attention from buyers

Everyone knows it by now. That body style has dominated the automotive market and shows no signs of weakness. Nowadays, we see many SUVs available on all price ranges and at the showrooms of almost all brands. That variety is so big that it is easy to cause confusion even on car fans; let alone on the average buyer. As Motor Trend has reported, that is currently happening with Jeep’s brand new upscale line.

In short, Jeep released a family of full-size SUVs last year. Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer apply different names to anticipate that they work at different segments. However, this family has options of model, trim, engine, traction, and wheelbase. And there is an all-new Grand Cherokee available right below them. That article focuses on how customers perceive all that, which is an interesting topic for us to explore as well.

Wheelbase is only one of the options you have when choosing your Jeep Grand Wagoneer (source: Stellantis)

What about Jeep Wagoneer vs Grand Wagoneer?

The Wagoneer family came back to the market last year to end a three-decade hiatus. Jeep decided to go all-in on the full-size SUV market with regular and Grand models. They borrow the RAM 1500’s platform, debuted with I6 and V8 engines, and offer acres of internal room. Everything filled with nothing but the latest technologies in terms of comfort, entertainment, and safety. Typical full-size North-American SUVs.

The thing is, Jeep released two models and that is causing confusion. People are thinking that the Grand Wagoneer is merely the Wagoneer’s upscale trim level; just another version loaded with equipment. The original article contacted two Jeep bosses to discuss the matter: Christian Meunier, the Global President of the Jeep brand, and Jim Morrison, who is the head of Jeep brand in North America.

Basically, one is a mainstream model and the other competes in the luxury segment. They come from the same project, that is true, but they have substantial differences. The Grand Wagoneer offers upscale trim, more standard items, stronger powertrain, and several exclusive visual items. In fact, those sources stated that it was the first model developed; the Wagoneer came later to give the project a larger market scope.

Even in the long-wheelbase version, the Jeep Grand Cherokee sits below the Wagoneer on the lineup (source: WheelsAge)

Why do many SUVs have those options?

The fact that there are many people willing to buy SUVs does not make their market a sales haven; it only attracts more competitors. Offering many SUVs at once is great to cover more buyer profiles. However, it is also negative for increasing production and marketing costs. Creating many options for each model is a common strategy to deal with that. It extends their sales potential and often makes them more profitable.

GM was arguably the first one to do that. The Suburban has been on sale for almost a century now, if you consider its older names as well. Over time, it spawned the shorter Tahoe, and the fancier GMC Yukon and Cadillac Escalade siblings. Nowadays, the company derives dozens of versions from one platform, which it makes sure to keep up-to-date. It is rather easy to recover the initial investment having so many sources.

European and Japanese makers take yet another approach. They establish luxury divisions as well, such as Audi for Volkswagen and Lexus for Toyota. The difference is that they keep similarities to functional parts like engines and transmissions; everything in terms of design is exclusive for each model. This way, even though each one sells many SUVs as well, it becomes much easier for everyone to distinguish them.

Ford uses a similar strategy to Jeep’s in the full-size segment. However, the luxury models are sold under the Lincoln brand (source: Lincoln)

How can I learn all that?

You should always start with the purpose of each option. Trim levels affect the car’s equipment list and, in some cases, add specific visual items. Powertrain options involve performance and efficiency, but they are usually tied to trim levels. When it comes to wheelbase, it only represents extra room in the cabin. Those are the most common types of variations many SUVs offer; each one has its own combination of them.

The Expedition is the largest among the many SUVs currently offered by Ford

Once you visualize that, understanding names and symbols becomes a piece of cake. Moving from the Ford Expedition to the Lincoln Navigator, for example, means stepping up to the upscale model; it has nothing to do with the other variables. Opting for the “ESV” on your Escalade implies getting the long wheelbase; going from the Wagoneer Series I to the Series II only affects its equipment list, and so on.

You can also browse the company’s website and ask for help at the dealership, but we know how it goes; both will always try to make a sale to some extent. Looking for information on your own is the best way to start dealing with all that naming confusion. This way, choosing between a Cherokee, Grand Cherokee, Grand Cherokee L, Wagoneer, Wagoneer L, Grand Wagoneer, and Grand Wagoneer L will be a breeze.

The Cadillac Escalade ESV is only one of the many SUVs GM currently offers
Cadillac’s top-tier Escalade uses V for the sporty version and ESV for the long wheelbase (source: WheelsAge)

Frequently asked questions

How many does a Jeep Grand Wagoneer seat?

Up to eight, depending on the trim level. It has three rows of seats.

How much is the Jeep Grand Wagoneer 2022?

The base version is the Series I. Its base price starts at $89,995.

Is Grand Wagoneer made by Jeep?

Yes, it is. But Jeep wants it to take an upscale position on the market, so the model has no Jeep badges and is marketed without the brand’s name.

Is the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 3rd row?

Yes, it is. All versions of this SUV come with three rows of seats.

Is the new 2021 Jeep Grand Wagoneer a luxury SUV?

Yes, it is. The 2022 Grand Wagoneer can compete with many SUVs in the luxury segment, such as Cadillac Escalade, Infiniti QX80, Lexus LX, Lincoln Navigator, and Mercedes-Benz GLS.

What is the Jeep Wagoneer comparable to?

It competes in the generalist full-size segment, which has never had many SUVs. Its main rivals are Chevrolet Tahoe, Ford Expedition, Nissan Armada, Toyota Sequoia; and the long-wheelbase of the first two of those.

When was the last Jeep Grand Wagoneer made?

The original Grand Wagoneer went out of production in 1991. There was another generation, based on the ZJ project, which was sold until 1993.

Why was the Jeep Wagoneer discontinued?

Several reasons. The oil price shock of 1990 made gasoline prices soar, which had a huge impact on such a gas-guzzling SUV. The Wagoneer’s project dated back to 1962, so keeping it up to date with newer regulations became increasingly expensive.

Is Jeep coming out with a new Wagoneer?

It has already done so. The all-new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer debuted last year for the 2022 line.

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