2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Obsidian 4×4 – Bottom Line Review

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4x4: qualifying for Westward Ho flagship luxury SUV excursions with the Grand -er from $89k as tested: $110k

WESTWARD- HO COVERED: Two miles per hour. Ten miles per day. Six months to make it from Independence, Missouri to California’s Central Valley. That sums up the “Westward Ho” migration of immigrants on the American Frontier, whether on the Santa Fe, Chisolm or other well known Wagon Train Trails, via covered wagon from the 18th through late 19th century.

The pioneer family’s covered wagon, was no ordinary town wagon. It was built to withstand weight of all the belongings on unpaved path conditions. Thick wooden hoop beams hoisted canvas covers treated with linseed oil to protect the travelers from weather and sun. By the mid 1800s a pioneer covered wagon cost $400 ($12,000 in today’s cost) and the two-thousand mile trip cost a not inconsiderable $1000.

WAGONEER- HO GRAND: The relative light speed, climate control and safety afforded by the Transcontinental Railroad after the U.S. Civil War might have rendered covered wagon cross country travel obsolete. A century later interstate highways and family leisure trips called for the modern mass produced mechanized version of the Covered Wagon: the then American Motors Corporation all-wheel drive FSJ (Full Size) Jeep Wagoneer sport utility wagon, kin to the shorter SJ Cherokee wagon and Gladiator pickup truck. (Their Royal Majesties had to wait another eight years before they would have a competing Land Rover Range Rover to bestow honors upon.) But the Chrysler acquisition of Jeep spelled a dramatic downsizing of Wagoneer.

Having ceding the large luxury sport utility market to the other American Big Two (and a few imports), a pickup truck derived Wagoneer has finally been reprised on the Stellantis conglomerate dime. Aimed at those who aspire to conspicuous consumption bragging rights in the burbs and wince not at obscene gas prices, the new Wagoneer is so hoity toity that it has been subtly issued a distinct branding apart from Jeep. The grandest [hence priciest] of its two launch offerings is the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4×4 outfitted and upfitted for that most opulent cross country and cross terrain migration.

* * * * * * * * * * * *

WHAT: 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4×4 3- Row flagship large sport utility vehicle. This is the fourth time Jeep has trotted out the Wagoneer name. For the first time it is being marketed as a Stellantis Group prestige sub-brand in Jeep showrooms, slotted above the Designated as Wagoneer WS, the large American SUV shares skeleton with the RAM DT half-ton pickup truck.

Std. Power Grand Wagoneer*: 6.4L OHV pushrod gas V-8 w/ idle Start/ Stop = 471 hp / 455 lb-ft @ 4400 rpm + 8-spd. torque converter planetary automatic transaxle.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4×4: end of road for “modern” 392 cubic engine “Hemi.” Avail. as no cost option MY 2023 on Obsidian Pkg., otherwise replaced with more potent “Hurricane” turbocharged I-6 powerplant

Available Drivetrain per each powerplant: 2-speed chain drive 4-wheel drive transfer case w/ electronic on the fly shifting.

* MY 2023 std. Grand Wagoneer, no cost option w/ Obsidian Pkg, replaced on GW Series II & III by Hurricane 3.0L twin-turbo twin-OHC inline-6 Hurricane engine rated at 510 hp, 500 lb-ft @ 3500 r.p.m.

WHAT (A) STYLING DIFFERENCE: For those taking their sports utility vehicle ration in the dimension of a forward engine transit bus, the new 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer delights. In Obsidian trim flavor it is served up as a heaping plate of big blacked-out monolith. Surely the design team had jagged igneous volcanic rock on their minds to impart such an imposing mark. While clearly adopting the latest Jeep Grand Cherokee five vertical bar grille it boasts a RAM 1500’s larger wheel arches and taller greenhouse and hence height. Anyone who denies the massive picture frame windows between C and D pillars have not been spotted on a New Flyer urban transit bus can’t be taken seriously. The supremely tall liftgate backlight implies the rich don’t need privacy of their cargo bay contents.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4×4: automatic power running boards deployed

Flanking dual valley slight clamshell hood; Thinner trademark Jeep 6 vertical bar grille filled with dark latticing bridges winged thin wrap-around headlamps wearing upper directionals; Thin jutting mid front bumper; Chrome banded lower center radiator grille of darkened latticed + intersecting bars and outer chrome tow hooks; Dark latticed faux corner inlets; Tandem outlined trapezoid wheel arches with body color cladding; Low beltline, tall greehouse; Subtle beltine fold, subtle lower cheatline crease and lower door indentation; Long wheel base pronounces sloping roof followed by matching roof spoiler; Chrome upper window banding, darkened remaining banding.

-1 low belt-line, tall greenhouse makes windows between C and D pillars and at liftgate seem transit bus size awkward.

Tandem diagonal mid crease rear quarter panels supports wrap around thin; Chrome upper window frame banding follows to rear liftgate backlight dipping as a frame; Slight Kammback liftgate; Mid liftgate bump out with prominent trademark “JEEP” chromed lettering splits thin lateral inverted “L” taillamps; Deep center lower liftgate fold carves our license plate valley meeting rear quarter panel scoops followed by a bottom liftgate crease; Thin, wide lower bumper cover corner reflectors are bridged by a darkened lattice chrome band; Chrome outboard arrow dual corner exhaust outlets are embeeded in body colored lower rear fascia.

WHY: Westward [or Eastern] “Wagon-Ho” travel has never been so opulent.

WHEN: On-Sale (in the U.S.) since Summer 2021

WHERE: Jeep Wagoneer new vehicle dealers

WHERE MADE: Warren, Michigan, U.S.A.

WHERE TO: Six or seven can now go where only five men (and women and children) could travel to before in a trail rated Grand Cherokee.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4×4: Off Road Pages app
  • Available full-time all-wheel drive:
    • Quadra-Drive II (optional): Electronic two-speed MP 3022 chain driven helical gear transfer case + viscous multi clutch torque split + e-limited slip front, rear axle differentials
    • Nominal / maximum front to rear torque split = 48:52% / 0:100%
  • Ground clearance: 8.4″ inches nominal to variable 10.9″ inches (w/ optional Quadra-Lift air suspension)
  • Water Fording: up to 24″ inches
  • Selec-Terrain drive + traction management Modes x 5: Rock, Sand/ Mud, Snow, Auto, Sport
  • ABS Hill descent control

HOW ROADWORTHY: Say adieu to the 6.4L pushrod V-8, which is standard kit on 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer Obsidian. The future is a variant of the new turbocharged DOHC inline-6 Hurricane engine family. The Hemi V-8 will be a missed for it’s unmistaken idle rumble and full throttle roar, languid throttle tip followed by brute force foward motion. It is slightly detuned from its Dodge Durango SRT application to host greater towing prowess. Split second double gear downshifts supplied by ZF TorqueFlite 8HP75 makes passing in this 3 ton behemoth astonishingly brisk. It won’t be missed for it’s unquenchible thirst for liquid gold.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4×4: 5 drive modes

Front and rear suspensions are fully independent multi-link with lightened aluminum carriers allowing electronically variable dampers to compress neatly without dramatic rebound. The optional and fitted Quadra-Lift air springs will rise vary clearance by up to 3.5″ -inches dictated by Select-Terrain choice. Surface imperfections are soaked up with little notice and brake dive is tamed with the body attitude remaining fairly lateral before leaning in acute adjustments. Steering rotation comes in with a well judged heft but some lethargy and plenty of numbing are included. Considerable caliper on disc sizing results in a fair amount of brake pedal travel eventually issuing urgent slowing.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4×4: variable ride height adjustments

-1 Wind noise needs improved attenuation.

HOW FAR: 13 combined miles per gallon. (Cylinder de-activation does only so much when milling around with 2.5 tons of brick.) 477 miles highway range on 91 octane unleaded fuel.

HOW BIG/ LITTLE: 6 Occupant seating = full-size 2+2+2 SUV style: Row 3 = Livable knee & head room for 2 x 5’11” adults ; Standard 2nd Row captain chairs (60:40 split bench optional); Power deployable running boards

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4×4: power deployed running boards & artful leather covered pillar grand handles required to climb aboard
    • +1 Smaller than an commercial passenger van
    • -1 Parking requires great care

By Comparison:

    • Wheelbase (standard) 123.0″ = 0.5″ > Lincoln Navigator L
    • Row 2, Row 3 legroom = +1.6″, -0.8″ vs. Lincoln Navigator

HOW USEFUL: Comfort approach variable height power liftgate; Power release flat folding + tilt & slide 2nd Row captains chairs; Power cabin 3rd Row split seatback fold & raise; Power cargo bay 2nd + 3rd Row seatbacks fold & raise; 3rd Row power 2nd Row seat forward tilt and slide; 2nd Row power forward tilt and slide; +1 Running boards – illuminated, power deployed; +1 Cooled Row 1 center console bin;  +1 Long 1st & 2nd Row door pockets; +1 Sliding covered lower center stack mobile handset tray & connection / power ports; +1 3rd Row wall storage and outboard floor cargo management. -1 Modest front center armrest & cargo bay sub-floor storage.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4×4: 85 cubic feet post Row 1 expanded cargo capacity

By Comparison:

    • Cargo Volume (nom. / max.) = -25% / -22% vs. Lincoln Navigator L
    • Tow rating: 9850 lbs. = +1750 lbs. vs. Lincoln Navigator L

HOW SAFE: STANDARD: IIHS = Not Yet Tested; 8 airbags; Rear camera w/ predictive grid; Blind Spot, rear cross traffic Warning; Post collision S.O.S. alert; Roll Mitigation; Pedestrian & cyclist detection braking; Forward collision avoidance braking; Lane Departure Warning + Keep Assist; Full adaptive cruise control; Park Sense w/ reverse full stop; Rain sensing windshield wipers; Automatic High Beam headlamps

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4×4: ADAS systems on the road

AVAILABLE (included in test vehicle)

Heads Up Display = 10.0″; ParkSense Front Park Assist with Stop; 360° Surround View Camera w/ rear backup camera washer; First and Second Row traffic side exit warning; Highway Assist; +1 Night vision pedestrian & animal detection; Intersection Collision Assist; Fam Cam aft cabin camera

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4×4: camera assisted views inside and out

HOW PEOPLE FRIENDLY: Reviving the “Grand Wagoneer” name as a luxury flagship obligated creature comforts that would surpass last year’s premium outiftted WL Jeep Grand Cherokee L and cause the latest Cadillac Escalade bogey to blush with envy. Setting the first foot inside the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer convinces that the only military service it should enter is as Chairman of the Joint Chief’s transport at the Pentagon. It is no less suitable for corporate Chairman of the Board shuttling.  The detail in tucked leather seams, turned or matte aluminum and microsuede and the refined crisp tactile response of soft touch haptic buttons or knurled knobs and motorized bin covers exude cachet. Infotainment has been bolstered by larger and more plentiful digitized displays built upon the Android Oreo derived latest Uconnect 5.0 infotainment with custom widgets and over the air apps.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4×4: driver’s entry

Palermo perforated leather seating – heated & cooled Rows 1 + 2; Wide berth, sport bolstered front bucket seats; 24-way power front seats, w/ 3-setting memory & variable massage; Heated, power tilt + telescoping leather steering wheel with spoke integrated tactile redundant controls; Automatic 4-zone climate control w/ lower center stack power retracting touch display for ventilation and seat massage adjust; 2nd Row center console canted climate seat heating, cooling control touch display; Large center console ribbed rotary metallic transmission position and Drive mode dials; Overhead console retracting sunglasses bin; Power folding side mirrors; Tri-pane moonroof, power open + tilt Row 1; 2nd Row door manual sunshades

-1 Limited steering wheel reach adjustment; Short 2nd Row seat cushions; Power liftgate, lock switch on liftgate [rather than cargo area panel].

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4×4: cabin view forward from Row 2

Cool Gizmo(s): Relax Mode 5-program visual + audio ambience app; 12.3″ (upgrade from standard 10.25″) inch frameless TFT virtual cockpit digital instrument cluster w/ integrated MFD including, drive modes, performance data, four pane status; Available Map in virtual cockpit cluster; Foot well, center console & door panel ambient lighting; Front seat massaging; Front lower center stack power retracting climate control + front seat massage touch display; Detroit skyline in background of Uconnect 5.0 12.0″ inch infotainment display.

Details Done Right: Streamlined amphitheater style cockpit w/ dash top overhang; Tandem pulled seam contrast stitched simulated leather & leathers, contrast piping; Mid dashboard & door panel Absolute Oak wood appliques; Oak wood accented leather wrapped steering wheel; Micro suede pillars, headliner, upper Row 2 + cargo walls; Knurled brushed metal toggle Selec-Terrain center console switches; Piano black soft touch steering wheel, center stack & console buttons; Dense pile carpets

Nearly Non-Descript: -1 Coarse grain below waist-height, pillar, aft cabin wall plastic cabin trim; Steering wheel spoke controls lack tactile distinctiveness; Non-fluid door and secondary switch action.

HOW CONNECTED:

UConnect 5.0 center dash embedded 12.0″-inch (upgraded from standard 10.1″) capacitive touch LCD tri-pane landscape infotainment screen; Front Passenger Interactive Display 12.3″ inch capacitive touch control infotainment screen; 2nd Row front seat back aft 10.1″ touch LCD interactive media displays w/ USB + HDMI inputs;  Bluetooth & voice command hands-free communications; GPS HDD Navigation w/ 3-D map, voice guidance + Map in Digital Instrument Cluster; voice to text SMS messaging; USB-A x 6, USB-C x 6 (4 total each per row); 12V x 4 (includes cargo), HDMI x 3; 115V AC x 1 (2nd Row)

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4×4: Glossy glass displays, gloss piano black contrasted by smooth or turned aluminum and knurled knobs = grand cockpit

+1 Higher definition Uconnect 5.0 media display graphics, customizable widgets; Sliding covered forward center console wireless device storage w/ Qi inductive device charging tray; Traditional knurled twin rotary knobs for audio volume + tuning

HOW “APP” -LICABLE:

wireless Android Auto / Apple Car Play smart phone projection; Uconnect 5.0 6 GB RAM, 64 GB HD storage, Apps and App Store + over the air updates; Weather app; Off-Road Pages app

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4×4: plethora of apps

 

Impeccably sibilant & tight, distortion free peak ranging McIntosh Audio [of Binghamton, New York] MX1375 23 speaker (including 12.0″ inch subwoofer), 1375 Watt, 17 channel DTS 5.1 reference audio system w/ trademark Power Guard anti clipping and dual VU needle Blue power meters.

2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4×4: 23 speaker, 1375 watt McIntosh Labs reference audio system w/ dual VU meters
    • +1 Extensive Uconnect voice commands for climate, audio, voice to text SMS and navigation inputs; McIntosh audio reproduces with thunderous depth
    • -1 Lack of infotainment display hood = considerable sun glare; McIntosh audio staging remains less distinct than Volvo’s Bowers & Wilkins.

By Subscription: Sirius XM 360L w/ enhanced search (90 day trial); 4G LTE Wi-Fi by Verizon (1 GB, 90 day trial); Sirius Guardian telematics

HOW MUCH: $109,025 = 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6.4L Obsidian 4×4

WHAT’S MISSING: A personal oil well and refinery option; Less suspension jitter; More supportive & better cushioned seats, 2nd Row power adjust seating

ANY COMPETITION: Cadillac Escalade: +1 acceleration, cachet; Lincoln Navigator: +1 2nd Row seat massage

(Contributing Editor: T. Paluch)

An automotive enthusiast since an orange toy VW Beetle ended up in his playpen and following him everywhere, George Straton has been chief editor at ChicagoNow.com/Drive-He-Said automotive lifestyle blog since 2010. In 2017 George established Roadblazing.com, dedicated to accurate automotive reviews, news and road trip stories. George is a member of the Midwest Automotive Media Association and the Phoenix Automotive Press Association. George also happens to be an attorney and Loyola University of Chicago Ramblers fan. Present ride: 2022 Mazda 3 Turbo AWD Hatchback.

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