Jeep Takes Aim at Chevy Suburban, Cadillac Escalade With Longer Wagoneer, Grand Wagoneer SUVs

Bigger and more lavish, the new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer took Jeep into new territory when they came to market last autumn — but the SUV brand is set to stretch the two models, with extended wheelbase versions taking aim at the likes of the Chevrolet Suburban, Cadillac Escalade and Lincoln Navigator L.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer - and rock side
Bigger is better — at least longer — when it comes to full-size SUVs Jeep is finding out with the new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.

Spy shots of the long-wheelbase models have begun surfacing in recent weeks and they could show up in dealer lots by early in the 2023 model year, according to various sources, such as AutoForecast Solutions.

“You’ve got to make hay while the sun is shining because there is limited time on how long these ICE motors are going to be around, how much people’s appetites for humongous SUVs will live on — and it’s not going to be forever,” Ivan Drury, senior manager of insights for Edmunds, told Automotive News for its latest weekly edition.

Long, longer, longest

The new three-row Jeeps are by far the longest and largest in the brand’s growing portfolio. The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer both stretch 215 inches, nose-to-tail. That’s a full 10 inches longer than the other three-row Jeep, the 2022 Grand Cherokee L.

But they’re 7 inches shorter than the Lincoln Navigator L, 11 inches shorter than the Chevy Suburban, and 12 inches shorter than Caddy’s Escalade ESV.

2021 Cadillac Escalade and ESV
The Escalade ESV boasts a big profit margin — one Jeep is looking to mirror with the new longer Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer.

And when it comes to full-size SUVs, size generally equals profits, the Chevrolet and Cadillac models are, for example, carry some of the highest margins at General Motors, the stretch Navigator doing much the same for Ford Motor Co.

Big SUVs, big profits

While the stretched Jeep models will require some new sheet metal — largely for the back third — they’ll be able to retain most key components, reducing both development and production costs.

“I just think it’s exciting,” Dave Kelleher, a Colorado Jeep dealer and 2021 chairman of the Stellantis National Dealer Council, told Automotive News. “Based on what we’ve seen as the early customer sentiment on Wagoneer, the fact that we will now be able to complement it with the extended version and cover all the customers in that segment [is] terrific, and I can’t wait for it.”

2022 Lincoln Navigator Flight Blue Reserve driving
Lincoln also offers an extended version of its top luxury ute: the Navigator L.

The fourth quarter of 2021 provided a measure of how strong demand is for extended-wheelbase models. Production cuts due to  semiconductor shortages hammered overall GM sales — permitting Toyota to nudge into first place in the U.S. market for the first time. But the Suburban still managed to deliver a 3.3% year-over-year increase for Q4. Escalade sales were also up for the final three months of 2021, with the ESV a key factor.

Hefty prices

The standard-length versions of the new Jeeps have already pushed Jeep into new territory when it comes to pricing. The Wagoneer Series I starts at $61,995 before adding options and delivery fees. A fully loaded version of the Grand Wagoneer Series III, meanwhile, tops $112,000.

According to dealer Kelleher, the extended wheelbase models will likely carry anywhere from a 10% to 15% increase which, if accurate, could push them into $130,000 territory — nearly twice the cost of a fully loaded 2022 Jeep Grand Cherokee. By comparison, a Mercedes-Benz G-Class starts at $133,250.

The Detroit Bureau Read More