With the highly-anticipated Jeep® Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer (WS) on the way, there is a lot of people excited about the first true full-size SUV offered in the United States and Canada in decades. While there have been several oversized unibody-based offerings from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA) like the Dodge Durango and Jeep Grand Cherokee, a full-size body-on-frame SUV has been absent from the lineup since the 1993 Dodge Ramcharger. There was a Dodge Ramcharger model offered in Mexico from 1999 to 2001, but it didn’t reach American or Canadian shores from the factory.
Based on the fifth-generation Ram 1500 architecture, the upcoming Wagoneer is a true body-on-frame SUV. Unlike the Ram 1500, the Wagoneer will dump the solid rear axle (SRA) in favor of an all-new independent rear suspension (IRS). While traditional IRS setups usually have less towing capability than a conventional SRA setup, it does offer a better ride. With the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer being more of a luxury family-hauler, a softer ride is a necessity.
We expect that the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer lineup will share many of the Ram 1500’s powertrain options. For example, the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with eTorque which delivers 395 horsepower and 410 lb.-ft. of torque has a maximum tow rating of 12,750 lbs. All of Ram’s pickup powertrains are offered with a standard 8-speed automatic transmission, which should be standard in the WS twins as well.
When it comes to full-size body-on-frame SUVs, the Ford Expedition has a max tow rating of 9,300 lbs. (9,200 lbs. with four-wheel drive). The extended length Expedition Max tops out around 9,000 lbs. when equipped with the maximum tow equipment as its short sibling. Ford’s Heavy-Duty Trailer Tow Package for the Expedition, includes a heavy-duty radiator, Pro Trailer Backup Assist™, 3.73 rear axle ratio, an electronic limited-slip differential, integrated trailer brake control, and two-speed automatic four-wheel-drive (4×4). Without the optional towing equipment, the Expedition and Expedition Max can only tow around 6,000 lbs.
The second highest-rated SUV for towing is the 2021 Dodge Durango. The 2021 Dodge Durango R/T with the Tow N’ Go Package, Durango SRT392, and Durango SRT Hellcat all have the same 8,700 lbs. towing capacity with three different powertrains. The 2021 Dodge Durango R/T Tow N’ Go features the 5.7-liter HEMI V8 with a power output of 360 horsepower and 390 lb.-ft. of torque. The Tow N’ Go Package adds big Brembo brakes, an SRT Active Damping Suspension, Limited Slip Differential, 3.09 rear axle ratio, SRT wheels, performance wheels, as well as a performance exhaust.
Jeep officially said that when the production version of the Grand Wagoneer arrives next year, it will have “unmatched towing capability”. So if the Ford Expedition and the unibody-based Dodge Durango both within a few hundred of the 9,000 lb. towing rating, it wouldn’t surprise us by Jeep’s statement if the production version of the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer has a 10,000+ towing capacity when properly equipped. This would allow the Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer to tow around a 26-foot travel trailer with gear and family loaded up in the vehicle.
When Jeep showed off its Grand Wagoneer Concept, not much was talked about when it came to the powertrain. While the concept vehicle boasted an unknown plug-in hybrid (PHEV) powertrain, we can confirm that the Grand Wagoneer Concept did feature the famed Quadra-Drive® II 4×4 system and Selec-Terrain® Traction Management System with five drive modes (Rock, Sand/Mud, Auto, Snow, and Sport) from the Grand Cherokee. Quadra-Drive II features a rear electronic limited-slip differential and a full-time 4×4 system. Using an active electronic transfer case the system can send up to 100% of torque to the wheels that need it the most. The Grand Wagoneer Concept also the Quadra-Lift air suspension. Quadra-Lift features full-time four corner load leveling and can change the ride height of the vehicle with the push of a button. The system is a closed type air suspension design, that results in faster ride height changes.
Jeep will host two available wheelbases just like the offerings from General Motors (GM) and Ford Motor Company. So you can expect the shorter of the wheelbases to have a higher towing capacity. We should know more in-depth details after the new year. But, nevertheless, the new Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer will provide something that FCA’s Ram lineup can’t… plenty of passenger room and lots of availability to haul their family toys.
To discuss everything surrounding the new Wagoneer/Grand Wagoneer, be sure to check out our newly launched forum, WagoneerForums.org.