Car Style Chronicles
New Wagoneers Take Jeep to a New Level
Jeep brought back two gems to fight the best SUVs around the world and make its future even shinier
- All-new SUVs are released after several years of plans and speculation
- Wagoneer makes Jeep’s entry into the North-American full-size segment
- Grand Wagoneer makes brand’s first appearance in the luxury market
The car world is made of rules and patterns. Every model is developed with technical specifications with which to comply; every brand is created with several market standards to meet; every dealer is opened with tough quotas to fill and so on. When work becomes so difficult and stakes become so high, people and companies tend to hold tight onto whatever type of help they can find.
One of those types is the company’s image. Some automakers have become well-known for luxury models, others for high-performance ones, off-roaders, even low-cost cars. That means people have learned to expect the best from them at their respective fields of expertise. Such level of prestige is such a desirable goal that it has become the ultimate one for them but also an unattainable one.
What makes it unattainable?
The simple fact that everyone wants it. Jeep, to give an example, is a reference among off-road cars but so is Land Rover. And none of that has stopped many other automakers from releasing their own cars with similar purposes. The aforementioned prestige comes from not only having become great at what you do but also staying great at it despite how people and the industry change over the years.
Jeep proved such adaptability for the first time in 1993: the Grand Cherokee showed that it could excel at more than rugged off-road and opened a whole new product line. Later, it managed to stay competitive and profitable enough to help the Chrysler Group through its many ups and downs and used the merger with Fiat as a chance to reach the global projection it has always deserved.
How exactly has it gone global?
Fiat and Chrysler were different in almost everything, so their merger opened new possibilities for both. The Dodge and RAM brands had their market scope redesigned to have clearer limits and Jeep gained access to new platforms and factories in more regions. That enabled it to create more competitive generations of its proven models and, which is even more interesting, to create all-new ones.
The Renegade has showed Jeep can also be strong among compact cars; the Gladiator is different from any other pickup of its segment; variations such as Rebel and Trackhawk create an unexpected connection between on and off-road performance; and the Grand Cherokee now takes its strong image a step further by adding a long-wheelbase variation. But Jeep did not want to stop there.
What do the new Wagoneers represent?
While the Grand Cherokee has always been a solid contender, there is only so much it can do. The all-new Wagoneer ventures into the full-size turf, which is currently dominated by Chevrolet Tahoe, GMC Yukon and Ford Expedition. In other words, Jeep has finally created its own version of body-on-frame structure, seven seats, big engines, imposing design and overall performance tailored to long family trips.
As the images show, the Grand Wagoneer builds on that through sleeker lines, more elegant trim and, above all, cutting-edge electronic systems and an array of luxury items. However, fighting Cadillac Escalade, Lincoln Navigator and Land Rover Range Rover requires being good at off-road paths as well because being superlative is what sells those SUVs. Jeep has worked to compete in a whole new segment.
What can we expect from Jeep?
The latest merger which formed Stellantis can only open even more doors to a brand which was once restricted to the tiny niche of military-inspired cars and trucks. Over the past few decades, it has turned into a strong brand with a big model lineup, increasing use of new technologies like electric power, and just the right balance between being part of a large global group and developing an image of its own.
From now on, we can only expect Jeep to keep growing and establishing itself as a reference among off-road cars of all types. The new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are expected to attract a whole new group of customers while the Grand Cherokee is on the way to defend its stand at the market segment right below: its all-new generation arrived with the long-wheelbase version and will get a sportier one soon.
What do you think of Jeep’s latest releases at the full-size SUV market? Do you believe the modern-day Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer have what it takes to compete at their respective market segments or do they still need to improve at something? Feel free to leave a comment below sharing your thoughts and opinions on the brand new initiative of Stellantis’ North-American off-road brand.