2023 Jeep Wagoneer Series II 4×4 review by Ben Lewis

If you haven’t been to the movies in a while, you might find yourself tempted by the super extra-large popcorn. What the heck, why not? Well, the same thing is happening again with SUVs. While we’re seeing all sorts of small SUVs, EVs and the like, some folks are going big – for the room, for the space, and what the heck, why not?

The latest entry in the supersize SUV sweeps is the all-new 2023 Jeep Wagoneer. Designed to fit against other big 3-row models like the Tahoe and Suburban, it gives the Jeep faithful a choice that they haven’t had in a long time and brings back the Wagoneer name in all its glory.

What the heck, let’s check it out!

Big, Bold and Beyond 

Here’s an interesting fact – nowhere on the vehicle does it say JEEP, but still, it’s immediately recognizable as one, thanks to the familiar 7-slot grille. Flanking the familiar grille are LED headlights and signature driving lights for a purposeful vibe, while a lower blacked out grille and a contrasting fascia that looks off-road rugged and capable. And since first impressions are important, W A G O N E E R is spelled out in big block letters. So cool!

The profile is simple, straightforward and SUV tough. It also reinforces the sheer size of the vehicle – while we could squeeze in a Nissan Armada into our garage, the Wago’s rump was too long by at least a foot. We also loved the Wagoneer script with flag badges on the front doors.

While the standard wheel on the Wagoneer are 20-inchers, our tester had the all-terrain group that includes handsome off-road capable 18-inch alloy wheels and tires. They do look a little small given the overall proportions, though. While the overall length meant our tester was going to be spending evenings parked outside, it does have a cool Quadra-lift air suspension, which lets you lower down to enter most parking garages but raise up when you need some serious clearance off road.

Like the front, the rear is tasteful and strong, with LED taillights, a full-width finisher, and contrasting lower fascia. And in case you didn’t see it up front, once again WAGONEER spelled out in big block letters. We loved our tester’s Bright White color – simple, pure and capable. An honest SUV in every way.

Big Luxury

Don’t let the subtle exterior fool you – the interior is full of wow factor.

Of course, the first wow is the sheer space – Jeep says it serves up Best in class overall passenger volume, best in class third-row headroom and best in class second and third row legroom and most cargo volume behind the third row. Depending on model, you can seat up to eight, but our tester swapped out one of those seats to have luxurious 2nd row captain’s chairs.

As always, we’re happiest in the driver’s seat, and the plush leather seats are ultra-comfortable, while the two-spoke wheel is elegant and nicely heated for those chilly days. The Wagoneer goes full digital with a 10.3-inch gauge display that is sharp and clear, as well as a massive 10.1-inch info-tainment display. Apple CarPlay, Android Auto, Amazon FireTV, Alexa and a Wi-Fi hotspot – you want tech? Wagoneer’s got you covered.

Not only a big screen, it’s well thought out and intuitive, while haptic controls below for the climate control make it easy to get comfortable. Speaking of displays, our tester featured an option Head-Up Display that made easy work of the basics.

Along with the tech there’s obvious attention to detail – all the trim looks upscale, and stylish. Jeep giving you a view of American luxury that’s decidedly elegant. And we’d also mention that there’s an even plusher Grand Wagoneer version offered.

The 2nd row as noted, is supremely comfortable with captain’s chairs, but what really caught our eyes were the dual 10.1-inch rear entertainment screens with a first-for-an-auto Amazon Fire TV built in. Next level entertainment. And if your front row passenger is the co-pilot type, there’s even an available 10.3-inch display just for them, that provides access to navigation and entertainment functions, rear seat entertainment control, and the ability to view the exterior vehicle controls. Impressive!

Big Power

We were certainly seduced by the tech and lux, but the Wagoneer doesn’t stop just there – this is a fabulous vehicle to drive.

Those who love V8 power will be happy to know that the 5.7-liter V8 Hemi with 48-volt eTorque hybrid serves up 392 horsepower and 404 lb.-ft of torque. But before you check that box, there’s a better choice. Our tester featured the new 3.0-liter, twin-turbo 6-cylinder Hurricane motor, serving up 420 horses and 468 lb.-ft of torque.

This is a phenomenal engine, with loads of power, impressive smoothness and we’d estimate it’s moving the big Wag to 60 in under 6 seconds. All this, and it’s more efficient than the Hemi as well. And if that isn’t enough, there’s also a High Output version of the Hurricane with 510 horsepower. Wow.

Hooking up that power is a quick-shifting 8-speed automatic, and for go-anywhere capability, we’d go for the Advanced All-Terrain Group package. This includes the Quadra-Lift Air Suspension with 5 modes that can provide up to 10 inches of ground clearance for off-roading and lowers for easy ingress/egress and enhancing aerodynamics.

Adding to that is an Electronic Limited-Slip Rear Differential and 4WD with a 2-speed, on-demand transfer case. Bringing the toys is easy with a 10,000 lb. tow rating.

Powerful and capable, check. But it’s the luxury that wows you, too. Sure, with this long a wheelbase the ride is smooth and supple, and wind noise is almost non-existent, which is impressive for the big blocky design.

Equally impressive, the steering is light and the brake feel is good. And despite its large size it’s easy to maneuver around town and to keep centered in your lane. You do notice the size at the mall – a lot of those spaces are too narrow to park comfortably. On the bright side, the 360 Surround View Camera makes it easy to place the Wagoneer once you find a spot that fits. 

Adding confidence to your drive is standard emergency braking with pedestrian and cyclist detection, lane departure warning and lane keep assist, standard adaptive cruise control and blind spot monitoring. Our tester added available Drowsy Driver Detection, Intersection Collison Assist and Traffic Sign Recognition. Well protected, indeed.

Massive Price?

Jeep gives you a wide range of models to meet your needs and budget.  You can get into a 4×2 Wagoneer starting at $58,995 for a modern, handsome and humongous SUV, that’s good value.

Our tester was the more upscale Series II 4×4 that started at $68,080. Making our tester a luxury rig meant adding the Convenience Group ($3,295), Heavy Duty Trailer Tow Package ($795), 2nd row seating group ($995), Advance All-terrain Group ($2,295), Premium Group ($1,995), and Rear Seat Entertainment Group ($2,195). Add in $2,000 for Destination and we rang the bell at $81,455.

Competitors would include the Chevy Suburban at $78,805, and if you want something a bit smaller but still luxurious, the Nissan Armada comes in at $72,165. So, you’re paying a bit of premium for having the latest and greatest, but what the heck, we think it’s worth the price.

Bold, luxurious, with best-in-class room and state-of-the-art tech, the super-sized 2023 Jeep Wagoneer is tops in large, 3-row SUVs.