Jeep goes very premium with return of Wagoneer badge

Here's a fun fact: the original go-anywhere premium sport utility vehicle wasn't the Range Rover. That distinction belongs to the Jeep Wagoneer which first came out in 1962.

Fitted with design touches (i.e. exterior wood panels) and equipment considered to be luxurious at the time of its initial introduction in the early 1960s, the Wagoneer and its many premium variants like the Super Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer quite literally created the class now populated by many esteemed SUVs. The list includes the Lexus LX570, the Land Rover Range Rover, the Cadillac Escalade, the Lincoln Navigator, and more.

But alas, the OG has been absent from the market since the Grand Wagoneer version was discontinued in 1991 and a brief return based on the smaller Cherokee in 1993. Now Jeep is ready to bring the top, uh, Jeep back into the fold with the reveal of the Grand Wagoneer Concept.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer wants to tempt you out of Toyota Land Cruisers image

“Our new Grand Wagoneer Concept marks the first step in the rebirth of Wagoneer – a true and rare premium American icon,” said Christian Meunier, global president of the Jeep brand for FCA. “With the electrification of each Jeep nameplate coming in the next few years, and the reintroduction of Wagoneer, we are quickly expanding into new segments and more premium space.”

Yes, the model we're looking at is still a concept, even though it looks almost showroom ready. As mentioned, the Grand Wagoneer will be the largest model in the Jeep lineup, but the company says both the Grand Wagoneer and Wagoneer will be reintroduced. If the Grand version is the long-wheelbase model, the Wagoneer will be the standard wheelbase variant.

The models will come with the most premium design elements representing the best of what the brand can offer such as the black obsidian seven-slat grille, striking LED headlamps with teak wood inside, 24-inch wheels, and a commanding presence that the Wagoneer name deserves. Jeep says the concept version has a full pane glass roof that has a map of Motor City -Detroit- and the surrounding areas; the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer will be built by Jeep in Metro Detroit.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer wants to tempt you out of Toyota Land Cruisers image

The interior of the Wagoneer models shows a lot of promise for the luxury sector, especially since Jeep used a lot of teak wood in the Grand Wagoneer Concept. In production trim, the Wagoneer will be a 2-row SUV, but the larger Grand Wagoneer will have a third row. This will be the first time that the Grand Wagoneer will have a third row.

Some of the other details revealed by Jeep about the production versions of the Grand Wagoneer include three different four-wheel-drive systems, air suspension, and a fully independent suspension system. We can expect technologies that enhance connectivity, safety, comfort, and driving dynamics. One thing Jeep is highlighting is the amount of digital display screens that occupy the cabin. There's a 12.3” screen taking the place of the instrument cluster, 12.1” and 10.25” touchscreens on the center stack for various vehicle functions, and another 10.25” screen for the front passenger. There are three 10.1” touch screens for the middle row passengers as well.

Jeep Grand Wagoneer wants to tempt you out of Toyota Land Cruisers image

The Grand Wagoneer Concept has a McIntosh Laboratory premium audio system. Hifi purists and audio enthusiasts would know what that signifies.

Jeep says the Grand Wagoneer will be released in 2021, meaning it will come back 30 years after the original ceased production, and 10 years after then-Chrysler CEO Sergio Marchionne announced that the model was indeed coming back.

Can Jeep reclaim the crown that originally belonged to them with the production models of the 2021 Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer? Let us know what you think in the comments below.