2023 Jeep Wagoneer L/Grand Wagoneer L Tested: Luxo-Leviathans

Lyle Ellerbee

To suggest that Jeep’s seven- or eight-passenger Wagoneer L/Grand Wagoneer L twins are elephantine is to libel pachyderms. Both boast seven newfound inches of wheelbase and 12 bonus inches overall, compared with what we now quite inadvisably call their “short-wheelbase” progeny. We are here to make you smile.

Ladies and gentlemen, behold an SUV that, in latest limo guise, requires a 19-foot-long parking space. Somewhere beneath the Grand L’s 6400-pound heft, you can hear the pitiful whimpering of a Ram 1500 chassis, now absent its live axle in favor of an independent rear suspension.

It would require eccentric judgment to consider an “L” if you don’t daily deploy it for ferrying the Broncos’ defensive line or the occasional DOT-approved bridge. Jeep gathered us in a coffee-house parking lot, where we collectively set a Guinness record for glacial back-and-fill turns, using caffeinated civilians as billiard cushions. Of course, if your kids act up, stash ’em in the third row and tell them to write if they get work. Their contributions might help defray the top-spec Grand L’s sticker of $112,995.

2023 jeep grand wagoneer lView Photos

2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer L

Marc Urbano|Car and Driver

If you flatten the second- and third-row seats, the proverbial four-by-eight sheet of plywood slides in like a piece of dry toast. A nine-foot Orvis fly rod will rest flat when inserted diagonally. You could carry Delaware in this SUV, and, all kidding aside, the center console will swallow a basketball.

The facts:
• 44 cubic feet behind the third-row seats (17 cubic feet more than the SWB Grand Wagoneer)
• 43 inches of second-row legroom
• 131 cubic feet of cargo volume behind the first row

Who needs a Ram pickup?

2023 jeep grand wagoneer lView Photos

2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer L interior

Marc Urbano|Car and Driver

There’s a genuine car-enthusiast angle to all of this. (Cars were produced in America in the mid- to late 1900s, but you weren’t born then.) It’s Chrysler’s all-new “Hurricane” twin-turbo inline-six—not bent but straight, you’ve read that correctly—belting out 420 or 510 horsepower, your choice. This costly jewel-like revelation is a rev-happy 3.0-liter dervish that would stand us on our ears if it ever powered something as minuscule as, say, an automobile.

This engine offers bits to make engineers weep: a water-to-air intercooler, twin oil pickups in the sump, and a compression ratio as high as 10.4:1. The turbos aren’t sequential, instead serving three holes per, and the low-end torque is plentiful. In fact, how does this sound: 500 pound-feet from the high-output version, which ought to suffice for your 9000-pound horse trailer. Moreover, the glistening alloy block is less than 29 inches long and has been dyno-tortured almost flat on its side. Meaning it will fit in almost any vehicle. Except, at Chrysler, which? A grumpy old Charger? Nevertheless, for the second time in its storied career, the iron-block Hemi should be dropped at the curb.

In our testing, the GWL (which gets the more powerful six) reached 60 mph in 4.7 seconds. If that’s too leisurely, maybe lash the McIntosh stereo’s 1375-watt amp to the eight-speed automatic. Voila, a new kind of hybrid.

We should note that there isn’t a dusty scintilla of Jeepishness in either of these luxo-leviathans. No Jeep this upscale has ever scuffed tread in blue-collar Toledo, Ohio, although it occurs to us that Mayor Kapszukiewicz might want to name a suburb after it.

Let’s agree to characterize the styling as Long. You don’t need a stylist for this sort of work. More like an architect. No one will likely complain, but Jeep’s nemesis in this class, the Cadillac Escalade, offers at least a trace of sleekness. Killer-whale sleekness.

But enough of the big and tall jokes, because both new Ls steer and handle better than they should, even with a ride quality that is north of plush. Yeah, the steering is artificial, and the braking distance is a bit worrisome (190 feet from 70 mph), but the tracking is flawless, turn-in is predictable, and the dampers suddenly stand tall if you overcook a turn. The rubber, as you’d expect, is biased toward summer in Phoenix, not winter in Bozeman.

2023 jeep wagoneer lView Photos

2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer L interior

Marc Urbano|Car and Driver

And, holy hedge fund, the luxury. Check out the exquisite panel gaps, the imperceptible NVH from wind and engine, and the unexpectedly sensuous surfaces: Ultrasuede-lined A-pillars, double-stitched cowskins encasing the grab handles, and real American walnut trim. Is Leona Helmsley still dead?

At the introduction of the Ls, Jeep trailered out an original Grand Wag, vinyl wood siding and all. Wearing bell-bottom pants, the Wagoneer debuted in 1962 as a ’63 model. Back then, that grandpa of American SUVs was among the largest in our experience. Yet these latest Ls are 43 inches longer and 1.3 tons heavier. You can’t travel back in time. But apparently, you can stretch it.



2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer L

Vehicle Type: front-engine, 4-wheel-drive, 7-passenger, 4-door wagon


Base/As Tested: $93,495/$116,635

Options: Series III (22-inch wheels, 23-speaker McIntosh stereo, passenger display, night vision, massaging front seats, low-range 4WD), $19,500; rear-seat entertainment, $2195; trailer-tow package, $995; Ember Pearlcoat paint, $645; Hands-free liftgate delete, -$195


twin-turbocharged and intercooled DOHC 24-valve inline-6, aluminum block and head, direct fuel injection

Displacement: 183 in3, 2993 cm3

Power: 510 hp @ 5700 rpm

Torque: 500 lb-ft @ 3500 rpm


8-speed automatic


Suspension, F/R: control arms/multilink

Brakes, F/R: 14.9-in vented disc/14.8-in disc

Tires: Goodyear Eagle Touring

285/45R-22 114H M+S


Wheelbase: 130.0 in

Length: 226.7 in

Width: 83.6 in

Height: 77.3 in

Passenger Volume: 172 ft3

Cargo Volume: 44 ft3

Curb Weight: 6428 lb


60 mph: 4.7 sec

100 mph: 12.6 sec

1/4-Mile: 13.5 sec @ 103 mph

Results above omit 1-ft rollout of 0.3 sec.

Rolling Start, 5–60 mph: 5.9 sec

Top Gear, 30–50 mph: 3.2 sec

Top Gear, 50–70 mph: 3.9 sec

Top Speed (gov ltd): 115 mph

Braking, 70–0 mph: 190 ft

Roadholding, 300-ft Skidpad: 0.74 g


Observed: 18 mpg

75-mph Highway Driving: 20 mpg

75-mph Highway Range: 610 mi


Combined/City/Highway: 16/14/19 mpg


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