Over the last decade, consumers and enthusiasts have been clamoring for Jeep to fill two glaring holes in its lineup: a pickup and a three-row SUV. Jeep delivered the Gladiator for 2020, leaving us all waiting for the other shoe to drop. Jeep finally gave us two teaser images of the upcoming Wagoneer along with a press release containing just three words, “Coming September 3 … ”
The new exterior teaser image only shows a bit of the grille with chrome “WAG” lettering. It’s enough to indicate that the traditional seven-slot nose will remain—no surprise there. Interestingly enough, a closer look at each of the individual slots seems to show each will feature its own seven-slot motif. Like the Cherokee and JL Wrangler before it, the Wagoneer’s grille will feature a kink that has the top third or so of the grille canted back a bit.
A single rendered image of the interior shows what looks like the rotary controller for what is almost surely a TorqueFlite automatic, the only available transmission in the current Grand Cherokee—the Wagoneer should be no different. The faceted knob is placed on a highly reflective surface, likely piano black. We wouldn’t put it past Jeep’s designers if they also put seven slots in that center console armrest.
Jeep’s Wagoneer has been off the market for nearly 30 years, yet the mythical family hauler has withstood the test of time in our collective imagination. The original design, penned by the illustrious Brooks Stevens, was built from 1963-1991. Grilles, powertrains, and trim all changed over the course of its 28-year run, but the basic body shape remained. It had the look, utility, and comfort that fit its role perfectly. The classic design is still very much in demand, too.
Jeep hasn’t had a third-row SUV in its showroom since the short-lived Jeep Commander ended production 10 years ago. The Commander shared its platform with the third-generation Jeep Grand Cherokee. When the fourth-generation Grand Cherokee debuted, the Dodge Durango took the Commander’s place by offering a three-row SUV option for Mopar lovers. When the fifth-generation of Grand Cherokee arrives for 2022, the Wagoneer will fill that spot.
It wouldn’t be a big surprise if the Wagoneer got 5.7-liter Hemi power and an EcoDiesel option, and perhaps a mild-hybrid variant similar to the eTorque powertrain that debuted in the Ram 1500. There are sure to be luxurious trim levels offered as well, if the Grand Cherokee’s Overland and Summit models are any indication. With any luck we’ll also get a more off-road oriented Trailhawk package for improved performance despite the Wagoneer’s almost-certainly larger, less trail-friendly size. What we don’t expect? A Hellcat powertrain option.