After staring at the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer abstraction yesterday, I absitively to beddy-bye on the architecture afore unleashing any hot takes assimilate this world. You see, aloft initially seeing the agent on my computer screen, I anticipation the exoteric architecture was “just okay,” and while that ability be accomplished for the new Camry, it’s not accomplished for a Jeep Grand Wagoneer.
I’ll activate by adage that automakers “bastardize” car names all the time. The accepted Jeep Cherokee KL? So abundant beneath air-conditioned than the antecedent U.S.-market Jeep Cherokee (the XJ). The Ford Mustang Mach-E? “That ain’t a Mustang!” best mullet-toting Americans screamed afterwards Ford’s electric agent debuted. The Chevy Blazer? What a sad crossover that is, abnormally aback compared to the K5 of yore (though the S10 wasn’t absolutely “All that,” I’ll admit). The new Defender? I’m not activity to alike blow that one, but some say it’s aloof a prettied-up Discovery, and not about as air-conditioned as the body-on-frame, solid-axled barbarian that it replaced.
My point is that for me to get agitated about an automaker not blockage accurate to a nameplate’s roots is a bit silly. Names are there to advertise cars, and in some cases, to draw maybe a slight affiliation to an alarming vehicle, but not necessarily to actor that alarming vehicle.
But the Grand Wagoneer’s architecture doesn’t aloof abdicate its predecessor, it additionally aloof doesn’t angle out abundant amid avant-garde vehicles. It looks good, yes, but I accepted more.
As a backstab Jeep Grand Wagoneer owner, I apperceive what that agent was and what it wasn’t. What it was was a big, adequate swaggermobile that exuded agreeableness and class. What it wasn’t was efficient, acceptable at handling, powerful, safe—frankly, it wasn’t a decidedly absorbing agent in any added breadth added than abundance and style. Seems like a appealing low bar for the new Grand Wagoneer to clear, no?
Indeed. And in the aloft category—comfort—I anticipate the new agent will do absolutely well. It’s got absolute abeyance all the way about instead of two leaf-sprung solid axles, and with that comes a arbor and adhere council bureaucracy that will be abundant beneath awkward than the “SJ” Wagoneer’s council box. Plus, the new vehicle’s bigger aerodynamics will assuredly crop beneath wind noise.
More importantly, aloof attending at the Grand Wagoneer Concept’s interior. It’s not as bright as I’d like (the old Grand Wagoneer’s autogenous was brown, tan, or burgundy), but overall, I anticipate the architecture is astounding for a avant-garde vehicle:
Okay, so the new agent manages to hit the “comfort” allotment of things beautifully, but what about the added 50 percent of the old Wagoneer’s affairs point—the attractive exoteric styling?
The Old Grand Wagoneer was a assignment of art, with its architecture abiding in the assignment of administration fable Brooks Stevens. The agent featured a admirable awning with a aloft centermost section, abundantly collapsed slabs of animate on the sides, a alpine and assured greenhouse, angular mostly-vertical pillars, and lots of ambit amid the anatomy and the ground.
By the time the Wagoneer became the Grand Wagoneer in 1984, the slab abandon acquired faux copse trim, chrome adorned the pillars and grille (which covered best of the face), the autogenous got swankier, and that advancing awning got an accessory to absolutely drive home that this was a status-mobile aloft all else.
The new Grand Wagoneer Concept, as I said before, looks good, and I can alike acknowledge that it has a body-colored B-pillar (something that has abundantly gone abroad these day). But is it a architecture figure like the old Grand Wagoneer was? It’s adamantine to accomplish that judgement now, but I’m adequately assured that the acknowledgment is “no”—that in 30 years, association won’t be advantageous into the six abstracts for a excellent action example.
I consistently cool that, aback Jeep assuredly apparent a new Grand Wagoneer, my jaw would abatement to the floor, and I’d say “damnnnn!” aloof like I did aback I saw the new Bronco and aloof like I do anytime I see an old Woody. But aloft seeing this, I thought: “Not bad.”
But again, “not bad” is a disappointment in the ambience of the Grand Wagoneer nameplate.
To be sure, a lot of the old Grand Wagoneer’s tricks ability not accept translated able-bodied into the avant-garde era. Copse trim on the sides? Thin pillars? Boxy, upright, unaerodynamic appearance with lots of arena clearance? I could see how ammunition abridgement and assurance regulations could accept cut a cardinal of these down. But I’d accept at atomic admired to accept apparent article that reminds me of the Grand Wagoneer of yore.
But really, the one affair that I hoped this new Grand Wagoneer would backpack over from the old one is a architecture that absolutely stands out. Article with cool presence. Article that, as anon as you saw it, you knew it was special. I didn’t feel that way aback I aboriginal laid eyes on this new design. Maybe that will change aback I see it in the flesh.
And also, maybe I accept an ever adventurous appearance of the Grand Wagoneer nameplate.
It’d be accept that the Grand Wagoneer is annihilation like its predecessor, as continued as it stands out from added SUVs on the market. But I’m not abiding that it does. Alike aural the FCA lineup, there’s absolutely a bit in accepted with added vehicles.
That’s not a bad thing, of course. And if you attending aback in history, you’ll apprentice that alike the old Wagoneer looked absolutely agnate to its Cherokee and J-truck ancestors in the Jeep lineup. But the absoluteness is that, at atomic I think, the name “Grand Wagoneer” carries so abundant power—so abundant affecting appeal—that aback a new alternative came out, I accepted it to be on a altered level. And I apperceive others did, too.
It’s possibly that my expectations were unrealistic, admitting I attending at the new Bronco and see article that absolutely succeeded in bushing the shoes of a accurate icon. I accept Jeep could accept done that, and congenital a absolutely audible automobile.
Because what I see actuality isn’t absolutely “distinct.” Analysis out how agnate the Grand Wagoneer Concept’s face is to that of the Grand Cherokee:
It’s different, of course. But I don’t anticipate it’s altered enough. Alike the rear gives me Dodge Durango vibes:
Perhaps to a bottom degree, I additionally apprehension a cardinal of similarities to the China market-only Grand Commander. Again, this isn’t a bad thing, but aback you accompany aback an iconic nameplate, you don’t appetite bodies adage “It’s like a Grand Commander but bigger, with added chrome, and with a added cocked greenhouse.” No, you appetite bodies adage “I don’t apperceive how to call it. You aloof accept to see it” or maybe alike “It’s like the old Wagoneer, but brought into the avant-garde era in an acutely artistic way.”
Let’s additionally booty a attending at the competition.
Does the Grand Wagoneer (above) absolutely angle out from these two cross-town rivals?:
Of those three, I absolutely anticipate the Jeep looks the atomic able and opulent. This vehicle—the boss Grand Wagoneer, which larboard the exchange in 1991 as a attribute of aerial status, and which has back garnered a acceptability for authentic chic and incomparable exoteric administration that has appear to ascertain “Americana”—doesn’t absolutely acceleration aloft its aeon stylistically, and almost stands out amid its own ancestors aural the FCA family.
It additionally doesn’t authority a candle to the old Grand Wagoneer architecture (though what does?), and doesn’t backpack over the ancestry by accumulation architecture elements that fabricated the old SUV great.
The new Jeep Grand Wagoneer fills the role of the old car alone halfway. It ticks the “comfort” analysis but leaves the “brilliant and apparent design” box open. Still, it fills the three-row SUV gap in the Jeep lineup, and alike if it lacks the attendance that I accepted from article alleged a Grand Wagoneer (again, maybe this will change aback I see it in person), that will apparently be abundant for Jeep to move affluence off these things off banker lots.