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UPDATE: New Jeep Grand Wagoneer Pushed Back, to Be a Glorified Trim Level

Shockingly yet unsurprisingly, Fiat Chrysler has let its fans down once again. There’s been talk about a new Jeep Grand Wagoneer seven-seat luxury SUV since 2011, yet nothing has turned to fruition as of yet. After much waiting and speculation, Jeep head honcho Mike Manley said that the Grand Wagoneer will be here in 2018 for the 2019 model year.
Jeep Grand Wagoneer 6 photos
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Unfortunately, that’s not the case any longer. Automotive News sat down for a chat with Manley at the FCA Chelsea Proving Ground, only to find out that the Jeep Grand Wagoneer and Wagoneer are “due after 2019.” However, that’s not the bad news, I’m afraid.

The bad news is that the new Jeep Grand Wagoneer and Jeep Wagoneer “will be closer to luxury trim levels than wholly separate vehicles.” For the millionth time, Fiat Chrysler Automobiles just shot itself in the leg. If you're sitting down, here’s Manley saying it as it is:

"The Wagoneer name represents, historically, the pinnacle of premium for the Jeep world. But in the same way as you may have an Overland and a Summit, you have different trim levels. So you could imagine the use of Wagoneer to denote a really premium vehicle, and Grand Wagoneer takes it to the very next level. If you were to use that as your naming strategy, that's exactly how I would use the trims."
Let the booing and hissing ensue.

I don’t know how you feel about it, but we were promised a Range Rover rival when Manley confirmed the Grand Wagoneer nameplate to the media. To be honest, I don’t want to pay Range Rover money for what essentially is a souped-up Grand Cherokee with a different name. Let me put that into numbers.

The most expensive variant of the Jeep Grand Cherokee is the SRT Night, which starts from $71,670 including the $995 destination charge. The Grand Wagoneer will certainly cost more than that as long as it will be powered by a potent V8 engine. The full-size Range Rover, on the other hand, starts from $85,945. And so, the question remains: who in his right mind would rather the Jeep over the Range Rover?

All things considered, I sure wish that the passing of time will prove my gut feeling wrong. According to Sergio Marchionne, the man who orchestrates Fiat Chrysler, the Grand Wagoneer and Wagoneer will be manufactured at the Warren Truck Assembly plant. To make room for these two fancy Grand Cherokees, production of the Ram 1500 light-duty pickup truck will move to the FCA Sterling Heights Assembly.

UPDATE: Automotive News has updated its report regading the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. "The two nameplates will be luxury vehicles, with the Grand Wagoneer an upscale version of the Wagoneer. Both vehicles will share a platform with the next-generation Grand Cherokee." With this slightly overdue correction, it's fair to assume that there's still hope for Fiat Chrysler and the Range Rover-rivaling Jeep Grand Wagoneer.


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