Spending a week test driving the ultra-luxurious Jeep Grand Wagoneer made me feel incredibly pampered.
It also helped me understand why New York Yankees legend Derek Jeter and his family are the perfect ambassadors for the brand.
It’s the kind of vehicle a kid from Kalamazoo who makes it in the big leagues could and should reward himself with.
Stellantis knows its audience, which is why the commercials featuring Jeter were on a loop behind the Grand Wagoneer display at the recent New York International Auto Show. The tagline, “Live a Grand Dream,” is fitting for both Jeter and the vehicle.
The model I drove has an MSRP of just over $107,000. If you can afford that price for a vehicle, you probably aren’t super-concerned about the gas mileage, which is rated at 14 city and 19 highway. My average for the week was just over 16 mpg, including a round trip of several hundred freeway miles.
The best feature, hands down, is the amazing 24-way power adjustable seats with massage. This is not a gimmick; the seats give a legit good back rub. I opted for the “waterfall” pattern set on high.
The second best feature is the McIntosh 23-speaker audio system. Ask any audiophile if they’ve heard of McIntosh, and you will get an earful. The 70-year-old brand is highly regarded.
So what didn’t I like? It’s a really big vehicle in terms of both length and width which you must be mindful of at all times, but especially in parking lots and when driving in narrow lanes. I was very protective of the Grand Wagoneer and usually parked far away from other vehicles. So I got my steps in this week.
It’s interesting that the vehicle is practically devoid of Jeep badging. You have to look really hard for its subtle placement on the vehicle, like in the performance LED headlamps. The automaker’s attitude is that Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are brands unto themselves.
The models are the "premium extension" of the Jeep brand, says Jeep Brand CEO Christian Meunier.
Jeter is the Yankees’ all-time hits leader. Similarly, the Grand Wagoneer has been, and will continue to be, a hit for Stellantis.