Fans of big SUVs demand space, as well as ample power, which is why Jeep has followed Cadillac and Lincoln in offering a long-wheelbase version of its three-row full-size SUV.
The 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer L grows the luxury SUV even as it shrinks what’s under the hood. With more interior space and fewer cylinders, the long-wheelbase Grand Wagoneer might sound like a rolling oxymoron. It isn’t.
Recently I piled my dad, two friends, and more gear than necessary into the back of the 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer L for a fishing trip to Canada. Along the way, I learned the pros and cons of Jeep’s largest and nicest people mover.
Pro: 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer L has all the space
The Grand Wagoneer L was built for road trips like this. While we didn’t use it during the trip, the third row is lounge-like with 36.6 inches of legroom. With the third row folded, we had a generous 88.8 cubic feet to load our stuff. We placed nothing above the seatbacks, which is safer in case of an accident and doesn’t block rearward vision. The L’s extra 12.0 inches of overall length helped with packaging, too. Unlike in the short-wheelbase Grand Wagoneer, the 7-foot-long fishing rods didn’t even come close to touching the 10.1-inch touchscreen for the rear climate controls mounted on the center console. Instead, they slid right between the second-row captain’s chairs.
Con: 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer L can be a handful
I hope you like three-point turns, because piloting the Grand Wagoneer L will make them a daily part of life. A Cadillac Escalade ESV and Lincoln Navigator L present the same challenges. Choosing the Grand Wagoneer L, which is 226.7 inches long, means living with a massive vehicle. Buyers should have a good reason for going so big. The standard length model, which is also huge, measures a full foot shorter, and size does matter in a parking lot.
Pro: 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer L does more with less
For now, the short-wheelbase Grand Wagoneer soldiers on with the old 6.4-liter V-8 rated at 471 hp and 455 lb-ft of torque. But the Grand Wagoneer L only comes with the high-output variant of Jeep’s new 3.0-liter turbo-6 rated at 510 hp and 500 lb-ft. The same smooth-shifting 8-speed sends power to all four wheels. The turbo-6 is a gem as the turbos kick in early and seemingly never let up. For a 6,335-pound SUV (as tested), it’s righteously quick. Not that you should, but you could easily hit triple-digit speeds in seconds despite hauling four dudes and a bunch of fishing gear.
Con: 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer L drinks gas
Jeep promised every model in its lineup will be electrified by 2025. That date can’t come soon enough. The Grand Wagoneer L carries EPA fuel economy ratings of 14 mpg city, 19 highway, 16 combined, which are barely better than the 13/18/15-mpg ratings for the V-8-powered short-wheelbase Grand Wagoneer. The turbo-6 averaged 18.7 mpg over the course of 707 miles, according to the trip computer, while the big V-8 in the shorter model averaged 17.9 mpg on the same route with the same load. Fewer cylinders is one thing, but turbos drink gas once they start huffing. Seemingly these turbos are often working, though it’s hard to tell since there’s no boost readout in the digital gauge cluster.
Pro: 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer L borders on stealth wealth
Pulling up to the country club or evening gala in an Escalade or Navigator says you dropped a lot of coin. The Grand Wagoneer nameplate, however, means nothing to most people born in the last 30 years. My loaded Series III tester cost $123,045, which is a little more than a Navigator Black Label L or a loaded Escalade ESV. For those looking for a way to burn six figures and get a luxury SUV without everyone realizing it, a loaded Grand Wagoneer is the answer.
Con: 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer L’s cabin lacks pizzazz
Despite my tester’s seven interior screens, the Escalade ESV and Navigator L outgun the Grand Wagoneer in terms of in-cabin glitz and glam. Open the door of the Cadillac or Lincoln and you’ll be shocked. The Jeep, not so much, as this looks like a large Grand Cherokee with more screens. Nice? Absolutely, but there’s no wow factor, no massive OLED display rising from the dashboard, no feeling of a cigar lounge with thick leather and engraved wood, and certainly no delightful details within the gauge cluster or infotainment system. That’s not the case in the Escalade or Navigator, which surprise and delight while turning up the radio in the latter or resetting the trip computer in the former. Details matter in this price range.
None of the above changes the fact that the Grand Wagoneer L is an ideal vehicle for a testosterone-laden Canadian fishing trip. Like the standard-wheelbase Grand Wagoneer I previously drove to Canada, it’s a smooth operator with a luxurious interior and good visibility. Compared to the shorter model, it drinks (barely) less gas, boasts more power, and has much more space for fishing gear. That’s a win for these four guys.
2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer L Series III
Base price: $93,140, including $2,000 destination
Price as tested: $123,045
Powertrain: 510-hp 3.0-liter turbo-6, 8-speed automatic transmission, 4WD
EPA fuel economy: 16/19/14 mpg
The hits: All the space, more power, stealth wealth status
The misses: It’s huge, drinks gas, lacks wow factor
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