Here’s Why the 2022 Wagoneer 3-Row SUV Lacks "Jeep" Badging
The 2022 Jeep Wagoneer and the 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer are festooned with badging. “Wagoneer” is spelled out in large letters across the front of the SUV and the nameplate is equally prominent across the back. “Wagoneer” or “Grand Wagoneer” is replicated on each side of both vehicles, punctuated by an American flag. Open the driver’s door and the name is on a plate at the bottom of the seat. Jeep even moved the controls for the 24-way seat to the door to clear space for this decoration.
One badge you won’t find on the 2022 Jeep Wagoneer or 2022 Jeep Grand Wagoneer, though, is Jeep’s own. It’s not necessary, Christian Meunier, chief executive officer of the Jeep brand, said. “The Grand Wagoneer name and design make it obviously Jeep.”
Stellantis (formerly Fiat Chrysler Automobiles) is making Wagoneer a sub-brand. The full-size three-row SUV lineup is pushing Jeep into a greater level of sophistication with modern tech and it deserves to be set apart, Meunier said. “We call it the premium extension of Jeep.”
Not Trail Rated
Another badge you won’t find of the Wagoneer or Grand Wagoneer? The “Trail Rated” one. To earn this badge, a Jeep is tested off-road to prove it meets five criteria: traction, water fording, maneuverability, articulation, and ground clearance.
The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are not Trail Rated (at least for now), Jim Morrison, vice president Jeep Brand North America, confirmed. “These have off-road packages for 10.0 inches of ground clearance, skid plates, tow hooks, off-road all-terrain tires and are very capable but they are not a trail-size vehicle, so we haven’t Trail Rated these vehicles.”
The SUVs also have three 4×4 systems, two off-road drive modes, can ford up to 24 inches of water, and offer approach, departure, and breakover angles of 25, 24, and 22 degrees, respectively. In other words, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer can handle rough terrain. But the full-size Jeep is just too big to nail maneuverability and get the “Trail Rated” stamp of Rubicon-clearing approval.
Rise of the Sub-Brands
Jeep is not the first, or only, automaker to take a popular nameplate and build a sub-brand around it. Ford has recently done so with both its Mustang and Bronco lines.
The Mustang brand branched out with the arrival of the 2021 Ford Mustang Mach-E, which is an electric SUV with design cues cribbed from the Blue Oval’s sports car. Similarly, the automaker broadened the Bronco family with the addition of the smaller 2021 Ford Bronco Sport, which shares underpinnings with the 2021 Ford Escape, but borrows styling cues from the bigger Bronco.
The two sub-brands were the brainchild of Ford CEO Jim Farley who wanted to create passion brands within the Blue Oval. Farley, a well-known Mustang fan, told the team working on Ford’s electric SUV to use the Mustang as inspiration in order to create a more exciting crossover design.
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