10 Surprising Facts You Didn’t Know About the Jeep Wagoneer

1966 Jeep Wagoneer | Stellantis

The Jeep Wagoneer is an iconic vehicle that boasts a global following. When it first appeared, it shook up the market and paved the way for a new class of vehicles known as the sport-utility vehicle (SUV) that enjoys widespread popularity today. The innovative model shaped and defined the Jeep brand we’re all so fond of today.

The automotive world changed forever when the Wagoneer went into production. You might consider yourself a fan who knows everything there is to know about this Jeep, but below we’ll provide some fun facts that you may not have heard about before.

10. The Original SUV

The Jeep Wagoneer is considered the first sport-utility vehicle to reach the market. During its introduction in 1962, Jeep marketed the SUV as a replacement for the station wagon with improvements in handling. The power steering and all-wheel drive made the Wagoneer tougher, and also made it easier to use off-road than its predecessors.

The substantial size increase made the Wagoneer one of the largest vehicles to grace the pavement. It was the ideal choice for large families and for those who traveled with a group of friends. You might argue that the 1935 Suburban was the first SUV on the road, but we’ll remind you that the Wagoneer was the first to push the limits of convenience, performance, and luxury.

9.) The Forefather of the Cherokee

1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer | Stellantis

The Cherokee and Grand Cherokee are two of the most popular models ever produced by the brand. They’re iconic symbols of adventure and freedom, and without the Wagoneer, neither of them would exist.

The Wagoneer was the first of its kind on the market that offers the kind of performance, power, cargo space, and passenger capacity to make long trips with a lot of equipment easy. The Cherokee eventually replaced the Wagoneer, despite it making a comeback.

8.) The First 4WD Automatic

Although the Wagoneer offered a two-wheel-drive version, there was a Wagoneer that changed the trajectory of history. For the first time, drivers had the opportunity to experience the performance and power of an all-wheel-drive vehicle without a manual transmission. It opened the market of AWD to a new set of drivers.

For some, learning to drive a manual transmission is intimidating, and more drivers were able to purchase a vehicle equipped to handle off-road excursions without the inconvenience of learning a standard transmission. The combination leveled the playing field and brought more people together to reach the great outdoors than ever before.

7.) The Cult-Favorite

To be fair, you probably know this one. The Wagoneer was in production for over three decades between 1962 and 1993. Over that span, the new and improved variations accumulated a cult-like status. As you’ll find with any beloved car, there are models hidden in people’s garages, lovingly maintained and restored, and treated like a treasure.

Families have been known to pass their Wagoneers down from one generation to the next. There are even fan groups and social clubs around the world to connect lovers of the Wagoneer. They’ve been featured in films and books, and they’ve carved themselves a permanent place in the minds and hearts of many.

6.) A Brand Defining Model

When you imagine a Jeep today, your mind likely drifts toward the Cherokee and Grand Cherokee models. Jeep is linked to an outdoor lifestyle, and they’re the brand you buy for freedom and adventure. That image is owed to the Wagoneer.

As arguably the original SUV, the Wagoneer placed Jeep on the map as the outdoorsman’s automaker. Fishing, camping, hunting, and extreme off-roading are all activities linked to Jeep.

5.) Greatly Desired Years

The Wagoneer isn’t the only vehicle that has a loyal and devoted fanbase. Many classic and vintage cars are highly sought after. Like other cars with a following, there are many years of the Wagoneer that are more desired than others. The models produced between 1989 and 1991 are the most popular.

The Wagoneer has seen a substantial rise in price that doesn’t show any signs of dropping. The asking price for a Wagoneer for these years will continue to rise. Models produced after 1989 were given more luxury features, and those seeking a high-end experience should know the price tag is worth it.

4.) Great Investment

Restoring and maintaining classic cars and trucks is a pastime for many. Families will pitch in to keep their rare beauties in excellent condition. There are various models beloved by their owners but lack value on the open market. However, that’s not the case for the Wagoneer. Unlike other classic cars, the market value for this exceptional SUV continues rising, making it a great investment.

Many enthusiasts have poured their hearts into a project and then realize the cost outweighs the value when the product is finished. This is fine for a labor of love or a precious collection, but for those seeking a return on their cost, it could be deflating. If you’re looking for the thrill of restoring a piece of history and turning it into a work of art with the security of a resell, the Wagoneer is ideal.

3.) Future Models

2022 Grand Wagoneer Concept | Stellantis

Fans have long wished for a return of the Wagoneer since it last rolled off the assembly line. Fortunately, their wishes have been granted with the 2022 Wagoneer that will be released in 2022.

The goal for Jeep is to compete with other luxurious brands and set the standard with their newest release. Fortunately, they have a history and loyal following that should catapult them to the top of the sales chart, but only time will tell.

2.) Bringing Luxury Into the Off-Road Segment

It might be hard to believe, but the SUV world was once a cold and boring segment. The vehicles were tools for getting rugged jobs done, not the comfortable and high-end family cars we know today. The Grand Wagoneer was a revolutionary that mixed style and class to the muddy trails it conquered.

From the leather seats to its gorgeous wood paneling, the classic Jeep showed us that you don’t need to sacrifice style for performance in SUVs. It paved the way for the Escalade moving forward.

1.) The Last of a Dying Breed

Although it’s one of the most stylish vehicles in its class, it won’t win awards for efficiency, which is an important standard today. The Wagoneer cruises comfortably at 70 mph down the highway, but it’s cherished for its grace, not its economy.

After the last Wagoneer was produced in 1993, the only other carbureted vehicle to be produced was the 1994 Isuzu Pick Up. The world moved on after that.

1989 Jeep Grand Wagoneer | Stellantis

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