When Does Big Become Too Big?

January 13th, 2023 at 2:39pm

2023 Wagoneer L Carbide

Do you own a ranch in Montana? If so, the Jeep Wagoneer L could be perfect for you.

Do you like making several Y-turns to get into or out of a parking lot? Then the Wagoneer L won’t bother you at all.

As for everyone else, well, this big SUV will make you wonder if we’re hitting the limits of how big a passenger vehicle should be. The model name says it all. L is for long wheelbase, and there is a lot of truth in advertising in that letter. You get a vehicle with a whopping 130-inch wheelbase and that is nearly 19 feet long. It barely fits into most of the places where people drive.

Despite front and rear cameras, and an array of sonar sensors, trying to park the Wagoneer L is not easy. It’s like trying to dock a cruise ship. My advice: take it slow and make plenty of adjustments. Don’t be ashamed to back out and start all over again. And even if you get it exactly right, the ass end is still going to hang out well past all the other cars. You can’t avoid it.

2023 Wagoneer L Carbide

After a week or so of driving, you may start to get used to the size and get a sense of where the corners are. Then you can start to pay attention to the rest of the vehicle, which is impressively good.

I’m not a fan of the exterior styling of the Wagoneer, especially the rear quarter and D-pillar area. It looks too boxy and upright for my taste. But the interior is beautifully appointed and crafted, a great blend of tech and luxury. A common question from people who look into it for the first time is, “Wow, what does this thing cost?”

2023 Wagoneer L Carbide

And while the size of the Wagoneer L can be a detriment when parking, it is a real advantage when it comes to interior packaging. You’ll have a hard time finding another vehicle with so much room inside.

Under the hood, Stellantis’s new twin-turbo inline 6 called the Hurricane, lives up to its name. With 510 hp and 500 lb-ft, it will send this big SUV howling down the road, despite the whole package weighing 6,300 pounds.

Hurricane Twin Turbo available 2023 Wagoneer and Wagoneer L

The EPA rates this AWD vehicle at 19 mpg, and that’s about what I got. Pricing ranges from about $90,000 for the base model up to around $112,000 for a fully loaded one.

One thing is for sure. The Wagoneer line, including the L and the Grand Wagoneer, show that Jeep has comfortably elbowed its way into the luxury segment. Move over Land Rover, you’ve got some serious competition.

–John McElroy

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