2022 Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer Four-Wheel-Drive Systems Explained
With multiple options available, learn which ones are right for your off-pavement adventures.
The recently announced full-size Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer may not be Trail Rated by Jeep due to their sheer size, but that doesn't mean they aren't equipped for dirt-road excursions. In fact, beyond the available skidplates and tow hooks, there are three four-wheel-drive systems, two suspensions systems, Selec-Terrain traction management, and a host of available tech. Let's walk through the capability and a quick rundown of each of these systems.
When the Advanced All Terrain Group package is selected, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer benefit from either an 18-inch or 20-inch off-road tire, a two-speed transfer case, a 3.92:1 final drive ratio, tow hooks, an electronic limited-slip differential (a mechanical one is standard on the 5.7L-equipped Wagoneer), Quadra-Lift air suspension, Selec-Speed Control, and skidplates for the front suspension, fuel tank, rear stabilizer, and transfer case. This gives the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer a 48:1 crawl ratio, 24 inches of water-fording ability, and up 10.0 inches of ground clearance. The big SUVs also feature 25-degree approach, 24-degree departure, and 22-degree breakover angles at the highest suspension setting.
Although the body-on-frame chassis is loosely based on the Ram 1500 DT platform, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer WS platform is different enough that almost nothing is shared with the half-ton Ram; it's even 2 inches wider than the Ram. The Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer sport fully independent suspension with a short- and long-arm setup in the front with hybrid steel composite upper control arms, aluminum lower control arms, aluminum knuckles, and steel coil springs with monotube shocks or the familiar (think Ram 1500 and Grand Cherokee) Quadra-Lift adjustable-height air suspension with semi-active damping and a sway bar. Under the rear is a five-link setup with coil springs and monotube shocks or the aforementioned Quadra-Lift with semi-active damping. There is a rear sway bar, and the tension, compression, camber, and toe links are cast aluminum, while the spring link uses high-strength steel.
The Quadra-Lift system has five height settings of four-corner adjustment over a range of 3.6 inches. It also has the ability to load level. It can be operated either automatically (depending on drive mode or conditions) or manually with controls housed on the center console. At normal ride height (NRH), the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer sit in the middle setting that gives the SUVs 8.0 inches of ground clearance. In Aero mode, the vehicle is lowered 0.6 inch from NRH and is controlled by vehicle speed, enhancing aero and suspension performance. The vehicles will also lower to Aero mode when in Sport and Eco modes. Park mode lowers the vehicles 1.6 inches from NRH for easier entry and exit.
On the opposite side of NRH height are two off-road settings, Off-Road 1 and Off-Road 2. Off-Road 1 lifts the vehicle one inch for 9.0 inches of ground clearance, and Off-Road 2 goes a full 2.0 inches over NRH for the maximum improvement in ground clearance to 10.0 inches.
The most basic four-wheel-drive system offered is the single-speed Quadra-Trac I, which is standard on the Wagoneer Series II and doesn't require any driver input. This automatic system delivers full-time four-wheel drive and is suitable over a variety of roads and weather conditions. The lightweight Quadra-Trac I is capable of sending up 60 percent of torque to the front axle and can move torque to the wheel with the most grip.
The standard four-wheel-drive system in the Wagoneer Series III is the Quadra Trac II, which uses a two-speed transfer case with 2.64:1 low-range gearing. An assortment of sensors can determine when a wheel is going to slip, to catch it as early as possible and take action. It also monitors for tire slip on acceleration and has the ability to immediately transfer up to 100 percent of torque to the axle with the most traction.
Optional on Wagoneer and standard on Grand Wagoneer is the two-speed Quadra-Drive II system, which also has 2.64:1 low-range gearing but adds an electronic limited-slip differential. Designed to proactively anticipate low traction situations, the Quadra-Drive II system is designed to instantly limit, or even eliminate, slip at the tires by smoothly distributing up to 100 percent of torque to the wheel with the most traction.
In addition to the different four-wheel-drive systems is a host of complementary technologies, including Selec-Terrain, Selec-Speed, surround-view cameras, and Off-Road Pages.
Selec-Terrain has been improved for use in the Wagoneer and has five modes for the driver to choose from: Auto, Sport, Snow, Sand/Mud, and Rock. This technology coordinates input from up to 12 sensors for the powertrain, brakes, four-wheel-drive torque split, and suspension to provide optimum performance in just about any condition.
Auto is the standard setting, which allows the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer to adapt to conditions as the present themselves. In Sport mode, the vehicle lowers, and the settings are biased toward fun on-road driving. When the Rock mode is selected, the Quadra-Lift suspension raises the SUV 2.0 inches for the maximum amount of ground clearance, while the transfer case, differentials, and throttle input are all tuned for better low-speed control. In Snow mode, the traction control system is calibrated for high-slip situations. Lasty, the Sand/Mud mode is optimized for sandy or muddy conditions where the driver is likely to encounter wheel spin and need more torque management.
Selec-Speed Control with hill ascent and hill descent control is like cruise control for the dirt, allowing drivers to set vehicle speed and just worry about steering. Speed is selected through Electronic Range Select controls on the steering wheel and can improve driver confidence in technical situations.
Other tech on the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer that will be valuable for wheelers includes the standard addition of the Uconnect Off Road Pages from the Wrangler and an optional 360-degree camera. Off-Road Pages shows the real-time pitch and roll angles, as well as gauges for current transmission and oil temp, altitude, and GPS location. The camera system can be used at low speeds and will no doubt be useful when shepherding the biggest Jeep through obstacles off the pavement.
Although the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer might not be the prototypical trail Jeep, the company has clearly put thought into making it one of the most capable full-size SUVs in its class. With hard parts and technology that large and adventurous families can take advantage of when exploring the backcountry, the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer are sure to deliver the Jeep promise in a big, new package.