Jeep Grand Wagoneer vs. Cadillac Escalade

By

Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

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, Automotive Editor - February 17, 2022

Large SUVs are more popular than ever and Jeep is finally ready to answer the call with the new Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer. Jeep hasn’t used the Wagoneer name since 1991, but the large SUV returns for the modern era with new tech, a luxurious cabin, and a premium design. Jeep’s so serious about moving upstream with the Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer that it hasn’t placed a Jeep badge on either SUV.

The Cadillac Escalade has been around for years and is the quintessential American luxury SUV. A burly V8 engine and a massive body are to be expected with the Escalade and the even larger Escalade ESV. The large SUV, though, goes above and beyond with a composed ride and some of the best tech features for the class.

While there’s one option that comes out on top of the other in this comparison, the Wagoneer and Escalade trade equal blows against one another. Choosing one based on the styling that appeals to you isn’t a bad idea.

What the Cadillac Escalade Gets Right

The Escalade ESV and Grand Wagoneer offer similar amounts of interior space for passengers, but the elongated Escalade has more cargo capacity. The Grand Wagoneer maxes out at 94.2 cubic feet of total cargo space, while the Escalade ESV offers up to 142.8 cubic feet of cargo space.

On the tech front, the Escalade comes with more impressive standard tech features than the Wagoneer. Cadillac offers the standard Escalade with a 16.9-inch touchscreen, a 14.2-inch digital instrument cluster, and a 7.2-inch digital control panel. The Wagoneer is fitted with a 10.1-inch touchscreen and a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster as standard equipment. Moving up to the standard Grand Wagoneer trim brings a 12-inch touchscreen, a 10.3-inch touchscreen, a 10.3-inch touchscreen for rear passengers, and a 12.3-inch digital instrument cluster, but that’s a hefty upgrade over the base Wagoneer.

Jeep offers the Wagoneer with one engine, while Cadillac has two available motors for the Escalade. The standard engine is a 6.2-liter V8 engine that’s rated at 420 horsepower, while a 3.0-liter turbodiesel inline-six that makes 277 hp is available. The Wagoneer comes with a 5.7-liter V8 engine with a 48-volt mild-hybrid system that produces 392 hp.

Cadillac is one of a few automakers that has a hands-free driver-assist system that’s currently available. The Escalade can be fitted with Super Cruise that allows for hands-free driving on mapped highways. While the Wagoneer comes with advanced safety features, Jeep doesn’t have anything that can match Super Cruise.

Read Our Overview of the Cadillac Escalade

What the Jeep Grand Wagoneer Gets Right

While the regular Jeep Wagoneer’s standard 5.7-liter V8 engine isn’t as powerful as the Escalade’s standard V6, the Grand Wagoneer comes with a 471-hp 6.4-liter V8 engine. Still, if you’re looking to tow up to 10,000 pounds, you’ll want to stick with the 5.7-liter V8, which outdoes the Escalade’s maximum figure of 8,200 pounds.

We don’t expect a lot of consumers to purchase a Wagoneer or Escalade with the intention of hitting trails regularly. If you do plan to head off-road, the Wagoneer is a better option. Jeep offers the Wagoneer Series III with the Advanced All-Terrain Group package that improves the SUV’s off-roading capability. It adds all-terrain tires, a rear electronic limited-slip differential, heavy-duty skid plates, and a rear tow-hook. Additionally, the SUV’s height-adjustable air suspension results in up to 10 inches of ground clearance and 24 inches of water-fording ability.

The Wagoneer is priced considerably less than the Escalade. Pricing starts at $60,845 (with destination) for the Wagoneer and $77,940 for the Escalade. The Wagoneer Series III costs $75,845, which is still $2,095 less than the base Escalade. Large luxury SUVs aren’t exactly value choices, but the Wagoneer stands out as the better option to get more for your money than the Escalade.

There’s no denying that the Escalade is an icon, but the 2022 model’s design won’t appeal to everyone. On the flip side, the Wagoneer has a premium look with Jeep touches to look like a knockout. It impresses from every angle. It’s a similar story on the inside where the Wagoneer has a plush cabin that feels like a cut above other Jeeps. The Escalade’s interior is nice, but a GMC Yukon Denali delivers a similar experience as the Escalade for less.

Read Our Overview of the Jeep Grand Wagoneer

Very Close Call

The Cadillac Escalade and Jeep Wagoneer can trade punches all day long. Both large SUVs come from American automakers that showcase their latest tech features, most premium cabins, and upscale designs. Which one is right for you comes down to design, budget, and brand loyalty.

Jeep may be returning to a segment that’s been dominated by the Escalade, but the automaker has done its homework. While the Escalade has been the benchmark for the past decade for American brands, it’s outclassed and outdone by the more luxurious Wagoneer.

Our Verdict

With its two-pronged lineup, the Jeep Wagoneer and Grand Wagoneer mark a triumph return to the luxury segment for Jeep. The Wagoneer will appeal to consumers searching for a family vehicle with a luxurious touch, while the Grand Wagoneer is the vehicle for those seeking the best in luxury and technology.

Compare Side-By-Side: Cadillac Escalade vs. Jeep Grand Wagoneer »

Side-by-side comparison of features, pricing, photos and more!

, Automotive Editor

Based out of the Washington, D.C. area, Joel Patel is an automotive journalist that hails from Northern Virginia. His work has been featured on various automotive outlets, including Autoweek, Digital Trends, and Autoblog. When not writing about cars, Joel enjoys trying new foods, wrenching on his car, and watching horror movies. 

Follow On: Twitter

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