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Unreliable Cars to Avoid: Jeep Wagoneer

BY: Chris Brown
Auto mechanic using a digital tablet in a repair shop

Almost everyone dreams of owning a luxury car — and if you don’t, it’s probably because you already have one. The top-tier aesthetic and finely tuned performance of premium vehicles make them an absolute joy to drive. Unfortunately, almost every luxury car falls short in terms of reliability.

The Jeep Wagoneer is one such unreliable vehicle and one that anyone interested in purchasing a luxury car should avoid. While it’s certainly a notable model in the SUV market, the 2023 model and plenty of those prior have a number of reported issues that can be extremely expensive to resolve.

To help you make an informed purchasing decision, we’ve put together this comprehensive Jeep Wagoneer guide. Keep reading for everything you need to know.

What Is a Jeep Wagoneer?

The Jeep Wagoneer is a luxury SUV manufactured by American automaker Jeep (currently owned by Stellantis). The Jeep brand is iconic and synonymous with rugged outdoor motoring, but not necessarily reliable vehicles. The very first Wagoneer model was introduced in 1963, and later, a lengthy hiatus followed the third generation, which was introduced in 1993. Almost 20 years later, a fourth generation was produced in 2022, and it continues to be manufactured today.

There are currently two Jeep Wagoneer models on the market: the Wagoneer and the Grand Wagoneer. The standard Wagoneer starts at $62,945 MSRP and is designed to elevate every element of the traditional family road trip. With an impressive combination of space, comfort, capability, and enough towing capacity to pull up to 10,000 lbs, its Hurricane engine offers 420 max horsepower and goes from 0-60mph in just 6.3 seconds. A Wagoneer L is also available, adding more room with a 7-inch increase to the wheelbase and a 5-inch increase in the rear overhang.

The Grand Wagoneer turns the luxury up to 11 (and pumps up the price to $91,190 MSRP). Additional features include an industry-first McIntosh reference entertainment system, Amazon Fire TV built-in, and a 75-inch display available throughout the cabin. A Hurricane Twin-Turbo engine provides up to 510 horsepower, which can go from 0-60 mph in an even faster 5.9 seconds. Like the Wagoneer, you can upgrade to the Grand Wagoneer L, this time with 12 extra inches in overall length.

Reported Issues with the Jeep Wagoneer

The Jeep Wagoneer is an undeniably impressive feat of engineering, but like most luxury-class vehicles, it has its fair share of issues. Our friends at RepairPal score the Wagoneer just 3 out of 5 for reliability, which is admittedly higher than average but still nothing to celebrate. The estimated annual repair cost for Wagoneers is $691, with 15% of those repairs expected to be severe in nature. Some reported issues for recent models include:

A/C and Heater Problems

A Wagoneer owner reports that their rear heater failed, followed by their front heater. The dealership informed them that the vehicle had a “bad heating module,” which was recalled for repairs.

Engine Problems

Users report that the rapid coolant temperature fluctuates, resulting in an overheating warning. One owner stated that their vehicle completely shut down while driving in the fast lane on the interstate and would not switch back on again until they came to a halt on the shoulder.

Expert Reviews and Consumer Feedback

A quick online search shows that experts generally approve of the Jeep Wagoneer. Car and Driver gave the 2023 model an impressive 8/10. Similarly, MotorTrend gave the same model a 7.9/10. Heading over to Edmunds, however, consumer ratings aren’t nearly as favorable.

The largest percentage of reviews (45%) give the Wagoneer just one star out of a possible five, with owners commenting on safety issues, regular component failures, and plenty of recalls. Many people were left without their vehicles for extended periods while waiting for parts at a dealership.

Wagoneer Comparison with Competitors

A quick and easy way to compare the Jeep Wagoneer with full-size luxury SUVs from other car brands is to put their reliability scores side by side, ranking best and worst:

With these scores in mind, it does appear that the Wagoneer is more reliable than most vehicles in its class — but just barely. In line with their reputation, luxury SUVs don’t particularly impress on the reliability front. And when components cost much more than your standard four-door hatchback, more frequent repairs are the last thing you want or need.

What Is an Extended Warranty and Is it Important?

Put simply, an extended warranty can save you hundreds (if not thousands) of dollars per year on the cost of car ownership. But to explain things fully, we need to go all the way back to the beginning.

Luxury or not, all new cars roll off the production line with what’s known as a factory warranty (also commonly referred to as a manufacturer warranty). This acts as the automaker’s promise to set things right and repair or replace any failed components, usually after three years or 36,000 miles (whichever comes first). Fully comprehensive coverage is great while it lasts, but when it expires, you are solely responsible for future car repair bills.

You have two options to continue enjoying the kind of automotive protection you’re used to. The first is a more traditional extended car warranty, normally acquired via a dealership or directly from your manufacturer. These do exactly as the name implies and extend your factory warranty coverage beyond the expiration date. 

While this might sound great on paper, there are actually some pretty significant drawbacks. For example, contract prices are usually sky-high, and repairs can only be carried out at an authorized dealership — not ideal if you break down hundreds of miles from one. To make things even trickier, you must purchase an extended warranty while your factory warranty is still active. Leave it a minute too late, and you’ll no longer qualify.

The second (and universally preferred) option is a vehicle service contract provided by a third party like Endurance Warranty Services. Third parties are incentivized to offer almost as comprehensive coverage at an even better price point and almost always throw in some extra benefits to give you even more bang for your buck. On top of that, work can be undertaken by the certified repair shop of your choice, and you don’t need an active factory warranty to qualify for coverage. This is great news if you’re a used car owner!

AAA announced that the average cost of car ownership has surpassed $12,000 per year, which is undoubtedly even higher for luxury vehicles. Some major repairs can cost an eye-watering amount of money to fix, but with an extended warranty (also called a vehicle service contract), your wallet can stay safely in your pocket. 

Rather than settling the bill yourself, all you need to do is show the mechanic proof of your vehicle service contract, and your coverage should do the rest. That being said, it’s absolutely essential that you do your research and choose a quality provider. Read reviews, ask a lot of questions, and only put pen to paper when you’re certain they’ll make good on their promises.

Jeep Wagoneer FAQs

If you still have questions about the Jeep Wagoneer, check out these frequently asked questions (FAQs).

Do Jeep Wagoneers have issues?

Luxury vehicles, in general, don’t have a good reputation for reliability, and the Jeep Wagoneer is no exception. Common Jeep Wagoneer issues reported by customers include AC/heater problems and various engine problems.

Is the Jeep Wagoneer a reliable car?

RepairPal gave the Jeep Wagoneer a 3 out of 5, which is better than average but not exactly something to write home about. Customer reviews left on Edmunds are overwhelmingly negative, with reports of cars shutting down while driving at high speeds and component failure leading to extended periods of time without a vehicle.

Is the Jeep Wagoneer’s warranty coverage adequate for these issues?

Factory warranties are the most comprehensive types of coverage, so you’ll be hard-pushed to find something they don’t cover. They effectively act as the manufacturer’s promise that what they sold you is suitable for the road, so if anything fails, their reputation is on the line if they don’t rectify it promptly. With that in mind, the engine and A/C and heating issues reported by owners will no doubt be covered.

Can an Endurance Warranty plan cover the Jeep Wagoneer’s known issues?

Endurance’s Supreme for Highline vehicles is specifically designed to cover certain luxury vehicle models up to eight years old with less than 80,000 miles. It’s an exclusionary coverage plan that is as close to bumper-to-bumper coverage as possible without a factory warranty. This includes coverage for the engine and AC/heating issues reported by Jeep Wagoneer owners.

Get the Best Car Extended Warranty

Even a car with the best dependability can break down when you least expect it, leaving you stranded at the roadside and facing a repair bill you simply can’t afford. As a result, drivers across America are understandably investing in extended auto protection, and Endurance is the country’s number best provider.

For over 16 years, we’ve helped vehicle owners save serious money on the cost of unexpected breakdowns. We offer a wide range of vehicle service contracts designed to cater to almost everyone, with something for everyday commuters, rideshare drivers, high-mileage vehicles, and even select luxury car models. We’re also one of the most flexible providers, so if none of our existing plans meet your individual needs and budget, we’ll be more than happy to customize a plan that ticks all the right boxes.

We also offer some of the best benefits in the business, such as 24/7 roadside assistance (including towing, fuel delivery, and lockout services), rental car reimbursement, and trip interruption costs as standard with every plan.

In addition, all new Endurance customers get a year’s access to our Elite Benefits, which includes complete tire coverage, key fob replacement, up to $500 in collision discounts, and up to $1,000 in total loss protection. A small activation fee applies.

Better yet, we’re the direct administrator of most of our plans — so there are no pesky middlemen to deal with when you want to make a claim. Our award-winning customer service team is always on hand to answer your questions via email or phone, plus the handy Endurance app puts all of the most important information in your pocket. Endurance plans are also fully transferable to subsequent owners, potentially increasing the value of your vehicle if you ever decide to sell it.

When you’re ready to learn more, call (800) 253-8203 to request a FREE quote. You can also shop online to see your price now.

You can find plenty more helpful articles like this one on the Endurance blog. You can also compare other SUV models from Ford, Toyota, Honda, Nissan, and other new vehicle manufacturers. 

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