Two days after Christmas, the country witnessed what the authorities described as the “blizzard of the century”. Rescue crews struggled to reach stranded residents in affected areas like Buffalo, New York, where people – honestly – may have had a better chance of getting to safety if they had the right set of wheels. Sadly, the winter storms killed over twenty people there and claimed dozens more lives nationwide, according to a count by NBC News.
If every car had the capabilities, we wouldn’t have rescue workers discovering dead bodies in vehicles. The New Year dawned with the first major U.S. winter storm, dumping “a frosty mix of snow, freezing rain, and sleet from the Northern Plains to the Upper Great Lakes region while posing a tornado and flood risk to a large swath of the South,” as reported by Reuters. The storm that tore through parts of South Dakota and traveled northeast into western Minnesota brought record snow rising to 27 inches.
Although the North Central region is prone to significant snowfalls, how well a vehicle handles the powder and adverse weather conditions should be important to everyone shopping for a new car these days. That inevitably pushes some models like the GMC Hummer EV and Jeep Grand Wagoneer to the front row. Let’s show you why we think the Jeep Grand Wagoneer is the best vehicle to be in during harsh weather conditions like a snowstorm.
Meet The GMC Hummer EV
When GMC unveiled the all-electric HUMMER “supertruck” in October 2020, it was to all intent (and obviously not all purposes) a great alternative to the Jeep Grand Wagoneer, as long as you can pay the extra $15,000 to $20,000 just to get started. The Hummer EV certainly looked cooler than the Jeep, but it also applied a massive bump in technology and performance.
Notably, both brands aren’t direct competitors despite fielding similar features. GMC’s Hummer was an off-road-focused factory “e-bro-dozer” while Jeep’s Grand Wagoneer was a full-size, eight-passenger, three-row SUV with off-road features. As such, the Grand Wagoneer is less a Hummer competitor than a Range Rover rival.
With that said, our preference for the Grand Wagoneer over the Hummer supertruck is not about picking between two rivals. It’s about which of the two is more suitable for natural emergencies.
What’s Great About The 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer
The 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer is the biggest and most luxurious SUV Jeep has ever built, with a three-row seating configuration to accommodate eight passengers super-comfortably. Every nook and cranny features luxury materials and are filled with attractive, upscale features. New with the 2023 model-year Jeep Grand Wagoneer is a Long Wheelbase “L” variant and a new twin-turbocharged inline six-cylinder “Hurricane” engine.
There’s so much more to the L variant than the extra storage compartments behind the seats to compensate for the terrible fuel economy (an EPA-estimated 16 mpg combined). Of course, it needs to drink up to move the luxury leviathan and its passengers (which may include up to a 10,000-lb towed trailer) in exceptional comfort and as quickly as smaller-sized SUVs.
The Jeep Grand Wagoneer’s Inline-Six Hurricane Engine Is The Best Option
Who needs the aging 471-hp 6.4-liter Hemi V8 (available with the base Series 1 Grand Wagoneer) when you can have the 510-hp turbo inline-six cranking out 500 lb-ft of torque? It almost makes the V8 redundant.
Like the V8, the 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer’s new twin-turbo 3.0-liter inline-six “Hurricane” marries an eight-speed automatic transmission, sending power to a full-time active four-wheel drive system with a true low range. The “Hurricane” performs better and is more versatile and attuned to the job than the V8, thanks to its torque peak touching 1,000 rpm lower in the rev range.
That’s not to say the regular Wagoneer’s (without the “Grand”) twin-turbo inline-six rated for 420 horsepower and 455 lb-ft of torque is as powerful as the Series II’s Grand Wagoneer’s inline-six producing 500 lb-ft of torque at 3,400 rpm.
Most independent 0–60 mph speed tests see the six-cylinder about half a second faster than the old V8, but what really puts the new inline-six over the V8 is how it smoothly and effortlessly shifts the 6,600-lbs plus Grand Wagoneer from a standstill. It’s not as adroit as the Cadillac Escalade V, but you won’t come out of the Hurricane-powered Grand Wagoneer feeling like you’re missing something.
Why We’d Pick The Jeep Grand Wagoneer Over The Hummer EV During A Snowstorm
When hunting for the right set of wheels to give you an advantage over the storms of life, would you prefer something that can get you through the snow or keep you comfortable and safe in the snow or something else? As the country scrambled to prep for the worst, it’s safe to say that only the worst can stop most Americans from leaving their homes and hitting the road.
That said, you’d need a vehicle to navigate harsh weather like a snowstorm, and you want one that can get you through the snow safely and as comfortably as possible. We might also add that gone are the days when SUVs and trucks are the only type of vehicles to think of when considering the best to brave Mother Nature.
While some modern crossovers are fairly capable of doing the job, many would naturally gravitate towards biggies like the Rivian R1T and the Hummer EV. Why not? Crossovers don’t have the Hummer’s generous ground clearance and purpose-made advanced off-road technology.
The first reason the Hummer is a no-no for blizzards and snowstorms is the adverse effect of cold on the EV’s range. Consumer Reports found that “cold weather saps about 25 percent of range when cruising at 70 mph, compared with the same conditions in mild weather.” The 2023 Jeep Grand Wagoneer is free of this critical drawback.
Another important reason we’d skip the Hummer EV for the Grand Wagoneer is that the latter is better able to keep its precious cargo warm and comfortable if you have to hunker down in the car for a while, thanks to its more comfortable and spacious cabin. In a scenario like that, the smaller the windows, the better to keep the cold out, and cloth seats would be ideal, rather than leather.
Yes, we know there are Armageddon-ready vehicles like the Atlas ATV specifically built to make a snowstorm feel like a storm in a teacup, but those typically belong to less than one percent of us, and you want to invest in something that’s actually street-legal.