The Jeep Wagoneer was the first luxury 4x4, sold and produced through numerous marques from 1963 to 1991. A 'sport utility vehicle' (SUV) for decades before the term was even coined, the 4WD Wagoneer saw only minor mechanical changes during its 28-year plus production run, the third longest in U.S. automotive history.
Introduced as a successor to the Willys Jeep Station Wagon that had been built since the end of World War II, the Wagoneer pioneered the sport utility vehicle concept. In spite of its pickup truck chassis and boxy shape it was more car-like than any 4x4 on the market. Compared with offerings from General Motors, International Harvester, and Land Rover - which were producing utilitarian work-oriented vehicles with Spartan truck-like interiors, the Wagoneer's luxury set it apart. Based on the Jeep SJ platform, the revolutionary Wagoneer sported an advanced overhead cam straight-six engine, and offered features unheard of at the time in any other mainstream 4WD vehicle, such as an independent front suspension, power steering, and automatic transmission. The Wagoneer made its debut seven years before Land Rover launched its Range Rover in Great Britain, and 24 years before that upscale marque appeared in the United States. It was succeeded by the Jeep Grand Cherokee.