Positioned above the Compass, the three-row Meridian will compete with the likes of the Skoda Kodiaq, Toyota Fortuner and MG Gloster when it launches in May.
The Jeep Meridian for the Indian market has been revealed in production form, and while the company hasn’t officially released a launch date, we expect the model to be added to Jeep India’s lineup in May. Read on to know more about the design, features and powertrain options of the upcoming three-row SUV.
- Meridian is likely to launch in May
- Will be included in a seven seat avatar; six-seater version under consideration
- For being a diesel model to begin with; petrol version coming later
Jeep Meridian: exterior
The Meridian is essentially the India-specific version of the South American Jeep Commander. And even if it is based on the same platform as the five-seater Compass, it has a design that is differentiated enough to make it stand out. The extended wheelbase, longer rear overhang and a more upright tail section make the Meridian a Jeep that packs in a third row of seats.
Moreover, even the design of the front panel, including the narrow headlights that flank the seven-bay grille, is more in line with Jeep Grand Cherokee L. Another design element that appears to be inspired by the larger model is the pair of narrow taillights, connected by a chrome bar.
“Apart from the windscreen, front seat frame and maybe a small part of the instrument panel, everything else on the Meridian is unique (relative to the Compass). We put a lot of thought into widening the vehicle, the front doors are custom and the entire rear architecture is completely unique, as is the entire front,” commented Ralph Gilles, design director of Jeep’s parent company Stellantis, in response to a media question.
He further noted that the India-spec Meridian’s headlights, front bumper and alloy wheels are different compared to the Commander three-row SUV.
In terms of dimensions, the Meridian has a significantly larger footprint than the Compass. It is 364 mm longer in beam and has a wheelbase that has been extended by 146 mm. Even the width and height have been increased by 41 mm and 48 mm respectively compared to the two-row Jeep.
|Jeep Meridian vs Compass: measurements|
|Jeep Meridian (Commander)||Jeep compass|
|Length||4,769 mm||4,405 mm|
|Width||1859 mm||1,818 mm|
|Height||1698 mm||1,640 mm|
|Wheelbase||2,782 mm||2,636 mm|
|Luggage compartment||233-1760 liters||438 liters|
|Wheel||18 inches||18 inches|
Jeep Meridian: interior and features
The instrument panel layout on the Meridian is similar to that of the Compass, although it ditches the smaller model’s all-black look for a brown color scheme. In addition, the leather upholstery in Meridian has a unique perforated and quilted pattern.
As for creature comforts, equipment carried over from the Compass includes power front seats, 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, wireless charging, 10.1-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, dual-zone climate control, six airbags, Traction control, ESC, hill-start and descent control, 360-degree parking camera and selectable driving modes (sand/mud, snow and auto).
The three-row SUV also has an electric tailgate and a sound system with 9 speakers from Alpine.
Jeep Meridian: six-seater variant in the works?
The Meridian will launch with just one seven-seater variant (pictured), to begin with.
For now, Jeep India has only showcased a seven-seater version of the Meridian, with bench-style seating in the middle row. However, the company has hinted that a six-seat iteration could also be in the pipeline.
Commenting on a potential mid-row captaincy variant, Partha Datta Head of Engineering, Design and R&D, Stellantis IAP, said: “We want to keep some things to surprise you a bit later. So, no predictions as to when it will come in, but yes, it is in our thoughts.”
Jeep Meridian: engine-transmission
Jeep has revealed that the Meridian will be launched with just a 2.0-litre diesel engine, to begin with. Although the company is yet to release its power figures, we expect the output to be similar to the Compass’s 170 hp and 350 Nm. Still, expect the engine to be recalibrated to handle the extra weight of the larger SUV.
As for the transmission, the Meridian’s diesel mill gets a 6-speed manual with front-wheel drive (FWD). There’s also a 9-speed torque converter automatic, which, unlike the Compass unit, gets FWD as an option, in addition to the all-wheel drive (AWD).
Stellanti’s top management declined to comment on the prospect of a petrol offering on the upcoming SUV. However, as we have already reported, internal sources indicate that The Meridian is likely to get a 1.3-liter turbocharged unit further down the line. The engine, which is already used by the company in South America, produces 187bhp and 270Nm – outputs that better the India-spec Compass’ 163bhp, 250Nm, 1.4-litre turbo petrol engine.
|Jeep Meridian vs Compass: engine-transmission|
|Jeep Meridian||Jeep compass|
|Engine volume||2.0 liters||2.0 liters / 1.4 liters|
|Engine type||4 cyl, turbocharged||4 cyl, turbocharged|
|maximum power||170 hp (estimate)||170 hp at 3750 rpm / 163 hp at 5500 rpm|
|Max torque||350Nm (estimate)||350Nm at 1750-2500rpm / 250Nm at 2500-4000rpm|
|Gearbox||6-speed manual, 9-speed torque converter automatic||6-speed manual, 9-speed torque converter auto / 6-speed manual, 7-speed DCT auto|
|Drive layout||FWD, AWD||FWD, AWD / AWD|
Jeep Meridian: launch details and rivals
The Jeep Compass is priced at Rs 17.79 lakh-29.34 lakh (ex-showroom, India). The Meridian will be positioned above that to compete with the likes of petrol only Skoda Kodiaqdiesel only MG Gloucester and that Toyota Fortuner.
In particular, Jeep says it has achieved 82 percent localization with its three-row offering.
Additionally, the right-hand drive Meridian will be manufactured exclusively at Jeep’s Ranjangaon plant near Pune, which will also serve as the global export hub for the SUV.
While Jeep is yet to announce the opening of its order banks, many dealers have unofficially started taking pre-orders for the SUV, with a booking amount of Rs 50,000.
What do you think of the Jeep Meridian? Let us know in the comments below.
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