Jeep has started production of their upcoming 7-seater SUV, Meridian. They have also opened bookings at Rs. 50,000 and it will be offered in two variants. We still do not know the pricing of the SUV. Jeep is expected to reveal the pricing of the SUV sometime in June. Having said that, the pricing is expected to start from Rs. 30 lakhs ex-showroom. Meridian will be going against Toyota Fortuner and MG Gloster.
The Meridian is based on the Compass but Jeep has made some significant changes to the exterior as well as the interior. This means that the Meridian is using the same platform as the Compass and it even uses the same engine. It is a 2.0-litre Multijet turbo diesel engine that produces 170 Ps of max power and 350 Nm of peak torque. It uses the same 9-speed torque converter automatic transmission or a 6-speed manual gearbox. However, Jeep does say that they have retuned the engine because the Meridian is a much larger vehicle. Being a Jeep, Meridian will come with a front-wheel drive layout and all-wheel drive layout.
The Meridian looks exactly the same as the “Commander” which is sold in the global markets. The Commander moniker is registered in India by Mahindra because of which Jeep did not use the name. The exterior styling has been updated slightly. It gets a different set of LED headlamps with LED Daytime Running Lamps, the grille is slightly different as it integrates with the headlamps but it still retains Jeep’s seven-slat grille design.
It still retains the boxy design, flat bonnet and huge wheel arches. The main differences start from the rear half where the doors are larger and open up to almost 90 degrees which makes ingress and egress easier. However, because the interior is the same as the Compass, it is still comfortable for two people, fitting in a third occupant means that the other two will become uncomfortable. The third-row seats are also not so big which means only children will be comfortable using them.
From the sides, there are newly designed 17-inch alloy wheels finished in a dual-tone theme, a blacked-out roof and D-pillars which give a floating roof design to the SUV. The rear overhang is also longer which has been done to accommodate the third row of seats. The rear has an all-new design with slim LED tail lamps that are connected via a thick chrome slat. There is a different bumper and a faux skid plate.
Jeep has also made changes to the interior. It gets an all-brown theme for the cabin that does look premium and up-market when compared to Compass. The dashboard design is the same but it gets a brown leather insert with stitching. The 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system comes with Android Auto and Apple CarPlay and there is also a digital instrument cluster. Jeep is also offering an electric tailgate, 60:40 split middle seats, rear AC vents and much more. For now, the Jeep Meridian comes only as a 7-seater with a bench seat for the second row. There are no captain seats on offer.