Jeep Meridian Detailed Ahead Of Launch In June
It will be a diesel-only offering but with the choice of manual and automatic transmissions
Jeep Meridian is a new three-row SUV that will be locally manufactured in India.
It will be offered in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variants.
Gets premium styling and India-specific details such as the headlights and wheels.
Feature set includes premium upholstery, large displays on the dashboard, powered tailgate and powered front seats.
Expected to be priced from Rs 30 lakh (ex-showroom) as a rival to Toyota Fortuner and Skoda Kodiaq.
Jeep has finally unveiled the production-spec version of its second locally manufactured offering, the Meridian. It is a three-row premium SUV which has many commonalities with the Compass and will be offered with a diesel engine only at launch.
The engine in question is Jeep’s tried and tested 2-litre turbo diesel unit which is rated to an output of around 170PS and 350Nm. The Meridian will be available in both front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive variants. The former will be offered with the choice of a 6-speed manual and a 9-speed automatic while the latter will be limited to an automatic transmission only. The AWD variant will be equipped with Jeep’s off-road driving modes since the SUV is designed to be capable off-tarmac as well.
The carmaker states it has taken extensive measures to make the Meridian a dynamic, comfortable and rugged SUV. That includes improved NVH levels, a suspension setup that can suit both tarmac and off-road needs, and a steering setup aimed to deliver ease of manoeuvrability at fast and slow speeds.
The Meridian had already made its global debut as the Commander for Brazil. Its front fascia looks a lot like the Compass with some influence from the Grand Cherokee in other areas. The Meridian even gets market-specific headlights with integrated LED DRLs that also act as the turn indicators. It doesn’t get the LED strips down in the lower front bumper unlike the Commander but the design itself remains unchanged. The model shown featured various bits of black cladding along the bottom edges, offering a balance of premium and rugged styling.
From the back, the Meridian looks a bit bulgy with its large surface areas despite the character lines sculpted into the tailgate. The taillamps have a modern aesthetic as well with their sleek shapes. Its trapezoidal wheel arches lend it the typical rugged appearance of a Jeep model. Housed in those iconic arches are 18-inch dual-tone alloys with a model-specific design.
Inside the cabin, the Meridian looks rather familiar with its dashboard that has been borrowed from the facelifted Compass. It gets the 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Android Auto and Apple CarPlay as standard along with the digital instrument cluster. The three-row SUV will debut with a brown and black cabin theme featuring premium upholstery.
Jeep will be offering the Meridian as a seven-seater only at launch with recline adjustment for all three rows. The middle row can fold and tumble for access to the third row, and be split fold 60:40. The carmaker stated that the Meridian’s cabin has been designed to offer equal comfort in all three rows. Also, the second and third rows can be folded when not in use to offer substantial luggage space. Furthermore, the rear doors of the Jeep Meridian can open at an angle of up to 80-degrees for ease of mobility for both second and third row passengers.
In terms of comforts, the Meridian will be well-equipped with features like 8-way power adjustable and ventilated front seats, dedicated cooling vents for all three rows, a 360-degree surround view camera and a powered tailgate. The safety aspect is covered by six airbags as standard with additional features including various traction and stability assists, and advanced braking systems.
It seems fair to position the Meridian as a rival to the likes of the Toyota Fortuner and Skoda Kodiaq with an expected starting price of Rs 30 lakh (ex-showroom). The prices for the Meridian are slated to be announced in June with pre-bookings to start ahead of the launch in May.
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