Relying on just Compass and Wrangler for a long time, Jeep has finally expanded its lineup in India by introducing the all-new Meridian SUV. Also known as Jeep Commander in some other markets, the new Jeep Meridian started its life as a seven-seater version of the Compass. However, now that the Meridian has come to the pedestal, it looks like much more than a seven-seater version of the Compass, especially in the way it looks from the outside. Following are some of the key aspects you need to know about the new Jeep Meridian:
Price and Variants
The Jeep Meridian is offered in two different trims – Limited and Limited (O), both of which are available with two transmission choices of manual and automatic. In addition, the Limited (O) variant is also offered with the option of a four-wheel-drive system, which comes standard with the automatic transmission. With this, there are five different variants of Jeep Meridian, the prices of which are as follows
- Limited FWD manual – Rs 29.90 lakh
- Limited (O) FWD manual – Rs 32.40 lakh
- Limited FWD automatic – Rs 31.80 lakh
- Limited (O) FWD automatic – Rs 34.20 lakh
- Limited (O) 4WD automatic – Rs 36.95 lakh
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The Jeep Meridian is bigger than its five-seater derivative, the Compass, in every sense. The Meridian measures 4,769 mm long, 1,859 mm wide and 1,682mm tall. These dimensions make it a substantial 364 mm longer, 41 mm wider and 48 mm taller than the Compass, on which it is based. Also, the Meridian has a wheelbase of 2,794 mm, which is more than that of the Compass by 146 mm.
Exterior Design Highlights
While many people believe that the Jeep Meridian is a mere seven-seater version of the Jeep Compass with a stretched body, the exterior design tells a different story. Look closer, and one will realize that Meridian’s overall styling looks very different from that of the Compass.
The Jeep Meridian seeks inspiration from the bigger Jeep offerings like Grand Wagoneer and Grand Cherokee, as far as the exterior design is considered. At the front, the Meridian is adorned with Jeep’s traditional seven-slat grille, which gets abundant use of chrome garnish. The headlamps here look different too and come with LED projectors with dual-functioning daytime running LED strips above the headlamps. The front bumper also looks very different with the thick chrome slat running across its width and joining the redesigned fog lamps, which house small LED fog lamps. There is an additional chrome slat on the body moulding at the bottom of the front bumper.
The side profile of the Jeep Meridian also looks substantially different from that of the Compass, thanks to the new 18-inch machined alloy wheels styled in a different pattern. Other elements which set the Meridian apart from the Compass include longer rear doors and rear overhangs, large rear quarter glass and an angular D-pillar. The higher-spec Limited (O) gets dual-tone treatment, which brings in a black-coloured roof and D-pillar. Though, like the Compass, the Meridian also gets squared wheel arches, side moulding throughout the side profile and a thin strip of chrome on the body moulding.
It is the rear profile of the Jeep Meridian, which looks completely different from that of the Compass. Unlike the Compass, the Meridian gets slim-looking combination tail lamps with a clear-lens effect, which are adjoined by another clear-lens like element and chrome garnish on the boot lid. The rear windscreen here looks slightly more vertical and has a differently styled roof spoiler with side curtains. The design for the boot lid and rear bumper with heavy body cladding and chrome garnish also give the Meridian its own distinctive identity.
Interior Design Highlights
Unlike the exterior, the interior looks almost the same as that of the Compass, at least when you consider the dashboard layout. However, what’s new here is a dual-tone black and brown upholstery with soft-touch plastics and a new quilted theme for the brown-coloured leather seats. The big change in the cabin, though, is the inclusion of the third row of seats.
Even most of the features inside the cabin have been retained from the Jeep Compass, such as the three-spoke multi-functional steering wheel with tilt and telescopic adjustment, 10.25-inch full-TFT instrument console and a 10.1-inch free-standing touchscreen infotainment system, which supports wireless Apple Carplay and Android Auto.
Other features in the cabin include a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, 8-way powered driver’s seat, wireless charging, dual-zone automatic climate control, powered tailgate, drive modes, Jeeplife connected car tech, USB Type-A and Type-C charging ports. While the middle row of seats doesn’t slide, they feature 60:40 split-folding and one-touch tumble-down functionality for access into the third row of seats.
The third row of seats here is not as spacious as one would expect them to be and are best suited for kids, though they have individual roof-mounted AC vents with separate blowers. With the third row of seats folded down, the Meridian offers a boot space of 481 litres.
Engine and Other Mechanicals
Unlike the Compass, which is also offered with a 1.4-litre turbocharged petrol engine, the Jeep Meridian is solely available with the tried-and-tested 2.0-litre four-cylinder Multijet diesel engine, though with different ECU mapping. And like in the Compass, this engine in the Meridian produces 170 bhp of maximum power and 350 Nm of maximum torque. Two transmission options are on offer for the front-wheel-drive variants – a 6-speed manual and a 6-speed automatic. The top-spec 4WD version is available only with the 9-speed automatic gearbox. The Meridian also gets frequency selective damping (FSD) with hydraulic rebound stoppers (HRS).
In terms of pricing and monocoque construction, the direct rival to the Jeep Meridian is Skoda Kodiaq. Though, it does take on the entry-level variants of bigger ladder-on-frame SUVs like Toyota Fortuner, MG Gloster, Isuzu MU-X and Mahindra Alturas.