The right-hand-drive Jeep Meridian will be manufactured only in India.
Jeep has officially announced that reservations for the all-new Meridian SUV will begin on May 1. The price will be announced and the product will be available for purchase by the end of May, with delivery beginning in the third week of June. The Jeep Meridian shares its underpinnings with the Jeep Compass, but it has been significantly redesigned to allow an additional row of seats. It will be diesel-only at launch.
- At its debut, the Jeep Meridian will be powered by a single 170-horsepower diesel engine.
- Meridian will be manufactured in India for both domestic and international markets.
- At launch, it will be a seven-seater; a six-seater is anticipated to follow later.
The Meridian, unlike other three-row versions of five-seater SUVs, is distinct enough from the Compass to stand out. It’s not just a stretch job, as it’s 41mm wider and 48mm taller than the Compass, as well as 364mm larger in beam and 146mm longer wheelbase.
The Meridian’s body panels are all new, and the overall look is reminiscent of the new Jeep Grand Cherokee L marketed internationally. The Meridian’s extended rear overhang and more upright tail section hint at the presence of the third row of seats.
The dashboard arrangement, on the other hand, is very similar to that of the Compass, except it uses a new brown color scheme instead of the Compass’s all-black interior. In addition, the Meridian’s leather upholstery has a unique perforated and quilted pattern.
While the variant features are yet to be announced, Meridian’s top-spec version will be well-equipped. The 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, 10.1-inch touchscreen with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto, wireless charging, powered front seats, dual-zone climate control, six airbags, traction control, electronic stability control, hill-start and descent control, 360-degree parking camera, and selectable drive modes will all be carried over from the Compass. In addition, the Meridian will include a motorized tailgate.
The Meridian will only be available as a seven-seater at first, with a bench seat in the middle row and a one-touch tumble-down mechanism enabling access to the third row. Later in the year, a six-seater version with captain seats in the middle row is planned to join the lineup.
At the debut, the Meridian will be powered by a single 2.0-liter four-cylinder Multijet turbo-diesel engine with 170hp and 350Nm, the same as the Compass. However, it will be re-calibrated to account for the Meridian’s higher size and weight.
The engine will be connected to either a 6-speed manual or a 9-speed automatic transmission; manual models will only be available in front-wheel drive, while automatics will also be available with all-wheel drive. A 1.3-liter turbo-petrol engine is set to join the lineup later, as we previously reported.
With the Meridian, Jeep claims to have achieved 82 percent localization, and costs are projected to range between Rs 35 lakh and Rs 38 lakh (ex-showroom, India). The Meridian will be built only in right-hand drive at Jeep’s Ranjangaon factory in Pune, which will also serve as the SUV’s global export hub. The sole plausible competitor in India for the monocoque-bodied Meridian would be the Skoda Kodiaq, while full-size ladder-frame SUVs like the Toyota Fortuner and MG Gloster will also compete for price and all-wheel drive capabilities.