Jeep India enters the immensely popular three-row SUV segment with the Jeep Meridian three-row SUV, as it debuts today to rival the likes of Hyundai Alcazar, Tata Safari, MG Hector Plus, and the Mahindra XUV700. Slated for a market launch in the first half of 2022, the Jeep Meridian three-row SUV is the extended version of the Jeep Compass SUV and will be built at the company’s Ranjangaon facility, with 80 per cent localisation, so expect the American carmaker to price the 7-seater SUV competitively.
Christian Meunier, CEO, Jeep said, “The Meridian will cater to a niche audience. The 7-seater version will be Made-In-India and exported to global markets. With 80 per cent localisation, the Meridian will carry on our Made-In-India motto. For Jeep, Brazil and India are very important markets; while Brazil sets the benchmark for manufacturing, India is getting there.”
The Jeep Meridian three-row SUV retains several design elements from the Jeep Compass, as well as receives a few from the new Jeep Grand Cherokee. It features Jeep’s signature seven-slat grille, along with LED headlamps, a new front bumper with integrated LED DRLs, LED fog lamps, body claddings, integrated roof rails, and a panoramic sunroof. In profile, Jeep the Meridian will sit on a choice of either 17-inch alloy wheels or 18-inch alloys, depending on the variant. At the back, the Jeep Meridian three-row SUV gets horizontally positioned LED taillights, rear wiper and washer, an integrated spoiler, a boot-lid mounted number plate recess, and a rear bumper with reflectors. What also sets the large SUV apart from the Compass are the bigger rear overhang and larger rear doors for easy ingress and egress to the third row.
Inside, the Jeep Meridian three-row SUV continues with several elements from the Jeep Compass and is more premium with contemporary styling. The dashboard is also new, like the Compass, with generous use of premium soft-touch materials. The Meridian three-row SUV features a 10.1-inch touchscreen display with U-Connect 5 that offers a range of connected car features as standard such as remote commands, geofence, OTA updates, Find My Jeep, towing notification. There is also a 10.2-inch digital instrument cluster on offer. The second and third rows get individual aircon vents as well as individual USB slots with fast charging capability. The front row will get ventilated, and power-adjustable seats.
As far as safety goes, the Jeep Meridian three-row SUV will receive a 360-degree camera, wireless charging, and power tailgate, as well as ABS with EBD, ESC, electronic parking brakes, ISOFIX child seat mounts, traction control, 6 airbags, seat belt reminder, rear parking sensors with rear camera, hill-start assist and rear wiper and defogger as standard.
At the heart, the Jeep Meridian three-row SUV will receive three powertrain options, in two trims. Although the details are not yet revealed, we can speculate that there will be one petrol unit and two diesel units. While the 1.4-litre MultiAir petrol engine and the 2.0-litre Multi-jet diesel unit could be continued, a new 2.4L Tigershark four-cylinder naturally aspirated MultiAir II diesel engine, sourced from Chrysler, would also make its India debut. The Jeep sourced petrol powertrain develops 160 bhp and 250 Nm of peak torque, while the diesel unit churns out 170 bhp and 350 Nm. Transmission options include a 6-speed manual gearbox, an optional 9-speed torque converter, and a 7-speed DCT automatic, respectively. The new engine develops 184 bhp @ 6,400 rpm and 243 Nm @ 4,000 rpm, and comes mated to a 9-speed automatic gearbox. Jeep also offers its 4×4 system with an automatic gearbox.