Upon launch in India, Jeep Meridian will compete against other premium seven-seat SUVs such as Toyota Fortuner, MG Gloster and Skoda Kodiaq
Upcoming seven-seater SUV from Fiat Chrysler Automobiles (FCA), based on Compass will be named Jeep Meridian in India. The SUV has been in development for almost two years and will only be the second locally manufactured product under Jeep in India after its five-seater sibling.
In September last year, the SUV made its global debut in South American markets by the name Commander. However, to avoid any discrepancy and legal issues, Jeep has decided to name the India-spec model as Meridian.
Test mules of the upcoming three-row SUV have been spotted on numerous occasions in the past eighteen months. Today, Jeep has revealed the official images of the India-spec Merdian. One image shows the exterior, while the other once gives peek into the interiors.
Jeep Meridian Design
As mentioned earlier, Meridian will be based on the same platform as Compass but it has been updated to accommodate the additional row of passengers. As compared to Compass, Meridian offers a longer wheelbase and overall length with a larger rear overhang. Further, the rear doors have been made larger for smoother egress and ingress for passengers in the third row.
While Meridian evidently shares some styling cues with its five-seat sibling, it also borrows certain design elements from its larger and more premium sibling- Grand Cherokee. The latter recently received a comprehensive update in overseas markets. Prominent highlights on the exterior include a multi-slatted front grille flanked by rectangular LED headlamps and integrated LED DRLs.
The muscular front bumper features a wide air dam which enhances the SUV’s aggressive appeal. The flared wheel arches with thick claddings further accentuate Meridian’s butch appeal. Like Compass, Meridian gets a boxy silhouette but with a longer wheelbase. The rear features a flat tailgate hosting a pair of sleek LED taillamps connected to each other by a thick chrome plate.
In line with other models in its lineup, Jeep will offer a premium cabin experience for occupants in Meridian which boasts a number of niceties. These include a 10.25-inch digital instrument console, a 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system with wireless Apple CarPlay and Android Auto connectivity, a wireless phone charger and a panoramic sunroof.
Other creature comforts on the equipment will include ventilated front seats, electrically adjustable driver and passenger seats, dual-zone climate control and connected car tech with Amazon Alexa support. The seven-seat SUV is expected to be offered with ADAS (advanced driver assistance system) which will offer a host of safety features including automatic emergency braking, adaptive cruise control, etc.
Expected Powertrain Specs
Under the bonnet, Meridian will feature the same 2.0-litre, four-cylinder Multijet turbo diesel engine that propels Compass and a few other SUVs from other brands. In Compass, this unit kicks out 170 bhp and 350 Nm of peak torque. However, in Meridian, this unit is expected to dish out around 200 horses and 400 Nm of torque to compensate for the extra weight.
This motor will be mated to a 9-speed torque converter automatic gearbox as standard. Higher variants of the SUV will also be offered with the option of a 4WD system. This powertrain could also be paired with a 48V mild-hybrid technology. Meridian is expected to hit the Indian market by mid-2022.