US-based automobile marque Jeep has revealed new details about their upcoming SUV Meridian in the Indian market. The company, which had officially unveiled Meridian through its social media platforms last month, announced that the new SUV would be produced at its Indian facility at Ranjangaon, Maharashtra.
Although the company hasn’t announced any official date for the launch of Jeep Meridian, it is likely to be available starting May/June 2022. Bookings are also expected to open around May this year. Meridian is essentially a seven-seater version of Jeep Compass, with an overall length of 4,769 mm for better road presence.
The new Jeep Meridian will be positioned above the Compass in the lineup and is most likely to be priced accordingly. The Compass costs between Rs 17.79 lakh-29.34 lakh (ex-showroom). Meridian will rival the likes of Skoda Kodiaq, MG Gloster and Toyota Fortuner.
In terms of design, Meridian shares its styling features with the company’s international models -- the new Grand Cherokee and South American Jeep Commander -- and it’s based on the same platform as Compass. The new Jeep Meridian sports the company’s signature multi-slatted grille upfront, LED headlights with integrated LED DRLs, and a pair of slim tail lamps, connected by a chrome bar.
Ralph Gilles, chief design officer of Jeep’s parent company Stellantis, in response to a media query said, “Except the windshield, front seat frame and maybe a small part of the instrument panel, everything else on the Meridian is unique (vis-à-vis the Compass). We’ve given a lot of consideration to widen the vehicle, the front doors are custom, and the whole rear architecture is completely unique, as is the entire front end,” he said.
Gilles also added that the India-spec Meridian’s headlamps, front bumper and alloy wheel design are different, compared to the Commander three-row SUV.
Jeep also claims that Meridian, inside its cabin, will get premium soft-touch materials on the dash and leather upholstery along with a wide range of comforts features like a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.1-inch touchscreen system, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, wireless phone charger and electrically adjustable seats.
Meridian will also come equipped with features like a panoramic sunroof, ventilated front seats, dual-zone climate control and connected car tech. As part of its safety equipment, the upcoming SUV will get six airbags, adaptive cruise control, traction control, ESC, hill start and descent control, 360-degree parking camera and drive modes.
Currently, Jeep Meridian will only be offered with the same 2.0-litre Multijet diesel engine option used in Compass, but with different tuning. The transmission option is likely to include either a 6-speed manual or a 9-speed automatic option. Front-wheel drive and all-wheel drive options will also be available. In terms of performance, Jeep Meridian can reach a top speed of 198 kmph and sprint from 0-100 kmph in 10.8 seconds.
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