When it involves SUV makers, there are only a few manufacturers that may match the Jeep’s legacy. The iconic US-based automaker entered India in 2016 with the Wrangler and Grand Cherokee SUVs importing via the CBU route and later launched the India-made Compass 5-seater premium SUV. 6 years down the road, they’re now uping the sport with a brand new 7-seater SUV referred to as Meridian. We just lately went to Chandigarh to drive the SUV and this is our Jeep Meridian first drive review-
The Jeep Meridian is basically based mostly on the Compass 5-seater SUV, however in contrast to the Compass being a C-segment SUV, the Meridian is a D-segment SUV and the modifications are fairly seen. In reality, Compass and Meridian hardly seems to be like one another, barring few components just like the signature 7-slat grille of the Jeep.
Everything else is new, proper from the headlights, to bumper, alloy design, rear and total dimensions as properly. The Meridian is 4,769 mm in size, 1,859 mm in width, 1.698 mm in peak and a pair of,782 in wheelbase. The Meridian will get 18-inch diamond reduce twin tone alloys. All in all, it is among the many most premium trying SUV, however nonetheless lacks the majority as towards full dimension SUVs just like the Fortuner.
Unlike the outside, the cabin of the Jeep Meridian resembles that of the Jeep Compass in each potential means. However, the largest addition within the Meridian as towards the Compass is the extra row of seating. The center seats have one contact drop operate for simple motion within the rear-most seats.
Not let’s deal with the elephant within the room, how spacious the rear-most seats within the Meridian. In all honesty, the Jeep Meridian isn’t a 7-seater, however a 5+2 which implies sitting two adults on the again will probably be process particularly for lengthy distances. The third-row seats are for the children at greatest.
The high quality of the Jeep Meridian is top-notch and the automotive feels premium from the get go. The 10.1-inch touchscreen infotainment system is a delight to function and will get the newest Uconnect connectivity. It additionally will get Apple AutomotivePlay and Android Auto, each wi-fi and 9 speaker sound setup.
Other options embody a 360 diploma digital camera, a completely digital instrument panel, panoramic twin pane sunroof, auto tail gate, amongst different options. In phrases of security, the Meridian will get 6 airbags, TPMS, digital parking brake, hill begin help and extra.
The Jeep Meridian is powered by solely a 2.0-litre Multijet diesel engine producing 170 HP and 350 Nm of torque. It’s circuitously similar to large 7-seater SUVs, however the engine is refined, and amply highly effective. You get a brand new 9-speed computerized gearbox together with a 6-speed handbook choice.
The Meridian is offered in each 4×2 and 4×4 drivetrains and likewise will get Selec Terrain (for AWD variant). Despite its sheer dimension and size, the steering feels nimble to function, nonetheless, is on the bit heavier aspect for metropolis driving. The impartial suspensions do their responsibility fairly properly and the automotive feels planted and plush.
There’s hardly any physique roll within the automotive because of a not so tall construction, and the NVH ranges are largely below management, barring sure occasions if you end up pushing the automotive too onerous. Everything else is as a substitute and the Meridian appears like a driver’s automotive, each on and off the street.
The spotlight of the Jeep Meridian is its off-road prowess. Although it does not get the Trailhawk score because the Compass (which we’re anticipating will probably be added quickly), the SUV is being made to overcome nearly all of the terrains with ease. It has a Ground Clearance of 203 mm, Approach Angle of 20 Degree and Departure Angle of twenty-two Degree.
We carried out stairs climbing, water fording (will get 16-inch water fording depth), steep climbs, close to vertical descents, axle benders amongst many different off-roading duties within the Meridian and nowhere it felt out of its consolation zone. In reality, there have been only a few moments once we had to make use of AWD and Selec Terrain system to get previous the challenges set for us.
The Jeep Meridian comes out to be a quintessential SUV that manages to full an enormous void between premium 5-seater SUVs and full-size 7-seater SUVs. What additionally goes in favor of the Meridian is Jeep’s off-roading DNA and its capability to go wherever. Luckily for us, we examined the off-roading prowess of Meridian extensively and got here of fairly impressed. The solely factor remaining to be seen is the pricing, which could be north of Rs 35 lakh (on-road), and that may sway away a small batch of potential consumers, however what different choices have they obtained?