OverdriveJul 29, 2021 13:53:09 IST
Jeep’s upcoming three-row SUV based on the Compass – rumoured to be named the Jeep Meridian – is expected to debut in India by early 2022. The new SUV will go on sale in South America first, but with the India launch not too far away, a couple of near production-ready test mules of the Jeep Meridian have now been spotted in India.
It’s clear from the spy shots that the Jeep Meridian’s face is heavily inspired by Jeep’s newest offerings such as the new-gen Grand Cherokee and the Grand Wagoneer. It has the same square-jawed look with the flat, faux seven-slot grille and squared-off LED headlights. The Meridian has a more upright shape to accommodate the longer wheelbase and a noticeably extended rear overhang.
A recent set of teasers from Jeep revealed the Jeep Meridian will carry forward the same interior layout as the facelifted Compass. However, the materials and themes used will differ significantly. The pictures show the leather dash face being replaced by a suede one in the Commander, while brushed chrome finish on the Compass’ dash seems to have been replaced by rose gold highlights. Another notable change is a new steering wheel and the tan seat upholstery featuring a quilted pattern. Also seen is open-pore wood trim on the dash and door panels.
Some feature highlights visible are controls for the advanced driver assistance systems, a panoramic sunroof as well as separate climate zones for the second row. Also visible is what looks like a large foldable second-row centre armrest, for a quick conversion to a six-seater layout. Expect a separate AC blower for the last row, too, as well as USB charging ports for all passengers. These mules were configured in a six-seater captain configuration with second-row captain seats, which we expect will feature power adjustment.
Other features carried over from the 2021 Jeep Compass should be the large UConnect 5 infotainment system, the new 10.25-inch digital instrument display, auto headlights and wipers, electronic parking brake, ventilated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, eight-way adjustable front seats, an Alpine audio system, a powered tailgate, 360-degree cameras and more.
The seven-seat Jeep Meridian should get the same engine options as the Compass. The Jeep Compass is powered by a 1.4-litre petrol engine that makes 162 hp of power and 250 Nm of torque. A 2.0-litre diesel engine is also available that puts out 173 hp of power and 350 Nm of torque, coupled with a nine-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual, this engine may be available in a higher tune in the larger SUV. The petrol gets a seven-speed DCT. The AWD system with the many off-road modes (including the hill-descent function and low range mode) should be seen here as well.
The Jeep Meridian is expected to launch in India in early 2022 and will go up against the likes of the Ford Endeavour and Toyota Fortuner, priced at a Rs 1.5 to 2 lakh premium over equivalent Compass variants. The new SUV, codenamed the H6, will be the third of four models Jeep has planned for the Indian market, following the facelifted Jeep Compass and the locally-assembled Jeep Wrangler.