The launch of the much anticipated Jeep Meridian SUV is all set to take place on May 19, and the American automaker hopes to give tough competition to existing players such as the Toyota Fortune, MG Gloster and others. The absence of the Ford Endeavour is certainly a benefit for Jeep and the company intends to fill the gap left behind. Jeep says the Meridian will bring ‘sophistication’ with 'capability' to the D-segment market in India.
Nipun J Mahajan, Head of Jeep India says, ‘We are expecting buyers for the Meridian from all segments as today customers are passionate about what is new and are looking for a certain level of sophistication and premiumness in various aspects. And we feel under those parameters the Meridian delivers pretty well.’ He added that the Meridian could be a disruptor in the segment as the D-SUV segment hasn't seen much action in the recent past.
The Jeep Meridian features all the bells and whistles that one would expect from an SUV in that price bracket. It will get LED lighting all around, 18-inch alloy wheels, a 10.1-inch floating infotainment touchscreen and a digital instrument cluster. Wireless charging, panoramic sunroof, 9-speaker Alpine audio and a lot more are on the menu as well.
‘We will offer a Limited variant and Limited (Option) variant for the Meridian, there is no base variant. As customers of this segment expect the best in both equipment and features so there is no point in offering too many variants,’ said Mahajan. In terms of the two big differences between the two variants, is the addition of a 360-degree camera and panoramic sunroof in the Meridian Limited (Option).
When asked why Jeep isn't offering a five-seat version of the Meridian, Mahajan said that the Meridian's last row of seats is flexible and collapses completely, offering a flat floor. Hence, buyers won't experience any compromise with boot space and the third-row should be seen as an added advantage in the vehicle.
Referring to the Meridian’s off-road capabilities, Mahajan made special mention of the Jeep Selec-Terrain 4x4 system that lets the driver choose between sand, mud and snow modes. This allows even inexperienced drivers to take their cars over unfamiliar terrains without much worry. Speaking on continuing with the same 2.0-litre Multijet four-cylinder turbo-diesel as the Compass, Mahajan said that Jeep has worked on calibrating the engine to deliver peppiness and support the road conditions of a large SUV. He claimed that the 172PS and 350 Nm of power from the Diesel engine is enough for the Meridian to perform well under all conditions.
The Meridian’s four-cylinder diesel will come mated to a 6-speed manual or 9-speed automatic transmission. The SUV will be capable of a top speed of 198kmph and will make a 0-100 sprint in 10.8 seconds. Safety features such as electronic parking brake, ABS with EBD, ESC and traction control are expected to deliver a wholesome driving experience to buyers. Currently, the pre-booking for the Meridian is open at an initial amount of Rs 50,000. Jeep India is manufacturing the new SUV at their Ranjangaon plant in Maharashtra. The Jeep Meridian launch will take place tomorrow so stay tuned for our live coverage of the price announcement and more content around the Meridian SUV.