After all the teasers and speculations, Jeep finally has taken wraps off its first 7-seater offering in the country, called the Meridian.
The company boasts of the Meridian to be multi-terrain capable without the expense of comfort and sophistication.
Here’s what you need to know about the car:
On the outside, the Meridian gets the contemporary Jeep design language with its signature 7-slot front grille and huge stances all around. Being off-road capable, it possesses a ground clearance enough to give it such a mark. The car also gets LED tail lamps with projector-LED head lamps and LED DRLs to help up the coolness of the car. Looks are subjective, but the Jeep’s imposing stance in conjunction with a sensible use of chrome inserts here and there gives it a very modern and upmarket look, not too showy yet not too understated either, making it considerably appealing to customers looking for these big luxury 7-seaters.
In other best in class/segment first features, on the inside, the Meridian gets a Unibody structure, with front and rear independent suspensions with frequency selective damping. The body is composed of 63% hot-stamped parts and high strength steel, providing “greater rigidity, reduced noise and vibration”, in Jeep’s words. All of these help in mitigating body roll as well as improve handling and steering feedback. How much of that actually comes into fruition is definitely to be seen, considering this is a particularly chunky vehicle weighing over 2 tons.
Interior real estate:
The company claims Meridian to be the most spacious in the segment, even for the third row. The car allows its seats to be folded in 8 different ways, with all seats reclining for good measure. It possesses a few other ingress-egress helpful features, namely having one-touch fold and tumble functions for the 2nd row along with an 80 door opening angle, close to the a coveted 90 of the Tata Altroz. No boot figures as of now but Jeep calls it “one of the best”.
In other vague number comparisons, the car gets multi zone climate control with a dedicated 3rd row AC unit, helping the car get cooler 30% faster than competitors. Huh.
Also, don’t fret, the Meridian does get the all-important panoramic sunroof. Phew!
What pulls this Jeep:
Being an off-road worthy Jeep, it is offered with two drive options, a 4×4 or a 4×2 configuration along with two different transmission options, a 9 speed automatic or a 6 speed manual. There is only one engine on offer though, a 2L Turbo diesel with no option for a petrol powertrain, the likes of which Jeep claims to be “best in class”. No power figures yet but the car has a claimed 0-100kmph time of 10.8s with a top speed of 198kmph. It also gets multiple drive modes, namely an Auto Mode, sand/snow, and a Mud mode for off-terrain ventures. Still, do not expect a Wrangler-like performance in the wilderness.
Safety features include the aforementioned Unibody structure along with a standard 6-airbags and seat belt pre-tensioner setup across all variants. Apart from these, the Jeep has given the car Hydraulic brake assist, hill start assist, and automatic vehicle hold among other 60+ active and passive safety features, as quoted by the company.
Interior tech include Jeep’s UConnect feature with a 10.1inch touchscreen infotainment system kitted with both wireless apple CarPlay and Android Auto and to keep up the tunes, the Meridian even gets a 9 speaker Alpine sound system. It gets a 360 camera system along with the contemporarily necessary 10.25inch digital driver’s display, which you of course should expect when buying a car of this expense. Oh, it even gets a powered tailgate with a programmable height function!
The cars it will it be pitted against:
The Meridian looks to go up against the luxury 7-seaters in the market right now, such as the extremely feature-laden MG Gloster, the Toyota Fortuner, the Skoda Kodiaq and the now-not-on-sale Ford Endeavour.
The pricing of the car has not been disclosed yet but rest assured, it will be south of 30Lacs, starting. Deliveries of the same to commence in June ’22 with bookings already open as of launch.