Jeep has forayed into the 7-seater segment in India with its newest offering, the Meridian. It goes straight up against the likes of MG Gloster and Toyota Fortuner. So, if you are in the market for a mammoth gas guzzler, which one should you go for: the Brit, the American or the Japanese?
Let’s take a quick dive into some of the specs for these cars, and compare the notable features of all three.
Starting off under the bonnet, the Meridian gets only one engine option: a 2L turbo diesel, for both 4×4 and 4×2 models. This powerplant is mated to a 6-speed manual or a new 9-speed automatic transmission. The Gloster gets a 2L twin turbo diesel, again for both the 4×4 and 4×2 versions, with only an 8-speed auto gearbox option. The Fortuner is the only one with multiple engine options, both petrol and diesel. The 4×2 versions get the 2.7L petrol mated to a 6-speed auto or a 5-speed manual. The 4×4 on the other hand gets the minutely larger 2.8L turbo diesel, now with an option of 6-speed auto or a 6-speed manual gearbox.
Design wise, all three look contemporary with modern bits everywhere. All have LED headlights with DRLs along with LED tail lamps as well. All three have their fair share of bling in the form of chrome inserts and have a muscular stance enough to turn heads everywhere they go. Looks are subjective of course, but the Meridian feels the more sleek and up-to-date design among all, no surprise as it is merely months old now.
Suspension and body:
The meridian gets completely independent front and rear suspension while the Gloster gets independent dual helix ones, and the Fortuner having a double wishbone setup with stabilisers.
On the structural side of things, Meridian stands out as the only Unibody SUV while the other two have a body on frame chassis.
Here on the safety front, let’s take a look at the more significant features among the three 7-seater SUVs. A minimum of 6 airbags on all, while the Fortuner even gets an extra in shape of the driver side knee airbag. All have hill start assist and some iteration of brake assist. Both the Meridian and the Gloster get the modern safety features, as in Emergency auto braking, but not the Fortuner. The latter gets to put a feather on its cap though, as the only SUV among the three to get a physical Limited Slip Differential.
Comfort and Convenience:
Finally, coming to comfort. This is where the stark generational gap between the cars come to light. The Fortuner gets only one zone climate control while the rest get three zone. The Meridian even gets a 3rd row AC unit, not just a blower. Both the Jeep and the MG have 360 degree parking camera while the Toyota pathetically has only reverse parking assist. In fact, the Gloster even has an auto parking functionality, wherein you wont even need to drive it to park!
Among entertainment features, the Meridian has a 10.1in infotainment screen, which isn’t a lot in comparison to the Gloster’s 12, yet the Fortuner gets an 8 incher. Yuck. But when you add to the Meridian a 10.25in Driver’s Display, things do start to look prettier. The other two get an analogue-digital setup for the driver’s display.
The MG Gloster range starts from INR 31.48Lacs for the base Super 7 4×2 variant, going up to INR 39.5Lacs for the top end Savvy 7 4×4 variant. The Fortuner also hovers around known waters, starting at INR 31.79Lacs going all the way up to INR 44.63Lacs for the Legender variant. Jeep Meridian’s prices, on the other hand, have not yet been released, but expect them to be very similar to its competition.
So, that was just a slight overview on which car gets you what. Stay tuned for our review on the new Jeep Meridian, and be sure to check out Car News page for latest news on these stuff! Be sure to checkout our YouTube channel as well!