The Jeep Meridian SUV will go on sale in India towards the middle of 2022. The Meridian is the three-row SUV based on the Compass, which is sold as the Jeep Commander overseas. While the company has filed for a trademark for the “Meridian” name recently, sources have confirmed to us that the three-row SUV will indeed be sold with the Jeep Meridian branding in India.
- The Jeep Meridian will be offered in 6- and 7-seat layouts
- It will come with a 2.0-litre turbo-diesel engine with 48V mild-hybrid tech
- It is expected to launch by mid-2022 in India
Jeep Meridian: Why no Jeep Commander name for India?
The upcoming Jeep H6 three-row SUV based on the Compass was originally expected to carry the Commander nameplate, as it will in select South American markets. However, the company has filed for a trademark for the “Meridian” name recently, and our sources have confirmed to us that its upcoming three-row SUV will indeed be sold with the Jeep Meridian branding in India.
The move to use a new name makes sense, when you consider the fact that in India, Mahindra used to offer an SUV with Commander moniker and while Mahindra no longer have the trademark to the Commander name it’s likely Jeep would want to have an altogether different name to avoid any possible association with the older Mahindra.
This paired with the issues Jeep and Mahindra have had with the Mahindra Roxor in the US market and, more recently, the Thar sales in Australia, it’s given Jeep even more reason to choose a new name for its upcoming SUV in India.
Jeep Meridian: what is it?
The Jeep Meridian is a 7-seat derivative of the Compass SUV. While the Meridian will share some of its body panels up front with the Compass, beyond the B-pillar is where the major changes will lie. It will feature longer rear doors and a more upright rear design, similar to that seen on newer Jeeps like the Grand Cherokee L and Grand Wagoneer. Additionally, the rear tailgate will have horizontally positioned tail-lamps with LED elements, similar to the Jeep Grand Cherokee sold overseas.
Jeep Meridian: interiors and features
As per our sources, the Jeep Meridian SUV will come pretty well equipped, as it will get all the features from the recently updated Compass. These include cooled seats, a panoramic sunroof, a large touchscreen infotainment system, and a digital instrument cluster, to name a few. Jeep will also aim to provide higher-quality cabin materials in a bid to increase its luxury quotient. However, the main topic of conversation will be the Meridian’s new third row of seats, which will allow a 6-seat layout with captain’s chairs for the middle row as well as a 7-seat layout with a bench-style seat in the second row.
Jeep Meridian: engine and powertrain options
Under the hood, the new Jeep Meridian will come with a more-powerful version of the 2.0-litre four-cylinder diesel engine used in the Compass. Though the final power figures for the Meridian have not been revealed, it is expected to churn put 200hp (instead of the Compass’ 170hp) and gets a sole 9-speed torque converter automatic gearbox. Another noteworthy feature expected on the Meridian will be 48V mild-hybrid tech with a BSG (belt-driven starter generator) that should help Jeep keep the SUV’s emissions and fuel economy in check.
It is worth mentioning that this will be the first time that 48V mild-hybrid tech will be applied to the Stellantis 2.0-litre, MultiJet engine – which is widely used by multiple brands overseas. The carmaker could start using this setup on their other models at a later stage.
Jeep Meridian: rivals and India launch
Once launched, the Jeep Meridian will take on other three-row, monocoque SUVs like the Volkswagen Tiguan Allspace and the soon to be re-introduced Skoda Kodiaq. However, the Jeep’s diesel engine and off-roading heritage means it could potentially also be seen as an alternative to large, ladder-frame SUVs like the MG Gloster, Toyota Fortuner and Ford Endeavour.
The upcoming Jeep Meridian (H6) is slated to begin series production in India by April next year, with its India launch likely slated for mid-2022.