Jeep recently unveiled the India-spec Meridian three-row SUV ahead of its likely market launch in May this year. And while the Meridian is based on the 5-seat Jeep Compass, in an interaction with the media during the unveiling event, Ralph Gilles, chief design officer of Jeep’s parent company Stellantis, said, “Except the windshield, front seat frame and maybe a small part of the instrument panel, everything else on the Meridian is unique.”
The Meridian, thus, has a unique identity of its own and here we are going to explore all that sets it apart from its 5-seater sibling, the Compass.
Jeep Meridian vs Compass: dimensions
|Jeep Meridian vs Compass: dimensions|
|Jeep Meridian||Jeep Compass|
|Boot space||233-1760 litres||438 litres|
The Meridian is based on the same platform as the Compass but has been sufficiently enlarged to make way for three rows of interior seating. And while three-row derivatives usually just see an increase in length and sometimes wheelbase too, Jeep has lengthened both and has also widened the Meridian to allow for a roomier cabin. Specifically speaking, the Meridian is 364mm longer, 41mm wider, 42mm taller and has a wheelbase that's 158mm longer than the Compass.
Jeep Meridian vs Compass: exterior design
Naturally, all body panels on the Meridian are completely new, which gives it a look that is more in line with the larger Jeep Grand Cherokee. Compared to the Compass, the headlamps are slimmer and get new internals, the grille is more upright, the front bumper is completely unique, the doors are longer and, needless to say, the rear section has been completely overhauled. It’s more upright, features slim LED tail-lamps connected by a chrome bar, and also gets a large rear quarter glass area. And while both models ride on dual-tone 18-inch alloy wheels, the ones on the Meridian feature more intricate detailing.
Jeep Meridian vs Compass: interior and features
The Meridian’s dashboard is mostly similar to that of the Compass, although it does get a new black and brown colour scheme, compared to the Compass’ all-black interior. The brown leather-wrapped seats additionally feature a new perforated and quilted pattern. However, the biggest distinction for the Meridian is its third row of seating. For now, the Meridian has only been unveiled in a 7-seater guise, with a bench seat for the middle row (which too is different from the Compass), although a 6-seater variant with captain's seats for the middle row could be on the cards at a later point.
In terms of equipment, the Meridian carries over most of the features from the Compass, but it additionally gets a powered tailgate. Other notable features that are common to both SUVs include a 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, a 10.1-inch touchscreen, dual-zone climate control, six airbags, hill-start and descent control, panoramic sunroof and selectable drive modes.
Jeep Meridian vs Compass: engine options
Under the hood, the Meridian will be powered by Jeep’s 2.0-litre, four-cylinder turbocharged diesel engine that’s also offered on the Compass. Although Jeep hasn’t yet revealed specific power and torque figures for the Meridian, we expect it to be similar to the Compass’ 170hp and 350Nm outputs. It will, however, be calibrated to account for the Meridian’s additional weight and size. Gearbox options – 6-speed manual and 9-speed automatic – also remain identical, but while the automatic gearbox is only offered with 4x4 configuration on the Compass, it will be offered in both FWD and AWD configurations on the Meridian.
|Jeep Meridian vs Compass: engine options|
|Engine displacement||2.0-litre||2.0-litre / 1.4-litre|
|Engine type||4 cyls, turbocharged||4, cyls turbocharged|
|Power||170hp (est.)||170hp / 163hp|
|Torque||350Nm (est.)||350Nm / 250Nm|
|Gearbox||6-speed MT, 9-speed torque converter AT||6-speed MT, 9-speed torque converter AT / 6-speed MT, 7-speed DCT|
|Drive layout||FWD, AWD||FWD, AWD / FWD|
Notably, the Compass is also available with a 163hp, 1.4-litre turbo-petrol engine with either a 6-speed manual or a 7-speed DCT auto gearbox, but that will not be offered on the Meridian. The Meridian will be a diesel-only model at launch, although inside sources have indicated that it is likely to get a new 187hp, 1.3-litre turbocharged petrol engine further down the line.
Jeep Meridian vs Compass: expected pricing
The Compass is currently priced between Rs 17.79 lakh-29.34 lakh (ex-showroom, India). The Meridian will of course be positioned above the Compass and is likely to be priced between Rs 34 lakh-37 lakh (ex-showroom). When launched, it will rival the likes of the petrol-only Skoda Kodiaq, diesel-only MG Gloster and the Toyota Fortuner.