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Jeep Meridian Review: Meridian Brother of the Compass! A Real Off Roader?

Jeep Meridian

The iconic Jeep brand is back in action with its new 7-seater Jeep Meridian. As many OEMs tasted their success in India with their 7-seater cars, Jeep is also replicating the same mantra.

Jeep Meridian Review: Meridian Brother of the Compass! A Real Off Roader?

The iconic Jeep brand is back in action with its new 7-seater Jeep Meridian. As many OEMs tasted their success in India with their 7-seater cars, Jeep is also replicating the same mantra.

Published:Updated:
Jeep Meridian

The iconic Jeep brand is back in action with its new 7-seater Jeep Meridian. As many OEMs tasted their success in India with their 7-seater cars, Jeep is also replicating the same mantra. This large premium SUV is based on the same platform as the Compass but is unique enough to set it, leagues, apart. The Jeep Meridian comes in a 4x4 version but it is built on a monocoque chassis. Due to the absence of Ford Endeavour, it has given way to the Jeep Meridian to occupy the space along with Toyota Fortuner. The success of Jeep Meridian will be decided by its driving dynamics and the performance that was missing in most of the 4x4 A more pronounced Jeep Grille, Sleeker headlamps (when compared with Compass), and a dash of chrome, all help the Meridian to look different from the Compass, however, the Jeep DNA is very clearly visible. The bumper is new, re-profiled for a better approach angle and the full-width chrome bar bisects the front bumper and there is a large air dam to embolden the face.

The increased length makes the car look long and powerful while its slick-looking 18-inch alloys add to its oomph quotient. The sides of the SUV are dominated by a strong character line, running at the top of the door, and Meridian badging on the front doors. The 18-inch wheels are particularly good-looking and fill the wheel arches very well.

Jeep Meridian Review: Meridian Brother of the Compass! A Real Off Roader?

The Meridian stands on 18-inch wheels with a nice alloy design. The square-ish wheel arches are mammoth but that was expected because this vehicle also needs to go beyond conventional roads. At the rear, the slim tail lamps are distinctive, even polarising, and are connected by a slab of chrome, while at the bottom of the bumper there’s more chrome trim. The increase in length and width clearly separate it from the Compass. Measuring 4769mm the Meridian is just 26mm shorter than the Fortuner and it definitely looks big.

The interior of the Meridian looks similar to Compass, but because it’s bigger, Meridian gets an upgrade by having a bigger dashboard. Though the instrument cluster has grown to 10.2 inches and it looks the same as Compass. Meridian gets the two-tone upholstery and looks premium and the front seats are now ventilated. There’s also ample room in both the first and the second row of seating, and five full-size adults will have no trouble fitting in.

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Jeep Meridian Review: Meridian Brother of the Compass! A Real Off Roader?

But, the third row of the Meridian is a bit of a squeeze. Though the car is tagged as 7-seater the third row can accommodate only kids. The one-touch operation enables the middle row seats to tumble down and provides easy access to the third row. The floor of the third row is a bit high, the seating is not really comfortable for big adults.

In terms of boot space, you get 170 litres with the third row up to where you can accommodate one cabin bag, if the third row is folded you get a boot space of 418 litres. Meridian offers a host of creature comfort features, which include auto-headlamps, driver seat height adjust, push-button start/stop, 10.2-inch semi-digital instrument cluster, powered mirrors, wireless charging, keyless-entry, panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera, a powered tailgate and much more! Safety features include TPMS, ABS, EBD, ESC, Traction control, six airbags and an electronic parking brake. The cabin gets liberal use of high-quality leather and soft-touch materials, all of which add to Meridian’s premium quotient.

Jeep Meridian Review: Meridian Brother of the Compass! A Real Off Roader?

When it comes to powertrain, the Meridian comes with a variety of options, but the engine will be the same 2.0-litre turbo diesel that also powers the Compass. The various options will include a 2WD version with a manual gearbox, a 2WD version with an automatic gearbox, and a full-fat 4WD version with an automatic gearbox. The AWD is an on-demand system that sends drive to the rear when slip is detected, but you can lock it in 4x4 mode, and there are three drive modes to choose from depending on the terrain you’re tackling.

Jeep Meridian Review: Meridian Brother of the Compass! A Real Off Roader?

The Meridian also comes with the Koni Frequency Selective Dampers as seen on the Compass along with the independent rear suspension. The system has been fine-tuned in the Meridian to accommodate additional size and weight. You also get rear disc brakes and in keeping with the focus on the rear seat, the setup is softer and tuned to deliver a better ride quality.

lopes, slippery roads, muddy ditches, and many degrees of descent were all that challenged the 4-wheel drive Meridian. After driving it through all of this, I call it a real off-roader.

The Meridian moved effortlessly on the road. The main highlight of the Meridian is its ride quality, which is superb and deals with broken roads very well. During the media drive, we were given the car to do various off-roading challenges like one wheel up in the air, clambering up steps, axle twisters, rock trails, side-slopes, and steep drops to test hill-descent control. I should say Meridian is amazing and simply effortless to drive after going through all the off-roading conditions.

Jeep Meridian Review: Meridian Brother of the Compass! A Real Off Roader?

Ride quality is impressive too, and the Meridian feels much like the Compass, solid and built to take a beating with an added dash of plushness. With its off-road capability, it performs on surfaces where you never thought this vehicle could go. Except for the third-row space, Meridian ticks all the boxes, so now the fate of the Meridian will be decided based on how Jeep is going to price it. When compared with its competition, the Meridian is easily one of the best SUVs when it comes to the unique combination of luxury and off-roading capability.