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Old 1st May 2022, 11:00   #1
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Jeep Meridian Review


Jeep Meridian Pros



• Handsome unmistakably-Jeep styling & loads of character
• Robust build quality. Feels very solid, just as a Jeep should
• Classy cabin now boasts a versatile 5+2 seating configuration and better accommodation when compared to the Compass
• Competent 2.0L diesel. Good driveability in the city, quick on the open road
• Mature suspension setup, nicely-tuned EPS & rock-solid stability
• Capable AWD available, with 214 mm of ground clearance
• Feature packed: electric front seats (driver memory), panoramic sunroof, 360-degree camera, powered tailgate, LED projector headlights…
• Topnotch safety kit: Strong all-disc brakes, a plethora of electronic aids & 6 airbags
• Diesel AT now available without the AWD as well, thereby making it more accessible for urban dwellers (Compass Diesel AT only available with AWD, 5-lakhs more OTR)

Jeep Meridian Cons



• Cabin has limited width, can feel snug for larger passengers. 5th passenger (in the 2nd row) will feel unwelcome
• 3rd row is strictly for children and small adults
• Should’ve had more power for the price. Same 2.0L diesel available in SUVs from a segment below
• No petrol engine in a market that is moving to petrols in a big way. Delhiites will be disappointed
• 9-speed Automatic gearbox is competent, but not brilliant
• We’d have liked to see front parking sensors, paddle shifters, gearbox ‘sport’ mode, a sliding middle row, more connected tech features (it’s very basic currently)
• At low speeds, the firm ride quality always keeps you aware of the road quality you’re driving on
• Jeep India’s dealer & service network coverage is still limited
• Just the higher Limited & Limited (O) variants at launch. Not sure when lesser variants will follow

This review has been jointly compiled with CrAzY dRiVeR. Thanks to him for his expert observations and photography.

Introduction



Over the last 7 years, Jeep has established itself in the market as a premium yet competitive SUV brand, with a range of imported products too. The Compass is the brand’s bread and butter since its introduction and while there were talks of bringing the Renegade - a smaller and more compact SUV - to the domestic market, such rumours did not bear fruition and the Compass remains Jeep’s entry level offing. Five years after the Compass was launched in the country, Jeep has decided to enter the 7-seater SUV space with its new offing - the Meridian.

The Meridian is a home-grown product with levels of localisation being as high as 82%, as claimed by Jeep. The company also states that the Meridian was designed specifically for the Indian domestic market and has been through over 7,00,000 km of rigorous testing. Production is set to commence in May 2022. It will be available only with the familiar 2.0 liter Multijet diesel engine (also shared with the Harrier, Safari & Hector) for the time being, mated to either a 9-speed automatic torque converter transmission or a 6-speed manual transmission. The 4x4 variant comes only with the 9-speed auto. A 1.3 litre turbocharged petrol engine is presently being evaluated and could be an option in the future.

The Meridian is based on the Compass’ platform, albeit slightly revised to accommodate the larger dimensions. Although christened “Meridian”, Jeep had initially considered a different name – “Commander”, but switched to Meridian after evaluating potential IP challenges (remember the Mahindra Commander?).

Senior representatives of the brand did not take kindly to suggestions from the press that the Meridian is “an elongated Compass” or “LWB Compass” if you will. Comparisons between the Meridian and Compass were quickly dismissed by Jeep executives, citing that the Meridian belongs to the “D-Segment” while the Compass continues its exploits in the “C Segment” space. Jeep execs further bolstered their claim by suggesting that the Meridian benefits from a much longer list of features and of course, the extra seats, amongst other explanations. Their insistence was met with skepticism during the Meridian’s unveil last month. The jury is still out on this one.

Jeep Meridian Price


Judging by Jeep’s suggestive positioning of the Meridian, it will likely be pitted against the likes of the Skoda Kodiaq, MG Gloster and Toyota Fortuner. A strange space to be in, considering that the aforementioned cars are very different from one-another. Although Jeep has not revealed the price tag of the Meridian yet, we anticipate ex-showroom prices to start in the mid to high 30-lakh range. The Compass has a premium price tag, and we sure hope Jeep doesn't go overboard with the Meridian.

Exterior



Design & Styling



At first glance and to the untrained eye, it may appear to be nothing more than long wheelbase Compass. Get closer to the bodywork, however, and you will notice subtle design cues that distinguish it from the Compass such as the differently sculpted bonnet and fenders that now sport new cuts and creases. The grille and headlights also are new, as is the bumper and of course all the elements featured within it.

The design and styling transforms quite dramatically once you walk past the front doors, and you start to notice just how different the Meridian is from the Compass. The rear three-quarters’ styling is squared off with plenty of straight lines and box-like design cues. The roof does not slope downwards and instead, stops abruptly, further accentuated by a near 90-degree rear windscreen. It becomes increasingly apparent that the Meridian’s styling (specifically the rear-three-quarters), is inspired heavily by its larger brother - the Grand Cherokee.

The Meridian is about 4796 mm long, making it noticeably longer than the Compass at 4405 mm. It is also about 40 mm wider and 40 mm taller than its younger brother as well. But the kicker is the wheelbase – The Meridian’s 2782 mm wheelbase is about 146 mm more than the Compass’, making it quite a bit longer than the Compass.

Wheels & Tyres



The Meridian sits on large 18” wheels and 235/55 R18 Bridgestone tyres. Although quite large in the flesh, the Meridian looks strangely under-tyred in photographs. That said, it looks reasonably proportioned unlike the MG Hector which looks like it routinely skips leg-day at the neighborhood gym.

Ground Clearance



Crucially, the Meridian appears to benefit from a taller, jacked-up stance than the Compass and we are glad that Jeep has done this, because a lower stance would give the Meridian a very estate / station-wagon-like silhouette instead, thanks to the squared off rear end and general proportions. The Meridian’s ground clearance of 214 mm is 36 mm more than the Compass’.

Interior



Cabin Design & Quality



Climb into the Meridian and you are greeted by a chic and well-appointed interior. Save for the plastic trim from the waist below, the interior is generally a very nice place to be. Swathes of perforated coffee-brown leather and solid brushed metal inserts juxtaposed with black plastic of various levels of quality lend the Meridian a touch of class, but only from the waistline above.

Overall quality and fit-finish are good, for the most part. There are, however, a few misaligned pieces of trim and scratchy hard-wearing black plastic that grey at the slightest sign of dust and grime. We did notice a few squeaks and the odd rattle from the press-car, especially whilst navigating rough roads. Compass owners have been complaining of rattles & squeaks too lately, so you could expect that in the Meridian. Nonetheless, the Meridian’s well-appointed interior makes up for most shortcomings.

An interesting observation regarding the dashboard in particular – most cars that go through a mid-life cycle refresh do not necessarily receive all new interiors. However, FCA seems to be doing things differently and this is not a new phenomenon. Everything from the Palio and Sienna to the Punto and the Linea have received completely new interiors in their mid-life refresh models. Thankfully, the trend continues to this day and the facelifted Compass / new Meridian are the latest beneficiaries.

Driving Position & Ergonomics



It goes without saying that the best place to be in the Meridian is either in the driver’s seat or in the front passenger seat. Heavily bolstered and extremely supportive, the front seats offer great levels of comfort, further aided by the ventilation function which is an absolute boon during a hot summers’ day. However, wiggle room is fairly limited up-front, and both the driver and passenger will feel a touch snug in their respective seats.

Space & Comfort



Access to the second row of seats is enhanced greatly by a wide rear door that now opens out by 80-degrees. Open the wide doors and you will immediately notice the thick door sills. The second row’s seat squab is long and offers decent under-thigh support, but it would be prudent to not expect great levels of comfort as the bench is not contoured sufficiently to hug its passengers. Although the second row seems more accommodating than the Compass' in terms of outright space, it is only marginally more spacious than the Compass’ interior. Strangely, the Meridian's larger footprint does not seem to translate to a significantly larger cabin. Knee room in the second row is just about acceptable for tall passengers, especially if the front seats are also occupied by similarly tall people. Also, the second row’s seat-back can be adjusted to achieve various degrees of recline which is quite nifty. But the party piece is the second-row’s split function and one-touch fold-and-tumble feature, engineered to provide access to the Meridian’s third row.


3rd Row Seat Comfort & Space



Flexibility is necessary to access the third row. You best be prepared, by practicing yoga regularly, if your designated seat in the Meridian is in the last row. The third row could accommodate adults, if they do not mind having their knees next to their ears. It is not comfortable over long durations and is strictly for kids.

Boot Space



Boot space is quite limited if the third row is being used. A few soft bags are all that the boot can accommodate. A weekend away with 7 passengers including the driver is going to be tight. Fold away the third row, however, and you will be greeted by a much more usable boot that can accommodate a week’s worth of luggage for 4-5 people. Airport runs and golf trips will be a boon in the Meridian, provided the third row is stowed away.

Last edited by GTO : 2nd May 2022 at 08:58.
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Old 1st May 2022, 11:00   #2
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Jeep Meridian Exterior Images


At first glance and to the untrained eye, it may appear to be a long wheelbase Compass, but get closer to the bodywork and you will notice subtle differences such as the differently sculpted bonnet and fenders that now sport new cuts and creases. The grille and headlights also are new, as is the bumper and of course all the elements featured within it:


The design and styling transforms quite dramatically once you walk past the front doors and you start to notice just how different the Meridian is from the Compass:


The roof does not slope downwards and instead, stops abruptly, further accentuated by a near 90-degree rear windscreen. Crucially, the Meridian appears to benefit from a jacked-up and taller stance than the Compass and we are glad that Jeep has done this, because a lower stance would give the Meridian a very estate / station-wagon-like silhouette instead, thanks to the squared off rear end:


The rear three-quarters’ styling is squared off with plenty of straight lines and box-like design cues:


It becomes increasingly apparent that the Meridian’s styling specifically the rear-three-quarters is inspired heavily by its larger brother, the Grand Cherokee:


The Meridian sits on large 18” wheels and 235/55 R18 alloy wheels and Bridgestone Dueler H/T tyres:


A long hood with the Jeep logo perfectly placed on it:


Bonnet is not shared with the Compass and has a very different centre character bulge inwards against the more subtle outwards protrusions on the Compass. Adds some muscle here:


We could not test the Meridian's LED projector lighting during our short driving experience with the SUV, but we can expect it to be sufficiently capable of doing the job:


Chrome garnish all over the face of the Meridian is not for everyone:


The Meridian's front bumper loses the aero-flap (prominent on the Compass) that extends downwards significantly:


Meridian badging on the front doors, in keeping with Jeep traditions:


Wide door-step is an optional accessory that was equipped on the static car. We feel it does not suit the Meridian's clean lines:


The top-half of the Meridian is finished in glossy black and does a good job of breaking the monotony:


Integrated roof-spoiler also houses the top-mounted brake light and windshield washer nozzle:


Despite sporting a true-panoramic sunroof, the rear portion of the Meridian's roof is ribbed and contoured for rigidity:


Tiger motif on the rear windscreen is unique to the Meridian:


Sleek tail lights paired with thick chrome garnish makes the rear look wider than it actually is:


Smart clear-lens LED tail lights, inspired by the Grand Cherokee, light up individually and look banging!


Rear bumper is adorned with plastic cladding and a faux skid plate, not to mention even more chrome flanked by reflectors on either side:


Other colours:



Last edited by Aditya : 1st May 2022 at 11:02.
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Old 1st May 2022, 11:00   #3
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Jeep Meridian Interior Images


Smart and premium looking dashboard also features brown leather with contrast brown stitching that runs across the length of the dash. The top portion of the dash is thankfully wrapped in black leather which prevents unnecessary reflections onto the windshield on sunny days:


Front door cards are well designed and look premium sans the black plastic trim below the door handles:


Brushed metal inserts against piano black trim lends a touch of class to the Meridian's interior:


Plastic window switches and the knurled rotary knob for the ORVM adjustment are tactile and easy to use:


9-speaker Alpine sound system requires fine tuning to get the best out of it:


Meaty steering wheel is nice to use, although we would have preferred a slightly thinner rim:


Central console is aesthetically pleasing, especially with piano black inserts:


360 Camera and park-assist is useful considering the Meridian's larger footprint:


Brown leather with brushed metal inserts flanking either side of the console elevates the cabin's premium feel:


Glove box is not large but does the job:


Roof-mounted console is no different from the Compass:


Expansive sunroof allows plenty of light to pour into the cabin - an absolute necessity considering that the cabin is not as large as it may seem. Electronically retractable sunblind is a nice touch:


Supportive and well-bolstered front seats are the best places to be in the Meridian:


Second row is not as well contoured as it could have been - possibly to ensure a flat loading bay when the need arises:


Rear doors are long and open out 80-degrees wide would mean you need to be careful in tight parking spots:


Adequate knee-room. Long seat squab is a saving grace, considering the lack of contouring in the middle row:


Wide door sills could make ingress-egress tricky:


Rear AC vent for the second row is useful, but the piano black trim that ought to have been around it (present in the Compass) is conspicuous by its absence in the Meridian:

Last edited by Aditya : 1st May 2022 at 11:02.
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Old 1st May 2022, 11:00   #4
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Third row is strictly for children and some adults you dislike. It does come with cup holders on either side and provisions for hooks and tethers as well:


Second row tumbles forward easily and allows for access to the third row:


Third row from a 6-footer's perspective - not a nice place to be:


AC vents for the third row with dedicated controls makes it a slightly less torturous experience:


Curtain airbags for the middle row passengers:


Cup holders and phone docks for the unfortunate souls who are relegated to the third row:


Some plastic trim pieces don't seem to line up:


With the third row reclined to its maximum setting, boot space is understandably limited and good for a few soft bags at the most:


If the third row seat-back is set to its maximum forward position, the boot becomes more useful and larger items may be stored:


Third row can be split and reclined individually, if required:


Collapsible boot floor leads you to a small cubby on one side and a tool kit on the other:


Spare wheel is nestled under the rear overhang. Notice the independent multi-link suspension setup for the rear axle:


With the third row folded away, you can liberate a lot of room for large suitcases - perfect for airport runs and the weekly golfing excursion:


Hooks to help secure your shopping bags. Notice that the boot-lid button is placed on the side of the boot and not on the boot-lid itself - allowing shorter folk to close the boot-lid easily. Also notice the boot-light present on either side:


Jeep engraving on the interior boot-lid trim is a nice touch:

Last edited by suhaas307 : 1st May 2022 at 19:29.
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Old 1st May 2022, 11:00   #5
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Driving the Jeep Meridian 2.0 4x4 AT




Thumb the start-stop button and the Meridian’s 2.0L turbocharged MJD engine comes to life. Ease off the brakes in ‘D’ and you will notice that the familiar MJD motor paired with a 9-speed torque converter AT is refined enough, while making light work of city driving conditions. The engine churns out peak power figures of 170 horses and 350 Nm. You could get a manual as well, should you prefer to do the work yourself. Interestingly, this time around, the AT is available with just the FWD too.

Driving around in the city, on the expressway and around some rural roads, the Meridian made me feel like I'm driving a "mini-tank". The car has a very, very solid feel. Drive calmly around the city or drive a little spiritedly, say pressing the throttle 60-70% of the way and you’ll find the engine & gearbox to be smooth and fine. There is enough muscle on tap. Upshifts are executed smoothly & seamlessly. On the other hand, drive like an enthusiast and many times, you will find the gearbox's response time to be slow. Especially in the lower gears and / or at slow speeds, there were times that I wanted to downshift and it took 1.5 seconds before the gearbox responded to my pedal-to-the-metal command! Is this slow response to kick downs a deal-breaker? No. You’ll live with it, but you’ll never rave about your gearbox’s behaviour as an enthusiast and it won’t “wow” you as a DSG would.

When you are in a hurry, the 9-speed AT hesitates for just a moment before the engine pulls up its revs and shoves you forward with a sense of urgency. It’s got enough torque to take you into the realm of triple digit speeds and keep you there without feeling too strained. There is no doubt that this engine makes enough power and torque for sustained highway cruising. Performance is brisk, and you will find yourself doing 100 km/h in just over 10 seconds. Jeep claims that it can tickle 198 km/h before tapping out, but I wouldn’t dare. Not only are there no paddle shifters, but the gearbox doesn’t even have a sport mode. That itself should tell you this car is not for enthusiasts. It’s more for daily use = for commuting, for convenience, for expressway cruising.

The Meridian could surely have done with a little more poke at the bottom end of the rev range and perhaps a touch more torque in the mid-range to make it a truly effortless highway driving experience.

On the expressway, you’ll find the gearbox’s behaviour to be better. It’s basically under 60 km/h, at lower revs and in tricky low-speed conditions that the gearbox gets more confused. Example? Say you suddenly slow down for a speed bump, and floor it right after. But once you are well above 2,000 rpm, the torquey engine makes the gearbox’s life easier. On the expressway, you won’t find it getting that confused or the response time to be slow. It’s at slower speeds and / or in dense traffic that you find the response time to be lacking. You'll be fine on expressways.

I’ll give this Diesel AT combination a 7 / 10 rating, deducting 1.5 points for the occasional slow response times & confused nature, and 1.5 points for not having paddle shifters or a Sport mode. The gearbox is smooth & easy to live with, but it’s not a particularly bright or intelligent auto-box either. If you're a calm driver or even one who pushes the car at 7/10ths, you'll be fine. I must mention the Diesel AT is not dimwitted or painful like the Compass Petrol DCT which I would give a 4 / 10 rating.

Having no paddle shifters at this price point is a bummer & unpardonable. What you do have behind the steering though, are very neatly placed buttons for the stereo – left side ones change the track, right side ones adjust the volume. Other manufacturers should pick this up. The arrangement is very ergonomically good and there's great attention to detail too. If you long-press the track change button, it rewinds the song being played.

Suspension


The Meridian comes equipped with independent MacPherson struts in the suspension assembly on both axles, along with some trick bits such as hydraulic rebound stopper (HRS) and Frequency Selective Damping (FSD) which Jeep claims is suspension technology developed for compliance over varying road conditions.

Ride Comfort



At low city-speeds, the ride feels firm and the chassis communicates crisply the textures and variations of the road surface; you are left acutely aware of the ever-changing tarmac beneath you. It certainly is not plush. Potholes are dispatched with noticeable rebound accompanied by a muted thud. Just like the Compass, as the speedometer needle climbs, ride quality significantly improves. Pick up the pace and the suspension comes into its own as it starts to iron out the road surface beautifully. Undulations are absorbed very well as the long wheelbase further improves ride quality at higher speeds, transforming this SUV into an ideal long-haul mile muncher, whilst making light work of the open road. You will not feel tired after a long stint in this SUV.

Handling & Dynamics



The fact that it's a monocoque SUV lends the Meridian a very car-like feel and as a result, you feel supremely confident while pushing it on the open road. It remains well-behaved and properly mannered. There is no chop over undulated surfaces and it feels quite composed and settled, unlike the unwieldy ladder-frame SUVs in the same segment. You'll enjoy the grip levels & sorted suspension on your favourite mountain roads. The car's behaviour is very confidence-inspiring.

The Meridian has very long legs and is a mind blowing high speed mile-muncher. With its excellent stability, smooth gearbox, torquey diesel engine and nice driving position, you can drive this car all day long with a smile plastered on your face.

Steering



Around the twisties, the Meridian feels composed when pushed hard and can be hustled around sharper corners without unsettling it. The steering feels extremely light off-center. However, return-to-center is progressive and not violent. The EPS does weigh up at speed, yet the vague off-center feel persists and is not ideal when trying to hustle the SUV. That aside, we find it to be a well-tuned EPS that is user-friendly.

Braking



The braking setup comprises of all round disc brakes which are bolstered by various brake-related tech systems such as Hydraulic Brake Assist (HBA), Fading Brake Support (FBS), Ready Alert Brake (RAB) and Rain Brake Assist (RBA). The brake pedal offers plenty of feel, while being progressive in response to input. The Meridian remains fairly stable for an SUV under hard braking, its high center of gravity and long overhang notwithstanding.

Offroading with the Jeep Meridian 4x4 AT




Jeep had organized a 45-minute long, challenging and technical offroad course through a forest and ravine to showcase the Meridian 4x4 AT's capabilities, for those 5% of Jeep Meridian owners who are adventurous enough to give it a go from time to time. 4x4 is available only with the 9-speed automatic transmission. The offroad course was a mid-level track in terms of difficulty.

With all the tech switched on and working overtime, the Meridian first dispatched the gravel section without a fuss and then proceeded to demonstrate its disdain for the loose mud and sandy sections of the course, despite running on Bridgestone street tyres. We navigated through deep pits and negotiated 30 degree slopes + gradients without breaking a sweat, as the drivetrain and 4x4 tech were more than up to the task at hand. What surprised me the most = the Meridian was able to negotiate some serious slopes without any issue whatsoever. The maneuverability came to us as a surprise, despite the large-ish turning radius, as the Meridian navigated through some of the sharper corners of the track with ease.

If you own a large estate or frequent them, the Meridian 4x4 will do the job of ferrying the family from the city to the estate, and it can also be pressed into service for drives to remote parts of coffee plantations while cocooning you in comfort.

The Meridian comes with Jeep Selec-Terrain 4x4 system on the 9AT transmission variants. The system is similar to that on the Compass. Drive modes include Sand/Mud, Snow and Auto - however, the rock mode from the Trailhawk is missing in this application.

The challenging off-road course showcased just how accomplished the Jeep Meridian is as an off-road SUV, especially considering that the Meridian is primarily an urban SUV. It took us by surprise, needless to say. This SUV isn't just for posers or family hauling and is quite adept on offroad terrain just as it is on tarmac, making it a great all-rounder.



The system comes with 4WD Low, Lock and HDC:


Some images from the various obstacles around the offroad track:




















Disclaimer: Jeep invited Team-BHP for the Meridian test-drive. They covered all the travel expenses for this driving event.
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Old 1st May 2022, 11:00   #6
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Thread moved out from the Assembly Line. Thanks for sharing!

Last edited by Aditya : 1st May 2022 at 11:04.
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Old 1st May 2022, 11:53   #7
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Confused, who will be the target audience for this? It’s like jack of all trades and master of none. Performance is okay but not for enthusiasts, 7 seater but not spacious enough. Guess it serves the purpose of those who want a no nonsense diesel mile muncher and Jeep fans who did not buy Compass due to lack of space. From the reviews one clear strong point seems to be the ride quality.
I guess the pricing will be key

One question - how does Meridian and Kodiaq compare in ride and handling?

Last edited by sunikkat : 1st May 2022 at 12:21.
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Old 1st May 2022, 11:57   #8
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Awesome review, Case in point.

Swap the Bridgestone's with Yokohama or BF Goodrich A/T's and it will fill the wheel well perfectly and should have a much more capable vehicle.
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Old 1st May 2022, 11:59   #9
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As the owner of a 2022 Jeep Compass, I was excited to test the Meridian and see if Jeep has managed to carve out an independent identity. Must say - I think they have done it from the exterior as well as the overall character of the vehicle, but lost the plot a bit in the interiors.

Jeep India management was quick to re-iterate that the Meridian is a new, platform-shared product, and not just an extended Compass - but anyone sitting inside the cabin would be hard pressed to say so, unless of course they are in the third row of seats. The dashboard, HU and displays are carried forward from the Compass, save for new premium McKinley brown leather. Feature-list is identical with the Compass as well, with the Meridian getting only fully loaded Limited and Limited(o) variants. While the variant distribution is not out yet - I would assume these to be based on the Compass Limited(o) and Model S variants.

Interestingly with the Compass - I feel the Limited feels a lot richer on the inside than the black interiors of the Model S, both in terms of spacious feeling and perceptible quality - and the same holds true for the black plastics of the Meridian. Don't get me wrong - I love a black interior over beige - but only when 1. it is of excellent quality and 2. is a spacious cabin. All said and done - with this interior, the Meridian cannot escape being referred to as a 3-row/larger boot Compass and that probably is the biggest factor to be considered in positioning the vehicle.

Not that it is a major limiting factor either - with the equivalent Compass variants (2.0 Limited MT, 2.0 Model S 4*4 AT) coming to 23.64L - 29.59L ex-showroom. They would be really pushing their stars way too much if the Meridian is positioned much higher into 40L Fortuner territory!

With that out of the way, I must say that it did manage to impress on every other parameter - the exterior looks proportionate, escaping the van feeling of some rivals thanks to the jacked-up stance and large, square'ish wheel arches. It looks different from the Compass from almost every angle, almost every panel is new and if someone had a gun to my head to identify simarilities - I may say the front door seems carried forward. Alloys are way different too, and the Meridian rides on 235/55-18 tyres (as against 225/55-18) and has a slight edge over the Compass when it comes to ride quality. Handling seems at par - with Suhaas clearly testing the agility of the Meridian both on the road and off it, and the car clearly coming on top.

Supposedly shares the Alpine setup from the Compass, but I couldn't, for the life of me, figure out where they have placed the amplifier and the subwoofer. We searched all the usual places, just stopping shy of ripping apart the carpets. I hope it's the same 9-speaker setup! Some of the other highlight features include a dual-pane panoramic sunroof, 8-way powered driver and passenger seat with driver memory function, 10.1-inch touchscreen with wireless Android Auto & Apple CarPlay, Multi-zone climate control with rear a/c vents, powered boot gate, auto headlamps, IRVMs and wipers, LED headlamps with DRLs, LED fog lamps, 18-inch diamond-cut alloy wheels, Electronic Parking Brake, 360 parking camera, TPMS, etc.

Coming to the all important third row of seats - I spent some time there and it was a mixed experience. As expected - 5'11" me was locked in place with no knee room at all, hair brushing against the roof liner and knees pointing upwards, but I could manage there for almost 30 minutes of hard driving. I'll still not recommend it and assure you that adults will hate you afterwards, but for those planning to put kids in the third row - I have some positive observations too - 1. A/c is effective and both persons get a vent above the head. 2. Blower control is there as well and don't need to shout out to the driver. 3. The large glass area ensures sufficient light in the 3rd row as well and 4. Most surprisingly - the ride remains fairly flat even with an enthusiastic driver behind the wheel, the well-controlled vertical movement over bad roads and speed breakers being the most impressive about sitting in this row of seats. Should be a good place for pets too.

Coming to the offroad aspect - Suhaas has already explained the fun he had. A couple of pointers from my end - 1. The slopes may look easy in pictures, but I could not walk down and had to call the Wrangler to take me down for taking the pictures. 2. The surface was dry and without traction and the Dueler H/T 684-2 road tyres were struggling on all four to keep going, but it did keep going nevertheless (giving me a blocked airway and lungs even after 3 days and despite having an N95 mask ) and 3. The front lower lip and GC of the Meridian is much better than the regular Compass and closer to the Trailhawk. And speaking of the 'Hawk - it is unlikely that the Meridian will get one such variant.

Jeep knows owners may never use this capability - but want them to know that it is there when needed anyways.

Last, but not the least - I also took up the case of the most common issue faced by Compass (facelift) owners. Rattles! I was informed that the recent 2022 updates of the Compass have improved on most of the reported complaints and that the issue has visibility at the highest management levels and is being ironed out. We did hear of couple of squeaks and rattles from our media car, but it was abused around the offroad track like 99.9% owners will never do! My car is from the updated batch and has the odd squeaks but no irritating rattles yet, and hope it remains that way. That said - the final verdict on this will only be from Team BHP's long term ownership reports.

Some miscellaneous stuff. Making sure the legacy is not missed out -

Jeep Meridian Review-20220428_091405.jpg

I have attended a dozen (approx) events for Team Bhp and this is only for the second time (the first being Mercedes) that a company showcased their fleet for ferrying the media people around.


Jeep Meridian Review-20220427_134946.jpg

The Compass Model S doubled up as our on-road tracking car airport pickup vehicle.

Jeep Meridian Review-dsc04084.jpg

Whereas the offroad tracking vehicle was an old and well-used Wrangler.

Jeep Meridian Review-img_20220428_160919_852.jpg

While the original Compass review remarked on the number of places where the brand Jeep or the logo were plastered, the Meridian takes it to the next level -

Jeep Meridian Review-dsc03838.jpg

Some of the instrument console options for reference (same as the Model S)

Jeep Meridian Review-gridart_20220429_155413176.jpg

Non-existent legroom for me in the third row -
Jeep Meridian Review-dsc04094.jpg

Large glass area, even in the third row + dedicated ac vents help avoid the 'closed-in' feelings. Kids should be happy here.
Jeep Meridian Review-dsc04088.jpg

Same key as the Compass with extra blanks. Should have been better, especially at this higher price bracket. Thankfully, Jeep gives complementary silicon cover at delivery.
Jeep Meridian Review-dsc03910.jpg

Parting shot -
Jeep Meridian Review-dsc03788.jpg

Last edited by CrAzY dRiVeR : 1st May 2022 at 12:02.
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Old 1st May 2022, 12:03   #10
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Default Re: Jeep Meridian Review

Very useful review, thanks. I must say it has put a dampner on the excitement. Feeling a bit deflated given the lack of paddle shifters that is present in Brazil version :(
The cabin doesn't feel significantly more spacious than Compass leaves an unpleasant aftertaste.
Also, lack of parking sensors and sliding middle row are glaring misses.
The only saving grace seems to be 4.5 + 2 seater with significant offroad capabilities.
Overall I won't be rushing to book one which I was hoping to. :(

Last edited by ScorpWarp : 1st May 2022 at 12:12.
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Old 1st May 2022, 12:15   #11
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Default Re: Jeep Meridian Review

With the power & torque figures and space on offer, this looks more like a Tata Safari / Mahindra XUV700 rival than a Fortuner rival. Obviously the Kodiaq is the ideal rival to the Meridian, but it has no diesel option and is sold out for 2022.

Ideally the Jeep Compass should’ve been priced at par with the Harrier, Hector and their likes, unfortunately it is priced even higher than the Safari and XUV700. So the Meridian’s pricing is key, if they want even a small share of the Fortuner’s pie!

Also many people expected the Meridian to be the ideal Ford Endeavour replacement to take on the Fortuner, other than the ride quality being good, it’s just not up to the Endeavour’s level!

Being a Jeep it has to be good off-road which according to various reviews is how it should be.

PS: Am I the only one who feels that the Meridian just doesn’t look good enough in white?

Last edited by CEF_Beasts : 1st May 2022 at 12:19.
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Old 1st May 2022, 12:26   #12
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Default Re: Jeep Meridian Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by suhaas307 View Post
...
We did notice a few squeaks and the odd rattle from the press-car, especially whilst navigating rough roads. Compass owners have been complaining of rattles & squeaks too lately, so you could expect that in the Meridian. Nonetheless, the Meridian’s well-appointed interior makes up for most shortcomings.
...
Sorry, that is just not correct. No matter how well-appointed an interior is or how amazing a car looks - if you cannot drive it without rattles, especially when the car demands a premium price, what is the point?

This rattling issue should be front, right and centre of the cons list - just look at our Jeep Compass thread:

Quote:
30th April 2022 - sheelapratosh:
They claimed they fixed the rattling this time. The same sound coming from the same spot at about 60plus speeds again. We don’t have tar macs in this country or autobahns for that matter. Best we get is some toll highway. If the car makes noise in every highway, then how do we call it a highway cruiser anymore?
Till date there has not been a proper fix for this.

Keeping aside the rattling issue, Jeep is one of the rare cars that has an electrically operated tailgate where the close button is on the inside of the trunk. I cannot fathom how many folks (especially the security at shopping malls) would miss that and try to physically and forcefully close the trunk and damage the motor.
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Old 1st May 2022, 13:38   #13
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Default Re: Jeep Meridian Review

While I understand looks can be subjective, I find the Meridian's rear to be very ugly. Too curvy to call the design SUVish (rear) and I rather find it to look like a Toyota or Honda minivans rear. The front has been executed very well and I can go as far as saying it's slowly becoming one of my favorites, but the rear is just terrible. I'm reminded of a meme whenever I see pictures of this car -

Name:  images 74.jpeg
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(Invert the order )

The car otherwise seems to be very well laid out and if priced right, this can do wonders for Jeep. A premium of 2-3 lakhs over the compass might work for it?

Last edited by @og_adi : 1st May 2022 at 13:43.
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Old 1st May 2022, 13:59   #14
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Default Re: Jeep Meridian Review

I think it’s just a more spacious version of the compass. Just like compass, good for 4 adults but little more breathing space and more luggage space. What’s the point of the third row which is usually not useable except for short journeys. Would’ve been great had it got more width overall, then would’ve been good for 2+3 seats atleast.

Last edited by magikrider : 1st May 2022 at 14:01.
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Old 1st May 2022, 14:01   #15
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Default Re: Jeep Meridian Review

As I said on another thread earlier, this seems to be Alcazar formula applied to the Compass, seems to have the same drawbacks too, like cramped 3rd row, same engine without power bump and possibly premium pricing.

Hope overall premium feels and image of 7 seater SUV helps it sell.
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