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Old 30th June 2022, 09:30   #31
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Default Re: My First SUV | The Jeep Meridian 4x4 Limited (O) Automatic | Initial Ownership Review

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Originally Posted by ScorpWarp View Post
I did not know that you could upgrade just the steering wheel. Very valuable idea, thanks. Is it relatively straight forward? Does it cost a bomb? What about warranty validity? I am holding back on the test drive thinking that jeep would probably come up with Model S after a year with paddle shifters so I better wait.
BMW sells a whole range of official parts (including those that are M branded) and also including 2 - 3 types of steering wheels as I recall. If purchased and installed by them, it wouldn’t void the warranty. (See Karan561’s recent post on the M exhaust or something similar on his M340i).

In my case, I managed to source the original compatible BMW 3GT steering with paddle shifters from overseas through a local luxury car workshop owner who installed it for me as well. Technically it could have impacted my warranty since it was not officially purchased from BMW but I took that calculated call because its a bolt on BMW steering being installed, with low odds of something going wrong. Have had it for 4 - 5 years now with no issues whatsoever.

Quote:
Regarding long test drive - I ruled out compass after 25 km ride, was not comfortable during those quick overtaking maneuvers on a single lane road when stuck behind a long trailer with steady oncoming traffic. I missed the downshift badly. Maybe I wasn't familiar enough with the auto gearbox behaviour and had to abort the maneuver halfway. It wasn't very confidence inspiring drive. I then tried the manual stick shift and it was fun. How has your experience with Meridian been so far in such situations? Thanks once again.
I haven’t driven enough miles on two lane highways to comment with complete authority on this but on the whole I didn’t find any deal breaker issues on this front (including on the Aamby inclines last Saturday).

My limited advice would be take a specific test drive of the Meridian (perhaps on the same route if feasible) to gauge whether it works for you. Don’t pre-judge it from your Compass drive as there is some difference in tuning which influence its driving character a bit. Where the Compass sounds gruffer in many situations I found the Meridian smoother and a hint more responsive.

Meridians are not exactly flying off the shelves from showrooms so a business friendly dealership should be open to giving you a longer test drive if they see you as a serious prospective.

Last edited by Axe77 : 1st July 2022 at 11:40. Reason: Minor typo and missing punctuation.
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Old 30th June 2022, 10:48   #32
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Default Re: My First SUV | The Jeep Meridian 4x4 Limited (O) Automatic | Initial Ownership Review

Hey Axe77,
Congratulations and thanks for the review!

I have an odd but relevant to me question:

Let's say your 3GT is 10/10 on the following aspects, what would you rate the Meridian? Solely compared to the 3GT:

Interior Build Quality -
Interior Plushness -
High speed stability-
Ride quality -
NVH -

Thanks!
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Old 30th June 2022, 13:30   #33
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Default Re: My First SUV | The Jeep Meridian 4x4 Limited (O) Automatic | Initial Ownership Review

Echoing several views: congratulations and a fabulous review with the way you have approached it.

I am looking to upgrade from my EcoSport a few months down the line. The Meridian gave me a wow feeling which I didnt get in any SUV this side of 50 Lakhs. So I am going to follow your updates to understand your perspectives as it evolves.

Wish you many memorable kms of road trips on your Meridian.
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Old 30th June 2022, 14:32   #34
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Default Re: My First SUV | The Jeep Meridian 4x4 Limited (O) Automatic | Initial Ownership Review

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Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
I also felt if I do decide to use the car for some occasional off road fun, the Meridian will handle it better (my untested ‘perception’).
Excellent review. Wishing you many fun rides. Eagerly waiting to see how the Meridian performs off-road.
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Old 30th June 2022, 15:28   #35
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Default Re: My First SUV | The Jeep Meridian 4x4 Limited (O) Automatic | Initial Ownership Review

Thank you Axe77 for the brilliantly detailed review.

The spare wheel looks disappointing in Meridian. While Compass S gets 17 inch spare, it is a full size tyre with same width and H speed rating instead of V. The compromise on Meridian could be due to the way the tyre is stored? (underbody access compared to boot access on compass). Only issue I found was that the tyre pressure system goes for a toss once on spare.

The tyre pressure monitor itself is very accurate. I have checked it using cross calibration with the one in Shell fuel pump over multiple iterations. Found that it displays 1 pound less consistently vs the meter at the specific fuel station.

Last but not the least, overall refinement and response has gotten better post 5000 kms. You may experience the same. Things would only get better !!!

Happy cruising
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Old 30th June 2022, 17:53   #36
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Default Re: My First SUV | The Jeep Meridian 4x4 Limited (O) Automatic | Initial Ownership Review

Quote:
Originally Posted by DeKay View Post
Let's say your 3GT is 10/10 on the following aspects, what would you rate the Meridian? Solely compared to the 3GT:

Interior Build Quality -
Interior Plushness -
High speed stability-
Ride quality -
NVH -
Hard to put this in numbers since it might require context given different segments, body type etc so please allow me to respond to this in descriptive fashion instead:

Interior Build Quality:
I think build quality is best judged with the test of time so its impossible to give an apples to apples comparison with a 2 week ownership vs 6.5 years ownership. The BMW build has been spectacular and its aged brilliantly. People are shocked when they hear its a 6.5 year old car. The car feels as tight as it did in its first year and body parts have largely remained of a high order of quality. An exception to this is some of the side door handles which have blackened with age and I had to replace - apparently a very common issue with these BMWs.

The Jeep feels and looks built to as high a standard on the face of it but like I said, its the test of time that will be the true judge of this. Some stalks are definitely not as universally rich as in the BMW, like indicator stalks, the knob that adjusts the headrests in the middle row etc. These are however outliers.

Subject to my time test input: if the BMW is a 10, the Meridian is an 8.

Interior Plushness:
Similar to BMW for most part. In fact some of the leather on the dash etc actually gives it a plusher look as does the overall moonroof impact.

10/10 for both I’d say when I average the pros and cons out.

High speed stability:
One’s a monocoque SUV and the other a RWD BMW and one of the best handling brands even within the halo’d Germans. Without giving the Jeep a handicap for distinct body styles etc, if the BMW is a 10 then the Meridian is a 7.5.

Ride quality:
The Meridian definitely pitches a lot more at slow city speeds in potholes, road bumps etc than the 3GT, thanks to the different body styles. But the trade off is that at higher speeds, where I am a bit more careful with bumps and bad roads in the 3GT, the Meridian dispatches these with aplomb when the car is moving fast. So pros and cons in different situations.

If the BMW gets a 10 here then the Meridian perhaps is a 9.5. Again, I’m struggling to mark this evenly to be honest so please take the number rating with a pinch of salt, because both come with pros and cons in different situations.

NVH
The 2.0 litre diesels in the Germans are actually a tad gruff, specially of that generation, compared to their 3.0 litre counterparts and even compared to newer iterations of the same 2.0 engines. However, my 3GT engine has become even smoother post my remap which took it to ~225 bhp.

However, the Meridian too is REALLY smooth for a diesel and its NVH in particular is extremely well managed. The only scenario in which NVH could be felt is when you’re pushing the engine really hard (given its engine / gearbox tuning issue) whereas in contrast the BMW just never feels strained regardless of how hard you’re pushing it.

NVH in ordinary conditions:
If BMW is a 10, then the Meridian is a 9.5 maybe. I’d make it an 8.5 if you take into account high strain conditions where some engine noise starts creeping in.
____

I’ve tried to answer this for the sake of providing an answer but its hard to provide a perfect comparison given the dramatic difference in the two vehicles.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DaiusPitar View Post
I am looking to upgrade from my EcoSport a few months down the line. The Meridian gave me a wow feeling which I didnt get in any SUV this side of 50 Lakhs. So I am going to follow your updates to understand your perspectives as it evolves.
Thank you. I plan to keep this thread very regularly updated to objectively lay out all experiences, observations and opinions and I’ll be only too happy if it helps owners and prospective customers to make their decision - whether in favour of it or even against it, depending on the priorities that matter to each one.

For your use case, and given you’re in NCR, I guess the Kodiaq should also be on your shortlist for sure - it feels as plush if not plusher and is a very modern sophisticated offering this side of 50L. On that front, the Meridian is definitely not a class of 1. It’d be a three way pit between the VAG twins and the Jeep I suppose.

Quote:
Originally Posted by WhiteKnight View Post
The spare wheel looks disappointing in Meridian. While Compass S gets 17 inch spare, it is a full size tyre with same width and H speed rating instead of V. The compromise on Meridian could be due to the way the tyre is stored? (underbody access compared to boot access on compass). Only issue I found was that the tyre pressure system goes for a toss once on spare.

The tyre pressure monitor itself is very accurate. I have checked it using cross calibration with the one in Shell fuel pump over multiple iterations. Found that it displays 1 pound less consistently vs the meter at the specific fuel station.
The spare wheel factor is indeed very annoying, which is why in my list of cons, specially for a 4x4 vehicle that you’re well likely to take on particular hard terrain. Good to know the accuracy of the TPMS. Its the same with the FE sensor - ludicrously accurate between MID readout and tank to tank. I got 7 kmpl on my second fill measuring via both methods. Mostly city usage. Just under 40 litres filled. I’m finding the tank range a tad annoying at these numbers given I’ve been properly spoilt with the low fuel refill frequency in my 3GT. Perhaps its a slightly larger tank combined with reasonably better FE too. I’m really hoping the FE improves because cost aside, I don’t like the logistics of planning unduly frequent fill ups.

Quote:
Last but not the least, overall refinement and response has gotten better post 5000 kms. You may experience the same. Things would only get better !!!
I have heard exactly the same with my Compass owning friends and am hoping it will be much the same with my Meridian.

Thanks all once again to all for taking the time to read the longish review.

Cheers.

Last edited by Axe77 : 30th June 2022 at 17:55.
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Old 1st July 2022, 10:34   #37
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Default Re: My First SUV | The Jeep Meridian 4x4 Limited (O) Automatic | Initial Ownership Review

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Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
In my case, I managed to source the original compatible BMW 3GT steering with paddle shifters from overseas through a local luxury..

on the whole I didn’t find any deal breaker issues on this front (including on the Aamby inclines last Saturday).

My limited advice would be take a specific test drive of the Meridian (perhaps on the same route if feasible) to gauge whether it works for you.
Wow, you have gone to great lengths to get the paddle shifters. Only a true car enthusiast can do that ! Kudos to you.

Very true about tuning of Meridian being different than compass. I got the same input from a jeep engineer. He also advised me to take a test ride and not to pre judge based on Compass experience.

Thank you for your comprehensive and patient replies, these have been very helpful. Appreciated very much.
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Old 1st July 2022, 15:57   #38
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Default Re: My First SUV | The Jeep Meridian 4x4 Limited (O) Automatic | Initial Ownership Review

Jeep cars exude a solid build, timeless design, and sorted ride and handling. This is one of those car makers whose Compass or for that matter Meridian would look good in any of the colors offered by the manufacturer.

A comprehensive review has been provided and thanks for accompanying the review with comparisons with Compass and Toyota Fortuner.

The excessive chrome, the same engine albeit in a different state of tune compared to Compass, the front of the Meridian similar to Compass, and last but not the least excessively priced. These are some of those aspects which can make and break a decision to buy this vehicle.

There has been a mention of the constricted AC vents. I hope the speed of the blower does the job of cooling the interiors to the satisfaction of those within the car?

The same Compass engine albeit in a different state of tune is plonked in the Meridian. The size of the Meridian is greater than its sibling Compass. Additionally, the weight of the Meridian must be greater than its sibling. If that is the case, It would not be far from the truth that the power-to-weight ratio must play to the disadvantage of the Meridian when compared to its sibling.

This begs the question:

(1) What state of tune would compensate for this disadvantage?

(2) Kindly confirm what kind of transmission is in your car and more importantly: Is the transmission doing its bid to overcome the disadvantage mentioned above? for example preemptive downshifts to overcome the same?
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Old 2nd July 2022, 06:46   #39
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Default Re: My First SUV | The Jeep Meridian 4x4 Limited (O) Automatic | Initial Ownership Review

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Originally Posted by ritedhawan View Post
There has been a mention of the constricted AC vents. I hope the speed of the blower does the job of cooling the interiors to the satisfaction of those within the car?
I think in terms of cooling it does its job but two caveats here.

One: is the limited mileage I’ve had so far and this is something I’d watch for carefully going forward and update as and when I can.

Two: is that at the time of my car delivery, we’ve already had the onset of MH monsoons so I haven’t really been able to put this to test in severely hot conditions.

That should be a better litmus test to whether the air conditioning is up to the mark. Your concern is valid and I will be sure to update more on this in the time to come as best as I can.

Quote:
Originally Posted by ritedhawan View Post
The same Compass engine albeit in a different state of tune is plonked in the Meridian. The size of the Meridian is greater than its sibling Compass. Additionally, the weight of the Meridian must be greater than its sibling. If that is the case, It would not be far from the truth that the power-to-weight ratio must play to the disadvantage of the Meridian when compared to its sibling.
As I mentioned in different parts of the review (cited below for ready reference), for some reason that is not how I felt with my limited test drive of the Compass diesel automatic (2021 facelift iteration) and my 700 - 800 odd kms on the Meridian so far.

The same view was echoed by the Compass owner (with 10,000 odd kms of Compass mileage under his belt and 100 odd kms in my Meridian). If I feel differently after driving both cars more extensively I will certainly update this here. If other members have driven both cars, perhaps they could elaborate their impression too of this aspect.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
THE MERIDIAN REVIEW:

DRIVING THE 2.0 LTR DIESEL A/T: The engine and gearbox

Overall

For instance, despite carrying the same engine specs as the Compass, at no point have I found the drive / responsiveness inferior to the Compass. It is as peppy as its younger sibling and if anything, feels more sophisticated in the way it delivers its power thanks to the additional smoothness.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
The Meridian vs the Compass

Axe77’s comparison review:


I’ve now driven the Compass and Meridian back to back on two occasions. Once with the test drive cars of Jeep and the other time was my pal’s Compass and my Meridian.

# While both sport the same engine specs, I have not found the Meridian slower than the Compass in any respect.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
Rapid Fire Round: The Meridian FAQs

Q: Same engine as the Compass! Is it slower than the Compass Diesel A/T then?
A: No! Power delivery felt the same and the engine refinement in fact felt smoother than the Compass, perhaps due to its slightly tweaked tuning.
x——x——x——x

Quote:
Originally Posted by ritedhawan View Post
This begs the question:

(1) What state of tune would compensate for this disadvantage?

(2) Kindly confirm what kind of transmission is in your car and more importantly: Is the transmission doing its bid to overcome the disadvantage mentioned above? for example preemptive downshifts to overcome the same?
Quote:
Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
Jeep Meridian 4x4 Limited (O) Automatic
Re your point number (2), as I mentioned in my thread title and the opening line of the review, my variant is a 4x4 Limited (O) Automatic.

I have not driven a manual Compass or a manual Meridian. But from what I have read from several reviews of the Compass is that the manual really brings out the best in terms of power delivery. I should imagine the same would be the case with the manual Meridian as well vis a vis it’s automatic 4x4 counterpart.

Coming more specifically to your question, firstly I don’t think the engine power in itself is the only disadvantage and with a better tuned automatic transmission it could have perhaps created a better experience.

To your point further, the automatic transmission / the way its tuned is doing less to overcome this and is in fact likely the cause of the slight imperfection / underwhelming nature of the power delivery (in “some” situations, before anyone points this out as a contradiction to the verdict that its a fast car). I think its fair to say its not undertaking preemptive downshifts to mitigate this effect although I’ve not micro analysed this from this perspective but just penned my observations on how it performs.

On your point number (1), I am simply not qualified to opine. I can only comment on how the engine, as specced and sold, feels to my amateur / enthusiast self, leaning on my 27 years of driving experience in stating this viewpoint.

What specific tune / specs would fix this or make it feel different or better, I really can’t say with any authority - more for an automotive engineer to speculate I suppose.
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Old 2nd July 2022, 23:42   #40
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Default Re: My First SUV | The Jeep Meridian 4x4 Limited (O) Automatic | Initial Ownership Review

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Originally Posted by Axe77 View Post
THE MERIDIAN: SHOWCASED VIA PICS

MID is surprisingly accurate on the fuel consumption indicator. When my MID displayed 7.0 kmpl, the full tank to full tank manual calculation threw up 6.99 kmpl.

A mixed cycle with a generous chunk of highway running had upped the average economy to 8.5 kmpl. Was higher than that (almost 9 kmpl), when it was a bit more skewed to the highway portion.
I don't think that this mileage is any different than it would have been in Kodiaq with its DSG. Or maybe, the mileage would increase after a couple thousand KMs more but Kodiaq is definitely not lacking in this department if you compare these figures.

But, I think those pics do make us want to buy the Meridian, atleast for now when sitting in front of the screen
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Old 3rd July 2022, 13:03   #41
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Default Re: My First SUV | The Jeep Meridian 4x4 Limited (O) Automatic | Initial Ownership Review

Congratulations, Mod! You have penned this down beautifully, as always, covering all aspects. There has been so much noise on the forum regarding the Meridian's power output and it being a Compass with the third row. Your review has been an eye-opener of sorts for people like me. So glad to read that the car is FAST and Fun to drive too. Also, you drove the Compass and the Meridian back to back only to realize the Meridian is much smoother in comparison and no lag, even with the additional weight. Just goes to show that Jeep has done a phenomenal job except for probably overpricing it and a big blunder by not giving paddle shifters and sports mode at this price point!

This SUV is a looker and you have chosen a beautiful colour! Since you keep your cars for L-O-N-G, wishing you 10+ years of peaceful ownership!

Last edited by RJ2285 : 3rd July 2022 at 13:24.
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Old 3rd July 2022, 18:05   #42
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Default Re: My First SUV | The Jeep Meridian 4x4 Limited (O) Automatic | Initial Ownership Review

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Congratulations, Mod! You have penned this down beautifully, as always, covering all aspects.

Also, you drove the Compass and the Meridian back to back only to realize the Meridian is much smoother in comparison and no lag, even with the additional weight.
Thanks so much RJ. Just to clarify, there is definitely a hint of lag and it takes its time to gather speed (albeit doing so smoothly and in a linear fashion) - its a fast cruiser once it gets there.

Hard core enthusiasts will definitely find it annoying on more than the odd occasion. Its just that its a fast car as well, so long as you let it do it on ITS terms. Not ideal but then, at least for me, not a deal breaker either, given I still enjoy the 3GT when I want to get silly at the wheel.

I’m looking forward to watching your entire Skoda ownership experience very closely. At some time would want to be able to take that plunge on a VAG car if I can wrap my head around it. It would have been a really close one with the Kodiaq on this buy, specially if it had been readily on sale.

Last edited by Axe77 : 3rd July 2022 at 19:28.
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Old 4th July 2022, 13:31   #43
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Default Re: My First SUV | The Jeep Meridian 4x4 Limited (O) Automatic | Initial Ownership Review

Hi Axe77,
What is your opinion on below picture ? The exhaust assembly seems to be hanging too low, away from the body ? It seems a bit unusual. I think similar observation was made by another bhpian. What do you think ?
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Old 7th July 2022, 11:48   #44
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Default Re: My First SUV | The Jeep Meridian 4x4 Limited (O) Automatic | Initial Ownership Review

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Hi Axe77,
What is your opinion on below picture ? The exhaust assembly seems to be hanging too low, away from the body ? It seems a bit unusual. I think similar observation was made by another bhpian. What do you think ?
My apologies for the delayed response.

It does seem to hang a bit low and intuitively it doesn't feel right (at least visually).

I do know however that the Media drives had reasonably demanding off-roading and I don't recall any of the reviews highlighting this as an issue though. I will be mindful of this aspect personally whenever I manage to catch the JWW folks on one of their monsoon trails. I also know another owner who put it to the paces in the hills of HP and mentioned to me that the car performed really well in that area.

More realistically, it'll be interesting whether this creates issues when people have fully loaded their cars (including 3rd row) and are face with the most extreme off - roading conditions - i.e. the unscientific mini mountains that cities like Bangalore and Mumbai create in the name of speed-breakers.
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Old 8th July 2022, 11:28   #45
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Phenomenal review, Axe77!

Attachment 2326462

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Off topic:

What's with the yellow plates with red lettering/numbering? Haven't seen such a plate before!
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