Jeep® India has officially announced it will open pre-ordering for its all-new three-row SUV, the Jeep Meridian (H6) on Tuesday, May 3rd. A clone of the Brazilian-built Jeep Commander (H1), the Meridian will be manufactured in India and feature a few subtle changes including Right-Hand-Drive (RHD) for the Indian marketplace.
Scheduled to start production in June, the Meridian is based on a stretched version of the Compass’ Small-Wide LWB 4×4 architecture. There are three rows of seats, seven seats in total, and one of the largest rear cargo spaces in the category with 1,760 liters (62.15 cubic feet) with the seats down, 661 liters (23.3 cubic feet) with the five-passenger configuration, and 233 liters (7.8 cubic feet) with all seven seats up – the largest volume with seven passengers for the segment. In addition, the model also has a surprising storage space of 31 liters of volume.
Very versatile, the Meridian allows the seats to be folded in eight different ways, leading to an easy and intuitive extension of the vehicle’s load span. Furthermore, it is not only the first row that brings maximum comfort and practicality. The second row has a longitudinal displacement of up to 14 cm (5.5 inches), allowing you to choose between greater legroom also for passengers in the middle row or choose to increase the trunk even further.
Sharing a dashboard design with the Compass, there is a hydrographic decorative film with a metallic finish, which varies according to the tone of the interior with a vertical brush with copper chrome, a silver metal brush with chrome, and even a vertical brush with satin chrome.
The Meridian will only be available in a seven-passenger configuration, thanks to a second-row bench seat. An optional second-row with bucket seats has been hinted at, but not confirmed. “We want to keep some things to surprise you a little later. So, no predictions as to when it’s coming in, but yes, it is in our thoughts,” said Partha Datta, Head of Engineering, Design, and R&D of Stellantis India & Asia Pacific (IAP) when questioned about the option of second-row captain chairs.
Under the hood of the Indian-built Jeep Meridian, is one powertrain: the 2.0-liter turbodiesel inline-four-cylinder known as the Multijet II or “TD380”. While Jeep India has yet to announce any horsepower or torque numbers, the same engine is fitted to the Commander in Brazil. In the Commander, the turbodiesel produces 168 horsepower (125 kW) and 280 lb.-ft. (380 N⋅m).
Unlike the Commander, the Meridian turbodiesel will be fitted with both manual and automatic transmissions, as well as, a front-wheel-drive (FWD) and four-wheel-drive (4×4). Those Meridians that are fitted with FWD will come with a 6-speed C635 manual transmission. For 4×4 models, a ZF-sourced 9-speed 948TE automatic transmission will be standard equipment.
The Meridian will take on the likes of Toyota Fortuner, MG Gloster, and Skoda Kodiaq, once it arrives in dealerships in mid-to-late June.