Near-production Jeep Meridian 7-seater SUV spotted undergoing high-altitude testing in India
While the 7-seater version of the Jeep Compass has been revealed as the Jeep Commander globally, the India-spec SUV has been spotted undergoing high altitude testing in the Himalayas. The three-row SUV is expected to be named the Jeep Meridian in India and should launch here by early 2022.
Jeep Commander exterior
The new images of the seven-seater Jeep Meridian look to follow the theme set by Brazilian version we've seen already. Although keenly hidden here the face is heavily inspired by Jeep's newest offerings like the new-gen Grand Cherokee and the Grand Wagoneer, even though the LED light cluster remains the same as the faceliftedCompass. There is the same blocky look with the flat, faux seven-slat grille and the squared-off LED headlamps. The high bonnet line and large airdam, seen on the facelifted Compass, are here as well but in a different arrangement. The Meridian has a more upright shape to accommodate the longer wheelbase and a noticeable extended rear overhang. The typically bulged and squared Jeep wheel arches are seen here as well. At the rear, there should be distinct slim LED taillamps, and not the placeholders here, again inspired by the Jeep flagships as well as a flat boot lid and large badging. Many different themes are expected for the grille and bumper highlights dependent on the variant chosen. Visible in these photos is a black painted alloy design but these will likely be changed for the production-spec version.
Jeep Commander interiors, features
A set of new photos from Jeep show that the Jeep Meridian will carry forward the same interior layout as the facelifted Jeep Compass. However, the materials and themes used will differ significantly. The pictures show the leather dash face being replaced by a suede one in the Commander while brushed chrome finish to the brand running through the dash in the Compass' interiors seem to have been replaced by rose gold highlights. This colour choice is also seen on the door handles and centre console. Another notable change is a new steering wheel and the tan seat upholstery finished in a quilted pattern. Also seen is open-pore wood trim along the dash and on the door panels, a nice touch is the Jeep 1941 stamping on the centre armrest.
Some features highlights visible are ADAS controls on the steering wheel, although these aren't likely to be seen in India. There is a panoramic sunroof as well as separate climate zones for the second row. Also visible is what looks like a large foldable second-row centre armrest, for quick conversion to a six-seater layout. Expect a separate AC blower for the last row too, as well as USB ports for all passengers. These mules were configured in a six-seater captain configuration with second-row captain seats, which we also expect will feature power adjustment.
Other features carried over from the 2021 Jeep Compass should be the large UConnect 5 infotainment system, the new 10.25-inch digital instrument cluster, auto headlamps and wipers, electronic parking brake, ventilated front seats, a panoramic sunroof, 8-way adjustable front seats, an Alpine audio system, a powered bootlid, 360-degree cameras and so on.
Jeep Commander engines
The seven-seater Jeep should get the same engine choices as the Compass. The Jeep Compass is powered by a 1.4-litre petrol engine that makes 162PS of power and 250Nm of torque. A 2.0-litre diesel engine is also available that puts out 173PS of power and 350Nm of torque, coupled with a 9-speed automatic transmission or a six-speed manual, this motor may be available in a higher tune in the larger SUV. The petrol gets a seven-speed DCT. The AWD system with the many off-road modes including the hill-descent function and low range mode should be seen here as well.
Jeep Commander expected prices, launch date rivals
The new Jeep seven-seater SUV is expected to launch in India in early 2022 and will go up against the likes of the Ford Endeavor and Toyota Fortuner, with prices at a Rs 1.5 to 2 lakh premium over the Compass. The new SUV, codenamed the H6, will be the third of four models that Jeep has planned for the Indian market, following the facelifted Jeep Compass and the locally-assembled Jeep Wrangler.
Spy image source: Bunny Punia
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