Car review: Jeep makes a smooth comeback, not a moment too soon


It is a pattern that appears to be to repeat itself with rare exceptions. A foreign auto-maker lands in India to begin manufacturing in this article. It launches a motor vehicle that takes the marketplace by storm. In thanks training course, it is unable to chalk up a regular drumbeat of equally good products.

5 many years in the past, when the Chrysler enterprise (now section of the corporation Stellantis) launched its Jeep-branded Compass, the market place was abuzz with rave feed-back on the higher excellent of the SUV, its sharp design and style and presence, and the simple fact that it experienced tiny competitors, with the likes of Tata, M&M and Ford as its rivals. It designed corporations these as Kia and MG wake up, who have considering the fact that launched their very own extremely capable and popular city SUVs.

Coming back to the Jeep, which has savored a world-wide popularity for its vehicles that incorporate the Wrangler, Cherokee and the Grand Cherokee, it’s ironic that none of these autos has built a substantial footprint in India. Which is largely mainly because of restrictive import selling prices and customs.

However, what it has accomplished is convey in vehicles that have worked. That contains the Compass.

The new Jeep Meridian, which is primarily a a few-row extension of the Compass, is a great deal much more your entire-fledged off-roader with a tough suspension and a more substantial body. It’s run by the similar 2-litre diesel engine and comes in both equally a 6-pace handbook as perfectly a 9-velocity automated transmission front-wheel and all-wheel generate modes.

Like with all huge cars and trucks that are large, weighty, and anticipated to cruise in and out of tricky terrain, the new Meridian is equipped with a bucket-load of security capabilities that include things like traction regulate, electronic steadiness command, a number of airbags, and other software units that aid lane detection and additional.

Inside the Meridian, it feels relaxed and upright with the high-quality of gadgetry, interiors and plastics expected from an global brand name automobile. On the other hand, it lacks the overall top quality-ness that may possibly occur with a top-stop Japanese vehicle or even a mid-vary German vehicle these types of as the Škoda Kodiaq, which is priced bigger but is in the exact vary as the Meridian. Apparently the Meridian, which is priced at about Rs 30 lakh, is squarely aimed at the Toyota Fortuner whose price tag tag has been Rs 30-plus lakh in recent situations.

The car or truck is sufficiently run and glides together fortunately on both highways and by-lanes, managing bumps and craters with ease and under no circumstances feeling like it is off-kilter or in an awkward position. The area in each the entrance rows is enough for a family members, but it’s the very last row that could have been believed by way of much better — it is scrunched up and is greatest employed for small children, modest animals or luggage.

Even though the Meridian’s offload dynamics are certain to be on par with any founded SUV, what makes it realistic for India will be its on-highway comfort and ease and balance, particularly for extensive distances. The base line is, this is a satisfactory automobile but would have experienced a further impression if it had been launched before or positioned with a a little a lot more high quality edge — as one that could get on the Germans.

Spec sheet

•Power: 170 HP@3,750 rpm

•Torque: 350 Nm@1750-2500 RPM

•Transmission: 9-velocity AT

•Cylinders: 4

•Displacement: 1,956

•Kerb weight: 1,890 kg

•Price: Beginning at Rs 29.90 lakh


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