Jeep teases possible new 7-seater crossover SUV for PH market
It looks like Jeep Philippines will be bringing another SUV to its local lineup. Just a few days ago, the automaker sent us a teaser image of an upcoming vehicle. While no date or details were revealed, they did show what looks to be a portion of the vehicle's grille. Other than that, we have no other details about it.
Since we were only given a glimpse of the soon-to-be-revealed Jeep, we had to do some research and look back at what Jeep has recently launched. We also had to check what vehicle Jeep actually teased us based on the grille.
After doing some checking and cross-referencing, we came to the conclusion that Jeep Philippines could be preparing to launch the all-new Commander. Also called the Meridian in the Indian market, it serves as the brand's newest midsize 7-seater crossover SUV and is based on the second-generation Compass.
Based on the teaser image Jeep sent us, the grille design looks somewhat similar to the one used in both the Commander for Latin American markets, as well as the Indian-spec Meridian which was launched just last year. But why launch the Commander/Meridian for the Philippine market in the first place?
Jeep Philippines no longer has the three-row Grand Commander sourced from China. That's because Jeep's parent company Stellantis canceled the joint venture with GAC due to low sales. Before its cancellation, Jeep was able to locally produce several models for the Chinese market which included the aforementioned Grand Commander, the Renegade, and the Compass. This also allowed Jeep Philippines distributor Auto Nation Group (ANG) to bring the said vehicles and take advantage of the ASEAN-China Free Trade Agreement (ACFTA). But with the joint venture terminated, the GAC-Stellantis JV filed for bankruptcy which ultimately resulted in its demise.
With the brand lacking a 7-seater crossover SUV, the Meridian/Commander could attract buyers looking for a practical Jeep complete with three rows of seats, and a long list of amenities. As to where Jeep could source the Commander or Meridian, the company could get them either from India or from Brazil, with the former being the more sound choice thanks to its closer distance to the Philippines.
As far as engines are concerned, the Commander/Meridian is available with two powertrain options. First is a 2.0-liter Multijet II turbo-diesel engine that puts out 170 PS with 380 Nm of torque and can be mated to a 9-speed automatic or 6-speed manual gearbox. The other engine is the 1.3-liter GSE four-cylinder turbo that produces 185 PS along with 270 Nm torque. A 6-speed automatic transmission is supposedly the only gearbox option for the 1.3-liter turbo.
Whether you go for the turbo-diesel or turbo-gasoline engines, the Jeep Commander/Meridian is available either in 4x2 or 4x4 guises. For extra peace of mind, the 4x4 versions come with Selec-Terrain 4x4 terrain management system.
With Jeep Philippines yet to share new details about the upcoming launch, we can only hope that more information will be revealed soon or we can get a hold of leaked information ahead of its debut.