Jeep Wrangler Rip-Off Officially Allowed to Keep Selling Vehicles in U.S.
You might never have heard of a Mahindra Roxor, but you’ve certainly seen one. Well, at least, you sort of have. The Mahindra has been accused of ripping off the Jeep CJ for years. The two SUVs are certainly different, but you can see Jeep Willys DNA practically dripping all over the little thing. However, after years of legal battles, the Indian group was finally granted permission to sell the Roxor in the States after making a couple of small changes.
Can you buy a Mahindra Roxor in the U.S.?
According to Autoblog, this nearly-decade-long legal battle started in the 2010s after Jeep decided the Roxor was a ripoff of the Jeep CJ. By 2019, the United States International Trade Commission said that Jeep was right and Mahindra had infringed upon the company’s trademark SUV. The only action recommended by the USITC was to issue a cease-and-desist order.
Shortly after this decision, Mahindra quickly redesigned the Roxor with an updated grille. This wasn’t enough to get the Trade Commission off Mahindra’s back, and the group yet again sided with Jeep. The courts flip-flopped back and forth like this for a few years. Appeals and redesigns, and more appeals were the chosen weapons of war.
Finally, in July 2023, the Mahindra Roxor was ruled different enough to be sold in the U.S. without trademark infringement. It should be noted that Jeep/Stellantis has yet to comment on the ruling. While it seems like the fight could be over, don’t count Jeep out just yet.
How much does a Mahindra Roxor cost?
Given the toy-like look of the little UTV, you might assume the Roxor is cheap. It isn’t. The base model starts at $20,599, and the All-Weather trim stretches to $28,739. The Mahindra Roxor is a very simple little thing. The Base model offers no doors and only a thin cloth sheet for a roof. However, the cloth roof is optional and will cost you an extra $195. The All-Weather gives riders a plastic roof that encloses the little trucks. You can also get this optional hard roof on the base model but for a $3,524 upcharge. If you want a windshield, be ready to fork over a cool $1,000.
Is the Roxor street legal?
Nope. That $20k+ isn’t street-legal despite its Jeep CJ look. From the factory, the Roxor comes in what’s called a “slick” trim, meaning it has no windshield, blinkers, mirror, horn, or license-plate-mounting bracket.
Depending on where you live, it is a short road to making your Roxor compliant for road driving. However, just putting blinkers and a plate won’t be enough. The little Indian UTV is governed by the factory with a 55-mph limit. In order to make it safe to drive on public roads, you’ll need to remove the governor. This a common mod that, once done, rumors say unlocks a 70 mph top speed.
Is a Mahindra Roxor worth it?
Frankly, I can’t see the upside in buying one of these technically *not Jeep ripoffs. The fact is you can spend half of that bread and just buy a proper Jeep CJ. Not only will it likely come with a windshield and roof, it is already street-legal and is a Jeep.
If you want something that will really cane it off-road, and your budget isn’t a concern, there are piles of great UTVs. The Polaris RZR is a particular favorite. There are also great options from Kawasaki, Honda, CAN-AM, and others make insane off-road buggies around the $20k mark that will outperform 100 Mahindra Roxors.
There are many fun ways to spend $20k in this world. Buying a strange Jeep-like thing probably isn’t one of them.