Can a new grille get Jeep off Mahindra's back?
When Mahindra introduced its Roxor side-by-side off-road vehicle in 2018, it didn't take long to see the similarities between this vehicle and a Jeep CJ-5, and it certainly didn't take long for Jeep to notice either. That has changed slightly with the 2020 Mahindra Roxor getting a facelift, which takes a step back from its Jeep-like face. Check out the differences between the 2018-19 Roxor and the updated 2020 Roxor in the image below.
Before coming to the U.S. in 2018 as the Roxor, this Jeep doppleganger has been in production since 2010 as the Mahindra Thar. Mahindra and Mahindra has been building fully licensed Jeep lookalikes since the 1950s, and even Mitsubishi has been cranking out Jeep wannabes from 1953 through 1998 including this 1991 Mitsubishi J53. It's not clear whether or not Mahindra made these changes to get Jeep off its back, but these changes should be enough to eliminate any confusion.
Instead of the vertical(ish) slats of the pre-facelift Roxor, the updated design features a black grille with a painted oval accent around the headlights. It still has the curved hood, flat fenders and general body shape of a CJ, but this different grille does a lot to distinguish this side-by-side from a street-legal Jeep. Oddly enough, while this new front end is less Jeep-like, it now resembles something closer to a classic Toyota Land Cruiser or Nissan Patrol.
Unlike the CJ (or Mahindra's home-market Thar), the Roxor is not street legal in the U.S., and as such, it's price comparably to a Polaris RZR. The 2020 Mahindra Roxor is priced at $15,999, which seems to be the average price you can pick up a street-legal CJ-5 for.