2018 Mahindra ROXOR Test Drive

New Off-Road Vehicle With Long History

We got an opportunity to be among the first people to test drive the new Mahindra ROXOR Off-Road vehicle at an introduction in San Antonio, Texas.

2018 Mahindra ROXOR Test Drive8 Mahindra ROXOR Test Drive
The ROXOR is easy to drive, despite the manual transmission.

This completely new vehicle is manufactured by Mahindra Automotive, which is new to the U.S. market, but is a 19 billion dollar a year company based in India. Mahindra has been in business for over 70 years and got its start assembling military off-road vehicles under license from Willys, which is the roots of what is now known as a Jeep. The company has continued to build variations of that original Willys and expanded dramatically since that time to include manufacturing tractors, airplanes, motorcycles and cars among other things.

2018 Mahindra ROXOR Test Drive
Mahindra began in the 1940s building military vehicles under license from Willys.

The ROXOR is being assembled in the U.S. at a new plant created in Michigan and is the first of what is expected to be many Mahindra vehicles to be sold in the U.S. in the coming years. Mahindra has invested 1 billion dollars in this new U.S project.

2018 Mahindra ROXOR Test Drive
The new Mahindra ROXOR looks very similar to a Jeep from a distance.
What Is It?

Before we talk about what it is like to drive, we need to explain what the ROXOR is and who the target buyer is? The ROXOR is designed as an off-highway only vehicle for the U.S. It is electronically limited to 45 miles per hour and lacks many of the safety and emissions items necessary to make it a street legal vehicle in the U.S. but many states do allow you to license UTVs. The target buyers include hunting/fishing enthusiast, agricultural and farmers, off-road enthusiast and UTV enthusiast.

2018 Mahindra ROXOR Test Drive
A stick shift and two-speed transfer case will be found between the seats.

The 62-inch width and 96-inch wheel base makes it similar to many current UTV models but beyond that, it is a much different vehicle. For example, it has a steel box frame, steel body and a manual five-speed transmission plus a two-speed transfer case. And under the hood, it has a 2.5-liter turbo diesel engine with a claimed 62-horsepower and 144 pound-feet of torque. That heavy-duty chassis and engine result in a 349-pound payload capacity and 3,490-pound towing capacity, which is significantly more than a typical UTV.

2018 Mahindra ROXOR Test Drive
The steel box frame, solid axles , manual transmission, and leaf spring suspension differentiate the ROXOR from a typical UTV.

The ROXOR is being introduced with two models available in four different colors. The base model has a suggested retail of $15,400 and the Limited Edition (LE) is $18,400. The LE comes standard with a windshield, mirrors, Bestop bikini soft top, upgraded battery, Warn M8000 winch, Heavy Duty front winch bumper, 40-inch KC HiLites light bar, and an MTX AM/FM Bluetooth sound bar. There is a long list of additional accessories in the works as well. We got to drive the LE version.

2018 Mahindra ROXOR Test Drive
The LE also includes a heavy-duty bumper and Warn winch.
2018 Mahindra ROXOR Test Drive
The LE model includes the light bar and windshield.
What is it like to drive the ROXOR?

We got the chance to do a short off-road loop on a Texas ranch and then drive them on a man-made off-road course in the parking lot of the Alamodome.

2018 Mahindra ROXOR Test Drive

The drivers compartment is roomy and comfortable compared to most UTVs. It comes standard with basic three-point seatbelts, reasonably comfortable seats and a nice steering wheel. It currently only has a two-seat option. The manual clutch and five speed transmission is smooth and easy to use. Some will see this as a benefit while others may prefer the “automatic” or CVT drivetrain more common in UTVs.

The leaf spring suspension and solid front and rear axle and anti-sway bar makes it incredibly stable (with a 40-degree tilt capability). That suspension solid suspension and chassis does provide a rough ride compared four-wheel independent suspension found on other UTVs. The 2.5-liter Turbo Diesel if amazing and will tractor it up just about anything.

2018 Mahindra ROXOR Test Drive
The ROXOR is very capable off-road but the leaf spring suspension provides a bit of a rough ride.

Since our test drive was limited to laps on the short off-road loop, we did not get to test the range or mileage capability of the ROXOR but the test drivers that were on hand for our demo noted that the 12-gallon tank has been capable of 325-plus miles, which works out to 27-mpg. Again, this is fare more range than a typical UTV.

2018 Mahindra ROXOR Test Drive
The off-road course in the Alamodome parking lot was not as pretty as the ranch, but it did provide some good obstacles to test the ROXOR.

The Mahindra ROXOR is an alternative to current UTV models that we believe will be attractive to farm/agricultural and hunting/fishing use. That heavy-duty chassis, payload/towing capacity and range really sets it apart. For the recreational off-road / UTV enthusiast, the rough ride and manual transmission may be a negative to some but if you are not looking to go fast, that may not be an issue. And if you compared to an actual Jeep, the 45-mph limit and lack of a license plate may be a negative. But there is no doubt that the ROXOR is a rugged vehicle that will last forever and be a great option for many.

2018 Mahindra ROXOR Test Drive

You can learn more about the ROXOR Off-Road vehicle at www.roxoroffroad.com


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Auburn Hills, Michigan 48326

ABOUT Mahindra®

Building on their expertise in the steel industry, the Mahindra brothers began manufacturing Willys Jeeps in India in 1947. By 1969, the company started exporting utility vehicles and spare parts, then created a tractor division in 1982. In 2013, the Mahindra North American Technical Center (MNATC) was founded, and in 2017 MNATC significantly expanded its capabilities and renamed itself Mahindra Automotive North America (MANA).

Spanning 400,000 sq ft across Metro Detroit, Mahindra Automotive North America is now the first automotive OEM to set up manufacturing in Southeast Michigan in more than twenty-five years. An elite design and engineering facility newly outfitted for large-scale automotive manufacturing and assembly, MANA employs over 300 automotive professionals, all with the common goal of putting Mahindra vehicles to work on (and off) North American roads.