Mahindra CJ Review from UK and Ireland

1992 Mahindra CJ Classic 2.1 diesel

Year of manufacture1992
First year of ownership2000
Most recent year of ownership2002
Engine and transmission 2.1 diesel Manual
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 5 / 10
Comfort marks 1 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 7 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
4.0 / 10
Distance when acquired45000 miles
Most recent distance64900 miles
Previous carDaihatsu Fourtrak

Summary:

Don't even think about buying one, get a real Jeep

Faults:

The engine (a Peugeot unit built in India) was utter rubbish. It was really noisy and smelly, and would sometimes blow black sooty smoke from the exhaust.

The engine would cut out at traffic lights and roundabouts for no apparent reason.

Aside from the engine: The gearbox was very stubborn, especially when selecting reverse.

It leaked terribly. Its convertible top was a terrible fit and let in water in rain heavier than drizzle.

Terrible build quality: The doors sagged when opened. The dashboard was of similar quality to an '80s Lada.

General Comments:

The Mahindra is a poor Indian-built copy of an AMC Jeep. Whereas the American Jeeps were constantly developed and upgraded, the Mahindra still drove like a 1940s Jeep, only without the ruggedness and build quality.

It looked like a US Jeep, but that's where the similarities ended.

It was uncomfortable, dangerously slow, unstable, badly built, and unreliable.

I bought it because it was different, cheap, and low-mileage. What a mistake.

I can see why it was low-mileage now. I suspect the previous owners used any excuse not to drive it.

If you see one for sale, forget it.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 12th October, 2003

14th Feb 2004, 16:12

Shame the reviewer didn't really understand what the Mahindra CJ is all about. It's a 1950's Jeep, for which time has stood still.

The Peugeot engine is fine - certainly not as quiet as the original F-head 'Hurricane' Jeep engine, but really quite well suited to the application. Of course if you're expecting a modern 4x4, you'd be daft to purchase the Mahindra. But if you want a classic 4x4 that will sometimes embarrass a Land-Rover off road, then the Mahindra's just great.

There's a very good owners club at www.mahindra-register.org, and lots of friendly people on the forum there will help you get the best out of your Mahindra.

Primitive? Of course. Uncomfortable? Naturally! But it's one of the few vehicles I've driven that cause people to shout 'Want to sell that, mate?'. When the sun comes out, whip the hood off and drop the windscreen flat. Then head for hills. It's the most fun to be had on four wheels.

Average review marks: 4.0 / 10, based on 1 review