Mahindra Bolero Test Drive

OVERVIEW

We believe that small adjustments make a big difference. In our day-to-day life, small things give us immense joy, be it a successful bargain with a vegetable vendor or a small drop in the fuel prices. In a similar fashion, a small adjustment in the length of the car gives automakers a lot of benefits. This encouraged manufacturers such as Tata, Maruti, Ford and Volkswagen to develop sub 4-metre cars. Due to the growing popularity of SUVs, Mahindra was the first company to introduce a sub 4-metre SUV, the Quanto. Mahindra also offers the TUV300 and the NuvoSport in this segment and now we have a new entry from the company, the Bolero.

That last bit is what has driven everyone from Tata and Maruti to Ford and Volkswagen to develop sub-4 metre offerings. However, with SUVs becoming the demand of the day, Mahindra was first to introduce a compact offering in the body style, by giving the Xylo a little adjustment to create the Quanto. M&M followed it up with the TUV300, NuvoSport, and now, it’s put the Bolero under the knife as well. Get detail features, specs and price of Mahindra Bolero in Carzprice

Mahindra’s beloved cash-cow now gets a version which loses a few cms in length, a few cc’s in displacement and healthy few Rupees in price too. So is this downsize a compromise?

EXTERIORS

This new Bolero Power+ remains virtually identical to the standard Bolero except at the edges. Look closer and you’ll notice that the front bumpers are actually inward sloping and don’t jut out any more. Even the metal foot plate at the rear has been re-designed so that this vehicle qualifies as a ‘compact car’. There are some badges on the sides with the ‘P’ in Power+ marked in red which suggest that this is the more powerful version (more on that in a bit).

INTERIORS

Mahindra Bolero Power+ has several features, but nothing new as such. It has power steering, power windows, manual AC, music system, keyless entry, in-dash music system. There is even bluetooth connectivity as well. The instrument cluster is digital on the Bolero and the higher variants get micro hybrid technology too. The Mahindra Bolero Power+ even gets stylish interiors.

In terms of space, there is no change on the Mahindra Bolero Power+. It has seven seats, the second row is tight on knee room and the third row is good only for short distances as it gets jump seats. The boot too isn’t that large. What makes this a good deal is the fact that it now without any compromise on space or power, the Mahindra Bolero Power+ is more affordable.

PERFORMANCE

The Mahindra Bolero Power+ comes with a 1.5-litre diesel engine and it is more powerful than the older 2.4-litre unit. The oil-burner produces 70 HP of power and 195 Nm of torque. Torque delivery is smooth and linear. The car accelerates in 3rd gear from crawling speeds without much of a fuss. Acceleration is tiring slow, however, and 0-100 km/hr comes up in 20.76 seconds. There is some turbo lag but the mid-range feels punchy. There’s not much action after 4000 RPM though. 100 km/hr in 5th gear comes up near the 2500 RPM mark.

The new engine is very refined compared to the older unit and the clatter isn’t as bad as earlier. The insulation is very good and we were actually very surprised by the refinement. The Bolero Power+ isn’t meant to be driven fast at all and it is best enjoyed at cruising speeds. Gear shifts are very long and notchy but the clutch is super light. The Bolero Power+ has a claimed fuel efficiency of 16.5 km/l and we still managed to extract 15 km/l under normal driving conditions. The large fuel tank ensures that you get a range of around 700 kms on a full tank.

RIDE AND HANDLING

While overtaking on the highways, if the vehicle is not loaded takes good effort to push it but then the Bolero seems to die completely when fully occupied. On highways the engine response is very discouraging and the lack of power gets very evident. Not to forget the excess noise that penetrates inside the cabin making it a noisy one.

The handling quality is weak and needs some major improvement from Mahindra. It is not a very easy to maneuver vehicle and gets a bit sticky in some scenarios especially as the gear stick behaves like a sore thumb. The brakes are of average quality and do not offer a precise feedback whatsoever. We got a real time mileage of 12 Kmpl which is average compared to the competition.

BOTTOMLINE

Why bring in another Bolero when you’re going to sell the older version as well. Mahindra says that the two SUVs will cater to different customer bases – one which wants the newer engine as well as lower running costs, and the second which wants to still go ahead with the older, proven engine and mechanicals. The company has added a three year/one lakh kilometres warranty package now on the SUV.

At Rs 8.03 lakh ex-Mumbai, the Bolero isn’t the best value, especially for someone looking for a more urban-biasedvehicle. Instead, for Rs 7.74 lakh, you get the TUV300 T4+ which has got ABS as well as airbags, is more powerful and feels far more modern. Of course, the Bolero will be the more logical choice for rugged, rural use. Another fun reason to buy a Bolero in white? People inadvertently mistake you for a cop. Traffic parts ways for you, and I actually saved good time on my commute home! Seriously though, given the popularity of the Bolero (over ten lakh have been sold so far), I see no reason why the cheaper and more powerful Power+ shouldn’t be a hit with its target audience as well.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *