First Look – Mahindra Bolero: Basic and More!
Kaustubh Shinde, They say sooner or later your passion finds you. Sometime in late 2009, I started writing for IAB and ever since then it has been a roller coaster ride for me. An amazing experience that has taught me a lot, taken me to new places, driven some great cars and met some amazing people. When you don't find me on IAB (very rarely), you will find me either at a coffee shop or an eatery or at the nearest gadget store.Hope you enjoy IAB as much as we do!
Which is the best selling SUV in India? The answer is as simple as the car itself – Mahindra Bolero. With its rugged looks, dependable mechanicals and ‘easy-to-mend’ machinery, the Bolero has captured the fancy of all customers hunting for an entry level SUV.
The Bolero is especially loved by people in the rural areas because of its ability to accommodate 7 people and ‘go anywhere’ attitude. It has been the best selling entry level SUV since the past 5 years. M&M has managed to ship 83,112 units of the Bolero SUV (not including the Bolero pickups) in 2010 with a market share of 30 percent.
But the Bolero is 11 years old now and many people complained that the Bolero is outdated. So what to do was the dilemma faced by M&M. Of course, if you are on the top of the segment, you don’t drastically change the recipe as that’s too much of risk. So M&M decided to give Bolero a comprehensive facelift before the festive season. It’s NOT just a little botox here and there, it’s a Full Monty!
Let’s start with the exteriors:
The new Bolero gets a whole new front fascia that is substantially different from the outgoing model. The Bolero gets new headlamps, a new grill and a new front bumper. The crystal clear hawk eye headlamps give the Bolero a very aggressive stance. The two toothed front bumper further enhances the overall stance of the car.
Coming to the side profile, the Bolero gets new decals to differentiate itself from the old model. Having said that, nothing much has changed from the side.
The rear of the Bolero gets new spare-wheel cover and much needed rear wiper with washer. The rear also hasn’t been changed much from the previous model.
I must say that Mahindra’s design team has done a brilliant job of making the Bolero look more stylish and rugged. The new look really compliments the overall design and doesn’t look out of place as it did in the spyshots that were leaked.
The interiors have received a massive uplift. The new Bolero gets a beige dashboard with wooden finish. The light beige interiors makes the inside of the Bolero look and feel very roomy unlike the old one which was a bit claustrophobic.
The dashboard is very simple and has a rock hard feel to it. Along with the dashboard, you also get a new steering wheel, new centre console, a new gear knob cover and (surprise-surprise) new digital instrument cluster.
The overall simplistic appearance of the dashboard goes very well with the rugged nature of the car. The color scheme, the leather wrapped steering wheel and digital console makes the Bolero look very up market and are definitely a welcome change.
The seats in the all rows seems to have been beefed up and they feel more comfortable than the previous model. The dual tone interior is very pleasing to the eye.
No changes have been made to the platform so don’t expect more leg space or more head room.
The Scorpio has donated some of its technology to the Bolero. The new Bolero gets Micro Hybrid technology (start-stop system for people who haven’t studied Marketing), Voice messaging system that provide warnings when you haven’t put your seatbelts on if the handbrake is on when you are moving, Engine Immobilizer and Driver information system that tells you important things such as fuel economy etc.
The Bolero is now powered by a 2.5-litre common-rail diesel engine that pokes 63 ponies and makes 195Nm of peak torque. As the engine is tuned for fuel economy, the numbers have jumped from 13 kmpl to a whopping 15.96mpl!
The new Bolero is available in BS3 as well as BS4 variants. The new Bolero comes with six colors including Fiery Black, Mist Silver, Java Brown, Diamond White, Rocky Beige and Toreador Red.
Few things that are lacking on the Bolero are Four-wheel drive, ABS and airbags which M&M has confirmed will be launched soon.
Overall it’s a decent effort by Mahindra to pump up some life in Bolero brand. With its new features and technology Mahindra has managed to add more value to an existing value proposition. However, I still think that most of the sales will continue to come from small cities and rural areas. The metro cities will always prefer the Scorpio over the Bolero as it is a more aspirational brand and a much better looking SUV.
What do you think of the new Bolero?
New Mahindra Bolero Image Gallery