Mahindra Bolero, the Car that rules rural India and is the go-to vehicle when anybody wants a car in a village. That’s the kind of image that the bolero has formed in the minds of us all. It’s usually described as a workhorse that is a wonderful utility vehicle. And we love the nickname “Desi G-wagon”, which suits the bolero perfectly.
The Bolero has been around for more than 2 decades and over time not only has it been upgraded; it has also turned into a favorite car for many. Somewhere the Bolero is saving lives by functioning as an ambulance and at some places, it is serving as a wonderful family car.
Now we come to the Mahindra to 300, at the time of its launch which was about 6 years back in august of 2015 it claimed to be the most spacious and practical SUV in the market for its price and it was. For a segment in which most cars were 5-seater raised hatchback suvs, the tuv 300 was the only way that was a 7-seater and looked like an SUV and it was one of the very few 7-seater suvs that you could daily drive in a city.
The tuv 300 was a good car overall, the engine was nice, it wasn’t too slow but it wasn’t too insane either, it used to come in 7 trim levels where the first 5 used to be available with a manual transmission and a lower displacement mhawk engine, the power did vary slightly depending upon the transmission you choose. The two uppermost trim of the tuv 300 the t8 and the t10 used to be a good power output of 100 horsepower.
Later on, 3 years after the launch of the first tuv 300, Mahindra decided to take things to the next level so they launched the tuv 300 plus, a 9-seater version of the tuv 300 with a bigger engine. It was powered by a Mahindra 2.2 liter mhawk engine and it produced 20 more horsepower than the standard tuv 300, pretty impressive.
It wasn’t a wild success for Mahindra. It did sell in good numbers and you can still spot a few when you go out on the road but it wasn’t crazy enough to catch everyone’s eyes, it wasn’t the best car that the segment had to offer, because of the less appealing overall package but in terms of practicality, there was no beating the tuv 300.
So, think for a moment, how would it be, if you combined the ruggedness, the toughness of the bolero with the handling, and the compact size of the tuv 300 and made a car out of it? Sounds amazing, doesn’t it? Well, this amazing thing has just turned into reality.
It’s called the Bolero neo, and don’t worry Bolero fans, the Bolero would continue selling, it’s just that the tuv won’t be continued and a new integration between these two models will emerge.
Now we all know that the Bolero won’t be on sale forever, its production will come to an end one day but to have its name live on for the future generations, Mahindra created a new face of the Bolero that will be carrying its legacy forward for a few more years.
It’s the same thing that happened with the Maruti 800, once it was discontinued, Maruti created the alto 800 to carry the legacy of the 800 for a few years.
The One Thing that the Bolero neo is going to be enjoying the most is the exclusivity part, there is no other car like it, at the price. That price point is filled with compact suvs or raised hatchbacks or mpvs like the ertiga.
So, it can be said, that the bolero neo might be creating a segment of its own in the market, where it will be enjoying the monopoly for a few years.
There are a few points that I loved about the bolero neo that attracted me a lot from a customer point of view but there are a few bad points that might affect the sales of the bolero neo severely.
And in the end, it will be over to you to decide whether the bolero neo deserves that bolero badge or not.
So, starting with the design, you will barely notice any differences in the overall shape of the car if you compare it with the tuv 300. And to be honest, from the customer’s perspective, it just looks like a modernized tuv 300.
But it’s so much more than that. We can see the body claddings and how Mahindra has shaped the overall car. It does look modern for sure and rugged as well. and due to the body on chassis construction, you will probably be able to go over 99 percent of places.
Even the design of the grille does not look boring, it’s simple and makes the neo attractive from the front end.
Now the main duty that the bolero neo will be serving will probably be for family drives. Thus, you need to ensure that the car has good ride quality. And with the low ride height and retuned suspension, the bolero neo is a very comfortable car to ride in.
Now, we come to the engine, which is one of the strong points of the neo, it’s got Mahindra's 1.5-liter mhawk engine which produces about 100 horsepower and 260 nm of torque, these are some great specs for a car of this segment and it also goes on to show that the neo won’t be one of your sluggish 7-seater suvs, it will be a quick and stylish one.
Mahindra has engineered the car in a way that most of the torque is available in the lower RPMs, this will not only enhance the acceleration of the car, it will also ensure that driving the neo doesn’t become a pain in slow-moving traffic.
Another great thing about the bolero neo is that a 5-speed manual transmission is standard among all the 3 variants. Why is it so great? 5-speed manual gearbox, rear-wheel drive coupled with an engine having punchy performance, this is what every enthusiast wants.
And for all the off-roading enthusiasts out there, there is good news for you, the bolero neo is equipped with MTT or multi-terrain technology which detects wheel slip at low speeds and sends power to the wheel with a better grip, which helps it in escaping tricky off-road conditions that it might face.
Since Mahindra wants the Indian youth to buy this car, they have to give some unique features that will attract the buyers. Well to start with, the top-end variant of the bolero neo has got a 7-inch touchscreen system and features like cruise control, voice messaging, and whatnot.
Safety is one of the most crucial aspects of a car, and the bolero neo not only looks like a tank but is also built like a tank. It has dual airbags upfront and has got ABS with electronic brake-force distribution to ensure great braking of the vehicle and it has got CBC along with ISOFIX child seat mounts.
Mahindra says that the interior of the bolero neo has been designed by the legendary Italian firm Pininfarina, thus the quality of the material that you will find in the interior is going to be top class, with no hard plastics or cheap fabric.
The steering wheel, the seats are all adjustable. the 2nd row and the 3rd row are adjustable enough to give you more space in case you need some.
The bolero neo starts at rs 8.48 lakhs ex-showroom Delhi and it goes up to rs 10 lakhs ex-showroom for the top-end variant.
Mahindra has said that the bolero neo is going to be a low-maintenance car and the customers can trust Mahindra for its reliability.
It’s going to be a great addition to the market, especially for people who wanted a 7-seater but didn’t like that MPV feeling of the ertiga and wanted a rugged SUV.
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