Mahindra Bolero, one of the oldest MUVs in Mahindra’s portfolio, has been consistently leading utility segment sales from last 7 years. Launched way back in 2000, Bolero evolved and got better and better with changing times and tastes of consumers. The present Mahindra Bolero presents a perfect blend of advanced technical features, a well refined power mill, and intriguing interiors. Mahindra offers this MUV in three versions mainly – SLE, SLX, and the top most ZLX. These three categories have models complying with BSIII and BSIV emission norms because of which the number of variants totals up to 18. All these variants are powered by a tuned 2523cc m2DiCR diesel engine that delivers maximum power worth 64PS against a peak torque of 195Nm. The performance of this engine is aided by micro-hybrid technology that reduces fuel consumption when engine is on standby mode. Powered by this engine, the MUV delivers a mileage of 15.96kmpl over highways as certified by ARAI.
In respect to looks and style, Mahindra Bolero makes quite aggressive and bold statement. Right from its chassis, headlights, wheels, to side footsteps, windshield mirrors, and windows, all features have been designed keeping in view Indian roads and weather conditions. The vehicle carries a capacity to accommodate 7-8 people normally along with sufficient luggage. A high ground clearance of 180mm, turning radius of 5.8 meters, and a brilliant suspension & braking system allows this car to pass through smoothly trade
through all kind of rough surfaces and terrains. This specialty makes it highly suitable for sub-urban and rural areas which are full of rough and uneven roads.
Bolero’s interiors have also been laden with a number of upgraded features that ensure better comfort and safety to its passengers. Apart from an efficient air conditioner, the MUV features power windows, dual tone upholstery, a digital display, voice messaging system, a stylish electric steering, centre arm rest with front & middle seats, adjustable head restraints, and a few others. The safety aspects have also been improved with incorporation of new features like keyless entry, central locking, door ajar warning, power windows & steering.
Not only in terms of strength, is Bolero also counted for offering quality interiors now. The seats are dual colored seats have been designed ergonomically that offer ample comfort with short as well as long journeys. Special comfort features like center arm rest on middle seat and new ac vents surrounded by fake wooden consoles have been ushered across all the variants except the basic model.
Adjustable head restraints with all seats add to your comfort level while seat belts with front and middle seats helps keeping passengers safe from sudden jerks and shocks. The multi information display mounted over dashboard indicates fuel efficacy, remaining fuel, and gears all time. The extended wheel base of 2680mm has been well utilized to provide optimum leg room, elbow room, and shoulder room in all the three seat rows.
The windows as well as windshields are large and low that allow a clear lateral and front view. The accessory package offered with the MUV includes a Kenwood audio system with FM radio, an AUX-in port, and 4 speakers. Except the base model all other models are offered with Air-Conditioners, center arm rests, adjustable head restraints, and several others. Those looking for adding other accessories may go online and purchase them. A boot space of 430-litres seems enough to swallow all your bed and baggage for all kind of trips.
Mahindra presents quite a decent and well mannered vehicle in form of Bolero that gives an unmatched performance over rural paths. The 2523cc engine that churns power worth 64PS helps Bolero deliver mileage worth 16kmpl which is confirmed by ARAI. Though the performance may vary in various conditions, for e.g. on a hot summer day when you need Air Conditioner throughout the day the mileage figure may go down to 13kmpl. On traffic stricken city roads the same figure comes down to 12kmpl. The Micro Hybrid system plays a great role in improving its fuel efficiency to a larger extent.
Performance and Handling
Mahindra designed Bolero with an aim to cater 2-tier and 3-tier markets. That is the reason why the MUV is blessed with a diesel engine and not a petrol one. The car performs pretty well over low speeds and offers good control and drivability till speed goes above 100kmph. The vehicle seems a bit unbalanced after that. The gear shifts are pretty smooth, even when the car is completely occupied one can easily shift to 4th and 5th gear even at lower speeds. With all these features, Bolero manages a crisp presence over the road and presents one of the best travelling options in rural and sub-urban areas. Bolero’s performance is one of the best recorded performances in rural areas till date. Another feature that adds feather to its cap is its suspension system that keeps its accommodators in place in all kind of tough paths. The front end of the car gets supported by an anti roll bar and coil spring over front end while the rear gets supported by Elliptical leaf spring that handles the car in the most rugged paths.
The vast expanded network of Mahindra and Bolero’s rugged performance in all kind of areas made this MUV number one in its segment. From last 6 consecutive years, Bolero has been leading sales figures. The MUV mainly competes with Maruti Suzuki Ertiga, Tata Sumo, Chevrolet Enjoy, Nissan Evalia and a few others. All these mentioned cars take an edge over Bolero in terms of comfort features, a few in terms of power and performance, and a few for their design and style. But when it comes to extended reach, market penetration, and brand value there’s no match to Bolero. Mahindra’s long standing in commercial segment makes it one of the most trusted and affordable brands in rural and sub-urban areas which is one of the main reasons why Bolero stands apart and above all others. Last but the most important feature, the ability of Bolero to perform and bear all kind of loads on all kind of rough terrains is unmatched which makes it unchallenged leader of this segment.
In terms of looks, design, and style, Mahindra Bolero seems inferior to none. It’s sturdy looks and robust design gives it an aggressive appeal which is enhanced by its hawk-eye headlamps.
The car mainly targets large families that need to travel along with lots of baggage especially in country sides, the flat design and appearance of the car points towards the same. The vertically segmented grille underlined by a body toned bumper with fog lights imparts a bold look to its front fascia.
The side profile, on the contrary, is marked by unique body graphics, foot-steps, large windows, and gates that allow easy ingress and egress from the car. The rear is marked by crystal finished tail lights and a spare wheel. A ground clearance of 180mm helps keeping its lower side safe from rubbles and harmful objects over rough roads.
The ribbed roof provides required rigidity to the top and improves helps improving its aerodynamics. The smooth finish provided by Mahindra blesses the car with an impressive on-road appearance that makes it suitable for 1-tier, 2-tier, as well as 3-tier cities and towns.
Engine & Transmission
Mahindra has loaded Bolero with a 2523cc common rail M2DiCR power mill that churns power worth 64PS against a leading torque of 194Nm. One of the best features of this power mill is its low maintenance costs that, to a larger extent, reduce overall ownership cost of the vehicle. The engine is fine tuned as compared to the last one and allows the car to start with AC even in second gear. The NVH level still needs to be looked into; even at low speeds you can feel noise and vibrations. The ride quality is good provided the speed is maintained within 100kmph. As you cross the 100kmph speed mark the vehicle starts getting a bit imbalanced. The best feature is the micro-hybrid technology that helps improving the fuel efficiency of the vehicle. The unique start-stop system brings the car’s engine on a standby whenever the car is on standstill mode for a long time.
And whenever you need to start again, press the accelerator a bit and the engine races back to life in a moment. The main strength of Bolero’s engine is in its ability to perform in all kind of rough, dusty, uneven roads 5-8 passengers and ample amount of load. Figures wise it may not sound that great but it carries ability give appreciable performance on basic Indian 2-tier and 3-tier cities roads which are completely different from 1-tier cities paths. This tough performance is supported by a 5-speed manual transmission that helps the in sprinting from 0 to 100kmph speed mark within 26 seconds.
Braking and Safety
Mahindra Bolero has been loaded with a combination of disc and drum brakes which aid its braking operation in front and rear portion respectively. This combination helps assuring a steady, comfortable, and safe journey to its accommodators. Bolero is a MUV mainly designed for 3-tier towns and rural areas, and hence Mahindra ensured to provide the car with braking as well as safety measures in association with that. The biggest safety feature of this MUV is its robust built that keeps the car in place under all conditions. Other than that Mahindra updated the top end versions of the car with a voice messaging system that warns the driver from time to time. All versions of the car have been presented by a pair of front fog lamps that show path during bad weather.
The upper end models have been blessed with power windows whose switch is located on central console. The new model has also been updated with latest features like keyless entry that prevents unauthorized access into the car, central locking , engine immobilizer that helps in saving the car from thefts, and a power steering that ensures smooth and safe maneuvering all time.
What we think
Be it performance or price, Mahindra Bolero is the best option you would love to consider in all aspects. Its affordability, performance, ruggedness are some of the main aspects through which it has set a series of industrial standards in its Indian MUV segment. The common perception about utility vehicles was of a vehicle that had a sturdy body design, high weight, and dealt with ample amount of power. Bolero not only changed that perception but also created high competition standards in this segment. Be it power, performance, toughness, comfort, or convenience, Bolero offers a complete package along with an affordable price sticker. The car’s presence over roads is a hard-to-miss show given its bold features, aggressive styling, and large size.
The interiors are roomy and except the base model, the mid as well as top version offer latest comforts. The fake wooden inserts may seem a bit inappropriate to some, but on a whole the car interiors look standard and contemporary. The inclusion of fresh features like keyless entry, rear wash & wiper, power steering, Voice Messaging System, engine immobilizer, and other is welcoming. The safety measures are better and upgraded but Mahindra may have to revise the list as absence of ABS (Anti-lock Braking System), EBD (Electronic BrakeForce Distribution), and airbags in top end models can become a big backdrop in coming times.
The best feature of Bolero is its low maintenance cost whose prime credit goes to its 2.5-litre m2DiCR diesel engine. Application of micro hybrid technology increases its fuel efficiency and reduces overall ownership cost of this MUV. Bolero’s fuel tank has a capacity of 60 liters which means in one single tank fill the car can easily cover a distance of 960kms. The suspension system is pretty strong which keeps the car stable in the roughest and most uneven paths.
Mahindra’s extended network of dealerships and service centers is another feature that makes it a preferred choice in rural areas. Be it performance, price, load carrying capacity, or after sales service, Bolero is a all round package that meets all consumer needs and expectations flawlessly.