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2021 Mahindra Bolero Neo review, test drive

8 min read

We have mentioned time and yet again that the erstwhile Mahindra TUV300 was a credible, more contemporary alternate to the venerable Mahindra Bolero. And now, after heading off the shelves for about a year article-BS6, the TUV300 is again, nevertheless, this time close to it has been introduced as the Mahindra Bolero Neo.

Why the rebranding training, you check with? The response is uncomplicated – the reliable Bolero has confirmed its mettle about virtually two a long time of its existence, and this rugged workhorse however keeps Mahindra’s sales charts lit up particularly due to the sheer brand name equity it enjoys deep inside the hinterland. Mahindra desires to capitalize on Bolero brand’s achievements and now change the Bolero Neo into its next sale hero.

But never consider for even a moment that this is the only explanation for the name adjust. The TUV has always made a fantastic case for wearing the Bolero badge and whilst we’ve claimed this before, you’ll see it in this critique and if you get behind the wheel of one particular as well.

Does the Neo glance like a Bolero?

The Bolero Neo carries forward the TUV300’s boxy styling nevertheless the adjustments for 2021 are not simply pores and skin-deep. The full system shell has been decreased further more on to the ladder-frame chassis in order to decrease the over-all ride top by 20mm, and the bonnet sits 40mm decrease than before. When a rapid comparison of the TUV300 and Bolero Neo’s spec sheet seems identical on paper, in individual, the Bolero Neo seems a great deal squatter, with a noticeably smaller hole in its wheel arches. Mahindra claims that there’s no adjust to its ground clearance both.

Its over-all ride top has been decreased by 20mm, and seems a great deal squatter now.

The style nevertheless is potentially the only spot exactly where the Neo and the Bolero have a disconnect. When the Bolero comes off as rugged and upright, the Neo seems more fashionable and sleeker. Mahindra have thus included sure components like the toothy front grille, some sloping cuts on the front bumper and the spherical fog lamps to give it some resemblance to the Bolero. An unmistakable Bolero style element is the black shoulder cladding which runs the size of the Bolero Neo, apparently termed “cattle pushers” by some Bolero house owners. This black cladding also helps split the visual top of the Neo, and its facet profile with the blacked-out B- and C-pillars, smaller wheel arch gaps and a greater over-all stance, is more palatable now. The 15-inch wheel style is distinct, despite the fact that these glance a touch as well modest compared to its system top. At the rear, the tail lamps have regained the pink tint, (these ended up made clear-lens in the 2019 TUV300 facelift), and it retains the roof spoiler as very well as the unpainted rear parking sensors. The X-formed spare wheel cover is also carried about but it now proudly flaunts a Bolero badge.

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Acknowledged as “cattle pushers”, the black strip is a common Bolero style trait.


Are the interiors like a Bolero?

Luckily, they are not. What is promptly apparent is that entry into the cabin due to the decreased ride top is a bit simpler, and the moment in, you’ll see that the Bolero Neo carries forward the cabin style and structure as the TUV300. And whilst it is utilitarian in terms of its style and the resources made use of, it however feels like a far-cry compared to the crude cabin of the normal Bolero. Compared with its exteriors there are no style characteristics on the inside of that resembles the Bolero, which isn’t a lousy matter.

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The two tone dashboard’s style and structure glance far more contemporary than the previous Bolero’s.

The neatly designed dashboard continues to activity a beige and black dual-tone concept and homes a seven-inch touchscreen. The seats use a new fabric product compared to the 2019 facelift, which donned quilted leatherette upholstery, and the only distinguished omission in its devices list is a reversing camera, which the 2019 automobile arrived with. These aside, the Neo however will get chair-like front seats with very long seat squabs and individual armrests. You will recognize its commanding seating position and the shiny and ethereal cabin. The rear bench as well is flat and will simply acquire in a few occupants abreast, nevertheless, the seat cushioning is firmer than the normal Bolero, but its recline angle is equivalent and there’s even a centre armrest for comfort and ease the latter staying a lot sturdier than the Bolero’s unit. Knee and legroom are not as generous as the headroom on provide, and that is intentionally completed to accommodate facet going through leap seats in the rear.

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Next row’s cushioning is on the firm facet, nevertheless the seat itself can simply accomodate a few travellers.   


And coming to the leap seats, typical-sized older people will locate limited shoulder place in this article, and headroom as well is at a high quality. Two occupants sitting reverse each other in this article will have to sit off-centre and stagger their feet and knees, due to the deficiency of house. There are butterfly windows for air flow, and a seat pocket to stow absent items like a telephone. There are not any seat belts to keep the occupants in place, and in case of a collision, this isn’t the place or the position in which to be seated so these are ideal still left folded and the spot exploited to haul 384-litres of cargo.

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Place for older people in the leap seats is restricted. The seats are ideal still left folded, to haul 384-liters of cargo.


What devices does the Bolero Neo provide?

N10 variant (prime-spec) characteristics kit like Abdominal muscles with EBD and corner braking control, dual airbags, seven-inch touchscreen, remote-essential entry, electric mirror adjustment, parking sensors, rear wiper and washer and cruise control, as the distinguished characteristics. To observe later on will be the N10 (O) variant which will also geta mechanical locking differential (more on that in a bit), which will make the Bolero Neo a great deal more able about treacherous terrain.

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 Gets a touchscreen nevertheless Mahindra has deleted a reversing camera.

Even the prime-spec misses numerous vital characteristics that we’ve arrive to associate in contemporary autos like computerized climate control, electric folding mirrors, automobile dimming inside of mirror, projector headlamps, Android Vehicle and Apple CarPlay, despite the fact that these may not be the kinds which would draw in its goal audience. Just one essential characteristic that should not have been omitted is a reversing camera, which was accessible in the 2019 TUV300.

How does the Bolero Neo push?

Sitting beneath its bonnet is a one.five-litre 3-cylinder diesel engine, shared with the Bolero, but in a better 100hp point out of tune the typical Bolero will make 75hp. What is new is its electronically managed variable geometry turbocharger, and as a final result, max torque has been bumped up to 260Nm, a 20Nm obtain about the TUV300 which also experienced the same engine. The max torque band – compared to the TUV’s one,200rpm band – spreads just about 500rpm, from one,750-two,250rpm. So, does that have an impact on driveability? Absolutely not!

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 1.five-liter engine will make 20Nm more torque than before many thanks to the new eVGT

This engine is definitely one particular of the nicest a few-cylinder diesel units out there which feels easy, refined and almost vibe-free. Its general performance is concentrated in the decrease stop and coupled with limited equipment ratios, it feels really responsive to faucet. Electricity supply is linear, and it’ll simply pull from idling RPMs without having a lot work, and you can amble close to in better gears at decrease revs, so very long as you are not driving in a hurry. You will seldom rev this motor past 3,500rpm, as there is not a lot to be experienced in terms of electricity. Really should you acquire it up to its max which is about 4,500rpm, it does not seem coarse or crude. This one.five-litre remains in its comfort and ease zone up to 100kph, past which it runs out of breath. Those people who typically journey with a total load of travellers on expressways or hills will be still left seeking for more powerful pulling electricity. Its five-pace handbook gearbox is easy even nevertheless the throws are a bit very long, and its gentle clutch will make driving a breeze. Although not accessible at launch, an computerized choice could be released in the long term.

The Bolero Neo starts to shine when the heading will get rough. Now unfortunately Mahindra only enable the media push the autos at their Pune test keep track of but they did have a modest tough road patch prepared. Over this keep track of the Neo pummeled through without having batting an eyelid, even the sight of which could make other SUVs wince. It makes use of Mahindra’s 3rd technology system-on-frame development and its rough-as-nails suspension factors are crafted to acquire a beating. What also will make the Neo truly feel at relieve about hostile road problems is the new mechanical locking differential (MLD).

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When system roll is however existing, it is a lot fewer than in the TUV300.


The MLD comes into play in reduced traction or sticky cases, when it detects one particular of its rear wheels spinning speedier than the other (100rpm differential pace change concerning the two wheels), thus locking the wheels and as a final result transferring electricity to the wheel with more traction, improving the Neo’s over-all road grip at reduced and crawling speeds. As able as this method is, the MLD’s metallic clanging seem, as it locks the spinning wheel, could catch drivers by shock, at minimum to begin with. When this Eaton MLD has always been accessible as an include-on for the TUV300 and Scorpio, it is now presented as normal on the N10 (O) variant.

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The new mechanical locking differential infuses a better diploma of self-assurance whilst traversing treacherous terrains.


Over the couple of corners at Mahindra’s test keep track of, it was really obvious that whilst system roll is however existing, it is lesser than before as a final result of a decrease centre of gravity, and a reworked suspension.

Really should I invest in the Bolero Neo or the Bolero?

Truth of the matter be advised, the Mahindra Bolero Neo’s system-on-frame development, 7-seating ability and its rear-wheel push structure spots it in a section of its individual, a lot distinct from the complex compact SUVs on sale. So whilst this Mahindra isn’t probable to attraction to the typical, urban loved ones automobile shopper, it will make an really powerful case for purchasers in search of a rough-as-nails, go-anyplace people mover with a touch of modernity.

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Certainly, its styling may not scream ruggedness like the previous autos does, but underneath it definitely is, in addition the optional mechanical locking differential (MLD) further more boosts its go-anyplace skill by infusing a better diploma of self-assurance whilst traversing treacherous terrains. There’s also far greater over-all refinement and a host of contemporary characteristics all which definitely build a solid case for the Bolero Neo. And then there’s the pricing, whilst the MLD outfitted edition is but to be introduced, the Neo’s inquiring selling price ranges from Rs 8.48 to 9.99 lakh, almost at par with the Bolero’s Rs 8.63-9.61 lakh selling price range, thus creating for a far outstanding benefit providing.

This is the ideal iteration of the TUV till day, and one particular that definitely justifies to use the Bolero badge. The only issue that now remains is no matter if its goal audience thinks so as well.

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