2021 Mahindra Bolero Neo review, test drive

Rodolfo Schellin

We’ve stated time and yet again that the erstwhile Mahindra TUV300 was a credible, much more modern substitute to the venerable Mahindra Bolero. And now, following heading off the cabinets for over a calendar year article-BS6, the TUV300 is again, on the other hand, this time close to it has been launched as the Mahindra Bolero Neo.

Why the rebranding exercise, you question? The solution is simple – the reliable Bolero has confirmed its mettle over virtually two many years of its existence, and this rugged workhorse however keeps Mahindra’s revenue charts lit up especially because of to the sheer manufacturer fairness it enjoys deep in the hinterland. Mahindra would like to capitalize on Bolero brand’s success and now switch the Bolero Neo into its upcoming sale hero.

But never believe for even a moment that this is the only cause for the name change. The TUV has constantly manufactured a superior circumstance for putting on the Bolero badge and whilst we have stated this right before, you will see it in this review and if you get at the rear of the wheel of a person also.

Does the Neo seem like a Bolero?

The Bolero Neo carries ahead the TUV300’s boxy styling on the other hand the changes for 2021 are not basically skin-deep. The entire overall body shell has been reduced even more onto the ladder-body chassis in purchase to lessen the over-all trip top by 20mm, and the bonnet sits 40mm lessen than right before. While a fast comparison of the TUV300 and Bolero Neo’s spec sheet seems equivalent on paper, in person, the Bolero Neo seems a whole lot squatter, with a significantly lesser hole in its wheel arches. Mahindra statements that there’s no change to its floor clearance possibly.

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Its over-all trip top has been reduced by 20mm, and seems a whole lot squatter now.

The layout while is most likely the only region the place the Neo and the Bolero have a disconnect. While the Bolero arrives off as rugged and upright, the Neo seems much more elegant and sleeker. Mahindra have hence added particular features like the toothy entrance grille, some sloping cuts on the entrance bumper and the round fog lamps to give it some resemblance to the Bolero. An unmistakable Bolero layout aspect is the black shoulder cladding which runs the length of the Bolero Neo, seemingly termed “cattle pushers” by some Bolero house owners. This black cladding also allows split the visual top of the Neo, and its aspect profile with the blacked-out B- and C-pillars, lesser wheel arch gaps and a much better over-all stance, is much more palatable now. The fifteen-inch wheel layout is distinctive, though these seem a contact also modest as opposed to its overall body top. At the rear, the tail lamps have regained the purple tint, (these had been manufactured obvious-lens in the 2019 TUV300 facelift), and it retains the roof spoiler as properly as the unpainted rear parking sensors. The X-formed spare wheel cover is also carried over but it now proudly flaunts a Bolero badge.

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Known as “cattle pushers”, the black strip is a normal Bolero layout trait.


Are the interiors like a Bolero?

Thankfully, they are not. What is straight away obvious is that entry into the cabin because of to the reduced trip top is a bit simpler, and at the time in, you will observe that the Bolero Neo carries ahead the cabin layout and layout as the TUV300. And whilst it is utilitarian in conditions of its layout and the elements used, it however feels like a far-cry as opposed to the crude cabin of the conventional Bolero. As opposed to its exteriors there are no layout characteristics on the within that resembles the Bolero, which isn’t a terrible factor.

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The two tone dashboard’s layout and layout seem far much more modern than the aged Bolero’s.

The neatly created dashboard carries on to activity a beige and black twin-tone concept and properties a 7-inch touchscreen. The seats don a new fabric content as opposed to the 2019 facelift, which donned quilted leatherette upholstery, and the only distinguished omission in its tools listing is a reversing camera, which the 2019 car arrived with. These aside, the Neo however gets chair-like entrance seats with very long seat squabs and person armrests. You will enjoy its commanding seating place and the vivid and ethereal cabin. The rear bench also is flat and will very easily take in 3 occupants abreast, on the other hand, the seat cushioning is firmer than the conventional Bolero, but its recline angle is similar and there’s even a centre armrest for ease and comfort the latter currently being a lot sturdier than the Bolero’s device. Knee and legroom are not as generous as the headroom on offer you, and which is deliberately carried out to accommodate aspect going through leap seats in the rear.

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Second row’s cushioning is on the organization aspect, while the seat by itself can very easily accomodate 3 travellers.   


And coming to the leap seats, ordinary-sized older people will find limited shoulder home right here, and headroom also is at a high quality. Two occupants sitting opposite every other right here will have to sit off-centre and stagger their toes and knees, because of to the absence of area. There are butterfly windows for ventilation, and a seat pocket to stow away things like a phone. There are not any seat belts to keep the occupants in location, and in circumstance of a collision, this isn’t the location or the place in which to be seated so these are finest left folded and the region exploited to haul 384-litres of cargo.

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


What tools does the Bolero Neo offer you?

N10 variant (leading-spec) capabilities kit like Abdominal muscles with EBD and corner braking regulate, twin airbags, 7-inch touchscreen, remote-critical entry, electric powered mirror adjustment, parking sensors, rear wiper and washer and cruise regulate, as the distinguished capabilities. To follow afterwards will be the N10 (O) variant which will also geta mechanical locking differential (much more on that in a bit), which tends to make the Bolero Neo a whole lot much more able over treacherous terrain.

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 Gets a touchscreen on the other hand Mahindra has deleted a reversing camera.

Even the leading-spec misses numerous essential capabilities that we have occur to affiliate in modern cars like computerized local climate regulate, electric powered folding mirrors, auto dimming within mirror, projector headlamps, Android Auto and Apple CarPlay, though these could not be the types which would entice its focus on audience. A person critical aspect that shouldn’t have been omitted is a reversing camera, which was offered in the 2019 TUV300.

How does the Bolero Neo push?

Sitting beneath its bonnet is a one.five-litre three-cylinder diesel engine, shared with the Bolero, but in a bigger 100hp state of tune the frequent Bolero tends to 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 over the TUV300 which also had the exact same motor. The max torque band – as opposed to the TUV’s one,200rpm band – spreads just over 500rpm, from one,750-2,250rpm. So, does that have an affect on driveability? Completely not!

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 1.five-liter motor tends to make 20Nm much more torque than right before thanks to the new eVGT

This motor is absolutely a person of the nicest 3-cylinder diesel units out there which feels smooth, refined and just about vibe-absolutely free. Its performance is concentrated in the lessen finish and coupled with short gear ratios, it feels really responsive to tap. Ability shipping and delivery is linear, and it’ll very easily pull from idling RPMs with no a lot work, and you can amble close to in bigger gears at lessen revs, so very long as you are not driving in a hurry. You are going to rarely rev this motor beyond three,500rpm, as there is not a lot to be had in conditions of electricity. Should really you take it up to its max which is about four,500rpm, it does not sound coarse or crude. This one.five-litre remains in its ease and comfort zone up to 100kph, beyond which it runs out of breath. Those who normally journey with a complete load of travellers on expressways or hills will be left seeking for more powerful pulling electricity. Its 5-pace guide gearbox is smooth even while the throws are a bit very long, and its mild clutch tends to make driving a breeze. Despite the fact that not offered at launch, an computerized alternative could be released in the long term.

The Bolero Neo begins to glow when the heading gets challenging. Now however Mahindra only let the media push the cars at their Pune check keep track of but they did have a modest rough street patch geared up. Above this keep track of the Neo pummeled by way of with no batting an eyelid, even the sight of which could make other SUVs wince. It employs Mahindra’s threerd generation overall body-on-body building and its challenging-as-nails suspension components are created to take a beating. What also tends to make the Neo truly feel at simplicity over hostile street disorders is the new mechanical locking differential (MLD).

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While overall body roll is however present, it is a lot much less than in the TUV300.


The MLD arrives into perform in minimal traction or sticky conditions, when it detects a person of its rear wheels spinning a lot quicker than the other (100rpm differential pace variance involving the two wheels), hence locking the wheels and as a final result transferring electricity to the wheel with much more traction, improving the Neo’s over-all street grip at minimal and crawling speeds. As able as this technique is, the MLD’s metallic clanging sound, as it locks the spinning wheel, could capture motorists by shock, at least initially. While this Eaton MLD has constantly been offered as an add-on for the TUV300 and Scorpio, it is now provided as conventional on the N10 (O) variant.

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


Above the couple corners at Mahindra’s check keep track of, it was really evident that whilst overall body roll is however present, it is lesser than right before as a final result of a lessen centre of gravity, and a reworked suspension.

Should really I get the Bolero Neo or the Bolero?

Reality be advised, the Mahindra Bolero Neo’s overall body-on-body building, 7-seating capacity and its rear-wheel push layout places it in a segment of its very own, a lot distinctive from the sophisticated compact SUVs on sale. So whilst this Mahindra isn’t probable to appeal to the ordinary, city household car shopper, it tends to make an extremely powerful circumstance for potential buyers searching for a challenging-as-nails, go-everywhere folks mover with a contact of modernity.

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Certainly, its styling may well not scream ruggedness like the aged cars does, but underneath it absolutely is, plus the optional mechanical locking differential (MLD) even more improves its go-everywhere ability by infusing a bigger diploma of self-assurance whilst traversing treacherous terrains. There is also far much better over-all refinement and a host of modern capabilities all which absolutely build a sturdy circumstance for the Bolero Neo. And then there’s the pricing, whilst the MLD outfitted variation is however to be launched, the Neo’s asking rate ranges from Rs 8.forty eight to 9.99 lakh, just about at par with the Bolero’s Rs 8.63-9.61 lakh rate assortment, hence building for a far remarkable benefit offering.

This is the finest iteration of the TUV till day, and a person that absolutely warrants to don the Bolero badge. The only problem that now remains is whether its focus on audience thinks so also.

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