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2021 Mahindra Bolero Neo review, test drive

We have talked about time and again that the erstwhile Mahindra TUV300 was a credible, additional modern different to the venerable Mahindra Bolero. And now, after going off the cabinets for above a calendar year submit-BS6, the TUV300 is back, however, this time all over it has been launched as the Mahindra Bolero Neo.

Why the rebranding exercise, you inquire? The remedy is very simple – the dependable Bolero has verified its mettle above nearly two a long time of its existence, and this rugged workhorse however retains Mahindra’s product sales charts lit up significantly owing to the sheer manufacturer equity it enjoys deep in the hinterland. Mahindra wants to capitalize on Bolero brand’s achievements and now transform the Bolero Neo into its subsequent sale hero.

But don’t think for even a minute that this is the only motive for the identify transform. The TUV has usually manufactured a very good scenario for carrying the Bolero badge and though we have mentioned this prior to, you’ll see it in this assessment and if you get at the rear of the wheel of one particular far too.

Does the Neo seem like a Bolero?

The Bolero Neo carries forward the TUV300’s boxy styling however the changes for 2021 are not just pores and skin-deep. The overall physique shell has been reduced further more onto the ladder-frame chassis in order to decrease the total ride peak by 20mm, and the bonnet sits 40mm decrease than prior to. Even though a brief comparison of the TUV300 and Bolero Neo’s spec sheet seems similar on paper, in particular person, the Bolero Neo seems a large amount squatter, with a significantly smaller sized gap in its wheel arches. Mahindra statements that there’s no transform to its ground clearance possibly.

Its total ride peak has been reduced by 20mm, and appears to be like a large amount squatter now.

The layout even though is maybe the only space where by the Neo and the Bolero have a disconnect. Even though the Bolero comes off as rugged and upright, the Neo appears to be like additional elegant and sleeker. Mahindra have therefore 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, evidently termed “cattle pushers” by some Bolero proprietors. This black cladding also allows break the visual peak of the Neo, and its side profile with the blacked-out B- and C-pillars, smaller sized wheel arch gaps and a far better total stance, is additional palatable now. The 15-inch wheel layout is diverse, though these seem a touch far too tiny compared to its physique peak. At the rear, the tail lamps have regained the pink tint, (these ended up manufactured crystal clear-lens in the 2019 TUV300 facelift), and it retains the roof spoiler as properly as the unpainted rear parking sensors. The X-shaped spare wheel protect is also carried above but it now proudly flaunts a Bolero badge.

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Recognized as “cattle pushers”, the black strip is a regular Bolero layout trait.


Are the interiors like a Bolero?

Thankfully, they’re not. What’s right away visible is that entry into the cabin owing to the reduced ride peak is a little bit much easier, and at the time in, you’ll see that the Bolero Neo carries forward the cabin layout and structure as the TUV300. And though it is utilitarian in terms of its layout and the products employed, it however feels like a far-cry compared to the crude cabin of the standard Bolero. Unlike its exteriors there are no layout characteristics on the within that resembles the Bolero, which isn’t a lousy point.

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The two tone dashboard’s layout and structure seem far additional present-day than the previous Bolero’s.

The neatly designed dashboard carries on to activity a beige and black twin-tone theme and houses a seven-inch touchscreen. The seats have on a new material material compared to the 2019 facelift, which donned quilted leatherette upholstery, and the only outstanding omission in its machines list is a reversing digicam, which the 2019 car or truck arrived with. These apart, the Neo however will get chair-like entrance seats with very long seat squabs and personal armrests. You will enjoy its commanding seating placement and the vivid and ethereal cabin. The rear bench far too is flat and will effortlessly just take in three occupants abreast, however, the seat cushioning is firmer than the standard Bolero, but its recline angle is related and there’s even a centre armrest for comfort and ease the latter getting much sturdier than the Bolero’s device. Knee and legroom are not as generous as the headroom on offer you, and which is deliberately performed to accommodate side going through jump seats in the rear.

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Next row’s cushioning is on the business side, even though the seat itself can effortlessly accomodate three travellers.   


And coming to the jump seats, typical-sized older people will discover constrained shoulder space below, and headroom far too is at a quality. Two occupants sitting opposite each individual other below will have to sit off-centre and stagger their ft and knees, owing to the lack of room. There are butterfly home windows for ventilation, and a seat pocket to stow away merchandise like a cellphone. There are not any seat belts to hold the occupants in position, and in scenario of a collision, this isn’t the position or the placement in which to be seated so these are finest still left folded and the space exploited to haul 384-litres of cargo.

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Room for older people in the jump seats is tight. The seats are finest still left folded, to haul 384-liters of cargo.


What machines does the Bolero Neo offer you?

N10 variant (leading-spec) attributes package like Stomach muscles with EBD and corner braking regulate, twin airbags, seven-inch touchscreen, distant-key entry, electrical mirror adjustment, parking sensors, rear wiper and washer and cruise regulate, as the outstanding attributes. To abide by later will be the N10 (O) variant which will also geta mechanical locking differential (additional on that in a little bit), which would make the Bolero Neo a large amount additional able above treacherous terrain.

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 Gets a touchscreen however Mahindra has deleted a reversing digicam.

Even the leading-spec misses numerous essential attributes that we have appear to affiliate in modern autos like computerized climate regulate, electrical folding mirrors, auto dimming within mirror, projector headlamps, Android Automobile and Apple CarPlay, though these might not be the kinds which would catch the attention of its goal viewers. One key element that should not have been omitted is a reversing digicam, which was available in the 2019 TUV300.

How does the Bolero Neo generate?

Sitting beneath its bonnet is a 1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel engine, shared with the Bolero, but in a greater 100hp condition of tune the standard Bolero would make 75hp. What’s new is its electronically controlled variable geometry turbocharger, and as a consequence, max torque has been bumped up to 260Nm, a 20Nm attain above the TUV300 which also had the very same engine. The max torque band – compared to the TUV’s 1,200rpm band – spreads just above 500rpm, from 1,750-2,250rpm. So, does that have an effect on driveability? Unquestionably not!

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 1.5-liter engine would make 20Nm additional torque than prior to thanks to the new eVGT

This engine is surely one particular of the nicest three-cylinder diesel units out there which feels sleek, refined and almost vibe-free of charge. Its overall performance is concentrated in the decrease end and coupled with quick gear ratios, it feels pretty responsive to faucet. Power delivery is linear, and it’ll effortlessly pull from idling RPMs without having much work, and you can amble all over in greater gears at decrease 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 much to be had in terms of power. Should really you just take it up to its max which is about four,500rpm, it does not sound coarse or crude. This 1.5-litre stays in its comfort and ease zone up to 100kph, beyond which it runs out of breath. Individuals who normally journey with a complete load of travellers on expressways or hills will be still left wanting for much better pulling power. Its five-velocity handbook gearbox is sleek even even though the throws are a little bit very long, and its light clutch would make driving a breeze. Though not available at launch, an computerized alternative could be launched in the upcoming.

The Bolero Neo starts to shine when the going will get tricky. Now sad to say Mahindra only enable the media generate the autos at their Pune take a look at monitor but they did have a tiny rough street patch organized. More than this monitor the Neo pummeled as a result of without having batting an eyelid, even the sight of which could make other SUVs wince. It makes use of Mahindra’s threerd technology physique-on-frame development and its tricky-as-nails suspension elements are built to just take a beating. What also would make the Neo really feel at relieve above hostile street situations is the new mechanical locking differential (MLD).

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Even though physique roll is however present, it is much much less than in the TUV300.


The MLD comes into engage in in small traction or sticky circumstances, when it detects one particular of its rear wheels spinning speedier than the other (100rpm differential velocity distinction in between the two wheels), therefore locking the wheels and as a consequence transferring power to the wheel with additional traction, boosting the Neo’s total street grip at small and crawling speeds. As able as this procedure is, the MLD’s metallic clanging sound, as it locks the spinning wheel, could capture drivers by shock, at minimum initially. Even though this Eaton MLD has usually been available as an incorporate-on for the TUV300 and Scorpio, it is now provided as standard on the N10 (O) variant.

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The new mechanical locking differential infuses a greater degree of confidence though traversing treacherous terrains.


More than the several corners at Mahindra’s take a look at monitor, it was pretty evident that though physique roll is however present, it is lesser than prior to as a consequence of a decrease centre of gravity, and a reworked suspension.

Should really I purchase the Bolero Neo or the Bolero?

Truth of the matter be instructed, the Mahindra Bolero Neo’s physique-on-frame development, 7-seating capacity and its rear-wheel generate structure sites it in a segment of its very own, much diverse from the sophisticated compact SUVs on sale. So though this Mahindra isn’t likely to attractiveness to the typical, city spouse and children car or truck shopper, it would make an extremely persuasive scenario for buyers in search of a tricky-as-nails, go-anywhere people mover with a touch of modernity.

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Yes, its styling may not scream ruggedness like the previous autos does, but underneath it surely is, furthermore the optional mechanical locking differential (MLD) further more boosts its go-anywhere means by infusing a greater degree of confidence though traversing treacherous terrains. There’s also far far better total refinement and a host of modern attributes all which surely develop a potent scenario for the Bolero Neo. And then there’s the pricing, though the MLD outfitted edition is nonetheless to be launched, the Neo’s inquiring cost ranges from Rs eight.forty eight to nine.ninety nine lakh, almost at par with the Bolero’s Rs eight.sixty three-nine.61 lakh cost assortment, therefore creating for a far top-quality value supplying.

This is the finest iteration of the TUV till day, and one particular that surely justifies to have on the Bolero badge. The only query that now stays is no matter if its goal viewers thinks so far too.

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