Has it got a bit long in the tooth? Yes. But is it still relevant? Yes to that as well. The Mahindra Bolero might have been around for almost two decades, but it continues to cater to a lot of buyers. Its robust looks, strong mechanicals, and the virtue of being easily serviceable have made the Bolero such a success that even now it registers close to 7k monthly sales. With the introduction of vehicles like the TUV300 and TUV300 Plus, Mahindra has also enabled a lot of buyers to choose something more modern and useful. Despite that, the Bolero remains a strong seller.
As if enough hasn’t been said about the Mahindra Bolero already, but it needs to be mentioned that not a lot of designs have worked as well in the past. While the front, details, and even the length might have varied over generations and models, on the whole, the Bolero isn’t too different from what it was back in the day. The boxy design has its own charm, and the moulded bumpers and clear lens headlamps do try to make it look more modern. The shortened, sub-four-metre Bolero Power+ retains the look but reaps in the tax benefits.
It might have the seating capacity of seven (or more) but in terms of cabin design, it’s fairly basic. The layout is reminiscent of the old Bolero’s dashboard, and Mahindra has added unique touches to make it more up to date. Like the digital display and the adjoining driver information system. There’s also functional AC standard on all variants except the base full-size model wherein it’s still optional. While the inclusion of ABS and airbags is likely to happen before the new crash safety norms (BNVSAP) are applicable, but as of now, the vehicle doesn’t come with either. Also, the crashworthiness is still questionable.
The Mahindra Bolero is bestowed with either the tried-and-tested 2.5-litre 62 bhp diesel engine or the newer 1.5-litre three-cylinder diesel engine that makes 70 bhp and an identical torque of 195 Nm. Both engines come with a 5-speed gearbox.
It continues to enjoy a ‘modular’ platform, which is why off-road enthusiasts have tried and tested various engines, gearboxes, and even all-wheel-drive systems on the SUV. The company-made 4x4 version’s no longer available, though.
The Mahindra Bolero Power+ is priced at Rs 7.07 lakh onwards, ex-showroom, Delhi. The top-end variant costs Rs 8.43 lakh. On the other hand, the full-size Mahindra Bolero (passenger version) starts at Rs 7.58 lakh for the non-AC variant, while the fully loaded Mahindra Bolero ZLX costs Rs 9.27 lakh.
In terms of competition, there’s hardly anything as robust that comes close to the Bolero as a worthy alternative. A more meaningful choice is the Mahindra Scorpio, which is more modern, drives well, and is more powerful, too. The TUV 300 isn’t a bad choice, either. It offers more power than the Bolero, isn’t short on basic amenities, and looks more premium, too. And that without toning down the muscular stance is something.