Mahindra Bolero Neo Review - New Wine in Old Bottle?

Updated On: 21 July 2021 Jatin Jhamb

While we all were just getting the hang of the UP Government changing city names, even a famous carmaker has followed the trend. The recently launched Bolero Neo is basically Mahindra's attempt to give the discontinued TUV300 a new lease of life by associating it with one of its most popular brands. But has the UV-specialist been successful? Well, in this Mahindra Bolero Neo review, I take you through all the highlights that distinguish the new offering from the now-defunct UV it's based on.

Design

Mahindra Bolero Neo Left three-quarter

The overall silhouette of the compact SUV looks like the TUV300 but there are some changes like the redesigned headlight cluster, tweaked bumpers and the updated fog lights. You also get to see a Bolero-like grille and the new headlights feature LED Daytime Running Lights with follow me home function. The side profile now gets wheel arch cladding and a plastic black strip that continues from the front fender to the rear. Also, the UV rides on new 15-inch alloy wheels.

Mahindra Bolero Neo Left three-quarter

Apart from the additions, the Bolero Neo misses out on the roof rails that used to come in the TUV300 and the height is now 20mm lowered. This may surely help the Bolero Neo with lowered centre of gravity but the ground clearance also stands reduced to 160mm as compared to 184mm on the TUV300. This means one has to take care of the Bolero Neo over bad roads to ensure the underbelly doesn't get scraped. The rear-end remains more or less unchanged. That said, you now get a new X-styled wheel cover and the Bolero Neo badge.

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Interior

Mahindra Bolero Neo Cockpit

Jump inside the Mahindra Bolero Neo and the first thing you will notice is how airy the cabin feels. The dual-tone beige and black interior colour scheme is one reason but the other is the width of the vehicle. There's enough shoulder space but let's talk about the changes first.

You now get a a new semi-digital instrument cluster that has been sourced from the latest generation Mahindra Thar and the MID supplies you with a plethora of information. Even the cruise control is a new addition but this feature is reserved for the top-spec N10 and N10(O) variants.

Mahindra Bolero Neo Instrument Cluster

Also on platter is a responsive 7.0-inch touchscreen infotainment system but it misses out on the Apple CarPlay/Android Auto connectivity and even the rear camera display. The carmaker has clearly said that it intends to target the youth with the Bolero Neo but the absence of these basic features, will surely disappoint the clientele. Thankfully, there's Bluetooth and AUX-IN support on offer.

Mahindra Bolero Neo Bottle Holders Centre

What you also get are loads of cubby spaces and one-litre bottle holders at each door. What I really love from the drivers perspective is the independent armrests along with the height-adjustable seat. There is no automatic aircon even on the top trims though.

Mahindra Bolero Neo Space 2nd

Middle row is where you completely realise the space that is available. Three can be easily seated here as there's a good amount of shoulder room, knee room as well as under-thigh support on offer. Even if you are 6 ft tall, you won't have any problem with the height of the SUV. The Bolero Neo is 1817 mm tall and this is higher than even the MG Hector Plus!

Mahindra Bolero Neo Kneeroom 3rd

The last row is best suited for kids and you will know why. I measure 5'9 and I was struggling for the under-thigh support, headroom and the lack of rear AC vents makes the side facing seats unbearable for adults. However, if you want to seat children at the back, they will have the most fun. And if you want to take longer trips then the seats can be folded closed for more boot space.

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Performance

Mahindra Bolero Neo Puddle Splash 2

The Mahindra Bolero Neo is powered by a 1.5L, three-cylinder turbocharged diesel unit that is now BS6 compliant. It generates as much as 100 hp of maximum power with 260 Nm of peak torque. This is a 20Nm improvement over the TUV300's motor and the increased pulling power can be felt right from the lower RPMs. The 5-speed MT has a lighter clutch thus making city drives breezier. Mahindra claims an ARAI certified mileage of 17.29 kmpl for the Bolero Neo and this could be achievable if you drive with a light foot. You do get Eco mode and Intelli hybrid features across the trims.

Ride and Handling

Mahindra Bolero Neo Tracking corner

The steering is slightly on the heavier side at low speeds but gives enough confidence once the speedo middle climbs. The suspension of the Mahindra Bolero Neo is tuned towards the softer side and hence, the high speed drives through the twisties isn't something you'd be looking forward to. However, on bad roads or off the roads, the new model comes into its elements. It just eats up the potholes with ease and doesn't get unsettled on the undulations. Sure, the ride gets a bit bouncy but this is what you expect from a UV of this segment.

MTT and MLD

Mahindra Bolero Neo MLD

The top-spec N10(O) trims of the Mahindra Bolero comes with Multi-Terrain Technology (MTT) and Mechanical Locking Differential (MLD). Even though the carmaker says that the Neo also targets car buyers in Tier I cities, the capability this model exhibits off the road should ensure that the demand for it is much higher in Tier-II and Tier-III cities. This is where the MTT as well as the MLD come handy and make short work of bad/no roads.

Mahindra Bolero Neo MTT Jump

If you are stuck in a slush or where the terrain keeps one of the rear tyres up in the air, the wheels starts spinning endlessly. Here, the MLD comes into play as it locks the wheel that has lost traction. Once that happens, the other wheel that still enjoys grip gets additional power and helps the vehicle gain momentum

Price

ModelPrice (ex-showroom, Delhi)
Mahindra Bolero NeoRs 8.48 lakh - Rs 9.99 lakh
Mahindra BoleroRs 8.64 lakh - Rs 9.63 lakh
Mahindra TUV300 (discontinued)Rs 8.51 lakh - Rs 10.61 lakh

On sale at a starting price of Rs 8.48 lakh (ex-showroom), the Mahindra Bolero Plus turns out to be more affordable than the Bolero as well as the TUV300. The attractive pricing could play a major role in helping the new model establish itself well in the market.

Verdict

Mahindra Bolero Neo MTT (1)

The Mahindra Bolero Neo is surely more than just a TUV300 with some styling updates. It not only gets additional torque and some more features but also offers improved performance to help it justify the Bolero tag when it comes to the test of its ruggedness. Compared to its namesake, the new model provides a more powerful engine, higher off-road capability, a more premium interior and even more features. So, the Neo is certainly the best for you in case you want a more modern alternative to the dinosaur bones Bolero.

What do you think about our Mahindra Bolero Neo review and will you buy this SUV over others? Do let us know in the comment section below. Also, make sure you are a member of our 91Wheels Whatsapp group where we bring you all the latest updates related to the Indian Automotive Industry.

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Mahindra Bolero Neo car

Mahindra Bolero Neo

Bolero Neo is a SUV car from Mahindra.
₹ 8.77 Lakh - ₹ 10.99 LakhView Price Breakup
*Ex-showroom Price inNew Delhi

Offer will expire in 3 days

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