Some of the local manufacturers have been laying their hands on technologies seemingly impossible earlier. By local, I meant Indian and by technologies, I meant the start stop system and all digital instrument cluster. Ladies and gentlemen, I welcome you to the 2011 Mahindra Bolero m2DiCR in India. Well, I haven’t being hired by any PR agency and nor am I a mini skirted lipstick toting femme fatale. Its just that I cant imagine such kind of technology at this price. Apart from the Chevy Beat, most of the manufacturers prefer using an analogue setup or a mix of both but how about an instrument cluster which looks like it was lifted straight out of the Yamaha FZ16? Now, you catch the drift? First up, I was never a fan of the Bolero even though many out there would be ready to catch me by the scruff of my neck and dunk me into a tub full of shit. Without any further ado, the review oops the test drive report of the 2011 Mahindra Bolero m2DiCR follows.
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Apart from the spanking paint job quality, let me have a good look on what’s new here. Unlike the earlier version of the Bolero which had its turn indicators mounted atop the bonnet, this one has the turn indicators blended into its head lamp setup. The grille setup is also a new thing with the saber tooth logo of Mahindra making its way in here. The bumper is a body colored unit and is said to be redesigned as well. The Bolero is a reminder to Mahindra about its roots and this is something which the company has been consciously trying to evolve over the years. Not to mention the fact that the tail lamps have been tinkered around with keeping in view the evolving times. Nope, there aren’t any special motifs like the one on the XUV. The side panels get some graphics which don’t look gawdy at all. This sums up the looks of the Bolero or rather the new Bolero.
The interiors is what one would surprise the typical Bolero owner. No, I am not referring to the crudeness of the package but rather the modern nature that has been inducted. First up, the sharp edges or rather the feel of plastics (compared to the Xylo and Scorpio, they still do feel a grade lower) has improved. The instrument cluster, as discussed before, is surprisingly an all new digital affair. The one the go fuel efficiency, temperature bar, time, distance to empty as also the regular speedo and odo details with the fuel bar are being displayed by the digital fare. It is somehow distracting to look at but then a Bolero owner wouldn’t have to feel like he has got bare basics MUV with him. The finishing on the interiors has also improved very much. The earlier Boleros that I had in my friend’s garage were typical rudimentary while this one was typically, dare I say, upmarket. The earlier excuse of a glovebox has also been improved with the sides now feeling well finished. Its dimensions have also increased with the makeover. There are two cup holders in the central binnacle. The airconditioner provided in the Bolero, as was the case with the previous Boleros, was a chiller. This despite the lack of vents towards the rear of the MUV. The seats in the Bolero cannot be called as thrones but checking out the intended clientele, they definitely serve their purpose well. The front seats have a good amount of travel and both the leg room as also head room for a tall driver like me isn’t impeded. But then, the point comes wherein with the same settings, the middle row passenger has to be content with. With the same settings in place, I found my legs fouling with the front seats and properly hard at that. The last row of seats are opposite facing jump seats. This one can accommodate a 5 feet 6 inches person quite comfortably oops two at that. These can be nicely stowed away as well, if the requirement hankers more towards carrying good rather than passengers.
As of now, Mahindra haven’t introduced the 4×4 version, one which would be in great demand by the mud ploughers. It is said that they would be introducing this one later on. As of now, the current version does fine. Mahindra have introduced grippier rubber for this 2WD version and it shows in the way the MUV stamps its authority over the Indian roads. I was expecting a leaf spring like ride quality but boy does this Mahindra have a good ride quality. Unfortunately, I didn’t get to sample the jump seats, which I am sure would live upto their name of being “Jumpers”. During some cornering maneuvers, the MUV does roll but its manners, expectantly, would be sober when laden with a full complement of passengers. The NVH was something which was a lot lesser than the previous iterations of the Bolero. The steering wheel has got a somewhat wooden feeling with instances following where I thought that this was manual thing and not a powered one. M&M could have provided the Bolero with a pair of butch horns since the current ones can hardly even disperse the crows sitting on the road.
2011 Mahindra Bolero m2DiCR, well the last thing has got significance here. The new Bolero boasts of having the 2.5 liter engine from the Scorpio EX. However, this engine is in a milder state of tune than the Scorpio. This has been done on a purpose that both the models don’t overlap each other, especially since the price quotient is very near to each other. The 62 Bhp of power in the Bolero is enough to make it run from 0-100 kmph in 17 seconds while the top speed that I could manage with breaking off some bolts of this MUV was 126 kmph. What scores here is the in-gear roll one figures with this CRDI engine ready to lug this beast at low speeds of 20 kmph in 3rd gear. Most of the Bolero owners would be more interested in rolling off from second gear from standstill. The stop start system, something which made its debut first in the earlier generation Bolero has been used here as well. Just lift your foot of the accelerator while in stop go traffic and the engine will just shut off. This would be done while the car is in neutral gear. By the way, there is a 5 speed manual transmission and though the gear shifter knob could have been better finished, the gears slot well into their respective gates with a hint of notchiness. The start stop system can be deactivated at will by a switch in the central console. Wouldn’t that beat the purpose of having it in the first place? The slight irritating character of the system is that it turns off the AC and one has to resort to winding the down the windows using the power window switches placed near the front cup holders.
The fuel efficiency that this one achieved during my test drive was a cool 13.4 kmpl. This inspite of being abused to a great extent and with the aircon working at all the times. Braking for the Mahindra Bolero is achieved via discs in the front and drums at the rear with brake boosters thrown in for a good measure. Surprisingly ABS is offered as an option with no provision for the air bags though. The rudimentary character of the Bolero should hold it good in crashes. Braking has improved a lot courtesy the ABS and the braking feel also seems a lot reassuring than the earlier model’s stand on it character.
Bolero Prices have gone up marginally as compared with the 2010 model. This was to be expected, wasn’t it? The 2011 Mahindra Bolero m2DiCR price in India starts from Rs 6.12 lakhs for the base version which is named as SLX while the top variant, named as ZLX, costs Rs 6.77 lakhs. All these prices are ex-show room, Mumbai. A decently sized vehicle with some off-road capacity and good fuel efficiency is what the Bolero promises and at a relatively small price at that.
Images from AutomotiveHorizonSulekha