Mahindra Bolero Neo - The rebadged TUV300 or more?

Mahindra announced its latest offering in terms of a 7 seater SUV with a name which is already famous in the market. TUV300, earlier before its launch was named Bolero, now with a new generation of TUV300 it is launched as Bolero Neo. The Bolero Neo is basically a very solid built TUV300 with bits of previous Bolero’s iconic design elements to create a sense of fusion between two cars. 3 variants could be available, the N4 (Base Variant) ₹8.48Lakhs, N8 ₹9.47Lakhs, N10 (Top Variant) ₹9.99Lakhs ex-showroom Delhi. Rivaling against some of the most widely accepted cars like the Suzuki Breeza, Hyundai Venue, Kia Sonet and Tata Nexon, will the fusion between two Mahindra cars be better? Let us find out. The Bolero Neo carries the same engine offered in the previous generation TUV300, it is the BS-6 compliant 1.5L mHAWK diesel, pairs with 5-speed manual transmission producing 100hp and 260nm torque which is 20nm more than the TUV300. 33% more power than the previous Bolero and more of low end torque which helps the car come out of tight road hurdles. A Start/Stop system, this would stop the car if kept in neutral and released the clutch to save fuel, to start the car one has to just press the clutch again.

The Neo comes with a Multi Terrain Technology (MTT) system which in this segment is the only car to offer this, the MTT works when one of the tyre is stuck and other is in the air, instead of sending equal power to tyres, the system will send more power to the tyre that needs it more hence making it easy to go off-road. Adding to the off-roading capabilities, the top variant N10 gets a mechanical lock differential.

5 color choices are offered - Majestic Silver, Napoli Black, Highway Red, Rocky Beige and Diamond White. At a first glance, the Neo looks exactly like TUV300 with same boxy design, but when look closely we find Bolero elements like the sloping front grille, headlamps, side cladding and black windows. 20mm lower flat roof and 40mm lower flat bonnet than before, 4m long makes it a very compact 7 seater SUV, adults nor kids can sit comfortably in the 3rd row jump seats so it’s best to fold them and use it for its 384L of cargo space. For more modern styling, the Neo has 15-inch alloy wheels and LED DRLs horizontal strip above the headlamps. Getting in and out of this SUV is also easy thanks to side stepper which comes as standard. Stephanie is located on the boot door with Bolero badging cover. Great visibility thanks to high seats and lower bonnet, the OVRM’s are big enough as well.

The interior of the Bolero Neo is designed by Mahindra owned Italian company Pininfarina which is well known for its beautiful designs. This sounds fancy but Neo’s interior doesn’t look that fancy, yes it is a massive upgrade from its previous models but as per the rivals already in the market, Neo’s interior is not that special. Dual tone beige and black interior, individual hand rests for front seats, big storage spaces on the doors and center console to add more practicality, even the dashboard has a dedicated scooped space to put statue of a Deity. The 3rd row seats do not have seat belts, there is a butterfly window for the 3rd row passengers so that they don’t feel claustrophobic.

The Bolero Neo has a 7-inch touch screen infotainment system, cruise control, height-adjustable driver seat, keyless entry and an instrument cluster which is carried from the new Thar. Apart from these features it gets steering mounted audio controls and an Eco mode. Built on the ladder platform same as what the 3rd generation Scorpio is built on which insures good ground clearance. Dual airbags, ISOFIX child seat mount, reverse parking sensors with park assist and, ABS and EBD are among the safety aspects of the car.

The Bolero Neo is a budget friendly off-roader with more seats, it is attractively priced and is a good off-roader, the one that doesn’t get stuck for long. Though it carries a new look, it still has a lot of resemblance from the TUV300 whose design liking is subjective. For those who are looking for a good 5 seater off-roader and keeping only luggage in the 3rd row seats, it is a good buy.

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