Mahindra launches Bolero Neo at Rs 8.48 lakh
The Mahindra Bolero Neo can be viewed as an update to the TUV 300, but instead of talking about the similarities, let’s get straight to the differences. The Bolero Neo sits lower, gets a little more torque, a mechanical locking differential on the top-spec variants and lots of styling touches that link it with the Bolero family. Of course, the Bolero Neo is not replacing the Bolero and will be sold alongside it. So while the Bolero is pitched as a more utility-focused offering, the Neo is targeted toward younger audiences that want a rugged SUV but don’t want to skimp on creature comforts.
Mahindra Bolero Neo is an authentic SUV
First things first the Bolero Neo retains rear-wheel drive, making it the only SUV in its class and even from a class above to have rear-drive. It also retains the body on frame construction like a proper, rugged, hardcore SUV. The chassis is in fact shared with the Mahindra Scorpio and the Mahindra Thar — it is Mahindra’s third generation ladder-frame. This is an authentic SUV, of that there’s no doubt, not a car that has been jacked up to look like an SUV. And it has the abilities too, which we will elaborate upon in our test drive.
Mahindra Bolero Neo Exterior
The body of the Bolero Neo sits 20mm lower on the ladder-frame chassis which improves its overall stance and the bonnet itself is 20mm lower which, Mahindra says, has been done to make the car more approachable. Other changes include new headlights, a bolder grille, redesigned bumpers, trapezoidal wheel arches and lots of plastic cladding. There’s no missing the TUV 300 roots but if you were to erase that memory, you may start to see some similarities between the Bolero and the Bolero Neo.
Mahindra Bolero Neo Interior
On the inside, the overall layout of the Bolero Neo is rather similar and it retains the Pininfarina-designed dashboard. That’s a fact! The major change is the fact that it gets a new fabric for the seats. It retains the 7-inch infotainment display, though it misses out on Apple CarPlay and Android Auto. There is also a 3.5-inch colour MID between the speedo and tacho dials and it still gets seating for seven in the cabin. Dual airbags are standard, as is ABS, EBD, CBC (corner brake control) and ISOFIX child seat mounting points. Seating for seven is also retained with the two jump seats at the rear.
Mahindra Bolero Neo Powertrain
The Bolero Neo carries forward the mHawk100 engine, and while power stays the same at 100bhp, torque has gone up by 20Nm to bring the total to 260Nm. Currently, Mahindra is only offering the Bolero Neo with a five-speed manual gearbox, but one of the most significant changes to the Bolero Neo is the MTT. Multi Terrain Technology essentially uses a mechanical differential lock for the rear wheels to provide traction in certain situations. What situations? Well since the Bolero Neo is rear-wheel-drive only, you won’t be taking it far off-road but Mahindra says the MTT will come into play even in everyday scenarios where people have to put two wheels off the road to make way for oncoming traffic or to avoid a traffic jam. The diff-lock is said to engage automatically when it senses slippage.
Mahindra Bolero Neo Price and Rivals
The Mahindra Bolero Neo is priced at Rs 8.48 lakh for the base N4 variant while the top-spec N10 (O) variant will be launched at a later date. The main target is of course the Maruti Suzuki Brezza and this will tap into that huge chunk of buyers that want a diesel engine in their compact SUV and which Suzuki does not currently offer. The Neo will also ride on the strengths of the Bolero brand name, especially in tier 2 and 3 cities, while also doubling up in a utility role thanks to the rugger ladder-frame chassis. Stay tuned for our first drive review of the Mahindra Bolero Neo which drops on July 17!