Complete Guide to Buying a Mahindra Bolero

Mahindra Bolero

In an age where generalist cars rule the roost, being a specialist can be fraught with risk. But the specialist in question here, the Mahindra Bolero, has had absolutely no trouble in clocking consistently high sales figures despite being over two decades old. That’s because while the Bolero gets only a few things right, it does them better than any other car in India. In this Mahindra Bolero buying guide, we talk about these things while also throwing light on areas where Mahindra takes the ‘specialist’ tag a tad too seriously, to the Bolero’s detriment.

Mahindra Bolero Specifications

Mahindra Bolero Engine and Transmission

Variant

B4, B6, B6(O)

Engine

1.5-litre diesel

Transmission

5-speed manual

Power

76 PS

Torque

210 Nm

Mileage

16 kmpl

Mahindra Bolero Dimensions

Length

3995 mm

Width

1745 mm

Height

1880 mm

Wheelbase

2680 mm

Boot Space

384 litres

Mahindra Bolero Safety Features

Airbags

2 airbags

ABS with EBD

Yes

Rear Parking Sensors

Yes

Parking Camera

No

All-Wheel Disc Brakes

No

Electronic Stability Program

No

Tyre Pressure Monitoring System

No

ISOFIX Mounts

No

Hill Hold Assist

No

Hill Descent Control

No

Why you should consider the Mahindra Bolero

Launched in 2000, the Bolero has soldiered on virtually unchanged in terms of design and underpinnings. Here are three reasons why that hasn’t deterred buyers from the Bolero to this day.  

Ironclad Skeleton

Ladder frame chassis, rear-wheel drive, rear leaf spring suspension – we might as well be reading out a truck’s specifications! Then again, those components are exactly why the Bolero offers unmatched levels of robustness. For starters, the ladder frame chassis can withstand high amounts of torsional stress and take an absolute hammering. This type of chassis also does well at sustaining uneven load distribution, which most Boleros are subjected to through people, cargo, or broken road conditions. 

The rear-wheel drive plays its part in helping the Bolero power through surfaces where traction is hard to come. And while the leaf spring suspension might not result in a plush ride quality, it allows the Bolero to dispatch craters and giant potholes without losing its composure. 

Driveable, Fuel Efficient Engine

The Bolero is powered by a 1.5-litre 3-cylinder turbo diesel engine that produces 76 PS and 210 Nm. There’s only one transmission option, a 5-speed manual. In contrast to its rugged underpinnings, the Bolero’s engine feels more refined. It’s also quite tractable as most of the torque is produced in the 1600 – 2200 RPM range. In fact, there’s enough torque to keep a packed Bolero moving even at 1000 RPM, which explains the SUV’s popularity in hilly areas. But a more salient reason for this popularity can be found in its fuel efficiency as the Bolero returns roughly 16 kmpl.

Easy and Affordable to Maintain

The Bolero is one of those rare cars that have a fan following across India. The SUV is quite easy and affordable to maintain because of its abuse-friendly nature and Mahindra’s wide service network. Also, by the dint of being relatively archaic in terms of technology, the Bolero doesn’t have too many things that can break. And what does break can easily be fixed by even a roadside mechanic. This means you can take the Bolero literally wherever you want without worrying about the accessibility or affordability of repairs, should you need them. 

Why you should not consider the Mahindra Bolero

As mentioned previously, the Mahindra Bolero has a single-minded focus on doing a few things well. That isn’t a problem until that focus comes at the cost of other important things. Here are two such things whose absence takes the sheen off the Bolero’s overall excellence. 

Dated Interior, Feature List

The Mahindra Bolero’s interior and feature list are spartan, to put it kindly. This is one aspect where the Bolero well and truly shows its 23-year age. There’s no touchscreen infotainment system, sunroof, reverse parking camera, and other modern niceties even as options. Even a basic music player, that too without Bluetooth connectivity, is offered only with the top two variants. Overall, the Bolero is utilitarian inside and outside.

Truck-like Safety, Fit and Finish

The Mahindra Bolero’s safety equipment list is thin as there’s only the bare minimum required by Indian law, i.e. ABS with EBD, rear parking sensors, and dual airbags. Add in the fact that the Bolero hasn’t been crash tested and you’ve got an SUV with questionable safety. The Bolero’s interior space, though spacious, leaves a lot to be desired in terms of fit and finish quality. There are no soft-touch materials anywhere and the brown finishing doesn’t look like it’ll age well. To sum it up, if you’re used to modern cars, life inside a Bolero will be hard. 

Mahindra Bolero Variants

The Mahindra Bolero is available in three variants with all of them using the same diesel powertrain.

Mahindra Bolero Neo Variants & Price

Variant

Powertrain

Price (Ex-showroom, Delhi)

B4

1.5-litre diesel & 5-speed manual

Rs 9.78 lakh

B6

1.5-litre diesel & 5-speed manual

Rs 9.99 lakh

B6(O)

1.5-litre diesel & 5-speed manual

Rs 10.78 lakh

Best Mahindra Bolero Variant to Buy

Given the Bolero’s ‘horses for courses’ nature, the B6 variant offers the best value for money. While it misses out on a digital driver information system and a rear washer and wiper compared to the B6(O), those features aren’t enough to justify the latter’s Rs 79,000 premium. Compared to the B4, the B6 variant offers power windows, central locking, utility storage spaces, a 12v charging point, a remote key, fabric upholstery, and a music system.   

Mahindra Bolero Warranty & Service Cost

The Mahindra Bolero comes with a standard 3-year/100,000 km warranty. You can extend this warranty by buying Mahindra’s ‘Shield’ program, which covers issues related to mechanical and electrical failures. Coming to Mahindra Bolero service costs, you can expect to shell out between Rs 4,000 – 6,000 for every scheduled service at intervals of 10,000 km/1 year.  

Mahindra Bolero Buying Guide Summary

You can’t deny that the Mahindra Bolero is getting long in the tooth in terms of features, safety, and overall quality. But you also can’t deny that there’s no other car in India that can match the Bolero’s combination of reliability, fuel efficiency, driveability, serviceability, and space. With this Mahindra Bolero buying guide, you should have a better idea of which Bolero variant to buy. 

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