2016 Mahindra Bolero Power+ Review
2016 Mahindra Bolero Power+ – Click above for high resolution image gallery

Mahindra Bolero Power+ Review

Car Tested: Mahindra Bolero Power+; Road Test No. 748

Price OTR Mumbai: Rs. 7.59 – 8.72 lakhs

The Mahindra Bolero Power+ is a basic & reliable people carrier that feels utilitarian in nature

Mahindra has been selling the Bolero in the market since more than a decade now. The car is a favourite with rural and semi urban customers. Despite being so old and outdated, the Bolero is fetching good sales even now. To improve the value quotient of the car, Mahindra has now launched the Bolero Power+. It comes at a significantly lower price and produces much more power.

Motor Quest: The Mahindra Bolero is very popular in rural areas and people buy it because it is basic and reliable and offers a no-frills ownership experience. Mahindra’s after-sales network in those parts of the country also helps matters.

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Styling of the Power+ isn’t much different than the older Bolero

Exteriors – There are very few changes on the outside. Mahindra designers have cleverly chopped off the front and rear bumper to make the car fit into the sub 4-metre segment. Apart from that, the Bolero Power+ comes with wheel caps, body coloured mirrors, Power+ badging at the rear, D70 badging on the front fenders and stickering on the sides. The body still retains the styling of the older Bolero and it looks rugged. Road presence is pretty good too and don’t be surprised if people make way for you, considering that the Bolero is popularly known as a police car. A layman won’t be able to differentiate the regular Bolero from the Power+ but it is actually easily to make out just by looking at the bumpers.

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The interiors are basic with only the bare essential features

Interiors – The interiors are very similar to the older Bolero. You get a power steering, AC, power windows and a very basic audio system. The steering wheel is placed at a very high position and it makes it very awkward for short passengers who won’t be able to look at the instrument cluster properly. The locking mechanism of the door is very weird and sometimes we had to struggle with it to open the door. The audio system is very basic and feels complicated to use with the sound quality not being great either. The menus are very confusing and we had a lot of issues to connect our phone to the audio system via Bluetooth. Apart from that, the Bolero misses out on airbags and ABS and is a very basic car with no safety features on offer. Quality on the inside isn’t great either.

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Space is good but comfort levels are a bit below satisfactory

The Mahindra Bolero isn’t comfortable and the seats aren’t that great either

The AC is a great performer and chills the cabin in no time. The front seats are far from comfortable while space at the rear is pretty decent. You get a good amount of knee room, shoulder space and head space. You also get a rear centre armrest. The rear seats are also not too comfortable though. Power windows can be controlled via a console that is placed next to the handbrake. Apart from that, there are no switches for the power windows on any door. Talking about cubby holes and storage spaces, you cannot spot anything at the rear. At the front, you get storage spaces on each door. Apart from that, there are 2 bottle holders next to the handbrake. There is another storage space ahead of the gear lever. The Bolero Power+ is a 7-seater car but the jump seats at the rear aren’t that comfortable. The seats are too small and they don’t come with seat belts either. If you fold the rear seats, it frees up a lot of space for luggage.

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The 1.5-litre oil-burner is much improved over the 2.4-litre engine

Performance – The Mahindra Bolero Power+ comes with a 1.5-litre diesel engine and it is more powerful than the older 2.4-litre unit. The oil-burner produces 70 HP of power and 195 Nm of torque. Torque delivery is smooth and linear. The car accelerates in 3rd gear from crawling speeds without much of a fuss. Acceleration is tiring slow, however, and 0-100 km/hr comes up in 20.76 seconds. There is some turbo lag but the mid-range feels punchy. There’s not much action after 4000 RPM though. 100 km/hr in 5th gear comes up near the 2500 RPM mark.

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The Bolero needs to be driven sedately; rewards you with good efficiency

Refinement and efficiency levels on the engine are indeed very positive

The new engine is very refined compared to the older unit and the clatter isn’t as bad as earlier. The insulation is very good and we were actually very surprised by the refinement. The Bolero Power+ isn’t meant to be driven fast at all and it is best enjoyed at cruising speeds. Gear shifts are very long and notchy but the clutch is super light. The Bolero Power+ has a claimed fuel efficiency of 16.5 km/l and we still managed to extract 15 km/l under normal driving conditions. The large fuel tank ensures that you get a range of around 700 kms on a full tank.

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Ride is just about fine while handling isn’t confidence inspiring

Driving Dynamics – The Mahindra Bolero has a very bumpy ride and the car tends to lose composure at high speeds. At low speeds, the suspension does a decent job of handling potholes and undulations but at high speeds, the car just doesn’t feel stable over uneven surfaces. It comes with a power steering but the steering feels very heavy. The wheel also doesn’t have much feel and after taking a turn, the car takes some time before it actually straightens again. There is also a lot of body roll which is again testament to the fact that the MUV should be kept miles away from aggressive driving mannerisms. The brakes are very spongey and braking performance is below average, sometimes making you uncertain of braking distances.

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No safety features offered on the Bolero Power+

Safety and After Sales Service – Mahindra has a very wide service network across India and you can find their service stations easily even in semi-urban and rural areas. Their service costs are generally very reasonable too and hence after-sales won’t be an issue with the Bolero. On the safety front, as we said earlier, the car doesn’t have ABS or airbags and even the third row jump seats don’t get seat belts.

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The target audience of the Bolero will embrace the Power+ version too

Verdict – The Mahindra Bolero Power+ is a much better car than the previous model and it is priced significantly lower too. The car is clearly aimed for the rural markets because there is no level of sophistication that you would expect in a car that costs this much. The Bolero has always been a hit with its target audience and the Power+ is going to be no different. The car will fetch more numbers in Tier-2 and Tier-3 cities than metros.

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Mahindra has tried to give modern touches to the Bolero

What’s Cool

* The Bolero has really good road presence
* Engine is refined and very frugal
* Significantly cheaper than older Bolero

What’s Not So Cool

* No creature comforts on offer
* Uncomfortable seats with limited support
* No safety features, new bumpers serve no purpose either

Alternatives: Force Gurkha

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Mahindra has reduced the price by a big margin with the Power+

2016 Mahindra Bolero Power+ Specifications

* Engine: 1493cc, 3-Cylinder, DSOHC
* Power: 70 HP @ 3600 RPM
* Torque: 195 Nm @ 1400 – 2200 RPM
* Transmission: 5-Speed Manual
* 0-100 km/hr: 20.71 seconds
* Top Speed: 140 km/hr
* Fuel Consumption: 16.5 km/l (ARAI-claimed), 15 km/l (Actual)
* Fuel Type: Diesel
* Suspension: IFS Coil Spring (Front) & Rigid Leaf Spring (Rear)
* Tyres: 215/75/15
* Brakes: Discs (Front) & Drums (Rear)
* Safety: None

2016 Mahindra Bolero Power+ Dimensions

* Overall length x width x height: 3995 mm X 1745 mm X 1880 mm
* Wheelbase: 2680 mm
* Ground clearance: 180 mm
* Turning radius: 5.8-metres
* Fuel Tank Capacity: 60-litres
* Kerb Weight: 1615 kgs

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We had a lot of fun driving the Bolero Power+

Testers’ Note:

“The Mahindra Bolero Power+ is too basic a car which serves the purpose of a people carrier. It’s rugged and still packs in appeal for people in smaller cities and villages. The changes are positive, the vehicle is more refined with the new engine and comes with basic features but lacks on the safety front. Mahindra could make the Bolero better in many ways. The Power+ doesn’t have bumpers which are of any use though.” – Faisal Khan, Chief Editor, MotorBeam.
“The Mahindra Bolero Power+ isn’t a modern car by any means but there is something about the car that makes you like it. Maybe it is the bare-basic nature devoid of any electronics or maybe it is the sheer road presence and ruggedness that it boasts of. Honestly, I don’t see the car selling in urban areas, but the lower price will definitely make sales soar in rural and semi-urban markets. ” – Parth Gohil, Senior Road Tester, MotorBeam.

Further Reading

Mahindra Bolero Power+ Video Review