Now, one of the key highlights is the detuned 1.5-litre three-cylinder ‘mHawk D70’ turbodiesel motor from the more powerful TUV300 and NuvoSport. It is paired to a five-speed manual gearbox. Despite being less powerful than its former siblings, this engine produces 70bhp of power, which is 7bhp more than the regular Bolero. This peak power is available at 3,600rpm and 195Nm of torque between 1,400-2,200 rpm. As a result, there is a lot of pulling power from the word go. And since there is lots of torque available at lower rpm, low speeds of about 20kmph can easily be done even in the third gear. There is hardly any need to constantly downshift, unless you want to do a quick overtake. And even if the gear stick is long, it is easy working through gears. Overall drivability is good and a light clutch further makes city driving a breeze. The engine is refined, responsive and doesn’t sound rough or forced even at high revs. What comes as a pleasant surprise is the low NVH levels. Mahindra has well insulated the cabin and one can hardly hear the engine or tyre noise.
As the sedate driving makes for a pleasant ride, traversing an unknown terrain with the Bolero doesn’t require one to think twice. The Bolero gets independent suspension with coil springs in the front, while the rear is equipped with a leaf spring arrangement. With a good ground clearance of 180mm, a rock-solid body-on-frame chassis and a sturdy structure, one can tackle the bad patches at ease. Not just small bumps, but big potholes with sharp edges are also taken in its stride. However, the side-to-side movement of passengers on-board increases on these roads due to the soft suspension set-up. At high speeds, the vehicle’s behaviour becomes a bit aberrant. Straight-line stability is good but every bump, every irregularity on the road, makes the ride uncomfortable. The steering feels vague while taking bends, thus making you slow down at every corner. Going fast anyway doesn’t help as the high centre of gravity still accounts for a good amount of body roll. Then the brakes lack ABS, are soggy and one will have to plan his moves to stop the vehicle on time.