A Mahindra Bolero Special edition came home yesterday evening. My first four wheeler was a Chevy Beat which had run just over 70,000 kms. This was exchanged in for the Bolero, hereafter referred to as 'Panda'
So here goes the purchase & initial drive impressions
Mahindra Bolero has been in my dreams for a long long time, maybe since it's launch when I was in School. We guys in Kerala are sure blessed to see various jeeps due to the terrain.
My first car selection also started from Mahindra showroom, but unfortunately it never materialised & I brought home a Chevy Beat. Now again a car purchase spree rekindled after almost 3 years with the Beat. But this time, I didn't need any selection, zeroed in on Bolero.
I had heard about the Special edition Bolero launched around March 2014, which was in my mind since it came with 'Rear Abs
', the only factor I could get my family convinced.
So one fine day went to Sireesh, Yelahanka for a test drive. Had previously called up the earlier day, so the test drive vehicle was ready. For my wifey, this was the first drive in a Bolero.(She was against the ride quality in 'Jeep' or maybe pampered by the softly sprung 'Beat')
Started the vehicle & test drove both in bad as well as the Airport road. To my surprise, there wasn't any comments on the ride quality as such. It is said to strike the iron while it's hot. I knew this was my chance & immediately started on the buying procedure, asked the Sireesh guys to evaluate my car. Since it being a Sunday, they promised to send their person the next day. The guys the next day, did the evaluation & came with a quote less than even in my dreams. So the process got hit by a hurdle. In between my bro in law had contacted Anant Cars to come to my office for evaluation which also ended up in a low quote. Dejected, I thought of postponing my buying. But one Sunday, I ended up in India Garage(IG) for their quote. Met Mr Prasanna, who was courteous enough & from whom we came to know that there are only 2 or 3 special edition vehicles available in Bangalore, 1 with IG & the rest with Sireesh. He convinced us so well that I ended up booking the vehicle on 14th Sep 2014. He promised the evaluator will reach my office on Monday & it didn't happen. Gave me a reason that the guy was busy at some place else. Then they turned up on Tuesday & had my car evaluated. They didn't immediately give me any price, waite for 2 days & then gave me a quote slightly above than other dealers. So wen ahead with the deal & started for the loan. Here I went with Kotak Mahindra for which the agreement papers everything was done on Saturday, 20. They told me a delivery within 1 week. They refused to give me the VIN number citing some silly excuse. Anyway decided on the vehicle, so left it as such.
On the 27th of Sep 2014, I, along with my family went there at India Garage & took delivery of my 'Panda'. The picz during delivery are shared above.
As far as my purchase is concerned, I'll give only average marks o India Garage since they made a lot of goof ups & even made me re think on my purchase a couple of times, all these because of the sales executive.
The shade Pearl white looks good for the machine. It' quite a looker should I say. It came with Bridgestone Dueler shoes along with it. No alloys, came with wheel caps. Compared to normal ZLX bolero, this one came with black stepping boards. Also the graphics on the front sides are different & features checks. It has the special edition stickers on the sides & the spare tyre cover.Rest it is identical to any other Bolero.
Come inside & you have leather seats instead of fabric ones. The all digital display has odo, tacho, fuel gauge & temp gauge in addition to 2 trip meters. The MID on the central console above AC vents gives information on the date, time, day, gear position & buttons which can be pressed to toggle between the average fuel consumption & distance to empty. The seats are hard (compared to Beat), but the view from Drivers' seat is commanding even though it lacks height adjustment. As said umpteen times, the steering feels large in size & the front seats lack under thigh support. But You can adjust with this, within a couple of hour' drive. All the equipments seems to be ergonomically placed, along with the centrally placed power windows, which took some time to get used to. The middle row seat seems to be in generous with the under thigh support which resulted in lesser legroom for the middle row passengers. Still it isn't a problem for a family of people with shorter height.
Third row seats, I haven't used much other than for the luggage with the seats folded up. But still a short drive can be done with people upto 5'8'' max in the jump seats.
Start the ignition & you can here the 2.5l coming alive only if your windows are rolled down. The noise is so well insulated inside that even the horn seems to be meek. Slotting the gears initially was a task as I found difficult to engage 3rd. But eventually I learnt it. The gears throws are longer with short ratio which will be fun to drive in City. The clutch seems to be neither light nor heavy to operate. The power steering is good enough for rides upto 100kmph beyond which I haven't tested.
The engine sounds refined & power band starts early from around 1500 rpm. My first drive after delivery was into the peak traffic in Bangalore, felt comfortable immediately after 5 min. Less tiresome since you don't have to guess where the boot of the other vehicle ends, or what lies at the corner of the road. (compared to Beat) Had been keeping the vehicle under 2000 rpm for the initial period. Filled up diesel almost 60l (full capacity), 8l coupon given by Indian garage immediately after delivery.
Suspension seems to be on the harder side, but can munch up small speed breakers & pot holes smoothly.
The initial readings in MID show a mileage of around 15-16 if you drive at 70kmph. My first long trip is planned for Mookambika temple during Dussehra period. Hope to give an elaborate experience view of the vehicle by then.
Picz will be updated then & there.