JUST HIT REFRESH. DON’T think about the TUV300 for a moment,” I say to myself as I approach the Bolero Neo for the first time. Easier said than done, the sensible side of me replies. The similarities are staring me in the face — the silhouette, the taillights, the front-end and, if I could peel back the layers, also the mechanicals. But that’s not to say there aren’t any changes here. Far from it actually.
Let’s talk looks first because that’s where the bulk of the new metal has gone. The Bolero Neo sits 20mm lower than its predecessor to ‘make it look more approachable’, says Mahindra, and the bonnet line too has been lowered by 20mm. These changes may seem small but it means that the Bolero Neo looks like it’s sitting on its wheels, instead of the TUV’s awkward half-squat. It also gets a new bumper upfront, which makes an ‘X’ that’s akin to the OG Bolero’s. More Bolero-ness comes by way of the bolder grille, slimmer headlamps, the iconic strip of plastic running along the side, trapezoidal wheel arches and a splatter of Bolero Neo badges. There are fewer changes on the inside though, with the big changes primarily being a new fabric for the seats and a new colour MID between the analogue dials. The 7-inch touchscreen infotainment system still doesn’t support Apple CarPlay or Android Auto, though you can still pump tunes through Bluetooth or USB. There’s no fancy digital instrument cluster, no climate control, no sunroof. Some of this isn’t too much of a miss, but stuff like the lack of CarPlay makes the cabin feel dated which is not helped by the fact that the layout is identical to the TUV300’s. Keep the feature list aside though and you get to appreciate that the seats are rather comfortable, there’s good space in the second row and there are also jump seats behind that expand seating capacity to seven.
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