MAXIMUM OFFERING IN THE NEW BOLERO
Mahindra builds on the Bolero platform to offer maximum value proposition through the new MaXX pic-kup. Ashish Bhatia and Prateek Pardeshi drove it to validate the claims.
Mahindra and Mahindra Ltd. (M&M) has revisited its mainstay -Bolero pik-up. Adding another dimension to the range, the company in August 2022 created a new sub-brand MaXX. The brand translates to the maximum value proposition for the segment aimed at being best-in-class. Inheriting the DNA of the 1999 legacy model, the MaXX is essentially the Bolero at its heart. It attempts to break out from just offering a flatbed pickup, a CNG pickup or a crew cab pickup with air-conditioning. The MaXX variant is a larger attempt of the company to maximise the benefits on offer in turn offering the operator maximum profitability. It does so by a renewed consideration of load-carrying capacity, performance, mileage and resale at different levels of the vehicle life cycle. The vehicle is built around key pillars of maximising technology through iMaXX telematics, a new style quotient, enhanced comfort and safety levels and claims to offer maximum savings. Offered in white, silver and gold skins, the company offers the City 3000 at Rs.7.68 lakh (Exshowroom Pune) and the City 3000 LX at Rs.7.72 lakh (Ex-showroom Pune). The City 3000 VXi comes in higher at Rs.7.87 lakh (Ex-showroom Pune)
NEW DESIGN LANGUAGE
We had the opportunity to take the Bolero MaXX Pik-Up City 3000 VXi variant for a spin. Offered to us in an unladen state, we spent the day driving the vehicle around the city suburbs on free straights
and through city traffic. The City 3000 VXi offered to us, lacked HVAC but had the provision. It also lacked the display screen but had a mount to fit the optional accessory. In our opinion, it is key for operators to realise the maximum value proposition on offer over the older generation of Bolero pik-ups. Barring these exclusions, the vehicle stood out at first glance with its golden hue against the white Boleros doting the city scape. It not only drew second looks but tickled the aspirations of older-generation Bolero owners including the potential first-time buyers. A look at the front fascia reveals how the pik-up has come off age. The conventional headlights give way to revamped headlamp cluster that now houses ‘Turn Safe Lamps’ as a segment-first inclusion. The contemporary face lift has sharper lines and compact proportions that give it a premium touch. These could do with more consistent panel fitments to curtail the gaps visible as seen on a closer look.
The new head lights resemble those found on the Tuv or Bolero Neo from the passenger vehicle segment offerings of the company. The chrome embellishments on the display grille cater to the upmarket senses. The front bumper comes with a wellintegrated, body-coloured skid plate. There is provision for fog lamps to tackle poor visibility conditions. The single-piece body side panel with new tech decals is a big plus and work undertaken to offer a wider track and longer wheelbase is evident. The tail gets LED lamps over conventional bulbs and reflector arrangement as part of the enhancements.
A sneak peek into the interior hints at the continuation of this premium design language. This comes across from a look at the moulded roof liner, a new dashboard complete with a digital cluster. Other visible enhancements on the interior include a wider cabin, height adjustable driver seat, headrests, and chrome gear knob on the VXi variant. Lower down the variants, operators can look to get CMVR-certified D+2 seats, power steering and fabric seats with the City 3000 featuring a rear-sliding window. The dashboard in coffee and black with hard durable plastic trims lent a modern touch over the single-tone black finish. A special mobile phone holder with a 12V charging outlet adds considers on the go utilities that are essential today. Grab handles on the passenger side and get a big thumbs up from us.
We couldn’t test the iMaXX on the variant provided though as per company claims, operators will benefit from provisions like a fuel log, roadside assistance, fleet distribution dashboard, document wallet, location sharing and driver management that takes the Bolero MaXX to the next level. It would have been nice to have it in the unit supplied.
The Bolero MaXX offers a commanding stance attributed to the three-spoke steering wheel that offers a good thumb grip. The vehicle benefits from a 5.5 m turning radius backed by Ceat Steel Plus 195/80 R15 LT steel rims. The 165 mm ground clearance addresses any anxiety of chassis and underbody damage
as is expected from the Bolero pik-ups.
On reverse parking, we came across two parking sensors identical to the previous model. Notably, in a safety inclusion, with the hazard switch engaged, operators will hear the click, relay sound. This is overridden with the reverse sensor to avoid an overlap of sound indicators as seen in competition pick-ups.
INSIDE THE CABIN
At this point, one must laud the clean digital instrument cluster with operator-friendly readouts and necessary alert notifications covered. The gear shift indicator is a good inclusion forcing all eyes on the tarmac. Drive ability continues to be fun on the Bolero MaXX with owner cum drivers lauding its rugged architecture that continues to withstand deliberate abuse. The vehicle with its peppy pickup draws power from the m2Di, four-cylinder, 2.5-litre engine that produces a peak rated power of 65 hp. It churns out 195 Nm torque which gives it room to accelerate. The availability of a flat torque curve means infrequent gear shifts and a fatigue-free drive. The vehicle, at no point, hints at a loss of power. This seemed enough to lug a 1.3-tonne payload and more. The power is well compensated with capable front and rear brake setups that feature a disc and drum respectively. The potholes are dealt with by a stiff leaf spring setup at the front and an overslung, rigid leaf spring making up the rear setup.
There are no two ways that the MaXX has the Bolero pik-up coming off age for those seeking enhancements to a proven product. The re-engineering takes into account operator feedback and retains the Bolero DNA while enhancing the capabilities to align with modern-day requirements. The hand brake placement for instance, on the left, felt more ergonomic and practical. The improvement in gear travel (tall gearing) over the predecessor enhances the drive experience. A 20,000 km service interval, three-year and or one lakh km warranty with the ARAI certified fuel efficiency of 17.2 kmpl all in all takes the value proposition to the maximum as is intended. It is expected to bring in a fresh wave of patronage for the manufacturer.