Mahindra announced total sales figure for its very popular SUV; the Mahindra Bolero – 6.5 lakhs sold till date. This is the only Indian SUV to sell over 100,000 vehicles year-on-year for 2 years in a row.
With 2-wheel drive and 180mm ground clearance, Bolero, you see, is not an SUV in its proper term. What it really is, and the reason for its soaring sales figures, is that it is an IRV; an Indian Road Vehicle.
Let’s face it, your average Indian might not know what’s good for him when he goes out to vote in his legislator, but he sure knows what he wants when he is out researching his family carrier. Bolero seats 7 in reasonable comfort, it has a competent air conditioner/heater, it doesn’t buckle and bend while facing our horrid roads, and the parts and repairs are well priced. And it does all that while being a miser in drinking diesel.
Over the years, the basic car has almost remained the same with minor niptuck jobs at regular intervals. In the top ZLX model of Bolero, you can have power windows, wood-finished central console, 12V charging point for those cell phone and laptops, MP3 player. I mean, it has kept up with the time in a garish-plasticky way, but it lasts; and that’s what matters.
It is about 13 years old now and since it wasn’t broken Mahindra judiciously never tried to fix it. What it did instead was to add in the bells and whistles which people are beginning to appreciate without adding too much to the price. The fit and finish have improved considerably and if you are looking out for a cheap utilitarian vehicle in which you can travel is relative comfort, Bolero makes a compelling buy.