A ground clearance of 180mm, about 63 odd bhp in all, and not even a hint of all-wheel drive system for love or for money; that pretty much sums up the largest selling “SUV” in the country – the Mahindra Bolero.
Why fret and fume, gentlemen when we see Renault and Nissan failing to introduce the 4×4 system into their popular Dusters and Terranos?
Even if we move upwards, Scorpio 4X4 and XUV500 AWD don’t have many takers. One view is that we do not really need it. Yes, we do want it, but then not very long ago we wanted an advanced, up-to-the-minute aircraft carrier for a price that was agreed upon almost a decade ago.
Get real, guys. What we saw and loved in Duster was not what its 4×4 could do while raiding the neighbour’s orchard, all we wanted was a family gadabout which doesn’t bottom out on every pothole and speed hump while on a family outing. A bit of space inside for 5, a bit more of that ground clearance (They come with a goodish 205 mm) and a diesel with about 85 to 110 bhp. That does the job, really. So, it didn’t come as a surprise when the intently awaited 4×4 Duster/Terrano failed to show up at the stall at the Expo 2014.
A recent article on Zigwheels.com informs, quoting an unnamed insider that Renault will be out with its Duster 4×4 sometime during August-September of this year. Nissan will follow suit with its Terrano shortly afterwards. Frankly speaking this 4×4 speculation has been doing rounds for about more than the time both these SUVs landed on our shores!
The 4×4, if and when introduced, will add mass, which will reduce fuel consumption, increase maintenance and more importantly the price. Now, do they (Duster & Terrano) look, by any chance, 15 Lakh cars..? That is what we can safely assume to be the price of the top of the line 4X4, in some cities even more, with the Nissan demanding a wee bit more for nothing extra!
Incidentally, Renault has introduced a special Duster Adventure Edition with bells and whistles fitting an expedition vehicle, but for the 4×4. The ‘toothless’ Adventure goes for around INR 12 lakhs, ex-Delhi.
Although most of these “pseudo-SUVs” of towns and cities hardly get to see a real stretch of unpaved most of their living lives, the 4×4 badge on the vehicle has always been appealing and somehow manages to kindle the ‘hunter-gatherer’ trait inside most of us but few.
So, there you go! Have it, if you must, the 4×4 Duster and Terrano. Have it, if you are so intent upon it and boast about it while at the chai-samosa shack round the corner. The bloke behind the Bolero would always ask, I guess, that you got the belated teeth alright, but do you really have it in you to put it to the test? Renault and Nissan have learned that secret and know not many will opt for 4×4; and hence the drag in introducing the all-wheel-drive system.
Related Reading: UNVEILED : Renault KWID Compact Car Concept at Auto Expo 2014