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Old 20th June 2009, 00:41   #1
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Default My Bolero VLX CRDE 2009 @60,000kms: rear CFLs attached

Make Mahindra Bolero VLX 2 WD, 7 Seater
Engine : 2.49 CC 97BHP CRDE
Date of purchase: 16th March 2009
Done: 10900Km
Mileage On highway: 12.3 Kms/litre with a/c; 14.2 Kms/litre without a/c
Max speed done : 140Kms/Hr
Normal driving speed on highways: Around 90-100 Kms/Hr

I've had my Bolero for about 3 months now and since I recently crossed the important 10K milestone I felt that I'd run the vehicle enough so as to be able to write a running report of it thusfar. This vehicle was bought for me mainly to allow me to do weekly trips from Bangalore to my in-laws' estate in Gudalur (a description of the route herehttp://www.team-bhp.com/forum/travelogues/42151-bangalore-nilambur.html) and that remains the sole purpose for which I use it, with the exception of a couple of other Inter-state trips - usage inside Bangalore is very limited. Here's the rest of the story...

A.THE LOOKS

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For a person upgrading from a cute looking hatch, the first sight of a Bolero is DEPRESSING to say the least, though die hard Bolero fans/users are quite used to the utilitarian look of this beast. But since most of the time I see only the front of the vehicle parked in the basement and I rarely see the back of the vehicle when I'm driving, I've gotten used to the look.

B.THE ENGINE

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On a lot of the old Bolero threads I've read here on tbhp, the old faithfuls can be heard bemoaning the lack of a more powerful engine for the Bolero. Well, their prayers have definitely been answered by MM and this soap box really flies now! Add a Pete's Box and scorpio wannabes can really have something close to the real thing. But on the saner side, it's more like the Bolero has been brought up-to-date/on par with the bhp level on the current roads and that should be a welcome relief to the old Bolero drivers.

C.THE INTERIORS

I have a lot of gripes on the insides and that is mainly because of my hatch background. Previous generation Bolero owners would feel this version's interiors are on the luxurious side and they are right too, but here's my take...

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The look & feel of the gear knob is of a concrete block and this is something I've still not reconciled to. Add to it the excessive throbbing and hatch kids like me get the feeling that we're driving a tipper lorry!! I get around the problem by wearing cricket-glove inners on the long drives.

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The plastic/rexin footmats are an irritation and I think rubber ones should be the standard issue. The plastic ones have a tendency to shift with every foot pedal operation and at the end of a long drive, one is often greeted with the sight of the footmat nearly climbing into the underneath of the dashboard panel.

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There are enough cubby holes in the front of the vehicle although I wish they could have been made a little deeper (at least the ones on the door) so that the things stored in them would not pop out. And there is a stark lack of a proper bottle holder for the front seat occupants.

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The music system is pretty basic and does it's job. Although the more musically inclined would prefer a more mature system with all the bells & whistles. I keep a collection of my all time favourites to keep me company on my short drives and to keep my daughter in good spirits. On the long drives alone, music and AC are a strict no-no.

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The AC's fine too but my gripe is regarding the temperature control knob which strangely hasn't been provided with night-lighting even though the fan knob has! Hence at night one needs to switch on the cabin light or operate the knob by feel.

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I find the window control switch panel operation a little frustrating since on my Estilo the panel was built into the arm-rest on the driver's door and besides, why keep it in between the seats when the back seaters have their switches on their respective doors?


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The steering wheel is HUGE and on the ghat sections I've felt the need for a smaller steering. The dashboard console echoes the overall utilitarian scheme of things, but the voice alert is a much needed welcome addition.

(contd)...
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Old 20th June 2009, 01:11   #2
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...(contd)

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The front seats would have been fine for the previous Boleros but not for this one. With the increased horses this baby jumps around like a rodeo horse and I get thrown around a lot (I'm of short & light build!) within the limits of the seat belt during high speed maneuvers. Hence bucket seats or better support near the thighs are needed. Though the front sear covers come with their respective pockets at the back, due to the lack of a bottle holder and also since I need to carry various baby accessories for my daughter, I've fitted a backseat organiser.

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The back seat's a real jumpy ride and I call it the 'vomit pit'. My wife and daughter consequently prefer the front seat. And as opined by a lot of members on other posts regarding the Bolero VLX, MM certainly needed to have made the back seat foldable.

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Boot space is awesome and it really swallows up stuff, especially since I rarely make use of the twin seats in the boot. But the foldable back seats would definitely have made the bootspace bigger for folks like me who often need to carry things like diesel generators and pumpsets & their assorted accessories to estates.

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The footpads do their stuff - both, to help occupants climb into the vehicle and to keep scooterists and autos & other fellow animals from getting too close for comfort. How else can you explain the fact that even after 10000 kms I don't have a major scratch on it though in the Estilo I had even banged into a buffaloe by this mileage?!

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The horn is thusfar the only add-on I have done to the vehicle and that too is retro-fitted from my Estilo. Otherwise too, the OE horn wouldn't scare a fly.

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The Bridgestone Duellers at both ends do their job well I feel. I use them with differing ratings - 30 psi (front) & 27 psi (rear), to cut down on the jumpy ride. People I've talked to feel that alloys would be an overkill for the use I put this vehicle to, so I've not followed up on that idea.

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I thought the headlights were good enough, until my recent B'lore-Ernakulam-B'lore trip which was done during the 11.45 p.m. to 8.45 a.m. time slots. Now I feel a couple of add-on Hellas would be a good idea, but the most basic addition will be front fog lamps into the space already provided.

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Sigh! gone are the days of reckless parking with the Estillo. It takes a lot of grunting to get this lorry into the parking space in the basement.


Equipment Malfunctions so far:
1. Left ORVM : the original one lost it's thread so I had to have another one fitted.
2. Clutch pedal spring.
3. Left door-side indicator : I just noticed it today, it's popping out of it's socket and I doubt whether it will last another trip.

Maintainence Costs so far:
1. Mirror replacing: Rs.412
2. 1st Service: Rs.3627
3. 2nd Service: Rs.386
Total = Rs. 4425
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Old 20th June 2009, 01:13   #3
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Change the gear knob immediately. Its so painful to operate. That SQUARE gear knob was designed by some IDIOT at M&M. I'm sure he never ever drove a 4 wheeler. Go get another gear knob with round edges. It'll make your drives more comfortable.

Thats the first thing i did.



BTW, Bolero ORVM costs only 250/- (max) at India Garage. How come 412/- for you? Unless its the CRDE version!

Last edited by Torqy : 20th June 2009 at 01:17.
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Old 20th June 2009, 06:47   #4
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Thats quite an extensive report you have put together.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MudMover View Post

The plastic/rexin footmats are an irritation and I think rubber ones should be the standard issue. The plastic ones have a tendency to shift with every foot pedal operation and at the end of a long drive, one is often greeted with the sight of the footmat nearly climbing into the underneath of the dashboard panel.
From the pictures, I see you have not removed the plastic sheet from the carpet. Also I think water has gone into the carpet which is not able to dry because of the plastic. Suggest removing the plastic sheet. The foot mats have velcro strips at the back side. So once you remove the plastic, they will stay at one place. I enquired at the MM dealership. Rubber foot mats are available for the entire vehicle and cost about 1250. I intend to get that once I get time.
Quote:
Originally Posted by MudMover View Post

There are enough cubby holes in the front of the vehicle although I wish they could have been made a little deeper (at least the ones on the door) so that the things stored in them would not pop out. And there is a stark lack of a proper bottle holder for the front seat occupants.

Attachment 150094
Absolutely agree to this one



Quote:
Originally Posted by MudMover View Post
...(contd)

Attachment 150133
Attachment 150134
Attachment 150135



The Bridgestone Duellers at both ends do their job well I feel. I use them with differing ratings - 30 psi (front) & 27 psi (rear), to cut down on the jumpy ride. People I've talked to feel that alloys would be an overkill for the use I put this vehicle to, so I've not followed up on that idea.
Any negative impact on tyre wear due to the reduced pressure at the back?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torqy View Post
Change the gear knob immediately. Its so painful to operate. That SQUARE gear knob was designed by some IDIOT at M&M. I'm sure he never ever drove a 4 wheeler. Go get another gear knob with round edges. It'll make your drives more comfortable.

Thats the first thing i did.
That means you are not a true truck driver yet. I love the gear knob, got used to it. Also like truck driver stopped using the IRVM

Last edited by MileCruncher : 20th June 2009 at 06:51.
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Old 20th June 2009, 10:21   #5
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Isn't it time for M&M to conceal the protuding door hinges. Maybe its there for a purpose, but I hate to see that.
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Old 21st June 2009, 13:13   #6
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A video of my Bolero earning it's living:




Quote:
Originally Posted by Torqy View Post
Change the gear knob immediately...Go get another gear knob with round edges.
It's been on my mind for a while.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Torqy View Post
BTW, Bolero ORVM costs only 250/- (max) at India Garage. How come 412/- for you?
Blame the 'Labour charges' Rs.150.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
From the pictures, I see you have not removed the plastic sheet from the carpet. Absolutely agree to this one
Thanks a lot MC, I guess I need to pay more attention to the details.

Quote:
Originally Posted by MileCruncher View Post
Any negative impact on tyre wear due to the reduced pressure at the back?
Not that I've noticed. Tyre wear seems normal on all tyres
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Old 22nd June 2009, 11:11   #7
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nice write up buddy... but i thought you got your self a DI .. the storm is good
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Old 22nd June 2009, 22:22   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.das View Post
nice write up buddy... but i thought you got your self a DI .. the storm is good
Thanks! The Storm is good but in my opinion it can be made better in two distinct ways:

1. Coil springs in the rear.
2. A 4WD variant.

I've heard rumours that M&M IS currently testing this vehicle with coil springs in the rear and is also considering a 4WD variant for this model... am not sure. Perhaps someone who has more concrete information can substantiate. But the problem is that price-wise the Storm is already close to the base model Scorpio and with the improvements mentioned above, the Scorpio will easily cannibalise sales of the new improved Storm. At best I guess M&M should offer customised upgradation kits for Storm owners offering them the improvisations rather than churning out a new model altogether. Or else, they should consider scraping the base level Scorpio and position the new Storm at that the price-level.
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Old 22nd June 2009, 22:29   #9
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I would have never complained with interiors like those... trust me!
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Old 22nd June 2009, 22:51   #10
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Good review you got there. Guess all bolero owners have valid points but its just the company which never listens
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Old 22nd June 2009, 23:22   #11
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Nice report. Yous shared what many users do experience.

About the steering i feel its ideal for the size of this vehicle but please change the gear knob
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Old 22nd June 2009, 23:24   #12
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An up-front review without mincing words. MudMover, a question on the steering cover. Did it come as OE? It looks too good to be OE!! If you got it done outside, please provide some details like materail, where, price etc
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Old 22nd June 2009, 23:33   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hemanth.das View Post
nice write up buddy... but i thought you got your self a DI .. the storm is good
The engine is a DI engine.
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Old 23rd June 2009, 00:55   #14
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thats a nice detailed report you put up..
the bolero is a practical SUV and now with the added power its great to drive as well.
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Old 23rd June 2009, 07:22   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by unni.ak View Post
An up-front review without mincing words. MudMover, a question on the steering cover. Did it come as OE? It looks too good to be OE!! If you got it done outside, please provide some details like materail, where, price etc
It is an OE on the VLX.
Quote:
Originally Posted by jyobeb View Post
The engine is a DI engine.
The VLX has 97 HP, 255Nm CRDI engine

Quote:
Originally Posted by MudMover View Post
Thanks! The Storm is good but in my opinion it can be made better in two distinct ways:

1. Coil springs in the rear.
2. A 4WD variant.

I've heard rumours that M&M IS currently testing this vehicle with coil springs in the rear and is also considering a 4WD variant for this model... am not sure. Perhaps someone who has more concrete information can substantiate. But the problem is that price-wise the Storm is already close to the base model Scorpio and with the improvements mentioned above, the Scorpio will easily cannibalise sales of the new improved Storm. At best I guess M&M should offer customised upgradation kits for Storm owners offering them the improvisations rather than churning out a new model altogether. Or else, they should consider scraping the base level Scorpio and position the new Storm at that the price-level.
I don't think the Bolero will retain its character with coil springs in the rear. It will certainly lose its rugged vehicle characteristics. Plus its the leaf springs that provide the high amount of articulation on the rear wheels so suitable for travelling on mud trails and such.

I still feel with discounts and everything, there is still a good 90k-1L difference between the Scorpio LX and Bolero VLX. As the characteristics of both the vehicles are different, I don't think there will be too much cannibalisation. BTW the VLX sports Scorpio front suspension and drive shaft. So you are already driving a part Scorpio .

P.S: Owing to Power to Weight ratio, the VLX gives the M-Hawk a run for its money on the highway.
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