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Old 9th March 2009, 11:19   #1
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Arrow Bolero XL/PLUS - Used or New?

I have been hunting for a suitably large MUV for my large family. My first choice was the Force Trax GAMA, but that didn't work out (my GAMA thread link (Force Gama - A few questions)) and we are now considering the Mahindra Bolero Plus.

The Bolero Plus satisfies our main requirements
- Large space inside and can carry 7 adults + 4 dogs + some bags in reasonable comfort
- Good ground clearance (195mm) - can handle bad roads & no-roads well
- Cheap (under 7 lakhs on-road with required accessories)
- Relatively maintenance free, very robust & reliable and, if trouble arises, can be fixed in any corner of India

Things we didn't like
- DI engine makes it quite clear that it is basically a tractor (why couldn't M&M upgrade the venerable XD3P? - cheapskates!!)
- Very sluggish to accelerate after 60. I look at it as a built-in safety feature , but can be a pain when trying to overtake on the highways.
- No power steering on the 10 seater version

New Bolero Plus is 5.44L ex-showroom in my town. There is a 30K discount. And I think I can get a few freebies like sun-film, mats etc. On-road would be just under 6L. I will add a decent AC with a separate roof-mounted blower for rear-seats. Extra seat paddings for comfort and extra carpeting for better NVH. A decent CD/MP3 player with a 6-speaker setup. All-in-all I will be spending nearly 7L to get the vehicle the way I want.

Problems in buying it new:
- No PS in the base model. Cannot fit it after buying as the dealer says it will void the warranty. The version with AC & PS costs 75K more, but it is an 8-seater configuration (front facing rear-most seats) which I want to avoid. Also AC is only on the front, no rear blowers.
- I want it in the "Apple Red" color, but the dealer says that color is not available anymore.

So I started looking at the used market. It is usually hard to find a good used Bolero Plus as they are all used as taxis and pretty ruined by the time they come to the second-hand dealers. In addition, changing from the yellow taxi board to the white private board is a headache.

But I lucked out and found a 2005 Bolero XL with 73K miles on the odo. And it has a white/private board. The seller is asking 3.75L for it, which seemed a bit on the high side, but I haven't bargained yet. If I get this vehicle I will get it painted Red (the present Grey color is fine, but I want it to look different from all the taxis on the road) and have the interiors re-done. It has AC, but I will add the roof-mounted blower for the rear seats. And, if possible, obtain and install a scorpio power steering unit. If the PS goes in then I will get alloys with wider tires. All-in-all I will be spending another 1L or so on it.

Main problem in getting it used is that my bank doesn't finance purchase of used vehicles and I will have to find another financier.

So what do you guys think? New or Used?

If used - what do you think are the things I should watch out for?
What are the common trouble areas in a Bolero?
It already has 73K on the odo, how much longer can I reasonably expect a properly maintained engine to last before needing an overhaul?
And what would be a reasonable price to offer for this vehicle?

Thanks in advance for all your opinions and inputs.

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Old 13th March 2009, 01:43   #2
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Used OK if its an occasional use vehicle. If you are doing daily drives and put 25K/year then you will be staring at 2 lac on the odo pretty soon.

The Bolero will definetly keep going till 2lac w/o overhaul but after the 75k mark you;ll need to replace stuff that wears out like tires, brakes, alternators, shocks etc etc.

If you are up for it then go for a used one. 3.75 seems too much to me.
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