In a world of pseudo compact SUVs, the brand new Mahindra Bolero Neo comes throughout as essentially the most rugged and manly providing, one which exudes a macho enchantment. It appears to be like daring and comes with confirmed, strong underpinnings whereas making certain that even the longest of journeys are handed off comfortably. And for this reason we picked the Neo as an ideal companion for our weekend escape into the unexplored Konkan belt this September. Our plan was to drive down from Mumbai to Goa however with a scenic twist – transfer away from the same old four-lane freeway and drive previous the gorgeous countryside of West Maharashtra whereas taking stop-overs at secluded seashores.
Getting out of Mumbai isn’t a straightforward job for many however the Bolero Neo’s excessive seating and oodles of low-end torque make commuting a bit of cake. Leaving the town’s towering panorama behind, we took the primary of many ferry rides coming our approach. This one was the most important and longest, with M2M’s luxurious RoRo ferry getting us from South Mumbai to Mandve, nearly touching down close to Alibaug.
As soon as we touched down at Mandve, the preliminary half-hour wasn’t travelogue pleasant with plenty of slow-moving site visitors from native, small cities. It was greatest to let the Neo coast alongside and respect the premium, dual-tone interiors. Solely after we crossed over to the opposite facet of Alibaug was when the slender state highway opened up, permitting us to extend our tempo. We wished to discover virgin and lesser-known locations on this coastal escape with the Bolero Neo and that is the place our first cease got here within the type of the Revdanda fort adopted instantly by a seashore you’ll haven’t heard of – the Tarabandar seashore. Entry to this remoted seaside viewpoint wasn’t car-friendly however the Neo’s excessive stance ensured we obtained right here simply.
Our drive continued down South by means of winding roads, snaking by means of lush inexperienced ghats. Pottering round at 30-40km/h within the third gear is a straightforward job and a easy faucet on the best pedal makes the Neo lunge ahead. That is right down to the truth that peak torque of 260Nm is available in at simply 1750 rpm – that is among the many greatest within the phase. Shifting on, we took a brief break on the 500-year-old Khokari tombs of the early rulers of the erstwhile Janjira state. A sight like this in the midst of our countryside sojourn positively appeared value it – tall Areca bushes, blue waters of the Arabian Sea and traces of the Western Ghats round. Excellent!
Our visible delights continued as we drove in the direction of different seashores from Diveagar to Aaravi. The route wasn’t tarmac-friendly however the Bolero Neo’s confirmed underpinnings and a compliant suspension set-up meant I did not need to decelerate a lot. Even dropping two wheels off the highway for letting on-coming site visitors go us did not shake up the Neo both. After which we got here throughout a secluded patch of grassland, on the sting of a rocky cliff, overlooking the ocean. Belief us on this, getting right here for a picture-perfect shot would have been unattainable in a traditional automotive. Bolero’s quick overhangs and excessive clearance infused a lot confidence and ultimately, a excessive angle shot from our drone captured the essence of the place. This location additionally supplied us the sight of not one however three seashores collectively – Kondvli, Mayureshwar and Aravi. Informed you, our Coastal Escape was particular in some ways and this was the right strategy to finish day number one. Do maintain an eye fixed out on this travelogue’s video that may quickly be on-line on our channel – it’s a visible deal with!
The second day of our coastal escape began fairly early. Thanks for an in a single day bathe, the air was nippy and with low hanging clouds resulting in misty environment, we took it straightforward. That is the place we additionally observed how properly the Bolero Neo cocooned us from the surface world. Extraordinarily low NVH (noise, vibration, harshness) ranges mixed with plush interiors and an excellent inventory audio set-up – simply what you want for unwinding on a highway journey like this. Taking part in our favorite tracks through straightforward to pair Bluetooth operate additionally introduced ahead the crisp and well-balanced tones from the inventory speaker set-up.
At this time’s plan was not solely to enterprise into sooner countryside highways but additionally discover unpaved rural roads. One such place noticed clouds showering a light-weight drizzle round us, thus making all the grassy patch slippery. Nevertheless, this did not deter us as we had full religion in our Neo N10 (O)’s MTT (Multi Terrain Know-how) which is what M&M calls its mechanical locking differential expertise. As you may see within the final double unfold picture, the Rocky Beige Neo regarded fab surrounded by shades of inexperienced and the overcast blue sky. Its genuine SUV design stands out and that is the one car within the phase to come back with a boot-mounted spare wheel. Provides to the aesthetics we are saying!
By early midday, to lock up our tempo, we ultimately hit the well-known NH17 (now NH66) that has now been remodeled into a quick paced four-lane freeway put up Chiplun. With much less site visitors by our facet, it got here naturally that I lastly let the Bolero Neo stretch its legs on this freeway that’s recognized for lengthy flowing curves and plush inexperienced mountain sides round. The 1.5-litre turbo diesel unit, with 100 horses on supply, feels at dwelling even at triple-digit speeds. This mile-munching potential together with the provision of peak torque decrease down within the rev vary lends the Neo a flexible contact for quite a lot of utilization patterns. Simply so as to add, the onboard show was registering a mean gas financial system of over 15kmpl since our begin from Mumbai, greater than spectacular.
Earlier than Oros, we left the primary freeway for our drive to Maharashtra’s final massive metropolis on this a part of the state. Malvan is not a really touristy place and put up negotiating the city’s slender lanes, the Bolero Neo drove right into a peaceable seashore for an (nearly) finish to our snug Coastal Escape. Sure, the expertise was nonetheless not over as we wished to pit the Neo towards a set of twisties that actually confirmed us the opposite facet of Goa. India’s 24×7 get together capital was nonetheless a few hours from Malvan however snug ergonomics ensured inspite of driving for 2 days, we reached Goa with none fatigue setting in.
Say good day to the Chorla Ghats. With curves and hairpin bends snaking their approach as much as the Karnataka border, these mountain roads convey out the most effective in you. And for a car to present your grinning moments, it should have a mixture of torque, energy and dynamics. Whereas most could assume the tall and heavy (constructed) Neo not be a driver’s delight, belief us on this, when you get a cling of the car, pushing it in the direction of your talents turns into straightforward. Plus the (uncommon) rear-wheel-drive set-up simply offers you extra confidence whereas powering out of uphill bends. Even an enthusiastic shift to the 2nd cog finally ends up spinning the rear tyres round tight bends, filling the valley round with chirping of the wheels.
This weekend coastal escape by means of the lesser taken route and unexplored elements of this Konkan belt confirmed us all of the strengths of India’s true compact SUV. The Bolero Neo does justice to the ‘SUV’ badge whereas making certain that your and your family members stay cocooned in consolation and security over quite a lot of roads. And no roads.