No more Bolero.





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Thread: No more Bolero.

  1. #1
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    Default No more Bolero.

    Today I said farewell to a great travel buddy. It took me many places but always brought me home. Over 46 000KM, it took bad roads, worse roads and sometimes no roads in its stride. Potholes, corrugations, sand, mud and a Sandton parking lot pavement or two could not ruffle feathers or make it falter in defeat. I kid you not, I never even needed to have alignment adjusted.

    For what it was, it offered great value and allowed me to take on trails and obstacles that would have made me cringe in my Mercedes or any other R500k vehicle for that matter. Those bushveld pinstripes, mud spatters, dust on the dashboard and snot plugs in the tread were all earned and genuine.

    I bought into the brand not expecting much, hence why I erroneously changed the clutch when all it needed was adjustment. For some reason I expected inferior quality when in reality I can look back on factual data to see there were almost no issues during ownership not induced by the owner himself. Servicing was cheap and easy, parts readily available and reliability on par with vehicles far more expensive. Hell, it never rattled again after I fixed a bent upholstery clip in the roof lining. I would absolutely recommend the Bolero to anyone looking for a no frills (OK, so my vehicle did have AC, power steering and central locking), tough workhorse.

    So, you may ask, if it is such a good vehicle, why did I get rid of it? Well, I made the mistake of taking a new Pik Up for a test drive which highlighted some issues I had made peace with up to that point. Chief amongst these is the fact the driving position is too high for someone who happens to be 2.0M tall. The top of the windscreen frame was just about at eye level. Then being so tall also meant the cabin itself was quite cramped, making for a very upright seating position with knees bent at an angle that made long journeys become quite painful in the knee joints. Wind and mechanical noise is also a factor in such a spartan vehicle whilst the 55L diesel tank meant frequent refueling stops were required when towing heavy loads or driving above 120KM/H.

    Again, I must state these are issues particular to me, I am not an average sized person, I drive too fast at times and by heavy load I mean towing my bass boat with a loaded bin area. I stand by my statement of recommending the Bolero to anyone shopping for a decent, genuine 1.2T load capable workhorse.

    Well then, what did I replace my trusty steed with? The answer is above but in case you missed it, I traded the Bolero in on a new S6 Pik Up 4x4 Single Cab of which I took delivery today. On trade in I got R100k for the Bolero which I deem fair for such a basic vehicle. Quoted price on the new S6 was R275k after discount and after adding a tow bar as well as tonneau cover the total came to R282 700.00.

    What does this amount buy you? Coming from a Bolero, a heck of a lot! Let's start with the styling. Apart from a new front end the outside looks just about the same as the Scorpio Pik Up it replaced, especially from the cab back. You still get steel wheels with hub caps but Mahindra doesn't mind the fitment of aftermarket alloys of which there is now a much wider variety available. I do like the aggressive front styling a lot though and the rear step bumper is a nice touch. You can also order your S6 with a replacement front bumper from Bundu without affecting the warranty and this facilitates the addition of a winch as well as tow points.

    The real difference though between the old and the new is a little more than skin deep.

    The interior has been completely redesigned and is far more attractive. Yes the plastics are still hard but fit and finish has improved tremendously. The interior is spacious and comfortable. Controls and buttons are well laid out too with a definite feel of quality in operation. Standard equipment on the S6 include: Tilt adjustable steering wheel, radio/ CD player with Aux and USB ports, Manual AC, adjustable headlamps, fog lights, rear window demister, central locking with auto lock function, two cupholders, sunglass stowage, various little pockets in the centre console as well as side pockets in the doors, stop/start function and follow me home lighting. Sound deadening has been improved with leaps and bounds.

    The drive train also received a lot of attention. The already good and proven 2.2L MHawk engine has been uprated with the addition of a VNT turbo and now boasts 103KW and 320NM of torque. This is mated to a 6 speed manual gearbox which is in another league compared with the old 5 speed unit found in the previous gen Pik Up. Gear ratios suit the engine to perfection and overall performance is more than acceptable. It is quite easy to maintain an indicated 130KM/H even through hilly terrain and it will accelerate to speeds beyond this with gusto if pushed. This is a refined package with the engine barely audible at any speed. In my vehicle you also get an additional Borg Warner transfer case to handle the low and 4wd ratios. Operation is by rotary knob situated in the centre console whilst indicator lights in the instrument binnacle show you what state of operation the drivetrain is in.

    As for safety, the vehicle is fitted with ABS, EBD, two airbags and side protection bars. It has not as yet been NCAP tested and one should not compare it directly to the model it replaced. I can state from experience when a lunatic tried his utmost to side swipe me this afternoon that the ABS and EBD does work very well.

    First impressions then. Mahindra have stepped up their game considerably. This vehicle is a lot better on just about every level than its direct ancestor, the Scorpio Pik Up and several multitudes ahead of the Bolero it replaced in my case. If the long term reliability matches the presentation then this represents cracking value, unmatched by any competitor.
    2019 Mahindra S6 Pik Up S/C 4x4
    2007 Mercedes Benz ML500 5.5
    1968 VW Beetle 2276

  2. #2
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    Default Re: No more Bolero.

    Good write up Koebelwagon.

    Agree totally. My own one is the old style 2014 pickup with 109,000 kms on it and I'm thoroughly pleased with it. Some of the service I've had, not so much, but that is the local service people, not the vehicle itself.

    So when my pikup was in for service they gave me the latest one as a loan vehicle, and got to say I was impressed, I would definately get one of those if my existing one fails.

  3. #3
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    Default Re: No more Bolero.

    Just one comment: 46,000kms is hardly high mileage.

    How do they handle REAL high mileage?
    2012 Jeep Sahara Unlimited 3.6 V6
    Percivamus

  4. #4
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    Default Re: No more Bolero.

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    Just one comment: 46,000kms is hardly high mileage.

    How do they handle REAL high mileage?
    I originally bought my Bolero because of family who use theirs on a farm. That Bolero now has 180 000KM and the (Dorp bakkie) Scorpio 240 000KM. Neither of these vehicles have required any work besides normal maintenance i.e. neither have required replacement or repair of major mechanical components such as engines, gearboxes, leaf springs, load bins or diffs.

    To add to the above: If a vehicle can survive the roads on which those two have operated on a daily basis for the last 5 odd years with the Bolero specifically carting fresh produce from the fields to the packing facility and then from the packing facility to a pick up point, then I would say they handle hard work and high mileage well.
    2019 Mahindra S6 Pik Up S/C 4x4
    2007 Mercedes Benz ML500 5.5
    1968 VW Beetle 2276

  5. #5
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    Default Re: No more Bolero.

    Interesting, for me high mileage is 350k km +, if a vehicle can pass that hassle free then you generally have a winner.

    Can the op post some pics of the new vs the old bakkie models so we have an idea of what we are looking at?
    Last edited by Skylark; 2018/12/22 at 09:17 AM.

  6. #6
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    Default Re: No more Bolero.

    High mileage is 350k plus, for sure. If you got a Toyota Landcruiser or similar, you are going to expect that, and be unhappy if you didn't get it. But bear in mind for the cost of one landcruiser you can get nearly 3 scorpios. So, high mileage is relative. To me, if I could get 250k out of my scorpio, i would consider that fantastic value for money. Cos I'd move on and buy a brand new one, and mean time could have had a wad of spare cash to invest in the business or whatever.

    I bought my own scorpio for hard nosed business economic reasons, although I did have a few doubts buying a cheap end vehicle. I'm a beekeeper and most mileage is clocked up in country and with loads that could be described as punishing. the backie is approaching the 1/2 way point to the 250k mark and so far runs and sounds exactly like it is new. I really don't know if it will make the 250k, but there is no sign at all that it will not.
    Last edited by Kiwi 4x4; 2018/12/22 at 10:04 AM.

  7. #7
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    Default Re: No more Bolero.

    Quote Originally Posted by Skylark View Post
    Interesting, for me high mileage is 350k km +, if a vehicle can pass that hassle free then you generally have a winner.

    Can the op post some pics of the new vs the old bakkie models so we have an idea of what we are looking at?


    Ok, so the video I took shows one of the actual tarred roads these vehicles negotiate daily, this does not show the gravel or two spoor roads which turn off from this tarred road so yes I believe any vehicle that did 180k KM never mind 240k KM under these conditions can be considered to have high mileage.

    This is my old bakkie.

    Click image for larger version. 

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    This is my new Bakkie.
    Click image for larger version. 

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    2019 Mahindra S6 Pik Up S/C 4x4
    2007 Mercedes Benz ML500 5.5
    1968 VW Beetle 2276

  8. #8
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    Default Re: No more Bolero.

    Congratulations!
    Also got sterling service from my Scorpio SUV.
    Sold mine at around 160 000km and 12 years of great service.

    I can add to Koebelwagen's experiences. When I still had my farm, my Scorpio hauled many tons of building material for the house etc. Over bad gravel roads. Never skipping a beat.

    I hope the new Mahindra will give you many trouble free km's

    For those commenting on the km's, I saw a Scorpio in Thabazimbi with 385 000km on the clock. Alo an SUV with the 2.6 NEF engine

    Never opened.
    Toyota RAV4
    Chevrolet Utility

  9. #9
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    Default Re: No more Bolero.

    Quote Originally Posted by jelo View Post
    Just one comment: 46,000kms is hardly high mileage.

    How do they handle REAL high mileage?
    We'll have to wait and see as it's new.

    Seems to me so far that everything points to this vehicle handling really high mileage very well.

    I'm looking forward to every km!

  10. #10
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    Default Re: No more Bolero.

    Quote Originally Posted by Koebelwagen View Post
    I originally bought my Bolero because of family who use theirs on a farm. That Bolero now has 180 000KM and the (Dorp bakkie) Scorpio 240 000KM. Neither of these vehicles have required any work besides normal maintenance i.e. neither have required replacement or repair of major mechanical components such as engines, gearboxes, leaf springs, load bins or diffs.

    To add to the above: If a vehicle can survive the roads on which those two have operated on a daily basis for the last 5 odd years with the Bolero specifically carting fresh produce from the fields to the packing facility and then from the packing facility to a pick up point, then I would say they handle hard work and high mileage well.
    I'd be happy with 200,000kms + in those conditions.
    2012 Jeep Sahara Unlimited 3.6 V6
    Percivamus

  11. #11
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    Default The Pik Up update

    1750KM and one month later.

    I have made a few changes. Chief amongst these is a new set of wheels to replace the steelies. My bakkie has attitude now. Then, because I personally do not trust auto hubs, I fitted a set of manual hub lockers made by Rugged Ridge. Incidentally they are marketed for the 90-94 Nissan Patrol with the 31 spline front axles. No modification is necessary as they just bolt on.

    Apart from the above I would like to change the radio but no blanking plates are available as yet and the stock radio is an odd size. Why do I want to change it? There is no bluetooth connectivity and the radio does not support adding a module. I have ordered a bluetooth kit that plugs into the aux and usb ports and I am hoping it will be of decent quality.

    What else? Well, every time you engage reverse gear there is an obnoxiously loud beep from somewhere under the dash to tell you, you are in reverse gear. I have been told this can be programmed out of the ECU, failing which I will find the beeper and destroy it with extreme prejudice.

    So, what is it like to live with? It is an easy vehicle to drive. My initial thoughts on the drive train being well sorted has been confirmed. The gearbox and engine work really well together. The engine is a gem. Quiet in operation it also packs a punch once the turbo starts spooling from around 1400RPM. They nailed highway driving performance by having the engine turn 2600RPM at 120KM/H. It will quite happily maintain this speed on anything but the steepest hills, in fact it will maintain any speed from 100KM/H up to 140KM/H in the same non-fussed manner. Did I mention it has a really light clutch pedal?

    Fuel consumption? Combined driving of 70% urban and 30% highway has thus far yielded an average of 11.5L/ 100KM which I believe will get better with time and a lighter right foot.

    Interior comfort. The seats are comfortable and don't strain your body. Longer trips and stints in heavy traffic have not fatigued me as they did in the Bolero. The AC works brilliantly and has two settings for the AC pump which I assume means less engine power is used once the cabin is at the right temperature. Buttons and controls fall easily to hand too and there really is a lot of space behind as well as under the seats to stow things like a recovery kit, torque wrench, camp inverter etc.

    Features I didn't know about: The hazard lights are activated when you brake hard. The hazard lights also activate when you open the bonnet. The stop start function will not turn the engine off directly after a long run at highway speed but will let the engine idle for anything up to three minutes which I assume is to let the turbo cool down.

    Quirky things Mahindra supplies with their vehicles. You get a basic toolkit, set of spare lamps and a small first aid kit.

    My next post will include some feedback on towing a heavy trailer. Also expect a report towards the end of March on off-road/ sand driving performance as we will be heading off to Santa Maria, Mozambique.
    2019 Mahindra S6 Pik Up S/C 4x4
    2007 Mercedes Benz ML500 5.5
    1968 VW Beetle 2276

  12. #12
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    Default 3000KM on the odo, towing and some 4x4

    I returned yesterday from a long weekend fishing trip to Swaziland.

    Naturally I was towing my 16Ft boat as well as carting fridges and other goodies on the back of the vehicle. Again I came away impressed with the grunt of this vehicle.

    My boat and trailer weighs 790Kg dry. Two tanks of fuel, three batteries as well as fishing gear and other odds and ends add about another 100 -120Kg. The vehicle had a fully stocked Snomaster 110BDC, 40L Engel, two jerry cans of fuel and my suitcase on the back.

    I had no problem maintaining the national speed limit with this rig. Fuel consumption was a bit high at 12.5L/100KM but again I don't drive with economy in mind.

    It was also the first time I drove on wet national highway tar and if there is a gripe it would be with the factory fitted rubber. The tyres are really not good on wet asphalt under braking.

    Getting to the 4x4 part. The dam we visited requires a launch on a steep gradient and there is no slipway. The track leading down to the water's edge has lots of loose rocks and erosion gullies are prevalent. This necessitated the use of 4 wheel drive to get the boat to and out of the water. Although the track itself was not difficult to traverse, the steep gradient and loose rocks, as well as cross axle gullies made retrieving the boat interesting.

    4 Low was engaged and made life so much easier, especially on the clutch. In the cross axles the automatic locking rear differential proved its effectiveness with only minor wheelspin before locking up.

    Still loving my Pik Up!
    2019 Mahindra S6 Pik Up S/C 4x4
    2007 Mercedes Benz ML500 5.5
    1968 VW Beetle 2276

  13. #13
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    Thumbs up Re: The Pik Up update

    Quote Originally Posted by Koebelwagen View Post
    1750KM and one month later.

    I have made a few changes. Chief amongst these is a new set of wheels to replace the steelies. My bakkie has attitude now. Then, because I personally do not trust auto hubs, I fitted a set of manual hub lockers made by Rugged Ridge. Incidentally they are marketed for the 90-94 Nissan Patrol with the 31 spline front axles. No modification is necessary as they just bolt on.

    Apart from the above I would like to change the radio but no blanking plates are available as yet and the stock radio is an odd size. Why do I want to change it? There is no bluetooth connectivity and the radio does not support adding a module. I have ordered a bluetooth kit that plugs into the aux and usb ports and I am hoping it will be of decent quality.

    What else? Well, every time you engage reverse gear there is an obnoxiously loud beep from somewhere under the dash to tell you, you are in reverse gear. I have been told this can be programmed out of the ECU, failing which I will find the beeper and destroy it with extreme prejudice.

    So, what is it like to live with? It is an easy vehicle to drive. My initial thoughts on the drive train being well sorted has been confirmed. The gearbox and engine work really well together. The engine is a gem. Quiet in operation it also packs a punch once the turbo starts spooling from around 1400RPM. They nailed highway driving performance by having the engine turn 2600RPM at 120KM/H. It will quite happily maintain this speed on anything but the steepest hills, in fact it will maintain any speed from 100KM/H up to 140KM/H in the same non-fussed manner. Did I mention it has a really light clutch pedal?

    Fuel consumption? Combined driving of 70% urban and 30% highway has thus far yielded an average of 11.5L/ 100KM which I believe will get better with time and a lighter right foot.

    Interior comfort. The seats are comfortable and don't strain your body. Longer trips and stints in heavy traffic have not fatigued me as they did in the Bolero. The AC works brilliantly and has two settings for the AC pump which I assume means less engine power is used once the cabin is at the right temperature. Buttons and controls fall easily to hand too and there really is a lot of space behind as well as under the seats to stow things like a recovery kit, torque wrench, camp inverter etc.

    Features I didn't know about: The hazard lights are activated when you brake hard. The hazard lights also activate when you open the bonnet. The stop start function will not turn the engine off directly after a long run at highway speed but will let the engine idle for anything up to three minutes which I assume is to let the turbo cool down.

    Quirky things Mahindra supplies with their vehicles. You get a basic toolkit, set of spare lamps and a small first aid kit.

    My next post will include some feedback on towing a heavy trailer. Also expect a report towards the end of March on off-road/ sand driving performance as we will be heading off to Santa Maria, Mozambique.
    Thanks for this.

    Agree with everything you said.

    I was also pleasently surprised by the features I discovered which weren't in the sales brochures.

    You have just told me about another one which I hadn't discovered after 16,000 kms!

    I've been turning off the stop/start on long-distance highway travel to make sure the turbo has time to oil-cool - now I know the car is clever enough to protect the turbo without my input - now I'm even more impressed with the Pik Up than I was before!

  14. #14
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    Default Re: No more Bolero.

    8500KM into ownership.

    Since my last write-up the S6 has taken me on a few more adventures.

    Firstly a trip to Santa Maria in Moz. Again, loaded with all the necessities such as freezer, fishing gear, camping chairs etc. We headed out of Benoni in a convoy consisting of a Suzuki GV 3.2 V6, Suzuki Jimny and of course the S6. This was the first time I had to stick to convoy speed and unsurprisingly fuel consumption improved. The S6 returned 11.8KM/L over the 570 odd Km to Kosibay.

    If I may take some time to dwell on this part of the journey. We took the route through Ermelo, Piet retief, Pongola, Jozini and then Kosibay and I will never use this route again. Jozini is a nightmare as is Kosibay. Real shitholes with arrogant, aggressive locals.

    Once through the border with its corrupt officials the tar road towards the gate to the Elephant park was smooth and easy. Then of course you turn off onto a sand track that meanders its way through the Maputo elephant reserve. At the gate to the reserve we let air out of the tyres and I decided on 1 bar all round as a start. As it turns out this was ideal for the conditions.

    Now, if you haven't driven this road the 75 odd KM distance between the gate and Santa Maria might sound like a quick drive. It is not. On average it can take anything between 3.5 and 4 hours. Although it is possible to drive it in 4Hi I feel this puts too much strain on the clutch and leads to unnecessary lugging of the engine so into 4Lo the transfer box went and so the journey started.

    In the reserve itself the roads are not that bad, although the center portion of the track is quite high. This meant both Suzukis but especially the GV were dragging their undercarriage as both are completely stock. The Mahindra did not have these issues, although the factory towbar did catch here and there. I would not recommend using a soft-roader on this road as losing tupperware is a distinct possibility. As you exit the reserve towards Santa Maria things get a little more interesting.

    The Dunes become steeper and the track has a lot of cross axle holes. Here the short wheel base and narrow track of the Suzuki Jimny came into its own as the driver could to a large extent avoid losing traction on the wheels. The GV's wheel travel surprised me and judicious use of the throttle when needed insured it did not get stuck.

    Getting back to the S6; It made the journey through the park and onto Santa Maria without any difficulties whatsoever. Again the engine and drivetrain combo proved a brilliant match, it was easy to maintain momentum and remain in the torque band.

    Over the course of the week we explored all sorts of tracks, some with very thick, loose sand without issue and in good comfort. Nothing broke, no rattles developed and fuel consumption hovered around 8KM/L.

    The return journey was through Bella-Vista, Boane, Goba border, Siteki through Eswatini on the MR3, the Oshoek border, Carolina and then the N4/ N12.

    Fast forward to last weekend. This was going to be a test of poor road and gravel road travelling. Final destination was a farm between Alldays and Swartwater in Limpopo. I am glad to report the road between Vivo and Alldays has been largely repaired, unfortunately the road between Alldays and Swartwater is still terrible with large potholes and in some cases no tar left. The S6, just like the Bolero was unfazed and absorbed the poor conditions in its stride. If anything, fast gravel travelling abilities is the S6's forte. It feels planted and predictable with no funny quirks to report on and this in 2WD. In all I drove about 100KM on gravel roads on the return trip via Tolwe, Baltimore, Marken, Vaalwater and Nylstroom ranging from smooth to severely corrugated at speeds between 60KM/H and 120KM/H without so much as a bolt loosening.

    Yep, I still like my S6 a lot and look forward to many more trips over the following years.
    2019 Mahindra S6 Pik Up S/C 4x4
    2007 Mercedes Benz ML500 5.5
    1968 VW Beetle 2276

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