Carens v/s Bolero Neo: Daily driver duties + space for a makeshift bed

The new SUV replaces my Maruti Dzire and will share space with an S-Presso AMT.

BHPian drsarat4u recently shared this with other enthusiasts.

Dear Bhpians,

I am confused between the Kia Carens Diesel IMT vs Mahindra Bolero Neo N10 for my main vehicle.

I am a doctor by profession and own 2 Maruti vehicles (Dzire Vxi AMT 2018 & Spresso AMT). Recently I sold my Dzire and am searching for a new vehicle as my main daily driver.

My requirements are as follows:

  • The weekly average drive of 600 – 800 km
  • One tour/out station every 2 months with family (3 adults & 2 kids)
  • Minimum safety of 3 stars

I am aware of Bolero Neo which is sub 4 metres vs Carens which is 4.5 metres. But when travelling with family I have to convert the 2nd and 3rd rows of seats into a makeshift bed for kids and my wife. I have test-driven both vehicles and also my driver. Most of the driving will be by my driver and I will drive only when absolutely needed.

I live in Vijayawada (the previous capital of Andhra Pradesh) where both Mahindra and Kia have proper showrooms and service centres.

Considering the price, parking space is not an issue. Please suggest the best by sharing your valuable experiences.

Thanks in advance

Here’s what BHPian Razor44 had to say on the matter:

I have long considered buying a Bolero Neo and here are points you might consider:

  1. No Android Auto.
  2. If family members have motion sickness then it is better to avoid it because of considerable body roll.
  3. Daily driver means consistency and reliability – Mahindra vehicles have a habit of niggles cropping up now and then, which however minor will warrant a visit to service, which means a day lost. Coming from a Maruti Suzuki background it can be quite a drastic change.
  4. Issue of the second key: Don’t know the actual reason but the dealer doesn’t provide the second key of your vehicle at the time of delivery. many Neo owners have received their second key after as much as 6-9 months after vehicle purchase.
  5. Issue with Mahindra Accessories: Many times Accessories which you think are essential are not available: e.g. door hinge step etc. Or accessories which are to be provided free / along with the car, dealers will say it’s not available at that time, only to try to sell them to you later.
  6. Early clutch wear out: Many bolero owners have complained about early clutch wear out particularly if you drive mostly in busy city traffic.

Other things like lack of some features like projector lamps, auto AC etc I don’t consider them as absolute requirements.

Here’s what BHPian Knightrider had to say on the matter:

For this requirement of yours, I feel Carens would be more suitable and spacious. Not sure if making a bed is possible in Bolero Neo with 3rd row side facing seats folding up.

Here’s what BHPian revsperminute had to say on the matter:

The Bolero Neo feels like (is) a UV. The Carens is a MPV based on a monocoque. The two of them are like chalk and cheese. We have a Bolero Neo for some factory beater duties and it is in no way a comfortable way to travel. However, it is a very rugged vehicle. But if comfort is the primary criterion, Carens it is.

Also, I hope your makeshift bed arrangement is only put to use when the car is parked safely. A safety rating is only applicable when all passengers are belted up properly.

Here’s what BHPian locusjag had to say on the matter:

Look, I am a happy TUV 300 owner.

But when someone says “makeshift bed” – I am bound to recommend the Renault Duster (or Nissan Terrano). A friend of mine used to go temple touring in TN’s highways whilst his family would sleep comfortably stretched out on the folded 2nd row and ample boot space of his Duster.

Can you get your hands on a used Petrol Duster CVT (CVT rather than a manual transmission – given that you’ve owned AMTs so far)? It would make for a superb tourer with great handling. I don’t have the heart to recommend a used Duster diesel AMT to you; the Renault diesel fuel injectors are known to fail frequently and I personally dislike AMTs.

If you were going to be ferrying 7 people all the time while frequenting state highways with iffy roads, I would have suggested the upcoming Bolero Neo Plus 7 seater to you. But you’ll be only ferrying 5 people or so it seems; the Carens will also do the trick.

Check out BHPian comments for more insights and information.

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