Tata Sumo Gold versus Mahindra Bolero ZLX

When it comes to utility vehicles, the Mahindra Bolero has been the undisputed king for the past five years with average sales clocking more than 7,500 units consistently. However the recently launched Tata Sumo Gold is trying its best to regain the throne. Here we find out which one of the two is actually better!


Tata Sumo Gold versus Mahindra Bolero ZLX

The facelifted Bolero launched in September has been improved in terms of engine refinement, interiors and got cosmetic upgrades on the exterior such as revamped headlights and front bumper. On the other hand, the Tata Sumo, which was the preferred MUV of India before the introduction of Toyota Qualis and Mahindra Bolero, lost its market share due to crude interiors, unrefined engine and poor handling abilities.

However, Tata Motors has given a fresh lease of life to the Sumo by launching the ‘Sumo Gold’ facelift version in November with improvements such as engine refinement, better transmission and ride quality.

With a BS-IV compliant engine under the hood, the Sumo Gold competes head-to-head with the Mahindra Bolero across all regions of the country.  Here we compare the top-end version of Bolero, ZLX (Rs. 6.82 lakh) with the top-end version of Sumo Gold, GX Rs. 6.86 lakh) to find out which is a better ‘value for money’ proposition.

Driving and handling

The Sumo Gold is powered by a 3-litre, CR4 (Common Rail) BS-IV compliant engine that makes 83.8 bhp (85 PS) of power and 250 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to 5-speed transmission and has an ARAI-certified mileage of 14.7 kmpl.

The Bolero, on the other hand is powered by M2 CRDI (common rail direct injection) engine that makes 63 bhp of power and 195 Nm of torque. The engine is mated to 5-speed manual transmission and has an ARAI-certified mileage of 15.96 kmpl. Based on the specifications, it is clear that the Sumo Gold is slightly powerful than the Bolero, but the Bolero leads the race in terms of fuel efficiency.

Space and comfort

The Sumo Gold (4,258 x 1,700 x 1,925 mm) is dimensionally bigger than the Bolero (4,107 x 1,745 x 1,880 mm). This directly reflects in the interior space for the Sumo Gold has more than adequate legroom, headroom and shoulder room in the front two rows.

The Bolero, feels slightly cramped with the limited headroom, just adequate legroom and shoulder room. The jump seats in the rear of Bolero is best suited for kids, while the jump seats has slightly better legroom and headroom offering decent comfort for adults as well. The Bolero, can at the max, be a 7-seater while the Sumo Gold is offered even with 9-seater configuration. Overall, the Sumo Gold, with its spacious interiors, offers better comfort than the Bolero.


The Bolero has raw and rugged looks with its typical Mahindra grille at the front. The redesigned front bumper and revised front grille in a dark grey shade, the hawk-eye headlamps and the new rear spare wheel cover complete the Bolero. On the inside, the new Bolero can seat 7 adults and gets new dual tone seats, with better cushioning, redesigned AC vents, digital instrument cluster with a trip computer and faux wood inserts on the dashboard. Overall, the facelift has made the Bolero, a slightly better looking vehicle as against the earlier model.

On the other hand, the Sumo Gold only got minor tweaks on the interior and exterior. On the outside, the Sumo Gold sports a redesigned radiator grille that has the word ‘SUMO’ embossed on a chrome strip. The refreshed headlamps, redesigned front bumper, new round fog lamps and body decals all try to hide the old-school, boxy design of the Sumo Gold. On the inside, the Sumo Gold gets new switches for HVAC and power windows and a four spoke, leather wrapped, steering wheel.

In terms of looks, the Bolero manages to hide its age while the Sumo Gold looks boxy and regard to fit and finish, the Bolero is slightly better than the Sumo Gold. Overall, the Bolero looks better and feels a little more contemporary than the Sumo.

Features in two variants

Both the Bolero ZLX and the Sumo Gold GX have features such as AC with heater, CD/MP3 player, all four power windows, 12 V outlets, central locking, keyless entry and rear windshield wiper & washer. The Bolero ZLX comes with digital instrument cluster, Voice Messaging System (VMS) with voice warning for seat belts and hand brakes-on and micro hybrid system.

The micro hybrid system on the Bolero engine switches off the engine when the vehicle is in neutral gear and restarts it seamlessly when the vehicle is shifted out of neutral. Thus, while driving through heavy traffic in a city, the micro hybrid technology can save a substantial amount of fuel. However, on the safety front, both vehicles are poorly equipped for there is no ABS or airbags on offer. Overall, the Bolero ZLX is slightly more feature loaded than the Sumo Gold GX.

Price mileage, overall VFM

The Bolero ZLX is priced at Rs. 6.82 lakh which is Rs. 6,000 less than the Sumo Gold GX, priced at Rs. 6.86 lakh. Hence, price cannot be a deal breaker between the two utility vehicles. However, in terms of mileage, the Bolero with a claimed fuel efficiency of 15.96 kmpl is more than that of the Sumo Gold with its claimed fuel efficiency of 14.7 kmpl. And with regard to features too, the Bolero ZLX comes with digital instrument cluster, micro hybrid system and VMS, not found in Sumo Gold GX.

Overall, the Bolero ZLX with more mileage and better features than the Sumo Gold GX, is a better ‘value for money’ utility vehicle.

Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of both these vehicles in the form of an easy to read table:

[table id=380 /]


If space is of paramount importance, the Sumo Gold GX is the UV to go for. But, in almost all other departments such as handling, features, engine refinement and mileage, the Bolero ZLX is a better buy than the Sumo Gold GX.