It’s no different from an ordinary Bolero except when it is time to idle. When you are at neutral (with your foot off the clutch), the system waits for 10 seconds and switches the engine off with a mild shudder. A flashing light in the instrument console tells you the system is active. Step on the clutch and the engine fires up instantly for you to select first and go. This system works well and you won’t be delayed moving off from the traffic lights.
The Bolero is also much improved from behind the wheel. The controls in general function in a more direct manner, the rack and pinion steering, first seen in late 2002, is a massive improvement over the old steering system and this allows you to direct the massive Mahindra with surprising ease.
The light wheel and decent feel mean you actually maneuver through traffic with surprising ease. The improved steering makes it easy to place this big vehicle where intended and straight-line stability is improved as well due to the longer wheelbase and the addition of an anti-roll bar on the rear suspension. The Bolero also handles with a greater amount of confidence.
However, given its vintage, the Bolero’s road manners are much better than you would expect. On uneven surfaces, it’s less of a kangaroo than a Scorpio; the ride is quite level and absorbent over most surfaces with only sharp bumps kicking through to the cabin. There’s not much steering feel and the crisp handling typical of modern SUVs is just not there.