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Used car focus: Volkswagen Bora – 1999 onwards

Bora is a good all-rounder and injects some much-needed style into the small family saloon sector. It’s based on the Volkswagen Golf and it shares some its best attributes, like a pleasant interior, direct steering and some punchy, economical PD diesel engines.

LINE-UP
Good equipment levels and an attractive cabin bring used buyers to Bora. S has heated electric mirrors and height adjustable driver’s seat; SE adds seat height/lumbar adjustment, trip computer and rain-sensing wipers. 2.0 SE has traction control. 2.0 and TDi 110/115 are also offered with Sport pack: 16in alloys, front fog lights, and sports seats as in the Golf GTi. 2.3 V5 and 4Motion have similar equipment.Bora is a good all-rounder and injects some much-needed style into the small family saloon sector. It’s based on the Volkswagen Golf and it shares some its best attributes, like a pleasant interior, direct steering and some punchy, economical PD diesel engines.

DRIVING AND PERFORMANCE
The extra weight of the boot gives better-balanced hand- ling than the old (1998-2004) Golf on which it’s based. The steering is direct and well weighted, there’s lots of grip and it feels stable at all times. Slick gearboxes and a comfortable ride add up to a very pleasurable drive.

COMFORT
Good seat and steering wheel ergonomics make it easy to get comfortable behind the wheel. Rear leg room is not generous, as in the Golf, but it’s fine for kids. The interior is reasonably refined at speed with little wind, road or engine noise. The boot is large and easy to access, though not as practical as a hatchback.

ENGINES
The engine line-up is similar, but not identical to those in the 1998-2004 Golf. Hence, there’s no 1.4 (no loss) or 3.2 (too manic for most). Petrols are the 1.6 – fine for in town driving; the 180bhp 1.8T for turbocharged performance; a 2.0 for cruising and the refined 2.3 V5 and 2.8 V6 with plenty of mid-range pull. 1.9 TDI diesels range from 110-150bhp and are considered some of the best units in this class. The 130bhp unit is the best compromise between performance and economy.

SAFETY
The old Golf scored four stars in the Euro NCAP crash test – a respectable score – and Bora has the same score as it’s built on the same platform. No security weaknesses, with an alarm, remote central locking and deadlocks as standard.

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