Used Volkswagen Bora Saloon 1999 - 2005 review

Category: Family car

Section: Advice for buyers

1999 - 2005 review
Volkswagen Bora Saloon (99 - 05)
  • Volkswagen Bora Saloon (99 - 05)
  • Volkswagen Bora Saloon (99 - 05)
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Advice for buyers

What should I look for in a used Volkswagen Bora saloon?

You may think that VWs are safe and sound, but there are a few things to look for. Be careful of the 1.8-litre petrol engines, for a start. They have a nasty habit of throwing off their timing belts once they have passed 70,000 miles. It's not just the belt you'll have to replace; you'll need to shell out for a new engine, too.

The 1.6-litre engine can also suffer timing belt troubles at an even earlier mileage, although the consequences are nowhere near as severe.

The 1.9 TDI engine has its problems, too. Sticking turbochargers can result in a loss of power and a drop in fuel economy - watch for lots of smoke on start-up and under full acceleration.

Have a look at the Vehicle and Operator Safety Agency website at, which lists all the recalls affecting the Bora. There have been suspension, brake and fuel pump issues over the years, not to mention a concern over the passenger airbag.

What are the most common problems with a used Volkswagen Bora saloon?

Is a used Volkswagen Bora saloon reliable?