2003 Volkswagen Bora 2.0L petrol marked FD3


We love the Bora


No. 2 spark plug lead blew. Replacement cheap but awkward.

The mini disc player (not popular here) does not go. Just as well there is a 6 stack CD player in the boot!

General Comments:

Funtastic! Loads of features and great to drive.

Solid, stable ride with all interior comforts.

Heaps of control knob lights for night driving - especially good for navigating the great stereo in the dark.

Fuel efficiency rates 42MPG best on highway and 32 MPG on average around town though the tyres must be smaller than spec as the speedo registers 57KM/H when the car is actually doing 50Km/h.

The V5 is a serious performer, but I prefer less performance and better fuel economy as with the 2.0L model.

Maybe we are lucky in New Zealand where we get used imports made in Germany ex=Japan! Imports from America in any brand tend to get bad reports for reliability here.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 1st May, 2010

2002 Volkswagen Bora V6 4Motion 2.8 V6


All things to all men


Centre arm rest latch broken.

Gear lever boot prematurely worn and loose.

Slight muffler rattle.

General Comments:

First the bad:

Speedometer is hard to read at a glance.

Trip computer fiddly to operate.

Hard to find parts either stock or performance.

Now the good:

The Bora is a real stealth bomber - looks ordinary but goes like a rocket. Quick enough off the line, but it's around corners where it really shines. The grip is simply amazing, and the car rounds bends at ridiculous speeds so calmly you forget that most other cars would be a smoldering wreck in the same situation.

Power and torque everywhere. Very smooth power delivery but just enough of a tail-pipe rasp to keep your right foot buried.

Superb leather seats, nice sounding stereo. Even the fuel economy isn't too bad!

Luxury + Performance + Handling + Reliability = Bora V6.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 23rd January, 2009

2nd Jun 2009, 04:04

Yep. I bought a 2001 4Motion in 08 too. A great car - very efficient too when, like me, you do mostly freeway driving. I even averaged 7.5L/100km into the city once.

But some bits on it do seem a bit crappy around the 100k km mark. The latch on the centre armrest seems to be unavoidable; and some parts are pretty expensive.

Still, a great car. I love it.

19th Aug 2009, 05:19

I also bought a '02' model Bora last year, and as with everyone else, my arm rest latch also broke. Previously owned a '00' model, just the 2.0 litre was a bit of a nugget, but now with the V6 4motion there is just no comparison. A fantastic car and I would advise anyone to get one..

7th Oct 2010, 22:14

Yep, great little car. Just picked one up, and yes the armrest latch is stuffed, but apart from that, it's a ripper! I live in the hills, and it's a dream through the bends.

2000 Volkswagen Bora V6 4motion V6 2.8


Seriously understated, fast and lively


Brake light switch (common) cheap.

Clutch (fixed by dealer, replaced everything as was difficult to diagnose, problem was that clutch would drop half way to the floor after an hours use of car. But you could still change and engage gears. Turned out to be pressure plate)

Expensive 2,500 $ items = clutch, pressure plate, machining DMF (carefully), master cylinder replacement, slave cylinder replacement, multiple flushes.

Window regulators (common) about $100 a door plus lots of pain doing it myself

Rear boot latch - $90 plus fitting myself

Clutch pedal weld (common) welded back up by service centre (Volkspower)

Rear knocking sound (seat strikers maybe?)

Air flap positioning motor is gone (found through vag-com scan (diagnostics tool). Needs to be replaced, haven't looked into as it doesn't bother me too much)

On a sweeping right hand corner, traveling at some amount of speed but not nearly enough to lose grip, the ESP system pulsates as if you are out of control. Does not happen the other way. Turning ESP off solves this. Not sure??

General Comments:

This is a comfortable sports tourer with all the bells and whistles, and none of the wrong kind of attention.

AWD system + ESP + EBD = One very difficult car to lose in the wet or dry, and believe me, I have tried and tested in emergency and fun situations.

This car from factory does understeer. This is easily fixed with the Haldex performance controller and rear swaybar (about $2000). About 60 percent reduction in under-steer, though still very neutral.

Great exhaust note as this is the engine's character.

Gear-shifts are notchy, some MT90 does help. If you learn the gears it does become very smooth and likes to be driven hard or soft, and does not like in-between.

I get about 450 KM's out of a tank of 60 litres with 98 RON. On the open road about 600 KM's.

Brakes are good and will stand-up to a decent mountain session, though ragged at the end blackspur+Reefton = Brake pwnage. I changed my brake fluid to Castrol silver and have not had any problems with fade since.

This car is heavy and can be driven quickly, but will need to be driven hardish to do so. Maximum power comes in at 3500 RPMs, with a second cam engaging at 4500 to take you to 6200. The fun really starts to happen at 5.

So far, I am quite happy with the car for what it is. I drive hard and have done quite a lot including towing boats and trailers without much struggle.

Overall the car is good, and I believe now that I have ironed out most of the common VW bugs, the car should be good for years to come, though I may look at fixing the gearbox somehow!

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Don't Know

Review Date: 6th May, 2008

9th Dec 2008, 05:35

We had a love hate relationship with ours, was a beautiful looking car (with those drool-worthy Oettingers) that drove wonderfully and was a real delight to sit in. Pity about the electrics though.

Indicators never stopped making noise... I'm talking about "tick/tock, tick/tock, tick/tock" for seconds through to hours after a corner.

Windows went down when you wanted them up.

Auto-down windows worked 10% of the time;

Sunroof started opening to odd positions;

Cruise worked most of the time;

A phantom rattle in the back got louder and louder but was seemingly impossible to find;

The dash would, every now and then, come and say "STOP ENGINE" which was its little way of saying "the engine will melt in 3, 2, 1" but it never did... beeped its damn head off too!!

On the whole, I loved it... but the electrics were so bad we sold it well before we would have liked to.

13th May 2009, 02:24

Pity, most others now seem to have had the common problems but nothing like you have described. Maybe a LEMOOON?

2004 Volkswagen Bora 4 motion V6


Absolute pleasure to drive


Nothing as yet.

General Comments:

A very involving and exciting car to drive, quick and handles well. The engine note inside the car is great, I'd rather hear it than the radio. Plenty of power and love driving it.

Rear passenger space is small, could have been a bit bigger.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 20th April, 2008

15th Aug 2010, 07:34

I handed the car over to my wife a year ago; she loves driving it. So far we have put 65,000km on the car with no problems. Next year we'll probably update the car to a Golf GTI.

2003 Volkswagen Bora 4 Motion 2.8 petrol


A true comfortable high performance car


One small rattle due to a loose piece of trim below ashtray.

General Comments:

A very quick car.

Holds the road like the white line.

Traction is excellent.

Boot is small.

Without doubt one of the two best cars I have ever owned.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 7th July, 2004

27th Jul 2004, 19:17

What's the other car?

10th Jan 2005, 20:58

Your problem with indicator blinker switch relay must be a common VW thing. Because it happened on my 74 Superbug, My 91 GTI and now my 2003 Passat!

A German mechanic once told me. leave the mechanicals to the germans and the Japanese will fix the wipers!!

Happy motoring..

Id rather a VW any day.