WITH each successive Jetta looking like a booted Golf with more junk in its trunk than Kim Kardashian, the Mk4 of 1999 – called Bora (a type of Adriatic wind) in markets outside North America – was literally a breath of fresh air.
The elegant profile was perfectly matched by insanely lush interior quality that for years afterwards continued to set a high watermark for premium and mainstream rivals alike.
Little wonder then that it’s still popular in Argentina and – as the Clasico – in Mexico.
Unfortunately, the Bora was a bit of a bust outside of the Americas, with soft handling, a hard ride and vague steering all falling well short of the revolutionary original Ford Focus’s game-changing dynamics. Aussie buyers generally ignored three-box small cars for hatchbacks – especially overpriced ones. Reliability wasn’t much chop, either.
Still, apart from what appears to be a dodgy nose-graft and butt tuck, the ageing Bora/Jetta continues pretty much as it was back in 1999, including VW’s hoary old 2.0-litre eight-valve atmo four.
Old Bora is shaping up to be the New Beetle
A veritable supermodel after the deformed (Mk3 Jetta) Vento
Sluggish engines (V6 aside) means Bora is no Maserati