Sibling rivalry, unless turned malicious, has always been somewhat a good thing. The need to be better than your sibling has given us some of the most brilliant minds in the world. For example? Hmm… the Hemsworth brothers, the Gyllenhaal’s… bet you expected me to mention some billionaire siblings or inventors, but no! I don’t know any. Well, there are obviously some, but they are not in my direct line of interest.
Like they say, “a little healthy competition has never hurt anyone.”
Also Read: REVIEWS BY IAN PAUL: 2007 Toyota Mark X
Personally, I don’t have that sort of rivalry with my sisters and brother. Given that my big sister chose a totally different career industry from mine, and we are both progressing at reasonable paces, there never has been need to compete. The little ones are still in school, there is no competition there. Thus sibling rivalry is something I don’t know.
In primary school when my sister always came top of the class and me somewhere after the first half, that’s the time I was supposed to prove myself. But frankly, I was happy not to. I was comfortable not being in that limelight.
When you don’t raise too much expectations, you can get away with anything. I liked that. I was young, all I needed was enough time to play and get away with a lot of things.
Now, with the VW Golf MK4 and the 2002 VW Bora, we are presented with a good example of when sibling rivalry is that little healthy competition. They look incredibly alike, but they are amazingly quite different.
My first experience with the Bora was in 2016. My friend Trevor was coming to my house for the very first time, and not knowing the route, he asked I drive us there. The car he had with him was 2002 VW Bora.
The drive on Jinja Road from Centenary Park was a gentle experience. Even with a few mechanical issues here and there, the Bora drove gracefully and the instant throttle response was a self-evident compelling factor about it. Instant throttle response has and will always be that one thing about cars that wins me over.
I remember telling Trevor that I’d fallen so much in love with it, if ever they were selling it, I want it. And as it turns out, they are currently selling it/sold it. But I now have my sights on W203 C Class Kompressor or BMW E46 3 Series.
A while back I tweeted asking for anyone that wouldn’t mind me letting me drive their car for a documented review. I’d throw in a few liters of fuel in return. And this was the first person that reached out. Thus, my second encounter with the Bora. A 2.0-liter 4-cylinder engine.
My favorite thing about the Bora is the size. It isn’t exactly too small and it isn’t big either. If anything, to accurately describe it, it’s the perfect size for a small sedan. And it’s so nimble you forget that it’s seated on a relatively heavy chassis compared to other small sedans. The doors are heavy enough, creating a safety vacuum once you are inside. Not as heavy as Mercedes, but you feel assuredly safe.
Being a compact sedan, everything in the interior is within quick reach. Which is both a good and a bad thing. On the good; it means that there isn’t much to grapple with as you operate the different nobs and buttons. On the bad; there is no occasion while operating the nobs and buttons. There is no distance, no ceremony, and no room to admire the interior as you stretch to reach for the volume nob to turn up on that Ykee Benda song.
It’s like living in a tiny apartment. You’ll definitely like how reachable everything thing, but eventually you’ll get fed up of how close everything is. You’ll crave some space.
As you crave that space, you’ll start looking around to see what’s interesting with the car. And that’s when you’ll realize that the interior is actually quite boring. All car lovers, when around a new car or a car they haven’t driven before, it’s their inner teenager that’s running the show.
And that teenager loves buttons and things to ticker with. The Bora assumes we are all mature adults that have no time for fooling around. Because of this, they have put as few buttons as possible for everything you might want to turn a nob or push a button to activate. This is boring. My 2007 Nokia 95 even in 2017 is still far more interesting.
For a moment, it could be a good thing. With no buttons and nobs to distract you, you concentrate on the drive. The VW Bora is unbelievably quick on its little wheels.
The steering response is quick and impressively light, and the car responds quite compellingly. The Bora is planted on the road and you feel it’s sinking in the tarmac when you put the hammer down. This is a very intensely arousing feeling. Without a doubt, you know you have everything under control and for the moments where your bravery is in the lead, you go faster and you perfectly enjoy it.
The drive is generally gratifying.
But, the 2002 VW Bora is a very small car. During my test drive, I had 3 people in the back seat and as I pushed it to the limit, in shape corners, I noticed how cramped they were in the tiny back. When I asked them if they were comfortable, their reactions were mixed.
The middle seat passenger was particularly the most uncomfortable. Therefore it is best suited for a very small family or for a single person who will only pack their supermarket shopping in the back seat.
Author: Ian Paul Byamugisha
Ian Paul Byamugisha is a writer/author/novelist and car journalist. As a writer for Newslibre, he writes car reviews, cars news, tech news and anything that one might find interesting to read. Currently working on a spy novel collection titled “Arthur Vintage.”