The Volkswagen Golf is classified as a compact car and is manufactured by German carmaker Volkswagen. Production of this vehicle started in 1974 and it has been marketed in numerous countries all over the world, spanning seven different generations. This vehicle has been made available in a number of body configurations under a variety of nameplates, including the Volkswagen Rabbit in the United States and Canada, as well as the Volkswagen Caribe in Mexico. The very first Golf Mk1 had a front-wheel drive front-engined replacement for the air-cooled, rear-wheel drive, rear-engined Volkswagen Beetle. So far, the Golf is this carmaker’s most popular and best-selling model and holds the record for the world’s second top selling model with over 29 million units built since 2012.
Initially, the Golf was produced mostly as a 3-door hatchback. There have been other variants of this vehicle though, including the 5-door hatchback as well as the estate or wagon variant starting in 1993 along with a convertible version from 1979-2002 and 2011-present. There is also a Golf-derived notchback sedan called the Volkswagen Jetta or Volkswagen Vento, which started production in 1992, as well as the Volkswagen Bora starting in 1999. These cars span many different market segments, including high-performance hot hatches as well as basic personal cars.
The Golf has won a number of awards since production of it first started, including World Car of the year in 2009 with the Volkswagen Golf Mk6. In 2013, this car won the same award with the Volkswagen Golf Mk7. Although many people have speculated on the origin of this vehicle’s name, claiming that it comes from the German word meaning “Gulf Stream”, there was an official report in 2013 from former VW advertising copywriter Bertel Schmitt which stated that to the best of his knowledge there is no evidence that there was any common theme for the nameplates these vehicles use.
The first generation Golf was introduced to the public in May of 1974, premiering with a front-wheel drive design and an eventual replacement for the Volkswagen Beetle. Some of the later variations of the Golf include the Golf GTI “hot hatch”, as well as a diesel-powered version and the Jetta notchback saloon version in 1979. The Golf Mk1 was initially sold as the Volkswagen Rabbit in the U.S as well as Canada and as the Volkswagen Caribe in the Mexican market.
The fourth generation of the Golf brought with it many changes, and it was first introduced to the public in August of 1997, though an M4-derived Cabriolet was never introduced. The Mk3 Cabriolet did, however, receive a significant facelift in 1999 which included the grill, bumpers, and headlights, all of which were similar to the Mark 4 models. Certain variants of the Golf were still being produced in Mexico, China, and Brazil as of 2008, and revised version of the Mk4 were sold in Canada as the Golf City and Jetta City from 2007-2010.
The seventh and most recent version of the Volkswagen Golf premiered in 2012 at the Paris Motor Show. The Golf VII or Typ 5G uses the MQB platform, which is shared with the third generation Audi A3 as well as the Skoda Octavia and the SEAT Leon. This vehicle is a bit larger overall than the Mk6, but it is still 100 kg lighter than its predecessor. The Golf R has a powerful 296 bhp turbocharged 2.0 liter 4-cylinder engine with 4-motion four-wheel drive. This vehicle is available in all relevant drive systems and its modular transverse matrix assembly kit allows manufacturing of Golf models with diesel, natural gas, gasoline, hybrid, and electric drives in the factories.