Volkswagen Golf

Volkswagen Golf
Volkswagen Golf
2007–2009 Volkswagen Rabbit (US)
Manufacturer Volkswagen,
Karmann (for convertibles)
Also called Volkswagen Rabbit
Production 1974–present
Predecessor Volkswagen Beetle
Class Small family car
Platform Volkswagen Group A platform series
Related Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Scirocco

The Volkswagen Golf is a small family car manufactured by Volkswagen since 1974 and marketed worldwide across six generations, in various body configurations and under various nameplates – as the Volkswagen Rabbit in the United States and Canada (Mk1 and Mk5), and as the Volkswagen Caribe in Mexico (Mk1).

The front-wheel drive Golf was Volkswagen's first successful replacement for the air-cooled Volkswagen Beetle. Historically, the Golf is Volkswagen's best-selling model and the world's third best-selling model, with more than 25 million built by 2007.[1]

Most production of the Golf was initially in the 3-door hatchback style.[2] Other variants include a 5-door hatchback, estate/wagon (Variant, from 1993), convertible (Cabriolet and Cabrio, 1979–2002), and a Golf-derived notchback saloon/sedan, variously called Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Vento or Volkswagen Bora (from 1979). The cars have filled many market segments, from basic personal cars, to high-performance hot hatches.

Every generation of Golf has been a runner-up in the European Car of the Year awards, but only one has been a winner, the Golf Mk3 in 1992.[3]



The Golf name is derived from the German word for Gulf Stream[4] and the period in its history when VW named vehicles after prominent winds, including also the Passat (after the German word for Trade wind), Jetta (after the Jet stream), Bora (after Bora) and Scirocco (after Sirocco).[5] "Golf" is also a sport, a theme that is shared with the Polo and Derby.

Golf Mk1/Rabbit (A1/Typ 17, 1974–1983)

Volkswagen Golf Mk1 (17)
VW Golf Mk1
Vw golf 1 h sst.jpg
Predecessor Volkswagen Beetle
Successor Volkswagen Golf Mk2
Engine 1.1L, 1.3L, 1.5L, 1.6L, 1.8L 1.5L Diesel, 1.6L Diesel, 8v
Related Volkswagen Jetta Mk1
Volkswagen Scirocco Mk1/Mk2

In May 1974,[6] Volkswagen presented the first-generation Golf as a modern front-wheel-drive, long-range replacement for the Volkswagen Beetle. Later Golf variations included the Golf GTI "hot hatch" (introduced in June, 1976), a Diesel-powered version (from September, 1976), the Jetta notchback saloon version (from October, 1979), the Golf Cabriolet (from January, 1980) and a Golf-based pickup, the Volkswagen Caddy.

The Golf Mk1 was sold as the Volkswagen Rabbit in the United States and Canada and as the Volkswagen Caribe in Mexico.

A facelifted version of the Golf Mk1 was produced in South Africa as the Citi Golf from 1984 to 2009.[7]

Golf Mk2 (A2/Typ 19E, 1983–1992)

Volkswagen Golf Mk2 (19E)
VW Golf Mk2
VW Golf II rear 20080206.jpg
Predecessor Volkswagen Golf Mk1
Successor Volkswagen Golf Mk3
Engine 1.3L, 1.6L, 1.8L, 1.8L 16v, 2.0L 16v, 1.6L Diesel, 1.6L Turbo Diesel, 1.8L G60
Related Volkswagen Jetta Mk2
Volkswagen Corrado
SEAT Toledo Mk1

September 1983 saw the introduction of the second-generation Mk2 that slightly grew in terms of wheelbase, exterior and interior dimensions while retaining, in a more rounded form, the Mk1's overall look. In 1985, the first Golfs with four-wheel-drive (Golf syncro) went on sale with the same Syncro four-wheel drive system being employed on the supercharged G60 models, exclusively released on the continent in 1989 with 160 bhp (120 kW) and ABS braking.

A Mk2-based second generation Jetta was unveiled in January 1984. There was no Mk2-based Cabriolet model; instead, the Mk1 Cabriolet was continued over the Mk2's entire production run.

Golf Mk3 (A3/Typ 1H, 1991–1999)

Volkswagen Golf Mk3 (1H)
VW Golf 3 front 20071002.jpg
VW Golf 3 rear 20071002.jpg
Predecessor Volkswagen Golf Mk2
Successor Volkswagen Golf Mk4
Related Volkswagen Vento

The third-generation Golf Mk3 made its home-market début in August 1991 and again grew slightly in comparison with its immediate predecessor, while its wheelbase remained unchanged.

New engines included the first Turbocharged Direct Injection (TDI) diesel engine in a Golf, and a narrow-angle 2.8 L VR6 engine. The VR6-engined version accelerated from 0–60 mph (0–97 km/h) in 7.1 seconds, posting a record 15.5¼-mile time at 90.5 mph (145.6 km/h).[citation needed] EPA estimate 26 mpg (city) or 32 mpg (highway), with 261 mi (420 km) per tank (city) and 363 mi (584 km) per tank (highway). For the first time ever, a Golf estate (Golf Variant) joined the line-up in September 1993 (although most markets did not receive this model until early 1994), at the same time a completely new Mk3-derived Cabriolet was introduced, replacing the 13-year-old Mk1-based version. With a body style similar to that of the Golf, it was continued on until 2001 with only minor changes in the 1999 model year. The notchback version, called VW Vento (or Jetta III in North America), was presented in January, 1992.

It was European Car of the Year for 1992, ahead of PSA's new ZX model and GM's new Astra model.

The Mk3 continued to be sold until 1999 in Canada and parts of South America, also in Mexico as a special edition called "Mi" (Golf CL 4-door, added A/C, special interiors, OEM black tinted rear stop lights, and ABS, no OEM radio) ("Mi" ("i" in red) stands for Multipoint Injection and the 1.8 L engine was upgraded to 2.0).

Golf Mk4 (A4/Typ 1J, 1997–2004)

Volkswagen Golf Mk4 (1J)
VW Golf 4 front 20071026.jpg
VW Golf 4 rear 20071026.jpg
Predecessor Volkswagen Golf Mk3
Successor Volkswagen Golf Mk5
Related Audi A3 Mk1
Audi TT Mk1
Volkswagen Bora
SEAT León Mk1
SEAT Toledo Mk2
Škoda Octavia Mk1

The Golf Mk4 was first introduced in August 1997, followed by a notchback version (VW Bora or, in North America, again VW Jetta) in August 1998 and a new Golf Variant (estate) in March 1999. There was no Mk4-derived Cabriolet, although the Mk3 Cabriolet received a facelift in late 1999 that comprised bumpers, grill and headlights similar to those of the Mark 4 models. New high-performance models included the 3.2 L VR6-engined four-wheel-drive Golf "R32" introduced in 2004, its predecessor the 2.8 L VR6-engined "Golf V6 4Motion" (succeeding the 2.9 L Mk3 "Golf VR6 Syncro"), as well as use of the famous 1.8T (turbo) 4-cylinder used in various Volkswagen Group models.

As of 2008, certain variants of the Golf/Bora Mk4 were still in production in Brazil, China, and Mexico. Revised versions of the Mk4 were sold in Canada marketed as the Golf City and Jetta City from 2007-2010. The two models were VW Canada's entry-level offerings. They received a significant freshening for the 2008 model year, including revised headlamps, taillamps, front and rear fascias, sound systems, and wheels. Both models were offered only with the 2.0 L, 8-valve SOHC four-cylinder gasoline engine, rated at 115 bhp (86 kW). They were the only entry-level offerings with an optional six-speed automatic. The production of Golf Mk4 for the U.S. market ended in 2006. But for the European markets, the production of the fourth generation ended in 2003.

Some owners and enthusiasts of the Mk4 have facelifted the front end of the vehicle with that of a Bora or a Jetta giving the vehicle the nickname "Bolf", "Jolf" or Rolf[citation needed], although this has never been a modification that VW made or sold. However, when the Chinese market Bora received a July 2006 facelift, the Golf did too, becoming the "Bora HS" in the process.

Because of the MK4's popularity and low cost, it is still in production in several countries, such as Brazil and Argentina.

Golf Mk5 (A5/Typ 1K, 2003–2009)

Volkswagen Golf Mk5 (1K)
VW Golf V front 20071109.jpg
VW Golf V rear 20071109.jpg
Predecessor Volkswagen Golf Mk4
Successor Volkswagen Golf Mk6
Related Audi A3 Mk2
Volkswagen Jetta
VW Scirocco
SEAT León Mk2
SEAT Altea
SEAT Toledo Mk3
Škoda Octavia Mk2

The Volkswagen Golf Mk4 was succeeded by the Golf Mk5 in 2003 in Europe. This model did not reach the North American markets until model year 2006, where it was marketed as the Rabbit. The North American base model is powered by a 2.5 L five-cylinder engine. A GTI version is powered by a turbocharged version of the 2.0 FSI engine, producing 200 PS (147 kW; 197 hp).

Volkswagen also introduced the "Fast" marketing ploy for the North American market, dedicated to the "fast" that lives inside every driver. Drivers who purchase new GTI Mk5s from a dealership are shipped a model of said Fast, which employs GTI-like features, and appears as a small robot thing in the commercials. The GTI version is the only version on sale in Mexico.

The saloon/sedan version, again called Volkswagen Jetta in most markets and assembled in Germany, South Africa, as well as Mexico (In Mexico this car is named Bora, in Europe it is now again named Jetta, as well), followed in 2004, a new Golf Variant in 2006. The Jetta however, is not the only variant, as the notchback version of the GTI can also be had in the GLI version. The front ends of the car are the same, with the only difference being that the GLI is a sedan, while the GTI is a hatchback.

Later models of the Mk5 introduced the 1.4 TSI turbocharged petrol engine with front wheel drive.

In a comparison test conducted by Car and Driver Magazine, the Volkswagen Rabbit S was named the winner among eight small cars. While it was praised for its excellent driving position, fine instruments, and strong engine, it was criticized for having high levels of road noise, uncomfortable seats, and poor fuel economy. Though, the final verdict stated, "This one is all about driving pleasure, so it wins." The Rabbit also placed first in their final comparison in December 2006.

The Volkswagen Golf Plus model was also introduced in 2004. This was a slightly larger version of the Golf Mk5 with a higher roofline.

Golf Mk6 (A6/Typ 5K, 2009–present)

Volkswagen Golf Mk6 (5K)
VW Golf VI 20090620 front.JPG
VW Golf VI 20090620 rear.JPG
Manufacturer Volkswagen,
Karmann (for convertibles)
Production 2009–present
Related Audi A3 Mk2
Volkswagen Jetta
VW Scirocco
SEAT León Mk2
SEAT Altea
SEAT Toledo Mk3

Volkswagen based the latest Golf Mk6 on the existing PQ35 platform from the Golf Mk5.[8] This vehicle was debuted at the 2008 Paris Motor Show.[9]

The Mk6 Golf was designed by Volkswagen's chief designer Walter de'Silva. The design is said to be more aerodynamic, helping fuel efficiency, and is quieter than its predecessor. Following criticism of the downgraded interior trim quality of the Mk5 Golf in comparison to the Mk4, Volkswagen opted to overhaul the interior to match the quality with the Mk4 Golf, while maintaining the same user friendliness from the Mk5. The car is also cheaper to build than its predecessor; Volkswagen claims it consequently will be able to pass these savings on to the customer.[10] The MK6 Jetta was released in Mexico in mid 2010,and by late 2011 will be available in all markets around the globe. Turbocharged Direct Injection diesel engines which use the common rail direct injection will replace the longstanding Pumpe/Düse (PD) Unit Injector system. New on the Golf, is the optional Volkswagen Adaptive Chassis Control, which will allow the driver to select between 'normal', 'comfort' and 'sports' modes, which will vary the suspension, steering and accelerator behavior accordingly.[11]

The Mk6 Golf is available with both 5 and 6-speed manual transmission gearbox and 6 or 7-speed DSG (Dual Clutch).

The car was introduced for sale in the UK in January 2009.[12]

The car was introduced in North America in October 2009 as the 2010 Golf, rather than Rabbit.[13] The Mk6 also reintroduced a diesel engine option to the North American market.[14]

Golf Mk7 (concept for 2013)

The Golf Mk7 is expected to arrive sometime between mid-late 2013. It will be first Golf built on the MQB (Modularer Querbaukasten) platform. Compared to the Mk 6 Golf, the next generation Mk 7 is expected to have wider footprint, lower roof line, lower driving position and a steeply raked windscreen.[15]

Electric versions

The VW Golf has had several generations made into electric CityStromer models. The first of these was in the 1970s, when VW took a standard Golf Mk1 and converted it to electric power. By the time the Golf Mk2 came into production a limited number of electric Golfs were made, using lead–acid battery packs and a custom-made motor and controller[citation needed]. VW continued with the production of limited numbers of CityStromer electric cars with the introduction of the Golf Mk3. The electric CityStromer Mk3 included a Siemens based AC drive system, and lead–acid battery packs. They had a maximum speed of 60 mph (97 km/h) and a range of approximately 50 mi (80 km).[16] With a few exceptions, only left-hand drive Golfs were converted by VW into Citystromer models. These vehicles are still used today and have popularity in mainland Europe with only a few present in England. Only two right-hand drive Mk2 CityStromers were built for the UK market and it is believed only one remains today. It is owned by EV advocate and broadcaster Nikki Gordon-Bloomfield, host of Transport Evolved. The CityStromer EV on PositiveTV

Golf Variant Twin Drive

As part of the "Fleet study in electric mobility" project that began in 2008, VW developed 20 Golf Variant twinDRIVE plug-in hybrid electric vehicles. These research vehicles have an all-electric range of 57 km (35 mi) and the internal combustion engine provides for a total range of 900 km (560 mi). The plug-in hybrid drive of the Golf Variant twinDRIVE is equipped with either an 11.2 kWh or a 13.2 kWh lithium-ion battery pack, as Volkswagen is testing packs from two vendors. Ten vehicles are equipped with batteries from the American-German manufacturer GAIA with cathode type nickel cobalt aluminium dioxide (NCA). The other ten are powered by lithium-ion batteries with nickel manganese cobalt (NMC) cathodes from the Korean-German joint venture SB LiMotive (Samsung and Bosch). These 10 vehicles have been in use since early 2011. Both battery systems offer high power and energy density. They each weigh about 150 kg. The gasoline engine is used to support the electric heating system when outdoor temperatures are low.[17]

Using guidelines for determining the fuel consumption of plug-in hybrids, VW estimates a fuel consumption of 2.1 L/100 km (112 mpg US), which is equivalent to 49 g/km CO2. When the battery is fully charged, the Golf Variant twinDRIVE is design to maximize the share of pure electrical energy used for driving, and only when longer distances are driven does the share of supplemental gasoline fuel increase. Top speed of the car is 170 kilometres per hour (110 mph) and it accelerates to 100 km/h in under 12 seconds. When operated in pure electric mode, the Golf Variant twinDRIVE can reach a top speed of 120 kilometres per hour (75 mph).[17]

The production version is expected to be based on Mk6 Golf featuring a 1.5 L turbodiesel engine and electric motor, with estimated arrival date of 2015.[18]

Golf blue-e-motion

At the ceremonial launching of Germany's "National Electric Mobility Platform" (NEMP)[19] in Berlin, Volkswagen presented the Golf blue-e-motion electric car concept to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. NEMP is a German government initiative to develop Germany into a leading market for electric mobility.

The Golf blue-e-motion has a range of 150 km (93 mi). Sales are scheduled for 2014,[20] and Volkswagen scheduled field testing with 500 units for 2011.[21][22] The first 10 units began field testing in Wolfsburg in May 2011.[23] A second batch of 80 test cars began testing in June 2011 in Berlin, Hannover and Wolfsburg.[24]

The Golf blue-emotion has a 26.5KWh lithium-ion battery pack and is powered by an 85KW electric motor which drives the front wheels through a single speed transmission. It will accelerate to 62 miles per hour (100 km/h) in 11.8 seconds and have a top speed of 86 miles per hour (138 km/h).[24] Paddle shifters are used to adjust the amount of regenerative braking. The vehicle's PRNDL stick has an additional 'B' mode as found on some other electric vehicles to set the regenerative braking effort to the maximum for sustained downhill travelling.[citation needed]

Other Twin Drive vehicles

  • SEAT León Twin drive


The Golf has been very popular with British buyers since its introduction in 1974. By March 2009, nearly 1,500,000 had been sold in Britain, making it the eighth most popular car ever sold there.[25]

Upon the release of the Mk1 Golf in the mid 1970s in Australia, interest from prospective buyers was much higher than anticipated and most had to be placed on a waiting list. Some Golfs were shipped whole, while others were shipped in separate parts, which were then assembled in Australia at the VW Clayton plant in Melbourne. Buyers who requested certain colours such as red, had to wait longer until their colour was shipped. Some of these buyers chose to take a different colour temporarily until their requested colour became available, some waiting for their colour for up to 12 months.[citation needed]


In auto racing, APR Motorsport has led two MKV VW GTI's to victory in the Grand-Am KONI Sports Car Challenge Street Tuner (ST) class.[26][27][28][29]

Awards and recognition

See also


  1. ^ Gareth Kent (30 March 2007). "VW Golf build passes 25 million". Retrieved 11 March 2008. 
  2. ^ Figures for 1974 to 1987: 4.7 million 3-door models, 2.55 million 5-doors, according to: Oswald, Werner (2001). Deutsche Autos 1945–1990, vol.3. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. pp. 86–87. ISBN 3-613-02116-1. 
  3. ^ "Previous Winners" (in (Spanish)). Car of the Year. Retrieved 2011-11-09. 
  4. ^
  5. ^
    • White, John R. (April 1, 1990), "Volkswagen Has Another Car Named For The Wind -- And It's A Fresh Breeze", Boston Globe: A.69, "VW likes to name things after wind. Remember Scirocco? That was a car named for a hot desert wind. Passat is more practical; in German it means trade wind. And, if there's anything Volkswagen needs, it's a fresh breeze in the trade department." 
    • Jeannet, Jean-Pierre; Hennessey, Hubert D. (1988), International marketing management: strategies and cases, Houghton Mifflin, p. 321, ISBN 9780395356753, "This brought about Golf (the German word for the Gulf Wind), Scirocco (the Italian word for a hot wind that brings desert dust from the Libyan desert to Italy), and Passat (the German word for trade wind)." 
    • Kiley, David (13 March 2008), "One World, One Car, One Name;The Ford Fiesta, after flopping in the U.S. in the '70s and selling well in Europe ever since, is set to go global", Business Week,, retrieved 2011-11-02, "There was the Bora, which is also the wind that blows north by northeast across the Adriatic Sea. After complaints from dealers that Bora sounded "boring," VW eventually renamed the car the Jetta (as in Jet Stream) in the U.S. More recently, the automaker came out with the Touareg, which is also a nomadic African tribe that used to follow a certain wind pattern." 
  6. ^ All dates for Mk1 to Mk4 according to: Oswald, Werner (2001). Deutsche Autos 1945–1990, vol.3. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. pp. 72–137. ISBN 3-613-02116-1.  and Kittler, Eberhard (2001). Deutsche Autos seit 1990, vol.5. Stuttgart: Motorbuch Verlag. pp. 266–313. ISBN 3-613-02128-5. 
  7. ^ topCar: Goodbye Citi Golf[dead link]
  8. ^ Wall Street Journal VW to Cut Costs to Produce Golf 9 June 2008; pg B2
  9. ^ "Erste Fotos vom VW Golf VI – Das ist der neue Golf – News". Retrieved 12 October 2009. 
  10. ^ "New VW Golf revealed – Introduction – Car and Car-Buying News – What Car?". 6 August 2008. Retrieved 12 October 2009. 
  11. ^ Tan, Paul. "6th Generation Volkswagen Golf Details and Photos". Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  12. ^ "". Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  13. ^ Garrett J (27 March 2009). "VW kills Rabbit name, again". New York Times. Retrieved 27 March 2009. 
  14. ^ "2010 VW Golf TDI Review". 
  15. ^ Kable, Greg (23 August 2011). "New Golf - first spy pics". Haymarket Group. 
  16. ^ "CitySTROMer". Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  17. ^ a b "Volkswagen presents status of fleet study in electromobility; latest generation of twïnDRIVE plug-in hybrid". Green Car Congress. 2011-06-29. Retrieved 2011-06-30. 
  18. ^ Vijayenthiran, Viknesh (4 September 2008). "VW Twin Drive plug-in hybrids not due until 2015". Retrieved 15 October 2010. 
  19. ^ "Germany Starts National Electric Mobility Platform". autoevolution. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  20. ^ "VW provides update with a few more technical details on Golf blue-e-motion EV; market debut in 2014". Green Car Congress. 2010-11-09. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  21. ^ Andrew Peterson (22 April 2010). "Volkswagen's First Electric Car Will Be Based on 2013 Golf". Automobiles Magazine. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  22. ^ "Volkswagen announces electrification plan, 500 Golf EVs in 2011". AutoblogGreen. 1 March 2010. Retrieved 26 April 2010. 
  23. ^ "Test fleet of the Golf blue-e-motion launched". TechVehi. 2011-05-11. Retrieved 2011-06-27. 
  24. ^ a b David Jolley (2011-06-16). "Volkswagen preps the Golf EV for 2013 launch". AutoWeek. 
  25. ^ "icLiverpool – Recession-proof wise-buys revealed". 17 March 2009. Retrieved 10 September 2010. 
  26. ^ 200 Results
  27. ^ EMCO Gears Classic – Split Classes Results
  28. ^ Legacy Credit Union 200 Results
  29. ^ Legacy Credit Union 200 Results
  30. ^ "KBB Green: Top 10 Green Cars for 2010". Kelley Blue Book. April 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 
  31. ^ "KBB's green cars list includes VW Golf TDI, Chevy Tahoe hybrid". USA Today. 20 April 2010. Retrieved 2 May 2010. 

External links

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