Production of the MK7 Golf ended last week in Puebla, Mexico.
More than 2.5 million have been sold here in nearly five decades.
The Golf name will live on with the GTI and R for 2022.
Volkswagen’s decision to cut the Golf from its North American portfolio is a result of our insatiable appetite for SUVs and the German brand’s decision to focus on EVs. Yes, the name Golf will live on for one more generation through the MK8 Golf GTI and the Golf R.
The first Golf, aka Rabbit, was sold in the US in December of 1974. In more than four and half decades, millions of units of the Golf have found new homes in both Canada and the US. Throughout its generations, it was recognized as one of the best-driving cars in its segment.
“Over four decades, the Golf has delivered a great value to American drivers,” said Hein Schafer, Senior Vice President, Product Marketing and Strategy, Volkswagen of America, Inc. “It exemplified what Volkswagen does best—melding dynamic driving characteristics with purposeful packaging and unmatched quality. While the seventh-generation Golf will be the last of the base hatches sold here, the GTI and Golf R will carry its legacy forward.”
Although the Golf’s legacy will continue, the actual car will be “replaced” by the recently announced Taos compact SUV.
Here some highlights from the Golf’s seven generations in North America (from the press release):
Seven Generations of Golf (U.S. Model Years)
Golf I: MY 1975-1984
- First sold in December 1974 as “Rabbit” in the U.S.
- 5-liter engine with 70 hp
- GTI introduced in 1983 with 1.8-liter 90 hp engine
Golf II: MY 1985-1992
- Sold as “Golf” in the U.S.
- Dimensions grow by nearly 7 inches in length, 3 inches in wheelbase, and 2 inches in width
- Standard engine is revised 1.8-liter with 85 hp, GTI introduces 2.0-liter engine with 131 hp
- Catalytic converter, anti-lock braking system and power steering debut
Golf III: MY 1993-1999
- Design shifts to wedge shape
- Base powertrain is 2.0-liter with 115 hp, GTI goes to available 2.8-liter VR6® with 172 hp
- Front and side airbags debut, advances in body construction result in improved crash safety
- VR6® engine and cruise control offered for the first time
Golf IV: MY 1999.5-2005
- All-new design with flatter windshield, and roofline carried further back with steeper rear window
- Electronic stability control and side curtain airbags debut
- 8T engine introduced for GTI, bringing turbocharging to this generation of GTI
- R32 introduced for 2004 with 240 hp, six-speed manual, and 4MOTION all-wheel drive
Golf V: MY 2006-2009
- New multi-link rear suspension; rain-sensing wipers introduced
- Sold as “Rabbit” again in the US
- DSG® dual-clutch automatic transmissions debuts as an option for GTI and the standard transmission for R32; Bi-Xenon® headlights introduced on both models
- Base engine is 150 hp 2.5-liter, GTI moves to 200 hp 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection engine
- R32 reintroduced for 2008 with 250 hp
Golf VI: MY 2010-2014
- “Golf” name returns for the U.S.
- Prominent character line runs from headlights to taillights
- Base powertrain is 2.5-liter with 170 hp
- Golf R introduced for 2012, with the VR6 engine replaced by a 2.0-liter turbocharged direct-injection engine pushing 256 hp
Golf VII: MY 2015-2021
- Based on Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture
- Golf grows in size yet drops in weight, despite a plethora of new and upscale features
- Facelift in MY 2018 features included revised headlight and taillight designs, redesigned bumpers, and infotainment and driver assistance updates
- Base 1.8-liter TSI 170 hp engine replaces 2.5-liter to gain an EPA-estimated 6 mpg highway, later replaced by the 1.4-liter TSI engine in 2019
- GTI and Golf R powered by new versions of the 2.0-liter TSI engine, with up to 228 hp for GTI and up to 288 hp for Golf R (both achieved with premium fuel) Available driver-assistance technology includes Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, Forward Collision Warning, Park Distance Control