Volkswagen Golf

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The best way to replace the Käfer was to do the logical opposite: a space-efficient, stylish, contemporary, water-cooled and boxy hatchback. The Volkswagen Golf, perhaps more than any other car, established Giorgietto Giugiaro as the stylist of the 1970s, with its folded-paper look. Later, with the introduction of the fuel-injected GTI, the Golf became a car for all people, living out the idea of the Volkswagen successfully. Giugiaro’s style was so defining that successive Golfs have stayed fairly true to it, especially the large C-pillar: Golf II looked like the original Golf with smoother corners, as did Golf III. Golf IV took some of the strong design cues of the Volkswagens of that era. Golf V, considered expensive to build, takes the idea that the car is the archetype of the European hatchback even further.

Golf I and V were renamed Rabbit for the US (Caribe for Golf I in México), while Golf I has proved so enduring it remains in production in South Africa as a cheap, entry-level model.

Spinoffs have included the Volkswagen Caddy pick-up, various three-box notchback models, with names such as Jetta, Vento, Bora and Sagitar, and a premium cabriolet, the Eos.

The nameplate has adorned some 25 million cars, making it the world’s third-best seller.

Marque: Volkswagen | Predecessor: Volkswagen Käfer


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