Volkswagen Ends Production of Golf For US Market

Ken Zino of on Golf stops production in Mexico for US market

EPA-estimated Miles per Gallon of Gasoline Equivalent (MPGe) for the e-Golf was126 city, 105 highway, and 116 combined; the range a mere 83 miles. Introduced early in 2015, it soon was forgotten as a laughable marketing gimmick.

Volkswagen of America announced on Inauguration Day that the Golf ended production for the U.S. market last week. Volkswagen said that the model year 2021 Golf models built at the Puebla, Mexico plant will sustain sales of the European-designed hatchback through year end. The Golf family name will carry on in model year 2022 with the introduction of the all-new Mk 8 Golf GTI and Golf R, arriving this Fall.

First sold in December 1974 as  the “Rabbit” in the U.S. with a 1.5-liter engine with 70 horsepower, almost 2.5 million Golf family models have been sold in the U.S. market. The current Mk 7 Golf debuted for the 2015 model year – an eternity in terms of technical advances, quality and customer satisfaction practices in the auto industry.

The seventh-generation Golf will be the last of the base models hatches sold here as hatches in the US still carry a cheap econobox image. Pricing for the 2021 Volkswagen Golf with a standard six-speed manual transmission starts at $23,195. The eight-speed automatic transmission starts at $23,995. The destination charge for all Golf models is an additional $995. The premium GTI and Golf R will carry on in 2022.

Seven Generations of Golf – US 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 has optional 2.8-liter VR6 with 172 hp
  • Front and side airbags debut
  • 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
  • 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” in the US
  • Dual-clutch automatic transmissions debut as an option for GTI and the standard transmission for R32
  • 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” for the U.S.
  • Base powertrain is 2.5-liter with 170 hp
  • Golf R introduced for 2012, with the VR6 engine replaced by a 2.0-liter turbo direct-injection engine of 256 hp

Golf VII: MY 2015-2021

  • Based on Modular Transverse Matrix (MQB) architecture
  • Golf grows in size but drops in weight
  • Facelift in MY 2018
  • 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) Optional driver-assistance technology includes Automatic Post-Collision Braking System, Forward Collision Warning, Park Distance Control

About Ken Zino

Ken Zino is an auto industry veteran with global experience in print, broadcast and electronic media. He has auto testing, marketing, public relations and communications expertise garnered while working in Asia, Europe and the U.S.
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