2015 to Present: Volkswagen Golf
The 2015 Volkswagen Golf launched the seventh-generation for this compact hatchback, which is available in two- and four-door body styles.
The Golf has a sporty front fascia marked by narrow upper and lower grille openings, which are flanked by wraparound headlamp assemblies and available fog lamps. A rising beltline is evident from the sides, while a tapered roofline ends in an available spoiler. From the rear the Golf features large combination lights, body sculpting and reflector lights.
Inside, the VW Golf offers room for five with bucket seats up front and a split-folding rear bench seat. All models are equipped with a touch-screen sound system, Bluetooth and satellite radio. An iPod adapter was standard for 2015 and replaced with a USB port the following year.
The Golf comes standard with a turbocharged 1.8-liter four-cylinder engine that generates 170 horsepower. A five-speed manual transmission is standard and a six-speed automatic is available. The Golf also serves as the basis for two more powerful performance-oriented models: the Volkswagen GTI and the all-wheel drive Golf R.
In 2016, Volkswagen also introduced the Golf SportWagen, which is marketed separately from the Golf hatchback.
The Golf competes against compact cars that include the Chevrolet Cruze, Ford Focus, Honda Civic, Hyundai Elantra, Kia Forte, Nissan Sentra, Subaru Impreza and Toyota Corolla.
Earlier Volkswagen Golf Models
From 1975 to 1984 and again from 2006 to 2009, the Volkswagen Golf was sold as the Volkswagen Rabbit in America. Shoppers of more recent Golfs should note the name distinction to avoid overlooking several years of cars.
The fifth-generation Volkswagen Golf was introduced in 2006 as the Volkswagen Rabbit. Upon its introduction and throughout its brief four-year run, Volkswagen offered the Rabbit in two- and four-door body styles and in one trim level along with one engine choice.
Powering the Rabbit is a 2.5-liter five-cylinder engine making 170 horsepower. This engine is paired with a five-speed manual transmission or a six-speed automatic.
The sixth-generation Volkswagen Golf was produced from 2010 to 2014. Besides losing the Rabbit designation, this model gained an available turbodiesel 2.0-liter four-cylinder engine that makes 140 horsepower. That engine is paired with a six-speed manual or a six-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission.
The standard engine for all 2010 to 2014 Golfs is a 2.5-liter five-cylinder that carried over from the previous generation. While the performance numbers remained unchanged, the fuel economy numbers improved with the 2010 redesign.