In 2018 we ran a series on mustangs. People loved the focus on a classic, even iconic, American sports car. Well, welcome to our new series. This time we’re going foreign, but sticking with the iconic angle. In this first installment, we’re starting with VW’s follow up to the popular bug and van.
The Golf has been available since 1974, when it released on the tail end of the classic Beetle’s and van’s popularity. It was a welcome change that grown-up flower children took to right away, and the appeal has stuck for 40 years.
Australians Love the Golf
Australia’s CarsGuide has a history of naming Volkswagens “Car of the Year” and that include the Golf. It’s been called “the hatchback Rolls Royce would make” by judges.
Volkswagen has had plenty of time to perfect the sleek, powerful, yet accessible and affordable Golf. There have been 30 million Golfs sold since 1974, which include 150,000 in Australia.
Aussies aren’t the only ones who play favorites with the Golf. It’s been Volkswagen’s best-selling machine for years with about 16,000 sold annually. Squarely in the Top 10 for most popular cars overall, it just keeps racking up the awards—and sales. Specifically, it was the Golf TSI Comfortline complete with DSG transmission that caught the eyes of the judges. With a $27,450 sticker price, it left nine other budget-friendly “competitors” in the dust.
According to the judges, “never has a ‘small’ car so seamlessly combined the verities of a suburban family vehicle and a long-distance tourer.” They point to the 1.4-liter turbo engine as marrying economical and amiable standards. Originally designed to take the place of the beloved Beetle, Volkswagen learned that there was plenty of room for two in their lineup. The Beetle is, of course, back in full force and has been new and improved for years, but Golf lovers have clearly staked their claim and proudly drive what’s considered the best car—period.
There were murmurings that the Mazda6 diesel Touring Wagon would end up taking home the gold, but Mazda was left firmly in second place. The runner up is described as a “luxurious” family wagon and the three misguided judges who didn’t vote for the Golf adorned praises on Mazda’s creation. However, with a price tag of nearly $42,000, it was almost $14,000 more than the Golf and when it came down to it, the judges found it wasn’t worth the price tag.
Now, a $40,000+ Golf would be worth a second (or even tenth) look. Imagine what the auto giant could do it they opted to offer a Golf with that kind of price tag; doubtless, luxury would abound. However, ever mindful of their customers’ desires for both economy and luxury, it’s a good thing the Golf has always remained affordable for all. Everyone deserves the best in German engineering and a lounge on wheels, whether for their weekend warrior escapades or simply for their drive through the espresso stand en route to the office.