By on September 4, 2012

Today, the seventh generation of the Volkswagen Golf was presented in Berlin. 38 years after the launch of the first Golf in 1974, and 29.13 million cars later, Volkswagen shows a new Golf that is 100 kg lighter and up to 23 per cent more fuel efficient that the predecessor. If a new Golf ever was “all new” then this one: Built with the new MQB architecture, everything in the new Golf had to be redesigned. And here is a picture count-up, from first to newest.

Golf 1

Golf 2

Golf 3

Golf 4

Golf 5

Golf 6

Golf 7

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63 Comments on “Pictures Of Golf 7, 6, 5, 4, 3, 2, 1...”


  • avatar
    alex_rashev

    Golf is one of the most evolutionary designs out there. I always liked Audi/VW for that – no matter what era, you can count on them making a sleek, respeactable design that doesn’t yell “hormone imbalance”.

  • avatar
    stryker1

    Huh, looks an awful lot like my 2012

  • avatar
    stuntmonkey

    I like the dash, I’m getting a BMW 3-series Sportline vibe out of it, only more tasteful. Pretty functional too, I could picture myself driving miles and miles behind that dash, nice, simple.

    How the trapezoidal shape of the gas flap echoes the slope of the c-pillar cutlines is also a nice touch. Ostensibly the design follows the ‘boring’ US Jetta/Passat, but this is pretty tight execution.

    Very nice.

    • 0 avatar
      DeadWeight

      I like it, too, but I’m VW burned me and many, many people I know waaaaaay too many times for me to consider buying another VW.

      Ahhhh, VW can still tempt, but the hand bitten so many times is quite shy.

      Can anyone imagine how many cars VW would sell if they were 25% or 50% as reliable as Toyondas?

      Hey VW: Burn me & the many I know who’ve owned your cars once, shame on you; Burn me & the many I know who’ve owned your cars twice, shame on us; Burn many I know who’ve owned your cars thrice, they’re morons.

      Burn some I know who’ve owned your cars four times and more, and what can I say; some people are f*cking masochistic.

    • 0 avatar
      gslippy

      @DeadWeight – You speak for many on this subject, including me. It only took once for me.

  • avatar
    CJinSD

    Did they recycle the MKIV’s body side stamping? That C-pillar looks really familiar. Once they fit production sized wheels and tires, this car will blend in with older VWs.

    • 0 avatar
      Mr Butterfly

      This C-pillar is the most cherished C-pillar I know in the industry. You could say that C-pillar is what makes Golf so recognizable, hence its shape is carefully preserved from generation to generation. So yes, it definitely should look familiar.

      As for the wheels – they definitely should go down a couple of sizes. Otherwise it just looks like somebody put wagon wheels on the car, which doesn’t suit the car’s look at all in my view.

  • avatar
    Brian P

    When I look at all the things that I need and want a car to do, the most sensible purchase comes out being a Golf TDI or some close variation thereof. I have a Jetta now, only because at the time of its purchase (2005), VW did not see fit to make the TDI engine available in what they then called a Rabbit a.k.a. Golf 5.

    I like this, and I’ll probably eventually account for one of this car’s inevitably huge worldwide production numbers.

    • 0 avatar
      Sundowner

      A TDI VW is never a sensible choice. Take it from a former owner. It’s hard to beat the inital cost savings of the gas motor over the diesel motor. There’s a reason that VW doesn’t offer the 2.0T engine in the Jetta Sportwagen and just offer the 2.5 and the TDI, this is it.

      • 0 avatar
        Brian P

        At just short of 400,000 km on my TDI, I’m well ahead of the game. No gasoline engine for me.

      • 0 avatar
        Jeff Waingrow

        Sundowner, I suspect you’re right about the dollars and cents of it. But as the owner of a 2011 2.5 and a 2012 TDI, I can say with certainty that the TDI is the far better driver’s car while the 2.5 is more sedate and comfortable, sort of like a small Buick. They both have their merits and they’re both wonderful cars in their own right. And not an ounce of trouble have I had with either. As a side note, I traded my 2009 A4 in for the TDI, and I like driving the VW much more. The Audi feels ponderous by comparison.

      • 0 avatar
        tedward

        I think I’ve seen you say this before, and I can’t say I totally agree. If you compare it to a non turbo car (87 octane) or to a duty cycle with very few miles then you are probably right. If, on the other hand, you wanted a turbo car in the first place or put big milage on, then the tdi is absolutely worth it. Just like the hybrids there is a time and a place for the technology.

        Keep in mind that given a (sort of) apples to apples comparison of the GTI vs. the Golf TDI, as opposed to the 2.5, there is barely any price difference. So I see diesel hovering just below to above premium prices, I’ll call that a wash on fuel cost, in that case the TDI is killing the turbo gas engines on operating costs, and it has a much higher resale value as well. That’s why there isn’t a 2.0T JSW (according to your logic), the TDI would make it look bad whereas the 2.5 actually presents a different value proposition (non premium drivetrain, lower feature content, cheaper gas).

  • avatar
    Trond

    It started life with a friendly face.

    But something must have happened in these 38 years.

    Turning it neurotic, aggressive.

  • avatar
    MeaCulpa

    A nice evolutionary design they have always been quite attractive, mk II was an obvious deterioration of the original – one of the best looking cars ever designed – and the mk III was probably the worst of the bunch. On the other hand the mkIII was the last golf that had any potential as a rally car.

  • avatar
    Lorenzo

    The mantra in the ’50s was longer, lower, wider. The golf’s evolution has modified that to longer wheelbase, lower roof, wider track. The lowered roof has it in for those of us over six feet tall, and the rear window and windscreen have shrunk to marginal utility. I lost interest after Golf 3.

    • 0 avatar
      Athos Nobile

      “I lost interest after Golf 3″

      +1 on that. Actually, it’s the only one I really like.

      • 0 avatar
        th009

        Just to show that there is no accounting for taste, in my opinion the Mk3 is the least desirable of the seven generations.

        The Giugiaro original is still a classic though!

    • 0 avatar
      bumpy ii

      If you scroll through the images fast enough, it looks like the Golf is a 3:4 background image stretched to fit on a widescreen monitor. Is the new one big enough to put the original Golf in it yet?

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      I doubt very much that the roof is any lower. The car is wider, and the beltline is higher so the windows are more shallow.

      I think it looks exactly as a Golf should. Clean-lined German perfection in this class of car. Makes all of the Japanese hatches look like Pokemon characters.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      “the lowered roof has it in for those of us over six feet tall”

      I’m 6’2″ I have a friend who is 6’7″ and we both fit fine in my GTI. So, I’m not really sure what you’re talking about.

      • 0 avatar
        bkmurph

        +1 @jmo. I’m 6’4″ (1.9m) tall and have more than enough headroom in the Mk6 Golf (though I find the seats somewhat uncomfortable).

      • 0 avatar
        dts187

        +1 to jmo

        I don’t know if Lorenzo has been in a Golf recently but headroom is certainly not lacking. All 6’1 of me fits in my mk6 GTI with plenty of room to spare.

        I think the mk7 is handsome and a solid visual evolution of the previous. I like the updated headlights and can’t wait to see the new GTI.

  • avatar
    Kevin Jaeger

    It looks good. A very conservative rework of what has been an astoundingly successful model for them.

    I’ve had a 2nd and fifth generation GTI. It doesn’t look like there’s anything here that would stop me from adding another one to the collection. The weight reduction is very welcome.

  • avatar
    mr_muttonchops

    It seems the Civic and Golf share a very similar design cycle. Every two generations or so you get a car that is very similarly styled, and then you get hit with something that’s usually a departure from the previous styling. Overall I like this new look for the Golf. It’s certainly an evolution in progress both inside and out.

    • 0 avatar
      CJinSD

      MKV and MKVI were closely related, the 6 just being a costed out 5 to create profitability. This car almost seems to be a marriage of 5.5 and 4 to me. Look at the profile, how the body side stamping meets up with the tail light and bumper and has a straight line cut with the door – it is straight off the MKIV.

  • avatar
    Speed Spaniel

    Thanks for the timely post Bertel. Clean. Crisp. Classy. Nice. Not much difference to my eye from its high zoot soon to be released A3 cousin.

  • avatar
    Ryoku75

    So after all of that hype, all of that money blown on a big show, all of those spy shots, all of that cameo-crud, all of that time and money blown away, and we get a wider Mk6.

    Well, at least the Golf still has a hatch unlike the Civic.

  • avatar
    Magnusmaster

    This new Golf looks like a mixed bag to me. It doesn’t look like an evolution, but more like a facelift. The weird ridge on the rear looks flat out ugly. When will VW actually bother making a decent design?

  • avatar
    jeffzekas

    Bertel- the new Golf may be 100kg lighter than its predecessor, but it is a PIG compared to the ORIGINAL, Mk 1 Golf (3120 lbs vs 1750 lbs for the first Golf)! And efficiency? Our diesel Golf got 45- 50 mpg, MUCH better than the current Golf diesel. So, is this “progress”? Hardly! And please, folks, no defensive comments about “regulations and modern smog requirement”– progress MEANS you can can meet current standards AND be lighter and more fuel efficient!

    • 0 avatar
      krhodes1

      The current Golf is ENORMOUSLY bigger than the Mk1. Please compare the MK1 to the current Polo to see what a modern interpretation of that size car is like. Though I think the current Polo is still a size bigger.

    • 0 avatar
      jmo

      ” So, is this “progress”? Hardly!”

      If you don’t want to drive a death trap – yes.

    • 0 avatar
      30-mile fetch

      This is an old-news rant. Everything is bigger & heavier than it used to be. For good reason. Any affordable 1800lb car is going to fold like a beer can in a wreck. Any 1800lb car that is strong enough not to will be too expensive and will still subject its occupants to terrible inertial forces in a wreck due to its low weight.

    • 0 avatar
      MarkP

      My ’01 Golf tdi regular returned 50+ mpg (recently sold with 140,000 miles and no problems other than routine service and a leaky vaccuum line), and our ’11 Jetta tdi is right around 42-43. So, yes, the older tdi’s had better mileage. But the new tdi is way, way more powerful. And that’s what everyone wants, right? Bigger and more powerful sells. Smaller and less powerful not so much.

  • avatar
    acuraandy

    Now, that’s a nice looking ride, inside and out. WHY can’t they the Civic looking like this?

    • 0 avatar
      hubcap

      I ask the same thing about many Honda (and Acura) products. Imagine a Civic that looks like this coupled with Honda reliability. Same goes for the Acura products especially the TL SH-AWD. Put better sheet metal around that car and they’ll fly off the lots.

  • avatar
    kvndoom

    I STILL miss my Golf TDI so badly. First car I ever paid off. And for some inexplicable reason, I won’t let myself ever buy another VW. :(

    I’ll always have a soft spot for the MkIV… But due to the fact that I just hate the look of quadrangular fog lights, I have to say I prefer Mk6 front profile over Mk7. Side profile is absolutely stunning, though.

  • avatar
    cft925

    If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. A good, classy, evolutionary design. The interior design and materials lookm great. I wonder if the U.S. Golf will get a plasticky, cheapo interior like most of the Jetta line .

  • avatar
    KitaIkki

    Wonder if VW’s recently acquired Ital Design (and designer of the original Golf) had input in the styling …

  • avatar
    brettc

    This car really doesn’t look very different from the 2012 Golf. A lot of the design features and the interior don’t look much different from the Golf wagon I just bought. I thought about holding out for the new Golf wagon but when I read that VW would be stockpiling Mk6 Golfs and that the wagon might be larger when it finally arrives at dealers, I thought it was time to act. I’m glad I bought when I did.

  • avatar
    Freddy M

    It’s really funny how sometimes we can have drastically different opinions about two different companies. I will admit freely off the bat that I currently have a double-standard.

    I was in the camp that derided the 9th Generation Civic for being too evolutionary and more of a “refresh” than a full-model change. But for the Golf… I feel differently. And an argument can be made that this new golf is more of just a refresh than the civic.

    Nonetheless, as others have stated above, that has always been the Golf’s MO in terms of styling. I really liked the current generation, so this new one looks even more sophisticated and falls in line with the Passat/Jetta family.

    Nice one.

    • 0 avatar
      200k-min

      ” I will admit freely off the bat that I currently have a double-standard.”

      I on the other hand do not. There is a difference between a refresh and a “new” design. The new Golf is more or less the same Golf of the previous generation…and the generation before that…and before that…

      Fanboys will applaud an “evolution” in a vehicle they like because it doesn’t mess with what they think is perfection. Then again, the average consumer has little to no reason to go out and buy the new model. 99% of the people out there won’t see a difference between the models.

      I’m not a fan of Detroit’s habbit of killing off names and releasing new names left and right, but at least they change things up and keep some variety on the roads. Even the Japanese tend to give us an “all new” look every 5 years or less. But the Europeans keep a design for what seems like eternity yet they get a pass. If it wasn’t for abysmal reliability there’d be no reason to ever buy new. Count me as one that’s left wanting more….but hey, I’m a design guy.

      • 0 avatar
        Freddy M

        That’s the really funny thing. I’m not a VW fanboy, yet I’m giving the Golf a pass. I was (maybe still am) a Honda fanboy, and I’ve been extremely critical about the new Civic for the reasons you listed.

        Totally agree that 99% of the buying public won’t be able to tell anyway. It explains the current state of Toyota Corolla sales.

      • 0 avatar
        30-mile fetch

        “Then again, the average consumer has little to no reason to go out and buy the new model.”

        The success of the Civic, CRV, and Camry doesn’t support that claim. They are remarkably similar to their predecessors, probably because drastic redesigns of successful vehicles are risky. You may also be forgetting that the Golf is very successful in Europe despite being a niche vehicle here.

        If the 1.8 turbo engine that replaces the 5 cylinder achieves closer to 40 mpg than 30, that may be reason for a few more customers to take notice and roll the VW dice. They really are nice cars when they don’t break. If reliability weren’t an issue, I can’t imagine owning a tin can Elantra over this, even if I liked the extroverted styling.

      • 0 avatar
        mike978

        The new Golf at least rides on a completely new platform, did the Civic?

      • 0 avatar
        Strippo

        The problem with the current Golf is it’s Prius expensive to buy a fuel efficient version. I’d be comfortable with the reliability of the 2.5L, but not the running costs. The new model addresses that, but it’s new. And a VW.

      • 0 avatar
        acuraandy

        @mike:

        Not sure about outside NA, but hell no, the Civic isn’t on a different platform. And the Acura ILX is derivative of that.

        It shall be interesting to see if Corporate decides to pull their head out of their ass and build a proper Civic devoid of stupid (NON-OPENING!) front quarter mirrors and a dash from Jean-Luc Picard’s Conn. Hell, I work for them and bought a Hyundai (the Accent was significantly more efficient and 30 more hp compared to Fit).

        The ILX is what the Civic SHOULD be (albeit priced lower, of course) IMO. That said, i’ll still buy one CPO in a couple years :)

    • 0 avatar
      dts187

      I think the problem with the 9th gen Civic was the perceived regression in quality that caused so much criticism. The same can be said about the new Jetta and Passat.

      • 0 avatar

        I just ordered a VI Golf Tdi. In the showroom were a GTI, an R, and the TDi. The interiors of these three cars totally outclassed and out shined the “compete with Camry and Hyundai” Passat and Jetta. I drove a Jetta Tdi and it was nasty compared to the Golf.

        Most telling was the rubber moulding around the windows. The “not german” car was already showing damage. The seats and interior trim was notably cheaper, and yes, I did notice the solid rear axle while driving it.

        I’m sorry to slam Hyundai. The interior of my neighbor’s Sonata is nicer than the Jetta.

  • avatar
    70Cougar

    I liked the look of my ’77 Rabbit. I often got to admire it while I was pushing it off the road and waiting for a ride.

    • 0 avatar
      Freddy M

      Ah memories. I enjoyed the same activity when ours broke down at the bottom of a fair hill. While I’m sure the MkI Rabbit was mere ounces compared to this MkVII, when you’re 11 years old pushing it while your grandpa steers gives you an idea what it must have been like to be a labourer on the pyramids of Ancient Egypt.

  • avatar
    dolorean

    Found the ’85 commericial set to Jan and Dean’s ‘Little GTO’.

    ‘http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3zcm4oS9IaM’

    “Kleiner GTI / Little GTI
    Du siehst prima aus / well, you look so fine
    Ich liebe, dich zu fahren / How I love to drive you
    Hol die leistrung raus / Let the performance shine
    Hör nur, wie er sich anlasst / Listen when I start it
    Steck den schlussel rein / Stick the key in the ignition
    Er ist bereit zum start / And its ready to go
    Wie er braust / How it zips
    Wie er saust, GTI. / How it zooms, GTI.”

  • avatar
    2012JKU

    Styling peaked with the Golf 5 in my opinion. 6 was a step back and 7 hasnt really changed.

  • avatar
    Wagen

    Interesting how the MkVII seems to be adopting the angled-toward-driver center stack just as BMW seems to be abandoning it.


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