QOTD: VW Golf – Gonna Miss Me When I'm Gone? [UPDATED]

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai
qotd vw golf gonna miss me when i m gone updated

VW today announced the end of the road for the base Golf for North America. The question is, will you miss the base Golf when it’s gone?

Don’t weep too long, as the 2021 Golf is still being produced in quantities that should last through the end of the year. Before that, a 2022 model, the Golf R, will appear in showrooms, a much more robust package than the current Golf TSI, which features a 1.4-liter turbocharged and direct-injection engine. With 147 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque, the TSI engine is mated to either a six-speed manual gearbox or an eight-speed automatic. The GTI will also remain.

What is replacing the current Golf will be the 2022 Golf R, a variant we covered previously. The Golf R offers a 2.0-liter EA888 turbocharged four-cylinder engine with 315 hp, 27 more than the prior Golf R, and 310 lb-ft of torque, up from 280 lb-ft, the most powerful hot hatch VW has ever sold, at least in the U.S. With the most sophisticated 4Motion all-wheel-drive system yet, all that power can be routed through either a six-speed manual or a seven-speed DSG dual-clutch automatic. The 2022 Golf R can reportedly reach 62 mph in 4.7 seconds, with a top speed of 155 mph on the track.

The strategy VW is employing is one that will keep the Golf in the U.S., and should satisfy the hardcore loyalists who loved the R32, and will likely buy the new R. We wondered if this wasn’t a game plan Mini should adopt, particularly with their sales off as far as they have been. Maybe if they offered only the John Cooper Works versions of their vehicles, it might make them more profitable, and thus sustain the brand in the U.S. indefinitely. It may be a long shot at this point, but we’d rather see Mini give it a shot rather than just folding their tent and going away.

Ed. note — It has come to my attention that our verbiage in the original story was a bit misleading. This wasn’t our intent, nevertheless, this story has been updated to improve clarity. To be clear — the base Golf remains on sale outside of North America, but won’t be sold in the North American market. The Golf GTI and Golf R will remain available for sale in North America.

[Images: Volkswagen, Mini]

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  • Buzzyrpm Buzzyrpm on Jan 23, 2021

    The fun to drive difference between the Golf and the GTI was too big. And the Golf always looked significantly worse. I think this contributed to its downfall in the US. Ever driven a Golf Rabbit MK5 Easily one of the most painfully boring cars to drive ever.

  • WallMeerkat WallMeerkat on Feb 03, 2021

    I don't get why VW didn't import Skodas like they planned 5 years ago. They don't even need to use the brand, they aren't above badge engineering (Felicia pickup was a VW Caddy, Rapid was a SEAT Toledo/China Jetta etc), sell them as VW models (Scala as VW Fox, Octavia as Jetta, Kodiak as whatever crossover name they want to use etc.) Or, as they did in China where Jetta is a sub-brand, have "Skoda by VW" as a sub-brand and have VW focus on their new EVs - a clean break from dieselgate while also selling non-EVs.

    • 3SpeedAutomatic 3SpeedAutomatic on Feb 06, 2021

      Recently drove a Škoda Fabia Mk3 during a driving tour of the Czech Rep. Had a 5 speed manual which felt great. So reminded me of my VW Beetle of the past. Even got in a tour of the Skoda factory in Mladá Boleslav. If VW was to introduce the Škoda Karoq or Kodiaq to the US, they would be on my radar scope. I realize they share the same platform as VWs sold in the US, but felt the Skoda came close to the original VW roots of fun to drive and easy to own.

  • Tassos What was the last time we had any good news from Ford? (or GM for that matter?)The last one was probably when Alan Mulally was CEO. Were you even born back then?Fields was a total disaster, then they go hire this clown from Toyota's PR department, the current Ford CEO, Fart-ley or something.He claims to be an auto enthusiast too (unlike Mary Barra who is even worse, but of course always forgiven, as she is the proud owner of a set of female genitals.
  • Tassos I know some would want to own a collectible Mustang. (sure as hell not me. This crappy 'secretary's car' (that was exactly its intended buying demo) was as sophisticated (transl. : CRUDE) as the FLintstone's mobile. Solid Real Axle? Are you effing kidding me?There is a huge number of these around, so they are neither expensive nor valuable.WHen it came out, it was $2,000 or so new. A colleague bought a recent one with the stupid Ecoboost which also promised good fuel economy. He drives a hard bargain and spends time shopping and I remember he paid $37k ( the fool only bought domestic crap, but luckily he is good with his hands and can fix lots of stuff on them).He told me that the alleged fuel economy is obtained only if you drive it like a VERY old lady. WHich defeats the purpose, of course, you might as well buy a used Toyota Yaris (not even a Corolla).
  • MRF 95 T-Bird Back when the Corolla consisted of a wide range of body styles. This wagon, both four door and two door sedans, a shooting brake like three door hatch as well as a sports coupe hatchback. All of which were on the popular cars on the road where I resided.
  • Wjtinfwb Jeez... I've got 3 Ford's and have been a defender due to my overall good experiences but this is getting hard to defend. Thinking the product durability testing that used to take months to rack up 100k miles or more is being replaced with computer simulations that just aren't causing these real-world issues to pop up. More time at the proving ground please...
  • Wjtinfwb Looks like Mazda put more effort into sprucing up a moribund product than Chevy did with the soon to be euthanized '24 Camaro.