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

Jason R. Sakurai
by Jason R. Sakurai

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]

Jason R. Sakurai
Jason R. Sakurai

With a father who owned a dealership, I literally grew up in the business. After college, I worked for GM, Nissan and Mazda, writing articles for automotive enthusiast magazines as a side gig. I discovered you could make a living selling ad space at Four Wheeler magazine, before I moved on to selling TV for the National Hot Rod Association. After that, I started Roadhouse, a marketing, advertising and PR firm dedicated to the automotive, outdoor/apparel, and entertainment industries. Through the years, I continued writing, shooting, and editing. It keep things interesting.

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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.

  • 3-On-The-Tree Lou_BCsame here I grew up on 2-stroke dirt bikes had a 1985 Yamaha IT200 2-strokes then a 1977 Suzuki GT750 2-stroke 750 streetike fast forward to 2002 as a young flight school Lieutenant I bought a 2002 suzuki Hayabusa 1300 up in Huntsville Alabama. Still have that bike.
  • Milton Rented one for about a month. Very solid EV. Not as fun as my Polestar, but for a go to family car, solid. Practical EV ownership is only made possible with a home charger.
  • J Love mine, but the steering wheel blocks dashboard a bit, can't see turn signals nor headlights icons. They could use the upper corners of the screen for the turn signals. Mileage is much lower than shown too, disappointing
  • Aja8888 NO!
  • OrpheusSail I once did. My first four cars were American made, and through an odd set of circumstances surrounding a divorce, I wound up with a '95 Nissan Maxima which was fourteen years old and had about 150,000 miles on it.It was drove better, had an amazing engine, and was more reliable than any of my American cars. This included a new '95 GMC pickup that went through five alternators in under two years while the dealership insisted that there was no underlying electrical problem while they tried to run the clock on the warranty.That was the end of 'buy American'. I've bought from Honda and VW since, and I'll consider just about anything except American now.