The VW Golf Hasn't Dramatically Changed In Over Four Decades

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Bigger? Yes. More powerful? Of course. Still the people's hatchback? Without question.

Volkswagen was and likely will always be the so-called “People’s Car.” It all started with the original Beetle way back in 1939. While the classic Beetle is gone with its two front-engined namesakes being little more than novelties, it’s the Golf that has very successfully risen to the challenge to serve the driving public en masse. Launched in 1974, the Golf started off as a simple three door hatchback and today it’s still marketed as a simple three-door hatchback, at least in Europe.

Only the five-door is still offered in the US, and that’s fine because the Golf remains more than just reliable transportation. It has a certain quality to it that comes from obsessive compulsive German engineers who agonize over every little detail. And their hard work has paid off immensely.

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When you examine the Golf’s history, thanks in part to Donut Media’s latest Evolution Series video, it’s clear its basic elements have never changed, and likely never will. Front-engined, standard front-wheel drive and a hatchback body style. It’s so simple it’s brilliant. Just a year after the MK1 Golf had its debut came the first GTI, the first hot hatch. It’s become a legend in its own right and deserves equal praise. We know VW is in the midst of developing the next generation Golf, due in 2019, and we doubt it’ll look all that different. EV and hybrid capability? No doubt, but it’ll still be, at its core, the hatchback we all love and respect.

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