Volkswagen Officially Axes The Base Golf In The U.S. Market: News

The new Golf GTI and Golf R are still coming, but the ordinary hatch is dead

2021 Volkswagen Golf
The base Volkswagen Golf has been floundering in the U.S. market as buyers lean into crossovers. (Photos: Volkswagen)

In 2020, the GTI outsold the base Volkswagen Golf nearly 2-to-1.

It used to be a staple of Volkswagen’s lineup, but here in the U.S. the ordinary Golf hasn’t exactly flown off dealer lots. In fact, the German automaker sold just 6,063 examples in 2020. That is a marked improvement over 2019 (and a surprising feat, given how sales shook out last year), but it’s still one of the brand’s least-popular models. The GTI outsold the humble hatch nearly two-to-one, shifting 11,461 units in 2020. Then there’s the Tiguan, which outsold the Golf by sixteen-to-one. Volkswagen quietly and officially dropped the base Golf from the U.S. market this week, although the company said dealers should carry enough inventory to last out the year. In a few months’ time, we will still see new versions of the GTI and Golf R on our shores.

Hot hatch enthusiasts rejoice, then, but if you want the standard Mk8 Golf, it’s not happening. “While the seventh-generation Golf will be the last of the base hatches sold here, the GTI and Golf R will carry its legacy forward,” said Volkswagen of America’s senior Vice President for Product Marketing and Strategy Hein Schafer.

Volkswagen sold its first Golf in the U.S. market in December 1974. In its final year, the base seventh-gen model comes in one trim only, with a 6-speed manual or 8-speed automatic. The 1.4-liter turbocharged engine, also found in the Jetta, produces 147 horsepower and 184 lb-ft of torque. Manual-equipped models start at $24,190.

The 2022 Volkswagen GTI (shown below) and Golf R will launch this fall, so stay tuned for more updates on those soon!