The Golf is the heart of the German automotive manufacturer Volkswagen, and it is no exaggeration to say the model represents the term “best seller” like no other in the global market. It first made its appearance in 1974, as the Volkswagen Beetle’s successor, and quickly took the reins in its class.

For all eight distinct generations of the model, over 37 million vehicles have been sold, with 2024 being a year of celebration: the Golf, which has so impacted global mobility, turns 50 years old this year.

An anniversary that is close to the heart of the Volkswagen brand: 50 years of Golf

Marking a revolution in the automotive industry, Volkswagen introduced the inaugural Golf in 1974, featuring a front-wheel drive (in contrast to the Beetle’s rear-wheel drive), a large luggage compartment door, a folding rear seat back, and much more, all fitted into a compact body.

From the get-go, the Golf showed it would be a best-seller in terms of value. And in under two years from its first launch, over one million models were purchased. To date, designer Giorgetto Giugiaro’s creation has surpassed 37 million vehicles sold, taking the title of the most successful European car, and the best-selling Volkswagen of all time.

A winner, thanks to its special features, and embraced by the public from the first, the Golf was and still is, the perfect vehicle for everyday motoring, embodying versatility, functionality, reliability and quality.

Golf: the benchmark of its time – for decades

Over the decades, the Golf range has grown to include the Golf GTI, Golf Cabriolet, Golf Variant and many others, with a parallel increase in the range of technological features offered, both in terms of comfort and safety. Nevertheless, many such features made their debut with the Volkswagen Golf.

For its 2024 anniversary, Volkswagen will showcase the entire Golf fleet at various venues in Europe, including the “Salon Rétromobile” in Paris and the “Bremen Classic Motorshow” in Germany.