The Volkswagen Golf is a small family car manufactured by Volkswagen since 1974 and marketed worldwide across six generations, in various body configurations and under various nameplates – as the Volkswagen Rabbit in the United States and Canada (Mk1 and Mk5), and as the Volkswagen Caribe in Mexico (Mk1).
The front-wheel drive Golf was Volkswagen's first successful replacement for the air-cooled Volkswagen Beetle. Historically, the Golf is Volkswagen's best-selling model and the world's third best-selling model, with more than 25 million built by 2007.
Most production of the Golf was initially in the 3-door hatchback style. Other variants include a 5-door hatchback, estate/wagon (Variant, from 1993), convertible (Cabriolet and Cabrio, 1979–2002), and a Golf-derived notchback saloon/sedan, variously called Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Vento or Volkswagen Bora (from 1979). The cars have filled many market segments, from basic personal cars, to high-performance hot hatches.
Every generation of Golf has been a runner-up in the European Car of the Year awards, but only one has been a winner, the Golf Mk3 in 1992.