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VW Golf Not Getting Bigger? And More Fuel Efficient? Hooray

Posted by: David Kiley on September 29, 2008


Next VW Golf won’t be bigger? Hallelujah!

According to speculation is that VW’s popular hatchback will be the same size or smaller when the seventh generation 2010 design hits Europe. The U.S. is now on a cycle to get the Golf (Rabbit in America) two years after Europe.

The current Golf not only got heavier in its sixth generation design, but it adopted (for the U.S.) a five-cylinder engine that slaughtered its fuel economy (21/30) relative to rivals like the Nissan Versa, Honda Fit and forthcoming Ford Fiesta. Even the current Focus does much better, though it is not offered in a hatchback. correctly notes: “Europe is currently working on legislation to limit carbon emissions and the U.S. is set to cap manufacturer’s fuel efficiency at a much more stringent rate that what we have now. Therefore, the Golf, or Rabbit in the States, should shed a few pounds in its Extreme Makeover and will likely get some smaller entry-level engines.”

The Rabbit should be among fuel economy leaders and should be on par with the 2009 Honda Fit…28/35…if it wants to be competitive.

Reader Comments


September 29, 2008 8:47 PM

Does it make sense to compare the Rabbit/Golf (EPA class compact) to the Nissan Versa and others (EPA class subcompact)? I think VW has the Polo (not available in US) which is more in the subcompact class.

Granted, when you compare the Rabbit against say the Matrix/Vibe or the Astra even then it's MPG (aside from the TDI) is not impressive.

From Kiley: Get inside a Rabbit, a Fit and Versa and tell me that these cars don't have very similar packages.

Ben Levy

September 30, 2008 10:28 AM

I think this post is a little misleading. The sixth generation Golf is not in the U.S. yet and the fuel economy of the engines we will get aren't known. Edmunds reports that a 2.0 TDI Clean Diesel will be offered in the US and that would put the car's horsepower, torque, and fuel economy well above the Honda Fit (since the 2009 Jetta TDI has been rated at 30/41).

Also, they weren't saying that the seventh generation is going to be the 2010 design in Europe. They were saying that the sixth generation is the 2010 VW Golf (Rabbit) in the U.S. In the past there has been a two year delay for the U.S., but this time it will be one year.

Chris Terry

September 30, 2008 11:01 AM

Dave --

Golf is a C-class car, not a B-class car. Versa is a 'tweener, but Fiesta/Fit compete with Polo, not Golf. Golf (here) competes with Mazda3/Civic, even though only Mazda throws a five-door gauntlet down. Focus is a competitor. You're quite right about one thing: current Golf gets horrific fuel economy . . . Germans have a very serious weight problem in general. While I appreciate the torque/drivability of the 5-cylinder, it's a low-specific output, cheapo, inefficient solution . . . all of this being said, you may want to compare B- with C-class cars (a hatchback doesn't automatically make it a competitor, especially by way of price comparisons. Cheers, CT

From Kiley: This business of C car and B car stuff is not all that relevant. If you don't think people are, or should be, cross-shopping Rabbit against Versa, Fit and eventually Fiesta...I think you are off-base. These cars' packages are very similar.


September 30, 2008 11:31 PM

>>> From Kiley: Get inside a Rabbit, a Fit and Versa and tell me that these cars don't have very similar packages.

I'm not sure what is meant by "similar packages." That logic could allow one to include a Grand Marquis in the comparison.

If you want to say that you are comparing "entry level" models (albeit at different price points, size, etc.) then I guess I can see your point.

From Kiley: What I meean is...these cars are of very similar size, power, package. They are all hatchbacks. To separate them by calling them B and C cars is totally inside baseball. If you want to to talk about the GTI not being a competitor of the Fit and Versa...okay. But a Rabbit is a straight up competitor to both the Fit and Versa.


October 1, 2008 4:22 AM

Golf has very good competitor - Nissan Qashqai.
For big cities I recommend Polo


October 2, 2008 3:32 AM


You shouldn't compare B and C class as equal except for price comparison purposes. All the cars you mention compete on price and equipment but not on size and power. There is a pretty big difference between a 2.5L, 3000 lb Rabbit and a 1.5L, 2500 lb Fit.

From Kiley: I can envision that maybe some hardcore engine enthusiasts look at the models that way, but not Joe Q Public.

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