The Volkswagen Golf (listen:(help·info)) is a compact car/small family car (C-segment) produced by the German automotive manufacturer Volkswagen since 1974, marketed worldwide across eight generations, in various body configurations and under various nameplates – including as the Volkswagen Rabbit in the United States and Canada (Mk1 and Mk5), and as the Volkswagen Caribe in Mexico (Mk1).
The original Golf Mk1 was a front-engined, front-wheel drive replacement for the air-cooled, rear-engined, rear-wheel drive Volkswagen Beetle. Historically, the Golf is Volkswagen's best-selling model and is among the world's top three best-selling models, with more than thirty million built as of June 2013.
Initially, most Golfs were 3-door hatchbacks. Other variants include a 5-door hatchback, estate (Variant, from 1993), convertible (Cabriolet and Cabrio, 1979–2002, Cabriolet, 2011–present), and a Golf-based saloon, called the Volkswagen Jetta, Volkswagen Vento (from 1992) or Volkswagen Bora (from 1999). The Golf has crossed from economy to high-performance market segments.
The Golf has won awards, including the World Car of the Year in 2009, with the Volkswagen Golf Mk6 and in 2013 with the Volkswagen Golf Mk7. Along with the Renault Clio and the Vauxhall Astra, the Golf is one of only three cars to have won European Car of the Year twice, in 1992 and 2013. The Volkswagen Golf has made the annual Car and Driver 10Best list multiple times. The Golf Mk7 won the Motor Trend Car of the Year award in 2015, and the Mk1 GTI also won the award in 1985.