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.
Main article: Volkswagen Golf Mk2
August, 1983 saw the introduction of the second-generation Mk2 that slightly grew in terms of wheelbase, exterior and interior dimensions while retaining in somewhat more rounded form the Mk1's overall look. In 1985, the first Golfs with four-wheel drive (Golf Country) went on sale with the same Synchro four-wheel drive system being employed on the supercharged G60 models, exclusively released on the continent in 1989 with 160bhp and ABS braking.
A Mk2-based second generation Jetta was unveiled in January, 1984. There was no Mk2-based Cabriolet model; instead, the Mk1 Cabriolet was continued over the Mk2's entire production run.
Main article: Volkswagen Golf Mk3
The third-generation Golf Mk3 made its home-market début in August, 1991 and again grew slightly in comparison with its immediate predecessor, while its wheelbase remained unchanged.
New engines included the first TDI diesel in a Golf and a narrow-angle 2.8 L VR6 engine. For the first time ever, a Golf estate (Golf Variant) joined the line-up in September, 1993 (although most markets did not receive this model until early 1994), at the same time a completely new Mark 3-derived Cabriolet was introduced, replacing the 13-year-old MK1-based version.
The notchback version, called VW Vento (or Jetta III in North America), was presented in January, 1992.
It was European Car of the Year for 1992.
MK3 continued to be sold until 1999 in Canada and parts of South America, also in Mexico as a special edition called "Mi" (Golf CL 4 door, added A/C , special interiors, OEM Black Tinted Rear Stop Lights, and ABS, no OEM radio) ("Mi" ("i" in red) stands for Multiple Injection but no changes were made in the 1.8 petrol engine)