Volkswagen Golf Mk4
|Also called||VW Bora HS (China, 2006–2008) VW City Golf (Canada, 2006–2008) VW Golf City (2009–2010)|
|Production||1999.5–2006 (4.3 million units)|
|Assembly||Wolfsburg, Germany São José dos Pinhais, Brazil (Audi Senna) Brussels, Belgium Bratislava, Slovakia Uitenhage, South Africa Changchun, China|
|Predecessor||Volkswagen Golf Mk3|
|Successor||Volkswagen Golf Mk5|
|Body style||3-door hatchback 5-door station wagon 5-door hatchback|
|Layout||Front engine, front-wheel drive / four-wheel drive|
|Platform||Volkswagen Group A4 (PQ34) platform|
|Transmission||4-speed automatic 5-speed tiptronic automatic 5-speed manual 6-speed manual 6-speed DSG|
|Wheelbase||2,512 mm (98.9 in) R32: 2,517 mm (99.1 in)|
|Length||1999–2002 GTI/Golf: 4,148 mm (163.3 in) 2003-06 GTI/Golf: 4,188 mm (164.9 in) R32: 4,176 mm (164.4 in)|
|Width||GTI/R32/Golf: 1,735 mm (68.3 in)|
|Height||GTI/Golf: 1,440 mm (56.7 in) R32: 1,425 mm (56.1 in) 2008–present City Golf: 56.9 in (1,445 mm)|
|Related||Volkswagen Jetta Mk4 (Bora) Audi A3 Mk1 Audi TT Mk1 Volkswagen New Beetle SEAT León Mk1 SEAT Toledo Mk2 Škoda Octavia Mk1|
Launched in October 1997, the Volkswagen Golf Mk4(or VW Typ 1J) was the best selling car in Europe in 2001 (though it slipped to second place, behind the Peugeot 206, in 2002).
The Mk4 was a deliberate attempt to take the Volkswagen Golf series further upmarket, with a high-quality interior and higher equipment levels, to compete with the Audi A3.
Overall the level of maturity of the design and its target audience were also evident — the humorous plays on the game of golf which resulted in special edition models of the three earlier generations being called "Golf Ryder", "Golf Driver", not to mention the GTI's "golf ball" gearlever knob were dropped, and replaced with a more subtly styled golf ball knob.
It was replaced in 2004 by the Volkswagen Golf Mk5.
Design and engineering
The Golf Mk4 was a significant car in its class. As with its big brother, not only was it the first step of Volkswagen moving its products upmarket to plug a gap between the mainstream machines and the premium cars, with SEAT and Škoda taking over as the mainstream in a new level of interior quality and sophistication never seen before from a mainstream brand in the class. In fact, the quality of the Golf was on a par with its sister Audi A3 from the year before, but cost considerably more than other cars in its class.
The latest model remained faithful to the Golf concept but included some of the new "arched" styling themes first seen on the Mk4 Passat.
As with the Mk2 Golf, Volkswagen did not make a convertible version of the Mk4 Golf. Instead, they face-lifted the front bumper, fenders, grille, and hood to resemble Mk4 Golf styling but to fit a Mk3 chassis. VW managed to incorporate some non-structural Mk4 parts as well such as fender repeaters, headlights, side mirror caps, rear license tag lights, 3-spoke steering wheel airbag, etc. The rear also received a redesigned bumper with the number plate tub moved from the hatch and a Mk4 handle with a larger VW emblem above it to resemble the rear of a Mk4 Golf. The interior largely remained the same as a Mk3 interior save for a Mk4 style 3-spoke leather steering wheel, a textured dashboard (also known as "dimpled dash" or "shark skin dash"), heavily bolstered front seats with incorporated side airbags, and the hazard switch relocated from the steering column to the instrument panel. The interior lighting in the cabin was switched to the blue and red hue found in the Mk4 and some of the more familiar Mk3 parts were chromed such as the inner door handles, emergency brake button, door strikers, front seat belt anchors, key lock cylinders, and shifter button in automatic transmission equipped cars. There are some technical carryovers, as well, the main one being the immobilizer and engine computer from the Mk4 Golf being used with the older Mk3 engine mechanicals.
Although the redesigned Golf Cabriolet looks like a Mk4 Golf, it is based on the Mk3 chassis and this causes a bit of confusion on how it should be designated. VW enthusiasts in Europe call it a Mk4 Golf Cabriolet while VW enthusiasts in the United States call it a Mk3.5 Cabrio.
The Volkswagen Golf Mk4 Variant was introduced in 1999. It was discontinued in 2006, and succeeded in 2007 by the Volkswagen Golf Mk5 Variant. Unlike the Mk3, it was offered in North America where the Jetta name and front sheetmetal were used.
Volkswagen Bora/Jetta Mk4
Volkswagen spawned a saloon version of the Mk4 Golf. As with previous incarnations of the Golf, it had its own identity, and this time was called the Volkswagen Bora although the name Jetta remained in North America and South Africa. Unlike its predecessors, the Bora/Jetta featured unique rear doors, front wings and bonnet. The front doors were the only body panels it shared with the Golf. The interior, though, was almost identical to the Golf, featuring very minor styling changes like its predecessor.
Germany, South Africa, Slovakia, Brazil, Belgium, and China all made the Golf 4. Eastern European locations making the Golf 4 included Bosnia and Herzegovina, in Vogošća (near Sarajevo), which also made Mk1 and Mk2 models. However, although the Bosnian Mk4 was popular it was only available in the local market.
The Golf/Jetta Mk4 engine choices included 1.4, 1.6, 1.8, 2.0, 2.3 litre V5, 2.8 litre V6 and 3.2 litre R32 petrol engines, and a 1.9 litre turbodiesel, with power ranging from 68 to 150 PS (50 to 110 kW).
Volkswagen made a choice of three and five-door hatchback or a five-door station wagon available. The European Golf wagon was nearly identical to the North American Jetta Wagon. The only difference was the use of the Golf front headlights, bumpers, grille, and fenders as these parts are interchangeable between the Mk4 Golf and Bora/Jetta.
The Golf 4 was introduced to North America in mid-1999. Available engines for the Golf at its introduction to the American market were a 2.0 L gasoline engine, and a thrifty (48mpg) 1.9 L TDI engine. The latter soon developed a reputation for good low-speed torque and fuel economy, and can operate on alternative biofuels. In 2004 the updated 1.9L TDI PD or "Pumpe-Düse" engine was installed in the Golf and Jetta. The "Pumpe-Düse" or Pump Nozzle was a Robert Bosch extreme high pressure fuel injection system for direct cylinder injection. A 1.8 L turbocharged gas engine was introduced in 2000, along with the 12-valve 2.8 L VR6. At the same time, the 1.6 L 8-valve unit was replaced with the 16-valve unit from the Polo GTI, but detuned to 77 kW (105 PS). The 2.0 L gasoline engine was the base engine in the sportier GTI only as a 1999.5 model. For 2000, Volkswagen opted for the relatively new 1.8 L turbocharged gasoline engine as a base engine for the GTI. The top-of-the-line GLX model was equipped with Volkswagen's torquey 2.8 L VR6, which put out an impressive 174 hp (130 kW). The VR6 engine, with its narrow 15-degree Vee design, was unique to Volkswagen. This engine is shorter and lighter (featuring a single cylinder head) than other V6 engines which benefits the handling characteristics of this front-wheel drive car. For the 2002.5 model year Volkswagen introduced a 24-valve version of its VR6 engine to the North American market under engine code BDE. This engine had the same torque characteristics of the older 12-valve version which had been carried over from the Mk3 Golf under engine codes AAA and AFP. The 24-valve version gained an extra 26 hp (19 kW) over the 12-valve to reach 204BHP. In Europe, the VR6-engined V6 4Motion variant was produced from 1999 with 204BHP and a 24-valve engine from the outset, using engine codes AUE and AQP. In 2002, the European market began using the BDE-code engine at the same time as the North American market. This had the same 204BHP power output but now featured variable valve timing on the exhaust valves which allowed the engine to rev more freely in the higher ranges and now had "coil-on-plug" ignition coils. The 1.8T and VR6 models continued until 2005, when the Mk4 platform came to an end in North America. Both the Mk4 Golf and the Mk4 Jetta are still in production in Brazil, Mexico, and China as of 2008.
The Brazilian Golf TDI PD was sold in Canada due to its popularity as a full 2006 models in base, GL and GLS trim levels for the full model year as there were no diesel engine versions for the North American 2007 Mk5 Golf (Rabbit).
In Europe, trim levels were country-specific, although the United Kingdom got E, S, SE, GTI and V5/V6/V6 4MOTION versions. The V5 was available in 150 bhp (110 kW) and 170 bhp (130 kW) versions.
GTI 25th Anniversary Edition (2002)
The GTI 25th Anniversary Edition was a special version of the Golf GTI, for the European Market to commemorate the first GTI, launched in 1976. This model had 3 paint color options: Tornado Red, Reflex Silver, and Black Magic Pearl
At the time of its launch, it wasn't confirmed whether Volkswagen was going to sell this special edition model in the United States
A similarly equipped version of the GTI, called the GTI 337 Edition, was officially introduced at the New York Auto Show and made it to dealers late May 2002 to the US & Canadian markets. The price of the GTI 337 was $22,225 in the U.S. and $32,900 in Canada. Only 1,500 units were produced for the US market with an additional 250 for the Canadian market. This model came painted exclusively in metallic Reflex Silver. Both the GTI 25th anniversary and the 337 editions were equipped with many extra features not included in the standard GTI. They included: 18x7.5" BBS RC Wheels with special ball peen finish, perforated leather shift boot and handbrake, red and black seat belts, Red and Black upholstered Recaro Le Mann seats, factory body kit (front valance, sideskirts, hatch spoiler, and rear valance), 02M 6-speed manual transmission, larger front brakes (312mm) with Red Calipers, lowered sport tuned suspension, and brushed aluminum interior trim. These models were never equipped with a sunroof as to take the car back to its roots, the Mk1 GTI, and improve handling and performance. However, one instance of the 337 edition is known to have been special ordered with a sunroof.
GTI 20th Anniversary Edition (2003)
Following the initial commemorative anniversary edition GTI produced in Europe in 1996 celebrating the introduction of the GTI model in 1976, and the overwhelming popularity of the 25th anniversary edition GTI produced 2001 (known as the GTI 337 in North America when released in 2002), Volkswagen of America produced 4,200 so-branded "20th Anniversary Edition" GTIs and 4000 were shipped to the United States and 200 to Canada. This event, in 2003, marked the 20th anniversary of the GTI's first introduction to the U.S. and Canadian market, some 7 years after the GTI was introduced to the European market. Several special features distinguish this new GTI from the rest of the pack.
On the outside, the 20th Anniversary edition came with throwback red-lettered GTI logos on the left front and right rear. The rear was also accompanied by a vintage-look chrome rabbit. Blackened headlights added a distinctive look, while Votex front, rear, and side skirts along with a hatch spoiler and special edition 18" OZ Aristo alloy wheels wrapped in Michelin Pilot Sports complete the exterior transformation. These models were produced only in three colours: Imola Yellow, Jazz Blue and Black Magic Pearl. Distribution of production was 50% Black magic pearl, 25% Jazz Blue and 25% Imola Yellow.
Inside, a few accents were noticeable. Unlike other models, there were no options offered. The only true option was ESP, Volkswagen's stability control feature. All "20ths" had a sunroof, black headliner, golf ball shift knob, black leather steering wheel with silver stitching, black leather shifter boot with silver stitching, perforated leather covered hand brake handle, and sporty black cloth Recaro bucket seats with silver stitching accents and red GTI emblems embroidered in the middle of the back rests. Aluminum trim came standard, complete with a numbered nameplate above the center console identifying the exact production number (US production only) of the vehicle. Volkswagen's premier 8-speaker Monsoon stereo system was also standard.
Mechanically, the 20th Anniversary Edition GTI is nearly identical to the GTI 337 Edition. A 6-speed manual 02m transmission marked the most notable departure from the norm, and upgraded suspension stiffened up the ride and lowered the car approximately 30 mm (lower sport springs and revised bushings in the rear). Upgraded disc brakes front (12.3" vented rotors) and rear (10.3" vented rotors) helped bring things to a stop, while red powder-coated calipers added a bit of flair to the package.
Starting in 2002 with engine code AWP, all of the models of the GTI's 1.8T increased in factory boost pressure and horsepower from 150 bhp (110 kW) to 180 bhp (130 kW). The 20th Anniversary GTI was not available with the VR6 engine.
In 2002, Volkswagen produced the Golf R32 in Europe as a 2003 model year. It was the World's first production car with a dual-clutch gearbox (DSG) — available for the German market.Due to unexpected popularity, Volkswagen decided to sell the car in the United States and Australia as the 2004 model year Volkswagen R32. Billed as the pinnacle of the Golf IV platform, the R32 included every performance, safety, and luxury feature Volkswagen had to offer, including the all new 3.2 litre 24-valve VR6 engine (ID codes: BFH/BML), which produced a rated motive power output of 177 kilowatts (241 PS; 237 hp), and 236 lb·ft (320 N·m) of torque. Further additions included Haldex Traction-based 4motion on-demand four-wheel drive system, a new six-speed manual transmission, independent rear suspension, Climatronic automatic climate control, sport seats from König with R32 logos, 18" OZ Aristo alloy wheels (Ronal produced the wheels towards the end of production), Electronic Stability Programme, larger 334 mm (13.1 in) disc brakes with gloss blue painted calipers, sunroof (for the US), and model-specific bodywork additions.
For Australia, two hundred "Edition 200" cars were produced, each uniquely plaqued and available in three colours: Black Magic Pearl, Deep Blue Pearl and Reflex Silver.
For the US, Tornado Red was an available fourth colour. The distribution of US-spec R32 colours were:
- Deep Blue Pearl: 40%
- Reflex Silver: 35%
- Black Magic Pearl: 15%
- Tornado Red: 10%
Although the R32 looked similar to the 20th Anniversary GTI, it shared most major components with the 3.2 litre Audi TT, including the engine, four-wheel drive system, and both front and rear suspension geometries. For the US, five thousand cars were produced and intended to be sold over a two-year period. The allotment sold out in 13 months.
The R32 is capable of 0-100 kilometres per hour (62.1 mph) in 5.8 seconds, reduced to 6.4 seconds with the Direct-Shift Gearbox. Clearing the quarter mile in 14.1 seconds at 99.2 mph (159.6 km/h), the R32 edges out its third fastest sibling, the top-of-the-line Phaeton 6.0 litre W12 (414 bhp), by a tenth of a second at the 1,320-foot (402 m) mark.
It has a high resale and used-car value; the Kelley Blue Book used car retail price (the price an individual might expect to pay for one from a dealer) for a model in excellent condition with low mileage exceeds the original retail price of the car in many cases, making it one of a few recent cars that have actually approached an increase in value. This premium can be explained mostly due to scarcity, both of the cars themselves due to low production and importation, and especially ones that still have low mileage.
Mk4 Ongoing production in China, and South America
In China, FAW-VW launched a new version of the Golf IV, with FAW-VW's facelifted Bora front, at the Beijing International Automobile Exhibition in 2006. It is named Bora HS to complement the Bora Mk IV range, as the Golf name has reserved for the Golf VI, manufactured by FAW-VW in Q3, 2009. The Bora HS ended production in 2008.
The Golf Mk4 also continues to be sold in countries such as Brazil and Argentina. However, in Argentina the range is available with a 1.6 L four-cylinder petrol, a 2.0 L petrol inline four, a 1.8 L Turbocharged petrol unit, or with a 1.9-litre 130 bhp (97 kW) turbodiesel. In Chile, it was also sold until 2010, with a 1.6 to 2.0 L petrol range. All of these are Brazilian built models, although the diesels are only for export markets.
In Brazil, the Mk4 Golf has a 1.6 VHT engine (with Volkswagen Totalflex system which accepts both gasoline or alcohol) and a 2.0-litre engine (the 1.8 turbo engine was discontinued in 2009), and comes in two trim levels: the basic model Sportline with the 1.6 engine, and the 2.0 version with the Tiptronic 6-speed transmission.
In 2007, Volkswagen Brazil has introduced a major restyling of the fourth generation Golf. The front takes styling cues from the current Volkswagen Polo and the back of the car is inspired by the Golf 5. It is exported in most Latin America countries, since it is produced in Brazil. It was also sold in Canada, where it was sold alongside the Mk5 model (badged as the Rabbit). The lack of diesel models for the 2007 model year led Volkswagen Canada to continue sales of an entry-level car that was designed as an alternative to the TDI models for budget-minded shoppers. The Canadian model was originally rebadged as the City Golf, but in 2009 it was renamed the Golf City alongside the Jetta City. It was not sold in the United States. Pricing of the Golf City started at C$15,300 as of 2008. As an entry-level alternative to the Rabbit, it offered only one engine: the 2.0L SOHC 8 valve with 115 hp (86 kW). It was not related to the South African Volkswagen CitiGolf, despite the similarity in name. The Mk4 Jetta was similarly reintroduced in Canada for the 2007 model year as the City Jetta. This was the first entry-level car from a previous-generation car since the 1992 Eagle Vista, which was a rebadged 1980s Mitsubishi Mirage. Although the Golf City was dated, its attractive price enabled good sales. The Golf City was discontinued after the 2010 model year.