The Mk3 Golf was Volkswagen’s third generation of its award winning Golf. Originally launched in Europe in late 1991, it didn’t make to the shores of United Kingdom until March of 1992 and the USA in 1994 due to supply issues.
There were a number of variations of the Mk3 Golf which included the first Golf estate, a cabriolet that ran from 1993 to 2002 and a saloon known in the UK as the Vento. In the USA the name Jetta was not dropped, so don’t be fooled if you mk3 Jetta written down anywhere!
The new Golf was available in both petrol and diesel forms. The petrol engines ranged from 1.4 to the 2.8 VR6. This also included the 2.0 litre petrol GTI which was available in both 8v and 16v forms, the most powerful of which gave 148bhp. The VR6 was VW’s replacement for the ageing G60 giving 174bhp. For those who didn’t want the GTI insurance there was always the 1.8 ‘Driver’ option that had all the looks of the GTI but was fitted with a single point injection engine. The diesel options were fewer giving only three; the 1.9 SDI, TD and TDI, giving 63bhp, 74bhp and 89bhp respectively.
By the end of 1992 the new Golf had already won two of its awards; What Car?: Car of the Year and European Car Of The Year. This was the first time any VW had won the European Car of the Year. It then won another trophy for the cabinet in 1997; Which? Magazine Best Buys: Best Family Car.
By the end of 1998 production had come to a close and made way for the Mk4 Golf, a slightly larger and heavier replacement which took over carrying the torch for the Golf name.