Golf - Beetle
No, the Beetle cannot be compared with the Golf. The different shapes alone prevent such a comparison. And the Golf by no means began with a lower purchase price than the Beetle. And the Golf only achieved the Beetle's
level of rust prevention with Generation 2.
This was not only due to a lack of protection of the sheet metal, but also to the somewhat breezy design, which made it thoroughly different from the Beetle with its 'Trutzburg' image. On the other hand, it gave the Golf driving
performance that the Beetle might have dreamed of all its life, even with reportedly the same engine power.
The Golf was by no means as space-consuming as the Beetle. Although 38 cm shorter, it could accommodate more. And you didn't have the windscreen right in front of your nose, except in the 1302 and 1303. And it was
spared the unspeakable swing axle of these models.
Admittedly, it has not been able to sneak into the hearts of the Americans as the Beetle did. Even if it did not give its owners a specific status, practically everyone can put in an appearance with it. And special price
were not necessary for the first Golfs because of greater demand than offer.
What the body was not able to do, the mechanics were able to keep more or less the promise of durability. No compromises were made on the simplicity of operation either. There were even examples with a speedometer
unit only. And in all-round visibility, the superiority of the Golf over the Beetle was again expressed.
No, the number of really humorous commercials dropped sharply, although there were quite a few highlights. And the Golf tried to maintain its distinctive silhouette through its angular character and, for generations, through
the special feature of a wide C-pillar. We were already too well off to celebrate the Golf like the Beetle as a contribution to the economic miracle.
And the message of cars 'Made in Germany' had long since been carried out into the world by Mercedes, BMW and of course the Beetle itself. And Americans had long since become acquainted with 'Good Old Germany'
elsewhere, e.g. through Schnitzel in Bavarian-influenced restaurants. No, the Golf never again achieved the smell of a new Beetle.
Presumably, one had to have worked hard enough to be able to afford it, to see no problem in sitting behind the steering wheel in winter with a coat and gloves. At least you could still keep your hat on your head in the
Beetle. Equipped like this, it didn't make much difference to have to free up the space behind the steering wheel for rear passengers getting in or out of the car.
Later generations of Golf drivers may have missed the closer interaction within the family. On the other hand, there was usually no more smoking and the ventilation was much better. No, the triangular window no longer
had to be opened to close the door. Maybe that's why it disappeared.
Also, probably fewer learner drivers learned to drive on a VW than on a Beetle. Somehow a well adjusted handbrake was superior to today's disk brakes, so pre-driving lessons were much more common to save driving
time. A Beetle would have rather made fun of power steering and brake boosters.
It must have been this underdog mixture. American drivers don't seem to be all that logical anyway. Because at the time of their affection for the Beetle, there was basically no speed limit. That only came afterwards and
today the number of German cars exported there or built there has become incredibly much faster.
There is only one point in which the Beetle is far from being able to keep up, and that is the relationship between fuel consumption and cruising speed. This has basically doubled (even with a clean Diesel), which is
unbelievable when you add the transport capacity. Not everything was better in the past, but perhaps it was more cosy.