With the Volkswagen production starting out in the 1930s as requested by Adolf Hitler to create an affordable, ‘everybody’ car. Its name meaning “People’s Car,” it certainly did its job to provide an affordable family vehicle. It was based on Ferdinand Porshe’s design. No credit to the other guy. Germany didn’t start mass-producing the cars until 1946, under British supervision. This helped the company reach new consumers internationally, and only bolstered its reputation for a cheap, but reliable solution. Models keep coming out, leaving many to wonder just which of the models were the best of the best at the time.
10 The Iconic Beetle
Making its way on the scene of the fabulously hip 1960s, it’s not very hard to see why the Beetle had so many fans. With over 21-million models produced and sold, the numbers really speak for themselves regarding how well this car did internationally.
It started to become iconic, and it was the vehicle of choice for many car movies like Herby. This kept sales very high for decades to come. Sadly, it stopped being mass-produced in 2003, and while it was a shame that it had to leave, they recently revived it with their dune buggy models.
9 The Golf R32
Not necessarily as well known as their Beetle, the Golf R32 still stands out from the pack due to its performance. Produced from 2003-2008, it quickly became a favorite amongst drag-racers and autocrossers. The R refers to Volkswagens Racing department, with the 32 symboling its engine displacement. It hopped off the line with a 3.2L VR6 engine, with top speeds approaching 155-miles an hour. It was based off the Golf GTi, and was only meant to be a limited variation of the model, which was prolonged because of its popularity among consumers, which even showed up in multiple video games.
8 Volkswagen Scirocco
With a strong first generation of the model that was mass-produced for eight years, this car had more than enough people wanting to see it continue, and it has, with new variations of this car riding the streets today. This model was even launched before their famous Golf series. The second-generation picked up where the first one left off and featured engines starting from 1.3L I4 to 1.8L I4 with the last model. The third generation ended just a few years ago, with all model engines ranging from a 1.4L I4 to 2.0L I4
7 Volkswagen GTi
Taking a well-done model and making it, well, better, spawned the Volkswagen GTI. The GTI is an acronym for the car having a Grand Tourer Injection, which is a fancy way of saying the car has a direct fuel injection system. The newer model today offers 228 hp, with a decently standard 2.0 L 4-cylinder. It’s the more modern take on an older classic, and the design of the car still relies pretty heavily on how the old ones looked. It can even offer a pretty competitive MPG with 25 in the busy cities and 35 on the desolate highways.
6 Volkswagen Corrado
Taking their compact design to a sporty level, related to the Golf and Jetta families, the sports car design was well received in its first generation, which lasted from ‘88 to ‘95. Engines ranged from 1.8L I4 all the way up to 2.9L I4. It came just three years before the Sirocco ended, and we can see how the coupe bodied car could have taken some credit away from it, especially with more horsepower behind the wheel. Even though there may not be newer models that are routinely pumped out today, the car cemented itself as a classic.
5 The Volkswagen Jetta
A long-time classic that started production in ‘74, the Volkswagen Jetta still roams the streets today, and that’s because of how well its been maintained and pushed as a car through-out its years. The newest edition, The GLi, was revealed publicly this year in February, and the car was boasted to have a 228 hp engine, the same ones used in the latest GTi’s. They also sit on the same platform and uses the same transmission options as its relative. The primary benefit added to the car is their Active Suspension, as well as standard black painted rear-view mirrors.
4 The Volkswagen Passat
Volkswagen really expanded its consumer base with the release of their family-based car in ‘72 with the Passat B1. The move was a good one, and it’s still being produced today with some changes, of course. Now in its 7th generation, the B8 still sets out to be a high-quality car for families. It’s a large family car with front-wheel drive or four-wheel. It’s a good car to use when you’re looking to find something for a large family that won’t break the bank. It’s even won multiple awards, like Motor Trend Car of 2012 and for its record-setting fuel usage.
3 Volkswagen Phaeton
This was Volkswagens answer to its rival competitors like Mercedes and BMW. They wanted to surpass their competitors in quality and performance, but still, maintain the low cost to afford them. It was equipped with Automatic Distance Control, Dynamic Light Assist, Front Assist Collision Avoidance System, and 3G mobile Internet. It certainly had enough in it to make it a viable option when purchasing a luxury car and found its biggest markets in China and South Korea, where it remains a popular option. The cars even came with facelifts as time went by, giving new life to the luxurious design.
2 Volkswagen Eos
Another well-loved compact sports car done right, the Eos had a very good run in its nine long years of production. With older models starting at 1.4L I4 and some even going up to a staggering 3.6L VR6, the sports cars performance potential was just as apparent at its sleek style and available drop-top style. Its final edition came in only three colors as its sales started to decline in the U.S. Only 1,400 were left available in its final year, which fit with the name and left us wondering what great model Volkswagen would produce for us next.
1 The Volkswagen Touareg
Currently in its 3rd generation, the Touareg is a car that mixes midsize sedan and luxury performance together. It even uses the same platforms as its corporate siblings; the Porsche Cayenne and Audi Q7. Don’t expect to find a new one in the U.S anytime soon, as the market for them has dissolved, and we received the new Atlas model as a cheaper alternative that holds some of the same key features. Their newest models offer a V8 Turbo, with a max speed of 155 mph, making that family car a bit more race-worthy than you initially thought.