Volkswagen is ending production of its Brazilian hatchback, the Volkswagen Gol. After its historic run of over 40 years, the Volkswagen Gol will bid farewell to Brazil with a limited edition model, as Autocosmos reports. This softens the blow somewhat, but I’ll mourn the little hatch either way. And I’d be remiss if I didn’t do it like this, courtesy of the great Andrés Cantor: Goool!
The VW Gol was the best-selling car in Brazil for 27 years in a row, from 1987 to 2013. It was also the most produced car in Latin America, with nearly 9 million models made throughout Brazil and Argentina. Despite strong sales through 2021, Volkswagen considered halting production and confirmed it for 2022.
The Gol’s death wasn’t exactly peaceful; it was ousted from Latin America due to lack of safety. I’m getting Nissan Tsuru flashbacks. Like the Tsuru, the Gol could not keep up with market creep that left it outmoded and unsafe compared to many other cars.
Starting this year in Argentina, all new cars are required to have electronic stability control, Motor1 reports. But because the Gol’s basically stayed the same since 2008, the CEO of Volkswagen Latin America, Pablo Di Si, told CNN it would be too expensive to add safety features. VW Brazil says the Polo Track will replace the Gol at the entry level, because it’s on a newer platform that doesn’t give up safety.
I get all that and agree that an unsafe car is unfit for the road, but will miss the Gol. The hatch was first known as the Volkswagen Pointer on the Mexican market — where it was also popular because it was cheap. Later generations were renamed with the original Brazilian model name and we finally saw the sale of the Volkswagen Gol, officially.
Look at this little guy:
That was at an MTB trail in Mission, Texas, almost overseeing the border and I laughed when I saw the VW Gol parked next to a late-model Ford Super Duty.
The difference between what these represent is staggering. Even though the Gol is among a group of slowly dying and obsolete models, I still love it as a city car. Drivers want crossovers now, like the T-Cross, and deserve safety, too. But the Gol will always get a point from me as a cute, faithful car that was once useful.