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VW Golf three-door (1991–1995)
VW Golf three-door (1991–1995)
Golf ( type 1H )
Production period: 1991–1997
as Golf IV convertible until 2002
Class : Compact class
Body versions : Hatchback , station wagon , convertible
Petrol engines : 1.4–2.9 liters
(44–140 kW)
Diesel engines :
1.9 liters
(47–81 kW)
Electric motor :
17.6 kW
Length: 4020 mm
Width: 1695-1710 mm
Height: 1405-1425 mm
Wheelbase : 2471-2474 mm
Empty weight : 960-1380 kg
Previous model VW Golf II
successor VW Golf IV

The Volkswagen Golf III (internal type name: 1H ) is a type of vehicle of the compact class of the car manufacturer Volkswagen , which was produced between autumn 1991 and the end of the 1997th It is the third generation of the Golf range . A total of 4,805,900 copies were built.

Model history


Rear view

After almost nine years of production, the Golf III replaced its predecessor, the Golf II , but is still largely based on its design, such as the engine blocks, vehicle electrics and equipment variants. The package also remained essentially the same; Length, width and wheelbase differ only slightly from each other. However, compared to its predecessor, the body was rounded off and the vehicle was considerably heavier.

The main advances compared to its predecessor relate in particular to passive safety with improved crash behavior thanks to reinforced passenger cells and doors. Airbags were also available for the first time in this model series with the Golf III . More recyclable materials have also been used and prefabricated module groups have been used to speed up vehicle assembly. The engine range was expanded to include the powerful and economical TDI diesel engines and the VR6 petrol engines, making six-cylinder engines available in a compact car for the first time in the Golf III. A small series with an electric drive was also produced as the Golf CityStromer especially for energy providers.

Except in the body styles of its predecessor - the three- and five-door hatchback - the Golf III was under the model designation from mid-1993 Variant first time as station wagons available. It also served as the basis for the second VW Golf Cabriolet , available from summer 1993 , which was previously based on the first Golf . A notchback sedan was also offered again; in North America it was still called VW Jetta , but in Europe it was called VW Vento . During the construction period special models were offered time and again.

The Golf III continued the success story of the Golf series. The design of the front of the vehicle with the almond-shaped headlights is one of the main distinguishing features of this generation. It also marks the transition from rather simple to consistently more sophisticated vehicle equipment in the compact class. Criticisms of the Golf III include careless workmanship (the so-called " Lopez effect") and occasional tendency to corrosion, especially in the first few years of construction and especially compared to its predecessor.

The hatchback version of the Golf III was replaced by its successor, the Golf IV , in autumn 1997, after a relatively short construction period . The Variant was produced until spring 1999. The cabriolet was revised in mid-1998 and optically adapted to the Golf IV. Its production only ended in early 2002.

On December 31, 2008, 1,137,614 cars of this type were still registered in Germany.


  • November: Presentation of the new model. Initially, there were seven engines to choose from:
    • 1.4 l 44 kW (60 hp); in Austria 40 kW (55 PS)
    • 1.8 l 55 kW (75 PS) or 66 kW (90 PS)
    • 2.0 l GTI 85 kW (115 PS)
    • 2.8 l VR6 128 kW (174 hp)
    • 1.9 l D 47 kW (64 hp)
    • 1.9 l TD 55 kW (75 PS) with oxidation catalytic converter

Power steering was standard on all models from 64 HP upwards .

The Golf III is available in the equipment variants CL (Comfort Luxury), GL (Upper Luxury), GT (Grand Turismo), GT Special , GTI and VR6 . The 75 PS turbodiesel was marketed with GT equipment as a GTD (but not the TDIs launched later).

The CL was the entry-level version and can be recognized by its unpainted black bumpers and exterior mirror housings. The GL was the comfort-oriented version with velor seats (rear bench can be folded down in parts), electrically adjustable and heated exterior mirrors, central locking and bumpers partially painted in the vehicle color. The GT has a standard 14 "chassis (CL and GL under 90 hp initially only 13") with tighter damping, twin headlights à la GTI, front sports seats, rev counter and an on-board computer , called multifunction display (MFA) at VW. From the outside, the GT can be recognized by the light gray contrasting lower bumper surfaces and a rear spoiler . The GT Special has improved equipment and is noticeable, among other things, with its painted bumpers, white front indicators and darkened rear lights. The GTI and VR6 are based on the GT Special and, like the GL, have the add-on parts in the same color as the car. In addition, 15 "alloy wheels, leather steering wheels, electric windows, fender flares and other items were part of the standard equipment. In all variants, the standard equipment has been added to many over the years Upgraded details.

GTI , GTI 16V (available from 1993) and the VR6 have modified power steering as standard, a 15 mm lowered body ( plus chassis ) with modified stabilizers, wishbones, wheel bearing housings , drive shafts and dome bearings . It can be recognized by the five-hole wheels and the rear disc brakes. The special model GTI-TDI with 110 hp was the only diesel variant with the plus chassis. 16V (2.0 l with 110 kW / 150 PS) and VR6 receive an integrated ABS / EDS system ( anti-lock braking system with electronic differential lock up to 30 km / h) as standard , which was available for the GTI 8V at an additional cost.

  • Special models:
    • Europe
  • Driver and front passenger airbags now available ex works as an extra; Vehicles without standard airbags could be retrofitted in the workshops with an airbag on the driver's side (which cannot be checked using a diagnostic system).
  • Extensive recall campaign (including airbags)
  • Notchback version Vento
  • Other engines:
    • 1.6 l 55 kW (75 PS) (instead of 1.8 with manual gearbox in sedan from the end of 1992; 1.8 l still available with automatic gearbox and in Cabriolet, Variant and Vento)
    • 2.0 l GTI 16V 110 kW (150 PS)
  • Special models:
    • Pink Floyd
    • Savoy
    • Highline
    • GTI Edition
    • New Orleans
  • Version Ecomatic (64 HP swirl chamber diesel) with automatic swing utilization
  • Electronic immobilizer becomes standard equipment
  • The new top model is the VR6 with a drilled 2.9 l engine, exclusively as Syncro (= all-wheel drive ) and with 140 kW (190 PS).
  • The German Federal Armed Forces procure the VW Golf III as a “light car” in bronze green (RAL 6031).
  • Another engine:
    • 1.6 l 74 kW (100 hp)
  • Special models for Germany:
    • CL Extra
    • avenue
    • VR6 edition
    • Rolling Stones
    • Color Concept (in the car colors red, yellow, blue, green or black with Recaro leather interior in black or the corresponding exterior color)
    • Movie
  • Changes from autumn 1995:
    • Bumpers painted over the entire surface in body color and rounded side indicators in the front fenders on all models
    • Airbag becomes standard equipment.
  • New or revised engines:
    • Electric Golf “Citystromer” with 17.6 kW
    • 1.9 l SDI 47 kW (64 PS) and direct injection.
    • 1.4 l 44 kW (60 PS) and 1.6 55 kW (75 PS) now with intake manifold instead of central injection.
  • Special models:
    • Bon Jovi
    • 20 years of GTI
  • New 1.9 l TDI (recognizable by the type plate with a red flag on the "I") with 81 kW (110 PS) and 235 Nm as the most powerful diesel engine.
  • New ABS without brake force regulator on the rear axle, the wheels are electronically controlled individually by the anti-lock braking system.
  • September: ABS as standard for all models.
  • Side airbags for the front seats available as an option.
  • The Trendline and Comfortline equipment variants replace the CL and GL in Germany .
  • The GT Special model variant has the 100 PS petrol engine - recognizable by the double pipe exhaust and various other modifications.
  • Special models:
    • Joker (electrically operated sliding glass / tilting roof, passenger airbag, instrument insert with silver-colored dials, black numbers and red pointers, green heat-insulating glass, darkened rear lights, white flashing lights at the front, exterior mirror housings painted in the vehicle color, "alpha" radio system with two speakers)
    • Family (replaces Europe )
    • Wilder South regional, in cooperation with SDR 3 (the "Radio for the Wild South")
    • Variant Yachting (until the series is phased out)
    • Otmar Alt Art Edition ( GT Special limited to 1000 vehicleswith special partial leatherequipmentincluding seat heating and side airbags) with 1.6 petrol engine (100 PS) or 1.9 TDI diesel (110 PS)
  • December 1997: End of production of the Golf sedan after six years and 4,663,438 units built, of which 4,085,300 were Golf sedans. Individual copies were only registered for the first time in early 1998.
  • Facelift of the convertible, the appearance is now based on the Golf IV.
  • February: Golf III Variant expires.
  • January: Production stop of the Golf III Cabrio.

Equipment variants and engines

Golf TDI

After Fiat was the first manufacturer to bring out a turbocharged diesel engine with direct injection and an output of 66 kW (90 hp) in the Fiat Croma TD id model in 1987 , the Audi 100 followed in 1989 with a 2.5-liter engine, five cylinders and 88 kW (120 hp) power. At Volkswagen, the concept received the TDI marketing name, which is protected in Germany . For the first time, a 1.9-liter variant with four cylinders was used in the Audi 80 from 1992 , and then in the Golf III as the Golf TDI from 1993 . The engine with distributor injection pump achieved an output of 66 kW (90 hp) and 202 Nm of torque. VW thus had a competitive diesel engine on offer in the Golf class again, because the 75 hp swirl chamber turbo diesel with "soft turbo" characteristics was unable to convince in terms of its maneuverability or consumption.

The introduction of the TDI marked a milestone for the Golf: For the first time, there was a more powerful diesel engine that virtually eliminated the annoying preheating. In addition, thanks to the higher efficiency, there was a significantly lower consumption than with conventional diesels, which, however, was at the expense of the winter heating capacity. The engine run was also a bit rougher because of the direct injection, and the overall lower speed level had to be compensated for by a very long gearbox. The distinguishing feature of the TDI was the characteristic downward-curved twin tailpipe of the exhaust.

Two years later (from model year 1996) the final breakthrough came with the TDI with a significantly stronger version. By adapting parameters of the engine control electronics in combination with turbochargers with adjustable guide vanes (“ variable turbine geometry ”) and larger injection nozzles (205 µm hole diameter, at 66 kW only 186 µm), 81 kW (110 PS) were achieved. With the same driving style, it consumed no more than the 90 PS TDI. The more powerful engine variant can be recognized at the rear by a red bar to the right of the I in the TDI logo. For the first time it was possible to speak of a sporty diesel engine, especially since the maximum torque was just as great as that of the VR6 gasoline engine. This is the first time that a diesel engine has found its way into the Golf GTI in a special model.

The electronic engine control of the TDI made it possible for the Golf for the first time on a broad basis to simply increase performance through chip tuning without having to make structural changes to the engine.

Golf GTI


In November 1991 the Golf III (1H) was presented and with it the third GTI generation. Its engine had a displacement of 2 liters, four cylinders with eight valves and had a maximum output of 85 kW (115 hp); from 1993 there was also a 16-valve engine with 110 kW (150 hp).

In 1994 a special GTI edition with 85 kW (116 PS) was available, which was factory-fitted with colored glass, electric window lifters, on-board computer, alarm system, sports suspension with 205/50/15 tires on either Speedline or BBS wheels, double airbag and Recaro Sports seats in the GTI Edition style was equipped.

From 1996 to 1997 the special model 20 Years GTI was available, for which an 81 kW (110 PS) turbo diesel engine with direct injection (TDI) was offered.

With it, VW celebrated the 20th birthday of the first Golf GTI from 1976. As a reminder of the original model, the anniversary model had checked seat covers; many interior parts of this model were kept in red, including the seat belts. He also had a leather steering wheel with red stitching, a leather shift bag with red stitching, a gear knob in the shape of a golf ball with an embedded lens with GTI lettering, leather handbrake handle with red stitching and a red or silver button. On the outside, it differed from the normal Golf 3 GTI by red trim strips on the bumpers, two-piece BBS aluminum wheels with 16 "(tires 215/40/16). In Austria, leather seats were standard on this model. The" 20 years "special models are on more sought-after in the used car market than the normal GTI representatives of the third series.

  • Golf GTI: 2.0 l 8V 85 kW (with cat), max. Torque 166 Nm, engine code (temporary construction): 2E; ADY; AGG; ABA (Mexico Golf, only available in the USA, not used in Germany); AKR;
  • Golf GTI 16V: 2.0 l 16V 110 kW (with cat), max. Torque 180 Nm, engine code: ABF
  • Golf GTI TDI: 1.9 l 81 kW (was built as a special model 20 years GTI from 1996 to 1997, but the engine was also available in the CL, GL or GT), max. Torque 235 Nm, engine code: AFN

Golf VR6

Another innovation in the compact class was the transverse installation of a six-cylinder engine in the relatively narrow engine compartment of the Golf III. However, it is not a classic V-engine with a cylinder angle of 60 or 90 degrees. With its cylinder angle of 15 degrees, the VR6 was a mixture of a V-engine and an in-line engine. It is the most powerful engine in the Golf III. In contrast to conventional V-engines, the VR6 engine has only one cylinder head and an engine block that is easy to work with and - just like the in-line engine - crankshaft with seven bearings. The disadvantages are relatively complicated chain guides, very small distances between the cylinders and unequal gas duct lengths. The wall thicknesses between the cylinders only permit expansion of displacement within narrow limits.

The strongest internal competitor engine was the later developed and presented 2.0 16V with the engine code "ABF", which made 110 kW (150 PS). This offered similar performance with - in practice - about 1.5 l / 100 km lower consumption. Within the control unit, performance limits were set for the 16V via software, as it often spread over 115 kW during tests. Among the fans of the Golf III community, there is always competition between the 16V drivers and the VR6 drivers.

There was a 2.8 VR6 with 128 kW (174 PS) and a 2.9 VR6 with 140 kW (190 PS) only available with all-wheel drive. During the construction period, the VR6 was revised several times, among other things the chain system was changed and the ignition distributor was omitted ( static ignition ).

VW wanted to address very different customer groups with the two top-of-the-range engines 16V and VR6. Due to the lower front axle load, the 16V was reserved for the GTI, which appeals to the sporty clientele. It offers an overall more lively driving behavior, as the lighter Golf does not tend to twist the rear too quickly when driving in a sporty manner, which cannot be completely remedied with the VR6 even with subsequent chassis changes.

VW Golf A59 from the VW Museum in Wolfsburg

Right from the start, the VR6 engine was designed as a "comfort engine" that was intended to lift the Golf into a completely different vehicle class. It did this partly because of its performance, the smoothness and overall the fact that it was the only six-cylinder in the compact class at the time.

However, the high performance also meant that the concept was misunderstood, especially by young drivers. Thus, the VR6 engines sometimes suffered early engine damage without the necessary care that their design compromises demand. It is also interesting to mention that after the Golf II GTI 16 V of the 1980s, a second "tuning wave" began with the VR6 - the performance was increased to 600 HP (441 kW) or more by well-known tuners with turbochargers or compressors increased.

Golf SDI

The designation SDI (suction diesel with direct injection) stands for a diesel engine that is largely identical to the TDI except for the missing turbocharger with charge air cooling . Sensors and actuators can be simplified accordingly. Since the air mass sucked in depends almost exclusively on the engine's displacement and the speed, there was no need to use an air mass meter. In this case, a pure map control is possible, since the behavior of a turbocharger does not play a role when the load changes. A correction with an air mass meter can therefore be omitted. Thanks to their map control, the vehicles meet at least the Euro 2 standard. The output of 47 kW (64 PS) with a displacement of 1.9 liters was the same as that of the swirl chamber diesel offered at the same time, but the SDI was more economical.

A revised 1.9-liter SDI with a maximum output of 50 kW (68 hp) and a maximum torque of 133 Nm was available in the Golf IV from October 1997. However, the SDI engines of the Golf IV series are based on the concept of the TDI engines of the ALH series and are identified with the abbreviations AGP and AQM (other export models are not considered). The crankshaft and the connecting rods of this engine were made of lower alloyed cast materials than their counterparts with supercharging.

Golf convertible

Main article: VW Golf Cabriolet

VW Golf Cabrio (1993-1998)

The Golf III Cabrio came onto the market in the summer of 1993. The new model was significantly larger, more torsion-resistant and safer than the previous model, which was based on the first generation. The models intended for the German market received two airbags and ABS as standard in 1993. On the engine side, there were initially petrol engines with 55, 66 and 85 kW, and from 1994 also 74 kW.

The Golf III convertible was the first convertible in the compact class with a diesel engine in 1995. The 66 kW TDI engine with distributor injection pump was used here , and from 1996 also as an 81 kW TDI with a VTG turbocharger . By 1998, 139,578 vehicles had left the production line. There were also numerous special models of this model, including Genesis, Rolling Stones, Pink Floyd, Joker, Bon Jovi, Christmas Edition or Classic Edition.

VW Golf Convertible (1998-2002)

In mid-1998, after the model change to the normal Golf IV, the convertible was extensively revised. The engines were slightly modified. In addition, higher quality interior materials were used. The instrument lighting was turned blue, the front headlights, bonnet, bumpers and grille cover were taken from the Golf IV or adapted to the look of the new Golf. The license plate recess has also been placed in the rear bumper to be more similar to the Golf IV .

The revised model was sold as a Golf IV convertible, but technically it was a Golf III. All technical assemblies remained structurally identical apart from a few innovations, so that one has to speak of a facelift . From 2000, sales fell as convertibles with a foldable hardtop such as the Peugeot 206 CC became more and more popular. This meant that production of the Golf Cabrio was ended in June 2002 (Karmann stopped production in December 2001). The last vehicles came to Europe from Mexican production.

Overall, the total production of the Golf III convertible amounts to 164,234 units.

Golf special models: logos

Technical specifications

Petrol engines

1.4 l 1.6 l
Construction period 09.1991-07.1995 08.1995-12.1997 08.1992-09.1994 09.1994-07.1995 08.1995-12.1997 08.1994-10.1995 11.1995-12.1997
Engine characteristics
Engine type R4 petrol engine
Number of valves per cylinder 2
Valve control OHC , timing belt
Mixture preparation Central injection Manifold injection Central injection Manifold injection Manifold injection
Engine management system Mono-Motronic Motronic MP 9.0 Mono-Motronic Mono-Motronic 1.3 MPI Marelli 1AV Motronic M2.9 Simos 4S2
cooling Water cooling
Bore × stroke 75.0 mm × 78.7 mm 1 76.5 mm × 75.6 mm 76.5 mm × 86.9 mm 81.0 mm x 77.4 mm
Displacement 1391 cc 1 1390 cm³ 1598 cc 1595 cc
Compression ratio 9.2: 1 10.2: 1 9.3: 1 10.0: 1 9.8: 1 10.3: 1
Max. Power at min −1 40 kW
(55 PS)
/ 5200
44 kW
(60 PS)
/ 5200
40 kW
(55 PS)
/ 4700
44 kW
(60 PS)
/ 4700
55 kW
(75 PS)
/ 5200
55 kW
(75 PS)
/ 4800
74 kW
(100 PS)
/ 5800
Max. Torque in min -1 107 Nm
/ 2400-2800
107 Nm
/ 2400-2800
116 Nm
/ 3000
116 Nm
/ 2800-3200
126 Nm
/ 2600
128 Nm
/ 2800-3400
135 Nm
/ 2800-3600
135 Nm
/ 4400
140 Nm
/ 3500
Power transmission
drive Front wheel drive
Gearbox, as standard 4-speed / 5-speed manual transmission 5-speed manual transmission
Gearbox, optional - 4-stage
landing gear
Front suspension MacPherson struts , wishbones
Rear suspension Twist beam axle (Syncro: semi- trailing arm axle ), coil springs
Brakes Front disc brakes (Ø 239 × 12 mm solid), rear drums, aW ABS 3 Disc brakes all around (front Ø 256 × 20 mm internally ventilated, rear Ø 226 × 10 mm solid), aW ABS 3
steering Rack and pinion steering
Measured values 4
Top speed 150 km / h 157 km / h 153 km / h 157 km / h 168 km / h 188 km / h 188 km / h
(185 km / h)
Acceleration, 0-100 km / h 18.3 s 16.7 s 17.5 s 15.9 s 14.0 s 13.8 s 13.4 s 11.2 s 11.2 s
(13.1 s)
Fuel consumption over 100 km (combined) 7.0 l N 6.8 l S 7.3 l N 7.0 l N 7.2 l N 7.7 l p 7.9 l S
(9.1 l S)
CO 2 emissions (combined) k. A. 163 g / km k. A. 173 g / km 190 g / km 190 g / km
(218 g / km)
1.8 l 2.0 l 2.0 l 16V 2.8 VR6 2.9 VR6
Construction period 09.1991-12.1997 09.1991-09.1994 10.1994-12.1997 09.1991-09.1994 10.1994-07.1995 08.1995-12.1997 08.1992-12.1997 09.1991-12.1997 08.1994-12.1997
Engine characteristics
Engine type R4 petrol engine VR6 petrol engine
Number of valves per cylinder 2 4th 2
Valve control OHC , timing belt DOHC, timing belt 2 × OHC, chain
Mixture preparation Central injection Manifold injection
Engine management system Mono-Motronic Digifant Simos Digifant Motronic M2.9 Motronic M3.8.1
cooling Water cooling
Bore × stroke 81.0 mm × 86.4 mm 82.5 mm × 92.8 mm 81.0 mm × 90.3 mm 82.0 mm × 90.3 mm
Displacement 1781 cc 1984 cc 2792 cc 2861 cc
Compression ratio 9.0: 1 10.0: 1 10.4: 1 10.0: 1 9.6: 1 10.5: 1 10.0: 1
Max. Power at min −1 55 kW
(75 PS)
/ 5000
66 kW
(90 PS)
/ 5500
85 kW
(115 PS)
/ 5400
110 kW
(150 PS)
/ 6000
128 kW
(174 PS)
/ 5800
140 kW
(190 PS)
/ 5800
Max. Torque in min -1 140 Nm
/ 2500
145 Nm
/ 2500
166 Nm
/ 3200
166 Nm
/ 2600
180 Nm
/ 4800
235 Nm 5/4
245 Nm
/ 4200
Power transmission
Drive, as standard Front wheel drive All-wheel
drive (Syncro)
Drive, optional - All-wheel drive (Syncro) - All-wheel
drive (Syncro)
Gearbox, as standard 5-speed manual transmission
Gearbox, optional 4- speed automatic transmission - 4-stage
landing gear
Front suspension MacPherson struts , wishbones
Rear suspension Twist beam axle (Syncro: semi- trailing arm axle ), coil springs
Brakes C, CL, GL front disc brakes (Ø 239 × 12 mm solid), rear drums, aW ABS 3 . GT: disc brakes all around

(front Ø 256 × 20 mm internally ventilated, rear Ø 226 × 10 mm solid) aW ABS 3

Disc brakes all around (Ø front 280 × 22/288 × 25, rear 226 mm), ABS Disc brakes all around (Ø front 280 × 22/288 × 25, rear 226 mm), ABS
steering Rack and pinion steering
Measured values 4
Top speed 168 km / h
(164 km / h)
178 km / h
(175 km / h)
[175 km / h]
198 km / h
(194 km / h)
196 km / h
(193 km / h)
196 km / h
(193 km / h)
[193 km / h]
215 km / h 224 km / h
(220 km / h)
[224 km / h]
Acceleration, 0-100 km / h 14.2 s
(17.6 s)
12.1 s
(14.7 s)
[13.3 s]
10.1 s
(11.6 s)
10.9 s
(11.9 s)
10.4 s
(11.9 s)
[11.0 s]
8.7 s 7.8 s
(9.0 s)
[7.5 s]
Fuel consumption over 100 km (combined) 7.6 L N
(9.5 L N)
8.0 l S
(9.2 l S)
[8.9 l S]
7.3 l p 7.6 L S
(8.2 L S)
8.1 l S
(9.2 l S)
[9.2 l S]
8.5 l S 10.5 L S
(11.6 L S)
[11.1 l SP]
CO 2 emissions (combined) 182 g / km
(228 g / km)
192 g / km
(221 g / km)
[214 g / km]
k. A. 194 g / km
(221 g / km)
[221 g / km]
204 g / km 252 g / km
(278 g / km)
[266 g / km]
1 Until 07.1992: 75.0 mm × 79.14 mm / 1398 cm³
3 Standard from 09.1996
4th Values ​​in round brackets “()” for automatic transmission and in square brackets “[]” for all-wheel drive
5 With Super Plus (98 RON): 240 Nm
  • The availability of the engines depended on the model, equipment and market.

Diesel engines

1.9 l D 1.9 l SDI 1.9 l TD 1.9 l TDI
Construction period 09.1991-12.1997 08.1995-12.1997 09.1991-12.1997 11.1993-06.1996 07.1996-12.1997 06.1997-12.1997 01.1996-12.1997
Engine characteristics
Engine code 1Y AEY AAZ 1Z AHU ALE AFN
Engine type R4 diesel engine
Number of valves per cylinder 2
Valve control OHC , timing belt
Mixture preparation Swirl chamber
Swirl chamber
Direct injection
Engine charging - turbocharger Turbocharger, intercooler
cooling Water cooling
Bore × stroke 79.5 mm × 95.5 mm
Displacement 1896 cc
Compression ratio 22.5: 1 19.5: 1 22.5: 1 19.5: 1
Max. Power at min −1 47 kW
(64 PS)
/ 4400
47 kW
(64 PS)
/ 4200
55 kW
(75 PS)
/ 4200
66 kW
(90 PS)
/ 4000
66 kW
(90 PS)
/ 3750
81 kW
(110 PS)
/ 4150
Max. Torque in min -1 124 Nm
/ 2000-3000
125 Nm
/ 2200-2800
150 Nm
/ 2400-3400
202 Nm
/ 1900
210 Nm
/ 1900
235 Nm
/ 1900
Power transmission
Drive, as standard Front wheel drive
Drive, optional - all wheel drive -
Gearbox, as standard 5-speed manual transmission
Gearbox, optional - 4- speed automatic transmission
landing gear
Front suspension MacPherson struts , wishbones
Rear suspension Twist beam axle (Syncro: semi- trailing arm axle ), coil springs
Brakes Front disc brakes (Ø 239 mm), rear drums, aW ABS 1 Front disc brakes (Ø 256 × 20), rear drum / rear disc brake 226 × 10, ABS Front disc brakes (Ø 280 × 22/288 × 25 mm), rear disc brake 226 × 10, ABS
steering Rack and pinion steering
Measured values 2
Top speed 156 km / h 165 km / h 178 km / h
(175 km / h)
[175 km / h]
193 km / h
(190 km / h)
Acceleration, 0-100 km / h 17.6 s 15.1 s 12.8 s
(14.8 s)
[13.9 s]
10.8 s
(12.4 s)
Fuel consumption over 100 km (combined) 5.9 l D 5.1 l D 6.1 l D 5.0 l D
(6.8 l D)
[5.6 l D]
k. A. 5.0 l D
(6.4 l D)
CO 2 emissions (combined) 159 g / km 138 g / km 165 g / km 135 g / km
(184 g / km)
[151 g / km]
k. A. 135 g / km
(173 g / km)
1 Standard from 09.1996
2 Values ​​in round brackets “()” for automatic transmission and in square brackets “[]” for all-wheel drive
  • The availability of the engines depended on the model, equipment and market.


The Golf III was produced in Wolfsburg, Zwickau, Bratislava, Brussels, Sarajevo / Yugoslavia , Uitenhage / South Africa and in Puebla / Mexico; as a Cabriolet and Variant at Karmann in Osnabrück and as a Cabriolet in Puebla / Mexico.

Division into the various type code numbers and approval numbers

Overall, the Golf III was manufactured at the factory with 97 type code numbers , with some of the code numbers relating to the same model, but possibly a different equipment variant or a later / earlier year of construction. Golf III and Vento belong to type 1H within VW and are registered at the Federal Motor Transport Authority with the manufacturer's key number (HSN) 0600 and 0603.

On January 1, 2013 and 2016 respectively, 678,192 and 384,790 of the 4,805,900 units of the type 1H that were previously produced were registered in Germany. They can be divided as follows:

  • Sedan: 458,872 (2013) or 257,123 (2016)
  • Variant: 110,999 (2013) or 42,247 (2016)
  • Convertible: 75,519 (2013) or 65,576 (2016)
  • Vento: 32,802 (2013) and 19,844 (2016)


  • Hans-Rüdiger Etzold : That's how it's done . Volume 79: VW Golf / Vento from 1991. Delius Klasing, 4th edition 1996, ISBN 3-7688-0761-4 .
  • Hans-Rüdiger Etzold: That's how it's done. Volume 80: VW Golf / Vento Diesel 1991−1997. Delius Klasing, 7th edition 2002, ISBN 3-7688-0762-2 .
  • VW Golf owner's manual. Volkswagen AG, July 1994. 951.551.1H1.00.
  • VW Golf additional instructions to the operating manual, technical changes. Volkswagen AG, August 1995. 961.552.1H0.00.
  • VW Golf owner's manual. Volkswagen AG, January 1997. 972.551.1H1.00.

Web links

Commons : Volkswagen Golf III  - Collection of pictures, videos and audio files

Individual evidence

  1. KBA statistics 2008, p. 42 (PDF; 2.7 MB) ( Memento from June 12, 2009 in the Internet Archive )
  2. Key numbers overview ( Memento from March 3, 2013 in the Internet Archive )