Europe has already had its hands on the seventh-generation Golf for the better part of a year, and now it’s our turn to enjoy the latest generation of Volkswagen’s best-selling compact hatchback. The Golf 7 bound for U.S. showrooms will come from VW’s plant in Puebla, Mexico, which will produce the model for North and South America. The first model to come off the line Tuesday was a red GTI.
Production of the North American-spec Golf has alternated between Germany and Mexico over the previous generations, with the second and third-generation U.S. Golf models coming from Mexico, with the majority of fourth, fifth and sixth-generation models coming from Germany. Aside from the Wolfsburg plant, Puebla is one of VW’s largest production facilities worldwide, and is the exclusive source of the Beetle for markets worldwide. In addition to the Golf, Puebla will build other models based off the new MQB architecture, including a Golf wagon, and a new-generation Jetta.
Turbocharged four-cylinder engines, which were previously imported from Europe, are being built regionally in Volkswagen’s Silao, Mexico engine facility, which has been building them since early 2013. The Golf 7 will also adopt the 1.8-liter turbocharged I-4 as its base engine for U.S.-spec models, signaling an end to the heavy and thirsty 2.5-liter five-cylinder.