Volkswagen’s presence in the Japanese market is pretty strong and it’s probably because of this standing that Volkswagen Japan is releasing a special-edition Golf model that will be exclusive to the Japanese market.

Dubbed the Erste Edition and built to celebrate the German model’s 60-year run in the country - Der Erste means "the first" in German - the Golf Erste Edition models will come in two different trims: Comfortline and the Highline.

Surprisingly, the pair of Erste Edition models come don’t have a whole lot of distinguishable characteristics that separate themselves from standard models. It doesn’t even have any special badges, as far as we can tell.

Having said that, these models are treated as limited run models and well, we’ll treat them as such.

Click past the jump to read more about the Volkswagen Golf Erste Edition models. You never know, you might like them enough to have one imported in these shores.

  • 2013 Volkswagen Golf "Erste" Edition
  • Year:
  • Make:
  • Model:
  • Engine:
  • Transmission:
    DSG 7-speed dual clutch transmission
  • Horsepower @ RPM:
  • MPG(Cty):
    24 (Est.)
  • MPG(Hwy):
    33 (Est.)
  • Torque @ RPM:
  • Displacement:
    1.4 L
  • 0-60 time:
    8 sec. (Est.)
  • Top Speed:
    125 mph (Est.)
  • body style:


2013 Volkswagen Golf "Erste" Edition Exterior
- image 501716

Don’t expect a lot of exterior changes for either trim of this Japan-exclusive, limited edition Golf. The Highline trim has a few notable upgrades, particularly the LED accent lights, the dynamic cornering ring lights, and a set of 17-inch alloy wheels.

In any case, the Golf itself looks pretty special for a hatchback, particularly the rather aggressive profile that belies its hatchback qualities.

Trim model Golf TSI Comfortline Der Erste Golf TSI Highline Der Erste
Length × Width × Height 4,265 mm (167.9 in) × 1,800 mm (70.8 in) × 1,460 mm (57.4 in) 4,265 mm (167.9 in) × 1,800 mm (70.8 in) × 1,460 mm (57.4 in)
Wheelbase 2,635 mm (103.7 in) 2,635 mm (103.7 in)
Tread front / rear 1,545 mm (60.8 in) / 1,515 mm (59.6 in) 1,535 mm (60.4 in) / 1,510 mm (59.4 in)
Ground clearance (when empty) 140 mm (5.5 in) 140 mm (5.5 in)
Vehicle weight 1,240 kg (2,733.7 lbs) 1,320 kg (2,910 lbs)
Riding capacity Five Five


2013 Volkswagen Golf "Erste" Edition Interior
- image 501718

The interior also doesn’t have a whole lot of modifications, although the Highline trim does carry some fancy Alcantara fabric on the seats, making for a more luxurious cabin than the Comfortline edition.


2013 Volkswagen Golf "Erste" Edition Exterior
- image 501730

The Golf Comfortline is powered by a 1.2-liter TSI engine that produces 105 horsepower while the Highline trim has a bigger 1.4-liter TSI engine with cylinder deactivation, developing 140 horsepower along the way. Both models do come with a DSG seven-speed dual-clutch transmission.

Trim model Golf TSI Comfortline Der Erste Golf TSI Highline Der Erste
Engine type Four-cylinder DOHC with intercooled turbo series (4-valve) Four-cylinder DOHC with intercooled turbo series (4-valve)
Inner diameter × stroke 71.0 mm (2.8 in) × 75.6 mm (2.97 in) 74.5 mm (2.93 in) × 80.0 mm (3.14 in)
Total displacement 1,197 cc 1,394 cc
Compression ratio 10.5 5.0
Maximum output 105 horsepower / 4,500-5,500 140 horsepower / 4,500-6,000
Maximum torque 129 pound-feet / 1,400-4,000 184 pound-feet / 1,500-3,500
Fuel supply system Electronically controlled Electronically controlled
Fuel tank capacity Fifty Fifty
Fuel use Unleaded premium Unleaded premium


2013 Volkswagen Golf "Erste" Edition Exterior
- image 501715

Only 2,000 units of the specia- edition Golf Erste models are set to go on sale. Of this total, 750 will be sold under the Comfortline trim and will cost JPY2,790,000 ($28,030) per unit. Meanwhile, the Highline will come in 1,250 units and will be sold and will cost JPY3,050,000 ($30,640) per unit.


Fiat 500

2012 Fiat 500 High Resolution Exterior
- image 383354

The Golf Erste Edition is a special-edition model that will be sold in limited quantities. That being said, the Golf itself, does have a stiff rival in the form of the Fiat 500.

We know, the 500’s performance credentials don’t come near to what top-end Golf models are capable of. But in terms of compact hatchbacks, the 500’s lightweight design does give it some legs to run.

Ultimately, though, the Golf is a good choice for the market that it belongs to. Having a special edition model of it, albeit one with minimal upgrades, can only add to the appeal of the hatchback.


2013 Volkswagen Golf "Erste" Edition Exterior
- image 501717

It’s only going to be sold in Japan, which is a little bit of a buzz kill. But overall, we’re big fans of the Golf and the Japanese market is lucky to get a piece of these limited run babies.

  • Leave it
    • Not a lot of mods
    • A little pricey
Kirby Garlitos
Automotive Aftermarket Expert -
Kirby’s first exposure into the world of automobiles happened when he caught Knight Rider on television as a five-year old boy. David Hasselhoff didn’t leave much of an impression on him (that happened later on in Baywatch), but KITT certainly did. To this day, Kirby remains convinced that he will one day own a car with the same ‘spirit’ as the original KITT (not the 2008 monstrosity). He doesn't know when that will be, but until then, he’s committed to expressing his love for KITT, and all cars for that matter, here at TopSpeed.  Read More
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