The first-generation Golf, called the Rabbit in North America, was discontinued in 1984. For the 1985 model year, Volkswagen of America debuted the second-generation Golf - introduced in Europe a year earlier - with the Golf name. VW wanted to standardize model names globally.
The new Golf was bigger than its predecessor, but got better fuel economy because of its smoother shape. Pictured above is the European version of the five-door model.