Most people in the first world probably know someone who has owned a Golf. Volkswagen's replacement for the iconic Beetle, by 2012 over 29 million had been built - that's nearly one for every two people in the UK! It's the world's second best-selling car, and one of the most instantly recognisable.
Now in its seventh generation, the Golf is most commonly bought as a three-door hatchback. It's the sort of car you see countless times every day, tirelessly ferrying the kids to and from school, doing a bit of shopping, getting people to work. Its ubiquity on our streets shows how well the Golf has stood the test of time - the first ones were produced in 1974. Five-door hatchback versions are also popular, and rarer estate and sedan versions have come and gone.
Through the seven generations, each successive model retains many elements of the previous one, while moving things on. There's a clear evolutionary path, and Volkswagen are convinced that the success of the car over time "lies in its continuity".
Car manufacturers are increasingly turning their attention to fossil fuel alternatives, but for the golf this is nothing new, with its first electric version appearing in the 1970s. Its latest incarnation, the e-Golf, is set to hit Europe's streets in 2014, and is likely to attract a new set of green fans who will add themselves to the millions of people who already love the Golf.