Highs: torquey engine, great interior design, amazing spec list standard, cost of ownership is very low. Gas mileage is pretty poor, but if you're concerned about gas mileage you're probably not even going to be considering this car anyway. The 170 ft-lbs of torque is apparent from very low in the rev range, and worth the trade with gas mileage as far as I'm concerned. When compared to everything else $20k or less, the Rabbit shines through.
The 5-cyl sounds fantastic and is definitely a defining characteristic that sets the Rabbit apart from the rest of the crowd at that price.
The interior fit and finish is great, but random rattles seem to pop up everywhere. Not too worried about it considering that this is still a cheap compact car. The clutch takeup is kind of weird and almost impossible to launch smoothly.