I bought an '07 4-door right off the showroom floor, black with the 17" V-Vision wheels (I was hooked). This is my third VW, and the other two ('78 Rabbit, '88 Fox) were bulletproof. I compared the Mazda3, and the Rabbit offers far more features, refinement, and power (the 2.5L has terrific torque) for the money. Since October 2006, I've put 20,000 miles on it (18,000 miles in the first year). It feels like a budget Audi. What sinks it are the rattles (see Suggested Improvements). I've had it to the dealer once; whatever they did only muted the rattles a little bit for a little while. No new car should rattle this much. I've had numerous Fords (no paragons of quality) that were far quieter.
Automatic Sport mode (use it daily); high-calibar interior materials; soothing blue & red dash lighting; one- touch up & down on all 4 windows; sunroof; heated seats (great feature in this price class & warm up quickly!); integrated hatch release/VW logo (clever design); large door pockets
Dash rattles (seem to come from all vents) are an almost constant irritation; lousy radio reception (goes Mono on local stations in a major market); bass sometimes booms unexpectedly; high road noise on coarse pavement (17" wheels); downshifts under hard acceleration are jarring as it drops 2 gears