Bought this car brand new when I was 16, for just under $16,000 and haven't looked back since. It's pushing 7 years and over 100,000 miles now and no problems at all. Changing the oil every 10k miles and changing brakes as needed I'm sure helped the quality remain top-notch. Quick enough for getting around town along with decent fuel economy, however I wish the mpg were a little better.
Interior is really top-notch for the price. Compared to Honda, Toyota, even Subaru, the interior is WAY nicer and seems like a notch or two above the competition. The 177lbs of torque are nice too, you can really feel it in the upper rpms. Lots of room in the back seat, too. I'm 6'1 and fit in the back seats comfortably. However, I do recommend the 4 door over the 2. Clutch is really nice too, without feeling overly assisted like the Golf 6 does.
Fuel economy. The new Tiguans are getting 32 on the highway and my rabbit is pushing 30 if I've got the wind at my back. Not a dealbreaker, but it definitely could be better.
I have only had it for 5 days and wish I would have got an automatic. The motor seems lazy between idle and 1200 r.p.m.s , so I stall it quite often on takeoff. I have owned quite a few sticks in my life and never had such a problem. I love everything else about the car though. once I am moving it drives great and has plenty of power. I have owned some beetles over the years, a 63, 65, two 66's,a 68 and a 74. I always told my friends, If you can't drive a vw stick you will never be able to drive a stick period. So, is it the car or me ?
I've had my Rabbit for a little over a month now and the car has been a joy to own. Nice switch from my 2003 gmc 2500 (which i have to have for work as I am a mason contractor). Lots of bang for the buck and the quality is amazing. Much nicer than any of the "other" small cars in that price range.
side curtain air bags
window drips in the rain (have recently bought rain shields). rear wiper comes on if you move the wiper switch at all, probably just me.
Bought car expecting to like it. Didn't expect to LOVE it. I needed something cheap to insure, and was still fun and good on gas/emissions. This best fit the bill after many test drives of the competition. Couldn't be happier. Value for the buck is truly the key here.
Interior comfort/build. Super slick transmission and clutch makes traffic an easy experience. 30mpg observed on highway so far! Exterior appearance is so clean and sporty. Color (gray) is stunning! Nice wheels. Decent sound system for such a low price!
City mileage could stand improvement. Great highway but only about 22 city. Better exhaust note? And make sunroof/leather/cd changer availible to the 3 door, not just the 5! I would have paid for those options.
This car is great fun to drive. The build quality is excellent; it has plenty of power and torque, and the manual shifter is butter smooth. I was looking for an economical hatchback that would serve as a city car and also be comfortable on long trips. A hatchback made the most sense, since the most usual passenger is a 100lb. hound. He doesn't mind that the rear windows don't open. Still, with the back seat up, the car has plenty of room for the grandkids. My only complaint is, having found the ideal seat/steering wheel combo, I can't seem to adjust the seatbelt away from my neck.
Height adjustable driver's seat and telescoping steering wheel (both hard to find in this price range), supportive front seats, powerful 2.5 five-banger, ipod connection hidden in armrest, multi-function trip computer, generous interior room.
Coupe needs a light-color interior option (hey, it's over 100F here 5 months of the year); lower the center console to allow more right knee room between it and the steering column. And as a previous poster noted, the Golf sold in Europe uses storage space more cleverly, as does the Scion xD here.