2009 Volkswagen Rabbit S 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M)
I purchased a 2009 VW Rabbit, after looking at other cars in its class, including the Mitsubish Lancer GTS, Mazda 3, and Subaru Impreza. While I think I could have been happy with any of the other cars mentioned, I truly love my Rabbit. I could not justify the additional price of the GTI for a few fractions of a second faster from 0-60 mph, and the added costs for premium fuel and insurance. The Rabbit will satisfy all but the most power hungry. Fuel economy is mediocre, but a fair trade off for power and performance. The Rabbit has the best build quality, not just in intelligent design, but in the material used. It does not feel like a sub $20,000 car, nor does it drive like one.
Perfectly sized steering wheel and fairly intuitive controls. Excellent gear shift lever. I love the way the gear selector "snickity-snicks" into place with precision with moderately short throws. There's a lot of nice touches like the Gorilla Mat for the trunk, fasteners and the full sized spare!
While cool, the switchblade key / fob combo is big, bulky, and EXPENSIVE to replace. Push button "Start" would be nice. Make the 6-disc CD player MP3 capable option. A center console storage / arm rest would be nice. Replace the seatback adjustment knob with a lever for easier use. Fog lamps?
† Edmunds.com received the highest numerical score in the proprietary J.D. Power 2014 Third-Party Automotive Website Evaluation Study℠. Results based on responses from 3,381 responses, measuring 14 companies and measures third-party automotive website usefulness among new and used vehicle shoppers. Proprietary study results are based on experiences and perceptions of owners surveyed from January 2014. Your experiences may vary. Visit jdpower.com.