Used 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit

Pros & Cons

  • Upscale look and feel with top-notch build quality, strong engine, versatile hatchback body style, high standard feature content, comfortable ride.
  • Below-average fuel economy, high quality and high feature content leads to a high price.
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Edmunds' Expert Review

If you're willing to sacrifice some fuel economy and a few bucks, the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit is a wonderful little car that boasts a polished interior, comfortable ride, solid German engineering and strong power. It's a hoot to drive, too.

Vehicle overview

The 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit is like soccer: huge in Europe, not so much in America. Of course, the Rabbit is known as the Golf across the pond, but the fact remains that Europeans have a keener affinity for VW's iconic hatchback, to the tune of making it the second-best-selling car in Europe last year. In America, sedans are king -- sorta like the NFL. Yet supposedly unfashionable hatchbacks like the Rabbit are interesting alternatives for those who recognize the inherent practicality of this design.

VW relaunched the Rabbit name midway through 2006 in an effort to make Americans remember a time when they didn't hate hatchbacks. Sold in the U.S. from 1975-'84, the original Rabbit was cute, nimble and practical, just like its quivering-nosed namesake -- well, except for the practical part, as you can't exactly fit a bicycle inside a small furry creature. This new-generation Rabbit isn't quite as cute or nimble, but as the largest Golf/Rabbit yet, it certainly has the practical bit down. Interior space is impressive for a compact car, with a large backseat and trunk.

For those looking for that certain je ne sais quoi that sets European cars apart from the pack in terms of driving feel and interior quality, the Rabbit has it in spades. A stiff body structure and multilink rear suspension combine to help deliver a commendably compliant ride. Solid handling is also part of the package-- on a twisty road, the Rabbit is quite happy to scamper. With 170 horsepower, this VW is one of the most powerful cars in the class, and feels like it. The cabin is also top-notch, as it offers loads of features and build quality that would put more than a few pricier vehicles to shame.

Of course, the 2009 VW Rabbit isn't alone in the compact hatchback game. Perhaps the vehicle closest in nature is the Saturn Astra, which was designed and built in Europe, although the VW does have a significant power advantage. Another car worthy of consideration is the Mazda 3, which boasts good looks, even better feature content and a decidedly European fun-to-drive character. A slew of traditional compact sedans like the Honda Civic could be considered (especially given their better fuel economy and potentially lower price). But like soccer, the enjoyable little VW Rabbit is definitely worth checking out -- perhaps you'll find something good in what you've been missing.

Volkswagen Rabbit models

The 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit is a compact hatchback available with two or four doors, each with a single trim level (known as S). The two-door Rabbit S comes standard with 15-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning, full power accessories, cruise control, cloth upholstery, a six-way manually adjustable driver seat, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, a tilt/telescoping steering wheel and a 10-speaker stereo with CD player and auxiliary audio jack. The four-door Rabbit S adds upgraded exterior trim, heated windshield washer nozzles, front and rear center armrests, velour upholstery, an eight-way manually adjustable driver seat with power recline and adjustable lumbar, heated front seats, rear air vents and an upgraded sound system with in-dash six-CD changer and satellite radio.

The heated seats and windshield washer nozzles are optional on the two-door. All Rabbits can be optioned with 16-inch alloy wheels, a sunroof and an iPod adapter.

2009 Highlights

For 2009, the four-door Volkswagen Rabbit comes standard with a six-speed automatic transmission, and all Rabbits get standard stability control.

Performance & mpg

The 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit is powered by a 2.5-liter five-cylinder that produces a healthy 170 hp and 177 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual is standard on the Rabbit two-door, with a six-speed automatic optional -- the Rabbit four-door comes only with the auto. Although the engine's ample power is unusual for a compact car, it does have an effect on fuel economy. EPA estimates for an automatic-equipped Rabbit are 21 mpg city/29 mpg highway and 24 mpg combined, which is near the bottom among economy cars. Rabbits bred for California-emissions states are classified as partial-zero-emission vehicles (PZEV).


Both 2009 VW Rabbit body styles come standard with antilock disc brakes, stability control, front-seat side airbags and full-length head curtain airbags. Rear-seat side airbags are optional on the four-door. In government crash tests, the four-door received four out of five stars for frontal crash occupant protection, while it received five stars for front and rear side protection. In Insurance Institute for Highway Safety crash tests, the Rabbit received the best possible rating of "Good" in the frontal-offset and side crash tests.


The 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit is one of the most entertaining entries in the economy-car market. It provides a satisfying balance between a comfortable ride and capable handling, which is really no surprise given that the Rabbit serves as the foundation for VW's GTI "hot hatch." The Rabbit is tuned more for comfort, though, so don't expect it to be simply a less powerful GTI. On the highway, the Rabbit offers rock-solid stability and a surprisingly noise-free ride. The steering doesn't offer as much feedback as we'd like, but it's direct and nicely weighted. All in all, the Rabbit's taut construction and driving dynamics are worthy of its European heritage.


The Rabbit's cabin is a strong selling point, with high-grade soft-touch materials and metallic trim. We're fans of the cool blue lights used for the instruments and radio display, while stereo and climate controls are straightforward and easy to use. The three-spoke steering wheel is perfectly shaped, and multiple adjustments for the front seats plus a tilting and telescoping steering column assure a proper driving position for drivers of different sizes and shapes. Two-door Rabbits have front seats that slide forward for easy rear-seat access, though the four-door is the obvious choice if you plan on regularly carrying more than a couple adults or children. Nevertheless, since both two- and four-door Rabbits have the same wheelbase, interior volume is virtually identical. Cargo volume with the 60/40-split-folding rear seats up is a useful 15 cubic feet and expands to 46 with the seats down.


Overallundefined / 5

Consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit.

Average user rating: 4.6 stars
39 total reviews
5 star reviews: 77%
4 star reviews: 15%
3 star reviews: 3%
2 star reviews: 5%
1 star reviews: 0%

Trending topics in reviews

  • driving experience
  • handling & steering
  • interior
  • engine
  • spaciousness
  • transmission
  • reliability & manufacturing quality
  • sound system
  • comfort
  • road noise
  • appearance
  • acceleration
  • safety
  • dashboard
  • ride quality
  • value
  • climate control
  • towing
  • lights
  • oil
  • brakes
  • steering wheel
  • off-roading
  • fuel efficiency
  • maintenance & parts
  • seats
  • doors
  • warranty
  • infotainment system
  • visibility

Most helpful consumer reviews

3.75/5 stars, Thousands spent for New transmission @ 79K
S 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M)
The fuel economy and quality of the drive train are the biggest downer for me. It has good pep to its step and handles incredibly well. Although with my Transmission failing so early I worry about the power train quality. It looks pretty inside and out, handles very well but doesn't appear to have the longevity dynamic.
5/5 stars, Rabbit on Rabbit - Pure Adrenaline
Watson Martin,
S PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M)
Go Rabbit go has been going for now decades. With its generational shift to mature adults who once X owned 80s Rabbits. Unfortunately, the unibody pick was not crossed over. More about that later. I live in Roanoke VA driving mostly along interstates or the valleys jurisdictional byways with plenty of ups downs and curves of all sorts. Car handles like a charm even more so on passes crossing dozens of ridge lines located along the Blue Ridge Mountains to the east and the Appalachia Mountains to the west. It's tight and krpt me out of the ditch approaching a downhill car - both balls to the wall - with dry leaves in tow. Fortunately I road the rail on the right edge of a steep unguarded cliff. Adrenalin should be this cars middle name. Love it but got to sale it cuz of growing family and desire for tech audio smart upgrades. Dodge Durango SX. Go figure. Taurague is not my deal as it's much smaller for much more. American German dodge. Go figure.
4.5/5 stars, Fun to Drive, not your Grandma's Corolla
S 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A)
I wanted a small sedan. One test drive of Civic and Corolla and they were out. Those sheep need to look around a little. Mazda3 is a good car and better value, but this one just "felt" like it was built better. I picked the Rabbit over the Jetta because of the chrome on the front and the fake leather seats, I just couldn't do it. The real stuff is better, why bother? Also Rabbits are unusual around here. I've enjoyed the car so far. It really IS fun to drive. Plenty of power. NO exterior "loud & obnoxious" things about it. A real knock out in red. I can't believe this car is not more popular.
4.375/5 stars, Knock Sensor issue
S 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M)
I just got my 2009 Rabbit 3 weeks ago and I mostly love it. It has a cozy feel, the dash is easy to use, the lights are distinct and easy to read, and it handles nicely, even in snow (which we've had about every day since I got it). It has a jaunty overall feel and I am quite pleased overall. The sales staff was also really informed and helpful.

Features & Specs

MPG & Fuel
21 City / 30 Hwy / 24 Combined
Fuel Tank Capacity: 14.5 gal. capacity
5 seats
Type: front wheel drive
Transmission: 5-speed manual
Inline 5 cylinder
Horsepower: 170 hp @ 5700 rpm
Torque: 177 lb-ft @ 4250 rpm
Basic Warranty
3 yr./ 36000 mi.
Length: 165.8 in. / Height: 58.2 in. / Width: 69.3 in.
Curb Weight: 2975 lbs.
Cargo Capacity, All Seats In Place: 15.0 cu.ft.


IIHS Rating

The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.

Side Impact Test
Roof Strength TestNot Tested
Rear Crash Protection / Head RestraintNot Tested
IIHS Small Overlap Front TestNot Tested
Moderate Overlap Front Test


Is the Volkswagen Rabbit a good car?

The Edmunds experts tested the 2009 Rabbit both on the road and at the track. You probably care about Volkswagen Rabbit fuel economy, so it's important to know that the Rabbit gets an EPA-estimated 24 mpg. What about cargo capacity? When you're thinking about carrying stuff in your new car, keep in mind that the Rabbit has 15.0 cubic feet of trunk space. And then there's safety and reliability. Edmunds has all the latest NHTSA and IIHS crash-test scores, plus industry-leading expert and consumer reviews to help you understand what it's like to own and maintain a Volkswagen Rabbit. Learn more

Is the Volkswagen Rabbit reliable?

To determine whether the Volkswagen Rabbit is reliable, read Edmunds' authentic consumer reviews, which come from real owners and reveal what it's like to live with the Rabbit. Look for specific complaints that keep popping up in the reviews, and be sure to compare the Rabbit's average consumer rating to that of competing vehicles. Learn more

Is the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit a good car?

There's a lot to consider if you're wondering whether the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit is a good car. Safety scores, fuel economy, cargo capacity and feature availability should all be factors in determining whether the 2009 Rabbit is a good car for you. Check back soon for the official Edmunds Rating from our expert testing team Learn more

How much should I pay for a 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit?

The least-expensive 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit is the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit S 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M). Including destination charge, it arrives with a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of about $16,300.

Other versions include:

  • S 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M) which starts at $16,300
  • S 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A) which starts at $17,400
  • S 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A) which starts at $19,340
  • S PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A) which starts at $17,400
  • S PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M) which starts at $16,300
  • S PZEV 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A) which starts at $19,340
Learn more

What are the different models of Volkswagen Rabbit?

If you're interested in the Volkswagen Rabbit, the next question is, which Rabbit model is right for you? Rabbit variants include S 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M), S 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A), S 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A), and S PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A). For a full list of Rabbit models, check out Edmunds’ Features & Specs page. Learn more

More about the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit

Used 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit Overview

The Used 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit is offered in the following submodels: Rabbit Hatchback. Available styles include S 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M), S 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A), S 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A), S PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A), S PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M), and S PZEV 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A).

What do people think of the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit?

Consumer ratings and reviews are also available for the Used 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit and all its trim types. Overall, Edmunds users rate the Used 2009 Rabbit 4.6 on a scale of 1 to 5 stars. Edmunds consumer reviews allow users to sift through aggregated consumer reviews to understand what other drivers are saying about any vehicle in our database. Detailed rating breakdowns (including performance, comfort, value, interior, exterior design, build quality, and reliability) are available as well to provide shoppers with a comprehensive understanding of why customers like the Used 2009 Rabbit.

Edmunds Expert Reviews

Edmunds experts have compiled a robust series of ratings and reviews for the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit and all model years in our database. Our rich content includes expert reviews and recommendations for the 2009 Rabbit featuring deep dives into trim levels and features, performance, mpg, safety, interior, and driving. Edmunds also offers expert ratings, road test and performance data, long-term road tests, first-drive reviews, video reviews and more.

Our Review Process

This review was written by a member of Edmunds' editorial team of expert car reviewers. Our team drives every car you can buy. We put the vehicles through rigorous testing, evaluating how they drive and comparing them in detail to their competitors.

We're also regular people like you, so we pay attention to all the different ways people use their cars every day. We want to know if there's enough room for our families and our weekend gear and whether or not our favorite drink fits in the cupholder. Our editors want to help you make the best decision on a car that fits your life.

What's a good price for a New Used 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit?

Used 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit S 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M)

The Used 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit S 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $17,000. The average price paid for a new Used 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit S 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M) is trending $15,064 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $15,064 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $1,936.

The average savings for the Used 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit S 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M) is 88.6% below the MSRP.

Used 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit S PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A)

The Used 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit S PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A) can be purchased for less than the Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (aka MSRP) of $18,100. The average price paid for a new Used 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit S PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A) is trending $14,628 below the manufacturer’s MSRP.

Edmunds members save an average of $14,628 by getting upfront special offers. The estimated special offer price in your area is $3,472.

The average savings for the Used 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit S PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A) is 80.8% below the MSRP.

Which used 2009 Volkswagen Rabbits are available in my area?

Shop Edmunds' car, SUV, and truck listings of over 6 million vehicles to find a cheap new, used, or certified pre-owned (CPO) 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit for sale near. There are currently 1 used and CPO 2009 Rabbits listed for sale in your area, with list prices as low as $5,000 and mileage as low as 142946 miles. Simply research the type of car you're interested in and then select a used car from our massive database to find cheap prew-owned vehicles for sale near you. Once you have identified a used vehicle you're interested in, check the AutoCheck vehicle history reports, read dealer reviews, and find out what other owners paid for the Used 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit.

Can't find a new 2009 Volkswagen Rabbits you want in your area? Consider a broader search.

Find a new Volkswagen for sale - 5 great deals out of 23 listings starting at $8,920.

Why trust Edmunds?

Edmunds has deep data on over 6 million new, used, and certified pre-owned vehicles, including rich, trim-level features and specs information like: MSRP, average price paid, warranty information (basic, drivetrain, and maintenance), features (upholstery, bluetooth, navigation, heated seating, cooled seating, cruise control, parking assistance, keyless ignition, satellite radio, folding rears seats ,run flat tires, wheel type, tire size, wheel tire, sunroof, etc.), vehicle specifications (engine cylinder count, drivetrain, engine power, engine torque, engine displacement, transmission), fuel economy (city, highway, combined, fuel capacity, range), vehicle dimensions (length, width, seating capacity, cargo space), car safety, true cost to own. Edmunds also provides tools to allow shopper to compare vehicles to similar models of their choosing by warranty, interior features, exterior features, specifications, fuel economy, vehicle dimensions, consumer rating, edmunds rating, and color.

Should I lease or buy a 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit?

Is it better to lease or buy a car? Ask most people and they'll probably tell you that car buying is the way to go. And from a financial perspective, it's true, provided you're willing to make higher monthly payments, pay off the loan in full and keep the car for a few years. Leasing, on the other hand, can be a less expensive option on a month-to-month basis. It's also good if you're someone who likes to drive a new car every three years or so.

Check out Volkswagen lease specials
Check out Volkswagen Rabbit lease specials