Used 2006 Volkswagen Rabbit

2006 Volkswagen Rabbit
List price range

Pros

  • Comfortable ride, rich interior materials, many safety features, roomy interior, solid build quality.

Cons

  • Can get pricey with options, handling and styling might not be sporty enough for younger buyers.

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Edmunds' Expert Review

Much like its Jetta sibling, the 2006 Volkswagen Rabbit offers an extensive features list, respectable performance and a ride and handling balance that will appeal to most folks.

vehicle overview

Volkswagen's calling card has traditionally been offering an upscale, European feel in its small cars without the normally associated high window sticker number. This philosophy continues with the all-new 2006 Volkswagen Rabbit. This isn't an all-new model for Volkswagen; rather, it's the next generation of the Golf hatchback. In a throwback to 1975 when the European-market VW Golf debuted in the U.S. as the Rabbit (a name it kept until 1985), the company has decided that the newest Golf will once again be named Rabbit in the North American market.

The 2006 VW Rabbit is based on the same platform as the current-generation Jetta; the main difference is that the Rabbit is a two- or four-door hatchback, while the Jetta is a sedan (and soon, a wagon). Compared to the 2006 Golf, the Rabbit is a bit larger and heavier. The larger size is beneficial in terms of interior room, as the car provides a few more inches of headroom (front and rear) along with nearly 2 more inches of rear-seat legroom.

Under the hood is a 150-horsepower inline five (instead of the lackluster 115-hp four used previously). The car's body structure is stiffer than before, and a new multilink rear suspension has been used to improve the car's ride quality on bumpy pavement. Most consumers will be satisfied with the Rabbit's soft ride, though driving enthusiasts will likely be disappointed by the loss of that taut, European character of previous generations. Additionally, a switch to electric assist for the power steering has taken away some of the car's traditionally communicative steering feel.

In its favor, the Volkswagen Rabbit offers decent performance, plenty of standard features, a premium interior feel and plenty of cargo space, thanks to its hatchback body style. Beyond that, however, there's little that makes this newcomer stand out from the pack of competent cars in this class, such as the more fuel-efficient Honda Civic or the decidedly sportier Mazda 3.

trim levels & features

The 2006 Volkswagen Rabbit comes as a two- or four-door hatchback in a single trim level. Apart from the number of doors, the cars are identical, as they share the same wheelbase and overall length. Air-conditioning, power windows and mirrors, keyless entry and a 60/40 split-folding rear seat are common standard features. The four-door gets a few upgrades, such as a premium audio system with a six-disc CD changer (versus a single CD player), eight-way manual adjustable front seats (versus six-way), heated front seats, rear center armrest, upgraded cloth upholstery and body-color bumper strips/side moldings. Options are limited to 16-inch alloy wheels and, for the four-door hatch only, a sunroof and satellite radio.

performance & mpg

All Rabbits come with a 2.5-liter, five-cylinder engine that produces 150 hp and 170 pound-feet of torque. A five-speed manual transmission is standard, while a six-speed automatic (which allows manual-style shifting if desired) is optional. Acceleration is satisfactory, if not particularly energetic, and the six-speed automatic does a fine job of making the most of the engine's power band. The EPA rates the Rabbit's fuel economy at 22 mpg city/30 mpg highway.

safety

Four-wheel antilock disc brakes, seat-mounted side airbags for front occupants and full-length head curtain airbags are standard on all Rabbits. Stability control is an option and four-door models can be equipped with rear seat-mounted side airbags. In NHTSA crash testing, the Volkswagen Rabbit scored four stars (out of five) in frontal tests and five stars in side-impact tests.

driving

The 2006 Volkswagen Rabbit manages to provide both comfortable ride quality and competent handling. Although not as sporty as the older Golfs (and Rabbits) when tackling a set of curves on one's favorite road, the current model is more refined, with a reassuring, rock-solid feel and a surprisingly quiet ride. The steering is nicely weighted but doesn't offer as much feedback as we'd like.

interior

The Rabbit's cabin is a high point, and the level of quality in the materials says "German engineering" loud and clear. At night, the gauges light up in VW blue with red needles, and all the knobs, buttons and switches work as if they were lifted from an Audi. The three-spoke steering wheel is as perfectly shaped for driving as anything from Momo. Multiple adjustments for the front seats, along with a tilt- and telescoping steering wheel assure a proper driving position for drivers of all sizes and shapes. The cargo area measures 15 cubic feet behind the rear seats, and considerably more space is available with the seats folded.

Top consumer reviews

Read what other owners think about the 2006 Volkswagen Rabbit.

Fun to Drive!
Igloo, 8/1/2006
I shopped around and drove everything. I compared the Mazda3, Chevy Cobalt SS, Honda Civic, Chrysler 300, Ford Fusion, Subaru Legacy...you name it. Finally, I tried the Rabbit. It's such a fun car to drive! The stereo is excellent. The handling is incredibly precise (you feel like you could drive around cones all day!), they offer you tons of features. It even has heated cloth seats and heated side mirrors! Plus it has A/C vents for the rear seats (very cool) and traction control! I am shocked that our new Rabbit (150hp) is even faster than out V6 Ford Escape (220hp V6). This is a huge improvement over the Golf. If you're considering a Mazda3 or a Civic, give this a try, you won't regret it!
Very Disappointed!
Paige, 7/28/2010
First 3 years, I loved the car! It has 127K miles on it now & I have to have the transmission rebuilt. I am very disappointed in VW. I would have continued to purchase VW and drive them for the rest of my lift until now. There is absolutely no reason I should have to have the transmission rebuilt yet. It should last me to 250K or more with the proper service and believe me I have had it all done. I loved everything about the car but this has totally changed my mind on VW and Audi for that matter or probably anything foreign except Honda & Subaru. Such a huge disappointment. And on top of it all VW wanted to rebuild it for $5150.00. Didn't go that route, no way!
Gotta love that 5 Cylinder!
tay272, 10/9/2010
I bought this car alittle over a year ago and still havent had any mechanical problems with it and I don't see anything going wrong for a long time. Reliabilty issues aren't too much of a concern with newer Vws like this one. This engine is bulletproof and will deffinately last a long time. The car is a blast to drive and with a few mods, becomes much more fun. I just wanna step on it whenever I'm in the car just to hear that 5 cylinder engine opening up. No complaints with this car yet!
Silver Rabbit
Rabbit Fan, 7/5/2006
Have 500 miles on my Rabbit. Have owned it for two week and like it more and more. My last car was an '02 Passat, but I feel the Rabbit has more pep and is more fun to drive. I decided on the Rabbit after test driving the Honda Civic, Dodge Caliber, Chevrolet HHR, Mazda3, and Toyota Matrix...and picked it because it was quicker, had confortable seats, had a quiet interior, safety features, build quality and better visibility and I liked its good looks. I did not give the Rabbit total 10 because the gas milage is rated lower, but did get 28.36 on my first tank of mixed driving and it will improve after first 3,000 miles.
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Features & Specs

MPG
19 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
150 hp @ 5000 rpm
MPG
19 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
5-speed manual
Gas
150 hp @ 5000 rpm
MPG
19 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
150 hp @ 5000 rpm
MPG
19 city / 28 hwy
Seats 5
6-speed shiftable automatic
Gas
150 hp @ 5000 rpm
See all Used 2006 Volkswagen Rabbit features & specs

Safety

IIHS Rating
The Insurance Institute of Highway Safety uses extensive crash tests to determine car safety.
  • Side Impact Test
    Good
  • Roof Strength Test
    Not Tested
  • Rear Crash Protection / Head Restraint
    Acceptable
  • IIHS Small Overlap Front Test
    Not Tested
  • Moderate Overlap Front Test
    Good

More about the 2006 Volkswagen Rabbit
Used 2006 Volkswagen Rabbit Overview

The Used 2006 Volkswagen Rabbit is offered in the following submodels: . Available styles include 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M), 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M), 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A), 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A), PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A), PZEV 2dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M), PZEV 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 5M), and PZEV 4dr Hatchback (2.5L 5cyl 6A).

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