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!
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!
It was love at first drive for the Rabbit and me. Love that it was one of the first ones off the boat. Love that it was made in Germany. Love the way it looks. I've been agonizing for months now at the prospect of selling it since we have a baby on the way. Test drove a lot of used cars that would have cheaper payments, and nothing even comes close. But we've decided to sell the wife's Versa instead. Woo-hoo! I'll drive this thing till I die or until I can trade it in for a diesel version.
This is the most fun I've had driving a car in years. Nothing else I took for a test drive came close. The price of the 2 door is really hard to believe considering everything that comes standard. The only problem I have seen is access to the back seat in the 2 door, I wouldn't recommend it, if you have to get kids in and out pay the extra and get the 4 door. Try it, you'll love it.
With ESP off and a 4,000-4,250-rpm launch, the Rabbit can generate a useful amount of wheelspin for a sporty getaway. The gearing is not optimized for a 0-60 run as 2nd gear tops out at only 54 mph. Also, most of the torque and horsepower are used up by 4,000 rpm so there's little point in running the tach to redline. There's a definite coarseness to this and every other five-cylinder engine that makes it sound reluctant to rev.
The brake feel is better than the stopping distances would indicate. There's quite a lot of suspension windup under full ABS that releases at a standstill when the pedal is released and the rear of the car drops about 6 inches.
With ESP off, the Rabbit feels heavy but well controlled on the skid pad. Unlike the previous Golf, the inside rear tire stays on the ground. Once I learned about the yaw delay in the slalom, I could really get the Rabbit to dance around the cones. While it may look unbalanced, ultimate control was always there and I could always reel the car in from pretty crazy roll/yaw rates.