Great car, easy to handle, good in snow with Nokian snow tires on it, very good on gas. Bought it with 60 k miles. Now at 122 k with no repairs. Tires, oil, filters i.e. maintenance only. A couple of bulbs changed. That's all.
Used to drive VW Passats, earlier with no major problems.
The single issue is Check engine light which is turning on and off by itself.
If you want a good VW buy one built in Germany.
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.
Well, I haven't owned it for too long, but I sure bought it for a reason. I wanted a car that was a good combination of looks, quality, performance, practicality, and comfort. This car executes all of these criterion very well. I was concerned with its fuel economy but I read on ways to increase my fuel economy (cruising in the highest gear possible, and being light on the gas, with the exception of my starts, driving 60 on the highway with cruise control enabled), I have been getting 28-30 in the city and about 35 on the highway at 60 mph. I've been getting a combined 32 mpg... good for 464 miles on a tank. It can get good economy if you want it too.
The Rabbit is fun to drive and inexpensive to purchase. Handling is very good. Acceleration from the 170 horse 5 cylinder is vastly better than the approx 120 horsepower and 4 cylinders of most cars at this price point. Interior space is good compared to the small exterior. From its price and size you might think it is an economy car but it is not. Gas mileage is poor (pathetic 22 MPH after 4 tanks). Dependability ratings are not nearly as good as an Asian car either. If you think of it as an inexpensive sports car you will be happy, if you think of it as something in the class of a bullet proof Honda or Toyota you may be disappointed. Overall I am neither very happy or unhappy with it.