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Volkswagen Rabbit Test Drive Reports

SylviaSylvia Posts: 1,636
edited May 10 in Volkswagen
Did you test drive the Rabbit? What did you think?
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Comments

  • hollyatvwhollyatvw Posts: 2
    I work for vw and have recently driven the rabbit... I LOVE IT! It is larger than the 4th gen golf (which I have now!) The new 2.5 engine in that car is amazing. More than enough power. Handles like a dream. Another thing I like about the rabbit is it comes with cloth interior with the added feature of heated seats! If you have stepped onto the showroom floor of a vw dealer, you will find that vw does not make a cloth interior car anymore! even the mk 5 GTI doesn't have heated seats unless you upgrade to leather! What's up with that? My last certified class I had, they were going to release it in june! will notify as soon as one arrives! Also watch this sept. for EOS! :)
  • gogirlgogogirlgo Posts: 47
    Wow. I am waiting to drive a rabbit. Heated seats, this must be an option. I have heard that the first rabbits released will be as 2006's with the 07 later in the year. Yes, please post when they arrive at your dealership. Are you a salesperson?
  • blackdotsblackdots Posts: 1
    ...and it was awesome. Solid handling, great braking, plenty of room front and back (I'm 6'3"), a plethora of airbags, and more than enough power. My wife and I were able to run on the autobahns without any problem. The only thing that kept us from getting over 100 mph was the governor on our rental. Acceleration was quick and it handled like a champ at 90+. It was a manual, which I'm not used to, but the clutch was so smooth and well-balanced that it definitely added to the fun of the experience. I'm in the market for a new car and this might fit the bill. I might even get the manual and spend the extra money on a moonroof :)

    I hope the dual climate controls come standard or are at least an option, that's a great feature. My wife will be happy about the heated seats. She gets cold standing in the desert in August.
  • vwmanjimbvwmanjimb Posts: 28
    I just got one from VW Corporate today for an event that we are having next week. I decided to drive it home for the night to see what I think. I own a 2006 2.5L Jetta. It is very comparable in interior room. There will be enough room for a car seat unlike the previous Golf. With the 2.5L, it has more than enough power to get you down the road. I am impressed. The Rabbit is back and will blow away the new Honda Fit. There are a lot more standard options on the Rabbit that the Fit doesn't have. The basics like A/C. The dealer has to install it at the Honda Dealership. The Rabbit will be the new entry level car for VW and will be very successful. See your local showroom in a couple of weeks as the cars are being released from the ports on June 5.
  • hollyatvwhollyatvw Posts: 2
    yes I am a saleslady! technically the release date is june 15th however they will be sneaking onto our lot i'm thinking next week! they are going to be 2007's.
  • gogirlgogogirlgo Posts: 47
    Hi again hollyatvw,
    My 02 Passat lease ends on July 7th so I am hoping , I will like the Rabbit enough to buy one.

    I am wondering if the 4 door will in the first shipments. There is so much speculation on the web that the first rabbits will be 2 door and only in black or silver and that the 4 door will be in the the light interior. When yours come in would really appreciate an update.
    Thanks......
  • vwmanjimbvwmanjimb Posts: 28
    There is a combination of the cars coming in. For example, I have one 2 door and four 4 doors. Every dealer should have adequate inventory later this month. The cars are being released from the ports on June 5 so it may be possible that the car will be there by the middle of the week depending on where you are.
  • gogirlgogogirlgo Posts: 47
    Do you have any info on colors you will be getting? I read on one site that the first 4 doors will arrive in the light color Tan interior only and the two door only in silver or black exterior with black interior.
    I am in San Francisco for two weeks and then back to Portland in time to turn my Passat back and hopefully get a Rabbit.

    Good to see dealers on internet sites as no one else seems to know anything or are keeping it to themselves... ;)
  • vwmanjimbvwmanjimb Posts: 28
    I have silver and white coming. I think that all of the "launch" cars are those two colors. I may be wrong. Check with your local dealer. We are in NE Indiana. Hope you enjoy it when you get in one. I'm sure you will. The Rabbit is back!!
  • parkerjonparkerjon Posts: 14
    I certainly hope that the sage green 4 door we'll be getting next week will have the black anthracite cloth interior. I'll never have a beige cloth interior again. My wife and I were one of the first to get a beetle in Canada: but some morose Berliner decided to put beige cloth in our black beetle (contrary to what the computer said).

    We also turned my V6 Passat GLX wagon in mid-may (and have been borrowing a friend's Lincoln LS - yuck): am hoping the Rabbit will sip gas a little more frugally. It won't be as good as our 2.0T Jetta: though the fact that non-premium fuel is required should balance the operational cost.

    Jonathan
  • gogirlgogogirlgo Posts: 47
    Hi Jonathan,
    Have seen pics of the sage green and thinking that is the color in a 4 door I want. I will be interested in hearing what color the interior is when it comes as I do not want that beige cloth with grandkids. :)
  • steveo2steveo2 Posts: 11
    "There are a lot more standard options on the Rabbit that the Fit doesn't have. The basics like A/C. The dealer has to install it at the Honda Dealership."

    All FITs in the US come standard with A/C.
  • steveo2steveo2 Posts: 11
    I saw the Golf/Rabbit at a car show and in my eyes it has an upscale look and feel to it. I know some people will cross shop a Honda FIT and the Rabbit, but when optioned out with 4 drs, AT, side bags and alloys it is about $3000 more than a FIT Sport AT. Plus the FIT appears to deliver MPG in the 31-38 range, which is much higher than the VW's rating. I wish VW would bring the Rabbit here with the TDI Diesel.
  • fob666fob666 Posts: 2
    Ok well elaborate yes the car has A/C Crusise you can get alloys but i have a base so i can put other rims on! I have seen two blacks one my one and one sage green and yes unfortunately it does have a beige interior the car runs on the inline 5 same as the jetta which it also shares almost the exact interior of! You can even get the sunroof and heated seats. Even my base model has heated side mirrors and side mirror turn signal indicators. If you have any more questions just ask! ;)
  • jpmccormacjpmccormac Posts: 98
    Re: "If you have any more questions just ask! ;)"

    Keep us apprised of any initial problems. I just read today that VW - again - ranks near the bottom in the JD Powers initial quality survey for 2006 models. I was hoping VW would have gotten its act together by now. I'm still optomistic for the Rabbit, but will keep my 96 Golf till the dust settles.
  • gogirlgogogirlgo Posts: 47
    Hi Jonathan,
    Waiting to hear about your sage green vw and if it came with the black anthracite cloth rather than the beige cloth.

    I am thinking that I might have to order one to get the black. Am curious how long you had to wait when ordering. Hope you get it soon!

    I have to turn in my Passat on july 7th so will have to borrow a friend's car also if i can't find one at a dealer.
  • cmkcmk Posts: 59
    Keep us apprised of any initial problems. I just read today that VW - again - ranks near the bottom in the JD Powers initial quality survey for 2006 models. I was hoping VW would have gotten its act together by now. I'm still optomistic for the Rabbit, but will keep my 96 Golf till the dust settles.

    Maybe he new MK5 Golf and GTI aren't a part of this survey.

    The MK5 Golf has been out for a while in Europe, right? Seems like we should be able to find some reliability statistics from there.
  • jpmccormacjpmccormac Posts: 98
    Re: "Maybe he new MK5 Golf and GTI aren't a part of this survey."

    Perhaps not, but the Rabbit is built on the same platform with essentially the same components and drivetrains as the GTI and Jetta V. Not a good sign.

    Re: "The MK5 Golf has been out for a while in Europe, right? Seems like we should be able to find some reliability statistics from there."

    Yes, but in Europe the dealer/repair network is vastly different and arguably better than in the US.
  • nippononlynippononly SF Bay AreaPosts: 12,693
    Today I drove a sage green (a color I really like) four-door stick. The sticker was $18,8 and included three options that were about $400 each: ESP, alloys, and rear side airbags. Me, if I were to buy one, would skip ESP and rear side bags, so my ideal car would sticker at $18K even.

    The engine is VERY strong as soon as you get it up to 2500 rpms. If you have driven the new 2.0T, this engine has that similar feel of pushing you back in your seat when you hit the gas. The difference is that in the 2.0T, that happens at all engine revs, whereas in the Rabbit you have to havr the engine up to 2500 or 3000 rpm first. However, it is pretty torquey even down at 1500 rpm, and very smooth at all times.

    Dominant noise at highway speeds is from the road. You never hear the engine at any time - it is well insulated - and even road noise is low. The stick is a joy - not notchy, short throws with well-defined gates. The clutch, however, is a deep one, causing me to have the driver's seat a little closer to the dash than I otherwise would have liked. At least the steering wheel telescopes.

    Handling and braking are good. It feels very stable at all speeds. The stereo is very nice, with speakers all over the place (and that is the standard stereo! Isn't there an optional upgrade?). You open the rear hatch by flipping the VW emblem in the back door - very cute! :-)

    I like the full-size spare. There is a bit of underfloor storage by the tire too. The cupholders don't pop out of anywhere, they are the right kind, sitting by the parking brake. Apart from that, interior ergonomics and materials are very typical VW Golf, I think, not much changed from the '05 Golf I drove last week. I did check out the new thing where you merely have to flick the turn signal stalk and it will give you three flashes (without you holding it) for lane changes. Kind of cool, but not something worth paying extra for! :-P

    As for me, I think I would prefer a 2-door, and I am hoping the standard equipment and options are the same, as I would love to pick up a 2-door with optional alloys for $16K. Unfortunately, there is STILL no info in the Rabbit at VW.com, despite dealers already having cars, and the dealer I went to today didn't even have brochures. I normally "shop" with my fingers, going on-line to check out dealer inventories to find the car I want, and the dealers around here don't even have the option of choosing "Rabbit" when it comes to searching their inventory by model. :-(

    So, I can see I will have to wait a while before I go ahead, which is fine anyway, as I still hope to compare it back to back against a Fit Sport MT, another car that is impossible to find and test drive.

    2013 Civic SI, 2009 Outback Sport 5-spd (stick)

  • kpeltonkpelton Posts: 2
    I had a chance to test drive both manual and automatic versions of the 4-door Rabbit today. we've been in the market for a "smaller" car for about 6 months now and have driven many others along the way. These have included the Toyota Yaris, Corolla, Honda Fit, Civic, Ford Focus (ugh...). Many of these have received much press lately, but to cut to the chase, the Rabbit is in a class much above all of these. Yes, I know that it is several thousand dollars more expensive, but the additional features (both safety oriented and convenience) are well, well worth the premium.

    I found the Rabbit to be very roomy with excellent storage and plenty of room in the hatch for carting the typical work/family "stuff". Headroom is beautiful (I'm 6'2" mostly from the waist up) and the height of the center console armrest (adjustable) and the armrest on the door are positioned well for forearm support. Seats are very supportive with good lumbar support and driver's seat cam be positioned up to 8 ways. As a chiropractic physician, these things are important to me...

    Driving the manual was very fun and quite responsive. The engine was not "buzzy" at all even through the higher RPM's. Torque was very strong and noticeable especially through 15-50 mph.. Turning radius was very tight. The car is very quiet even over less than perfect road surfaces. Steering was very responsive but never felt too light or heavy.

    The Automatic was very similar but less compelling as automatics usually are. Still ,acceleration was very good and shifts were smooth. I did not have a chance to try out the Tiptronic due to a very engaging saleswoman who felt that she needed to explain alot of details while we were driving.

    Overall, the Rabbit is so much more of a spirited ride than any of the other cars that we've driven lately. It is our first choice by FAR. Given the five-door capabilities and the typical VW intelligent design, the Rabbit is a HUGE amount of car for under 19-20K... :)
  • jpmccormacjpmccormac Posts: 98
    Thanks for the report. It's too bad that VW can't come up with a more economical engine for the Rabbit (no TDI til 2008). The 2.5L is just too thirsty (22/30 MPG) compared to the competition; I'm having a hard time coming to terms with the car with a high sticker price and low mileage.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Posts: 3,855
    The 2.5L is just too thirsty (22/30 MPG) compared to the competition

    Real world mileage for Jetta (which is essentially the same car), as measured by CR, is pretty comparable to other cars of similar weight...which is all you can reasonably expect, imo.

    It is a heavy car for its size. You can come to your own conclusion as to whether that is a positive or negative.
  • dc_driverdc_driver Posts: 712
    I drove a Rabbit last week and was impressed with the car overall. It was a four door model with an automatic transmission, sunroof, and 16" alloy rims.

    Interior - I liked the interior of this vehicle. As usual, VW uses good materials, the dash is laid out nicely. Overall, the interior is better than most in this class. Front legroom is a little tighter than the Honda Civic or Mazda 3, but should offer plenty of room for most drivers. The seats were firm and comfortable, and living in, what can be, a cold weather climate I liked the heated seats. I was a little disapointed that the Rabbit did not offer audio steering wheel controls. Both the Civic (EX) and Mazda3 offer this feature.

    Exterior - I liked the exterior styling of the Rabbit, but I did not love it. Definitely prefer it to the previous generation Golf. Not much else to say here. Styling is conservative. I would recommend getting the 16" or 17" alloy rim upgrade. The 15" rims with wheel covers looked cheap.

    Performance/handling. On paper the VW's 5 cylinder 150hp engine which outputs 170lbs ft of torque sounds powerful for a compact car. But, the reality is that this vehicle is heavy and while it has decent takeoff, I felt that the engine struggled a little over 4000rpm. It did not feel as quick as the 06 Civic EX or the 06 Mazda3 to me. Edmunds estimates 0-60 times around 9.4 seconds (auto). The 3 clocks in about 1 second faster with the automatic. No doubt this is due to the weight. Overall, the Rabbit is more than adequate for most driving.

    Handling with the Rabbit was my biggest issue. VW utilized electronic assisted power steering in the Rabbit, and I felt this feature distracted with the way the vehicle communicated with me on the road. In a nutshell, the Rabbit felt numb. The previous generation Golf did not have electronic assisted power steering and I felt that vehicle felt much more responsive.

    Aside from the handling and overall performance, the other negative with this vehicle is gas mileage. Considering I do mostly city driving the 22MPG estimated city EPA rating on this vehicle is disheartening considering this car is targeting the Corolla, Civic, and Mazda3. I wish that VW would trim a little weight off the Rabbit and offer other engine choices that offer closer to 30mpg city.

    I have to give major kudos to VW for both its standard safety features and additional safety options. Adding stability control as an option was a wonderful idea, and I hope that Honda, Toyota, and Mazda follow VW's lead. I felt very safe in this vehicle.

    Overall, I think anyone searching for a compact hatchback should absolutely drive the Rabbit. The only concerns that I have with the Rabbit is VW's reliability track record, less than stellar gas mileage, and the fact that the price can add up quickly when you add options. A similarly equipped 4-door Rabbit was almost 2K more than the Mazda3 I purchased.

    I think VW is on the right track with the new Rabbit. Once they prove they have fixed their reliability and customer service issues and offer a TDI engine, I would seriously consider buying a Rabbit..

    Hop, hop, hop....
  • parkerjonparkerjon Posts: 14
    I would have to disagree about leg space in the Civic: I sat in both the Civic and the Fit and both felt cramped compared to the Rabbit. I am 6'-1" and 220 pounds. A co-worker who is 6'-7" was also able to fit in the Rabbit.

    Someone who owns a previous generation civic thinks that they have actually decreased the driver leg space in the current Civic.

    Perhaps the thinking is that larger North Americans will mostly buy the Accord anyway.

    In regard to the Mazda 3 and 6: I always got the shakes when considering buying them as I wasn't sure how much Ford had oozed into the design/build.
  • mdaffronmdaffron Posts: 4,421
    In regard to the Mazda 3 and 6: I always got the shakes when considering buying them as I wasn't sure how much Ford had oozed into the design/build.

    None, at least as far as the 3 is concerned. The 3 is built in Japan by Mazda, using 98% Japanese components. The only thing Ford put into this car is some help with suspension design.
  • I test drove both an automatic and a 5 spd and just placed an order for a 2 door 5 spd.

    The interior is pretty nice and there's alot of stuff included that other manufacturers of vehicles in this class often only offer as options (cruise control, power windows, power mirrors, power door locks, remote entry, ABS, 4 wheel disks). While I thought the interior quality was pretty good, it wasn't quite as nice as I thought it would be (I had very high expectations after reading others' opinions). Specifically, I found the power mirror controls and A/C fan controls a little cheap feeling, though not really bad. And the A/C fan does not seem to blow very hard at the highest setting (4). On the other hand, the steering wheel is very nice and the guages I found to also be very nice, no-nonsense and traditional, unlike the weird digital guages in the new Civic and the stupid centre guages in the Toyota Yaris with that (really stupid IMO) digital fuel guage. Back to the Rabbit, the only other interior irritant for me is why they would pack all these features in but they can't include floor mats?? :mad:

    As far as the drive itself, it was quite impressive for a car in this class. The engine is extremely quiet most of the time, except when you really punch it. The car has a solid feel to it and I just had the feeling that rattles and other weird noises would not develop (knock on wood). Acceleration is decent and handling is good but this is where I have a bit of a complaint. This car is too heavy!! 3000 lbs for a car of these dimensions? Why do Germans make such heavy cars? As soon as I started driving it I could really feel this weight affect the handling (maybe nimble-ness is a better word) and acceleration. If this car were 300-400 lbs lighter and with the same power and torque, it would be a FANTASTIC car to drive. The way it is now, it is a PRETTY FUN and PRETTY GOOD driving car. Note that I've been driving a 2250 lb car so this is what I'm used to. I found that at 2250 lbs, my car was much nore nimble than the Rabbit.

    So did anyone else think that the A/C fan did not blow very hard even on the highest setting? I found this in both cars I tested. The one good thing I can say about American cars is that their A/C and heater fans really get the that air
    moving.

    I hope my comments didn't sound too harsh, I really did like the car in general. I must have since I just ordered one.
  • svestisvesti Posts: 1
    Kpelton,
    I'm also 6'2" and I found that lumbar support on my new rabbit is totally useless! It is too low and counterproductive!!! It hits my tailbone rather than the curve in my back. :sick:
  • poita33poita33 Posts: 11
    The engine is VERY strong as soon as you get it up to 2500 rpms. If you have driven the new 2.0T, this engine has that similar feel of pushing you back in your seat when you hit the gas. The difference is that in the 2.0T, that happens at all engine revs, whereas in the Rabbit you have to havr the engine up to 2500 or 3000 rpm first. However, it is pretty torquey even down at 1500 rpm, and very smooth at all times.

    Is it worth purchasing the GTI over the Rabbit? There are a lot of posts that talk about the good pick-up and handling of the Rabbit so I am wondering why would anyone pay extra to own the GTI. It sounds like the Rabbit has more power and handling then most will ever need.
    I haven't driven either car yet so that may just answer my question when I do.
  • grdrgrdr Posts: 3
    I would like to hear opinions regarding how much better folks think the GTI is as compared to the Rabbit.
  • I could afford either one - bought the 4 dr Rabbit. Didn't want the Turbo and the heat that goes with it. I liked the interior of the Rabbit better - very personal. I liked the ride of the Rabbit much better and felt the GTI was too stiff for the cracks and bumps in the roads where I live. Wanted 16 inch wheels for the ride comfort. I also like the front of the Rabbit better than the GTI. The 2.5 engine is fine for the around town driving that I am doing with the car - smooth and a fine match for the manual transmission for driving fun.
    YMMV.

    Jim
    2006 Rabbit
    2004 BMW 530I
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