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Volkswagen Rabbit MPG - real world numbers

SylviaSylvia Member Posts: 1,636
edited April 2014 in Volkswagen
Volkswagen Rabbit owners - what's your MPG?


  • parkerjonparkerjon Member Posts: 14
    Mixed spirited driving: peaks of 160 KM/h - median highway 120 KM/h

    Numbers: 9.6 L/100KM = 24.5 MPG

    Gasoline: Petrocan 89 Octane Regular Gas

    This equals a range of about 560 KM on a tank of gas.
    The max I ever got from our Jetta 2.0T was about 580 KM.

    Factoring in the fun factor: I am happy with the gas mileage. I was very unimpressed with the first tank: but I think it was Esso and a source involved in the oil/gas industry indicated to me that I should avoid Esso as it is an inferior product (the dealership filled the tank).
  • gogirlgogogirlgo Member Posts: 47
    Just reporting mileage on my first tank of gas on my 4 door. Got 28.36 MPG mixed driving city, freeway and country roads. I was not pushing the car. The salesman told me the mileage would improve after 2000 or so miles. I really like this car. It has lots of pep and is fun to drive, quiet inside, safety features, enough room for my stuff and comfortable seats. One of the things I really like is the good visibility which is lacking in some of the cars I test drove. ;) All of the above are more important to me than getting a few extra MPG.
  • jpmccormacjpmccormac Member Posts: 98
    Re: "Got 28.36 MPG mixed driving city, freeway and country roads."

    Thanks for posting those numbers. Very reasonable MPG - and I've heard the mileage improves after 3,000 miles or so.
  • parkerjonparkerjon Member Posts: 14
    It's a treat to drive at highway speeds.

    It is way more fun that the 2001 Passat Wagon (V6/Manual) it replaces - which I got about 22 MPG from premium grade fuel.

    I am getting used to revving it a little higher than our Jetta 2.0T - to get into the better torque range.

  • rgarnerrgarner Member Posts: 37
    Yes, the fuel efficiency (or lack thereof on the sticker) is a bit amazing to me. My first tank averaged 25 mpg. My 03 Civic averaged 34 (city/hwy combined). However, you have to realize that the new Rabbit is like a rabbit on steriods compared to the original.

    Fuel efficiency is important, granted. Especially given the current instability of oil and my feeling that we need to do more to conserve our resources. In my mind the Rabbit would be an instant KO if the fuel efficiency could match the Civic/Coralla/etc.

    I'm not rich (after all, I did buy the cheapo 2 door model :)), but I didn't buy the Rabbit based on the MPG. The MPG is not the end of the world. There are lots of questions about the Rabbit's reliability, how well it will sell, etc., but let me throw out a few positives from my new experience with VW and the Rabbit:

    1. I had no problem finding the cheapo 14,990 + destination model. Not only that, but the dealer was willing to search high and low to find the car I wanted. I've never had another dealership go out of its way to find me a car.
    2. The design/materials/usability/cool factor/ingenuity of the Rabbit is WORLDS better than my 03 Civic. No comparison. The Honda is a tin can compared to the Rabbit. The difference in the way the cars drive/feel/sound on the road, especially the interstate, is amazing. I feel like I'm driving a different class of car.
    3. It is an amazingly fun car for 17k (once I added the VW Vision wheels)
    4. I had a Civic LX, so the extra HP in the Rabbit makes a world of difference. No more turning off the A/C to merge into traffic. The Rabbit will move when I need it to.

    My .02 cents. I can say this. The Civic was the uber utilitarian, does nothing great but everything well, steady, reliable K-car. But I have loved every mile in my Rabbit, and I could never say that about my Civic.
  • takapunatakapuna Member Posts: 9
    I use the car mainly for commuting. About 2/3 city busy freeway, 1/3 local city streets. I am not impressed. It is less fuel efficient than my wife's CRV!

    Car dash rattles too.

    VW sales/service are almost useless.

    I think I have made a mistake.
  • rlawrencerlawrence Member Posts: 92
    My earlier message didn't post for some reason, but Takapuna, you may also want to reevaluate your driving habits - which could significantly impact MPG. I recall a story about Larry David (SEINFELD, CURB YOUR ENTHUSIASM), and how he was positive his Prius was junk because it was getting horrendous gas mileage (relatively speaking of course), while his wife's car was doing wonderfully. That is until he drove her car and experienced the same subpar MPG numbers. Could it be that your experience is similar?

    I picked up my Rabbit on Thursday night and I averaged 27.5 MPG. I filled up with a little less than a half tank remaining. We will see if there's an improvement. Also this is my first time filling it up. It is possible that the tank was not at full capacity.
  • abqhudsonabqhudson Member Posts: 14
    Second tank - 22 mpg
    Third tank - 22.5 mpg
    "Spirited" driving in-city with some in-city freeway miles.
    2006 Rabbit - manual transmission.


  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    Also this is my first time filling it up. It is possible that the tank was not at full capacity.


    Pretty sure your gas tank is not getting any bigger...
  • rlawrencerlawrence Member Posts: 92
    Based on your reply, I Obviously wasn't quite as clear as I should have been.

    Though I am sure they did so, what I was hinting at is the possibility the dealer did not fill the tank completely. If they did not, that would negatively effect my MPG calculation. The next fill-up will again be done by me, and I even plan on using the same gas station which will give me accurate gasoline consumed vs miles traveled.
  • kelman81kelman81 Member Posts: 4
    '06 coupe, 6 speed auto. Aggressive driving. 2500 miles on car. Use 87 octane.

    Around town, have been getting 25 mpg.

    Drove to Louisville and back in one day from Knoxville, 70-90 mph. Didn't use cruise, got 31.7 mpg! Even had the A/C going and my wife with me (that's not a comment about her weight). Amazing thing was the car never needed a downshift out of sixth gear, not even for mild passing or going up the mountain at Jelico, TN.

    I like manual cars and the DSG in the GTI is sweet, but the 6 speed auto Rabbit is a great, everyday choice.
  • gretsch6120gretsch6120 Member Posts: 48
    Hmm, I am currently thinking to sell my Infiniti G35 Coupe. Have been reading these forums and learning alot about the Rabbit. The safety and features are excellent but the MPG is disappointing at best. I get 22-24 in my G35 mixed Highway/City and it's 280hp V6. Also excellent service and free loaner cars.
    My wife drives a mazda Protege5 which is doing 29-30mpg. Test driving this weekend. Plan to hit the Rabbit, Mazda3, and maybe the Mini. I have owned a few Hondas and will try to avoid them -- just don't have any kind of fun factor to them. (Sigh, but the upkeep is easy and inexpensive, gas mileage good, etc...)
    If I get rid of my car I want something that still has the fun factor to it. I don't need 280hp for USA highways with 65-70mph speed limits. Saving a little money would be nice. The obvious place to begin is upkeep, insurance, and gas mileage. The Rabbit takes Regular or?

    Appreciate all of your posts. They have been a lot of help.
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    In 2.5 Jetta (basically a Rabbit, with a trunk) we get 24-27 mpg in mixed (suburban) driving, have gotten 33 mpg on freeway at 70-75 mph with A/C on and pretty full load (3 people plus full trunk). These cars are heavy for their size, the real world gas mileage seems pretty much comparable to other 3000+ pound cars.

    The 2.5 engine uses regualar gas, the 2.0T (turbo) takes premium).
  • kelman81kelman81 Member Posts: 4
    As far as upkeep and ownership costs, the Rabbit looks good compared to what I've owned. Previously had a PT Cruiser (na.) and an Alero (4 cyl), and the Rabbit is slightly cheaper than both of them on insurance and gets better gas mileage. Service intervals seem very reasonable. They change the oil with true synthetic at the dealer, so it only needs service every 10k miles after the first 10k, but my car is new so I haven't experienced dealer service depts yet. Check out the warranty details too.

    Something I forgot to mention in previous post, has anyone got a hubcap Rabbit (no wheel option) with the high profile factory Continental tires? I get a lot of road noise over certain surfaces and can't tell if it's the Continentals or lack of sound deadening. As soon as these tires are dead, I'm getting VW wheels and back to Yokohama V4's.
  • bpeachee1bpeachee1 Member Posts: 19
    I've got the 2 door Rabbit, with standard wheels and the continentals.
    I dont notice anything out of the ordinary as far as road noise goes.
    I'm in CA, SF bay area, and we have some of the worst, hardest driving old style concrete fwy's around. I'm pretty happy with the standard tires... and they handle great...no squeels yet!
  • rlawrencerlawrence Member Posts: 92
    I filled up with my 2nd tank last night and my gas mileage remained almost the same - I went from 27.5 to 27.4 mpg. Not quite as good as I hope, but I love how strong the engine feels when I am on the freeway. I can hit 80 to 85 and not notice it a bit. It's hard to believe I am driving a compact.
  • takapunatakapuna Member Posts: 9
    After the rather disappointing 19.1 mpg for my second tank, I made sure I took driving easy for the third. Got 18.7 mpg. I did drive fairly fast one evening for about 10 miles but I don't expect that splurge had much of an impact. This car (3dr auto) drinks gas and I would not recommend it as a commuter.

    I find the figures quoted on this page hard to believe. Are people driving manuals over long distances on flat freeway with no aircon at at fixed 50mph?
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    What kind of commute do you have? is it stop and go? How far do you go and how long does it take?

    My wife has gotten no lower than 24, that was in winter. Her commute is suburban driving though, not really city. She goes about 11 miles in about 20 minutes.

    We also get about 33 mpg in freeway driving at 70-75 mph with the A/C on.

    We have a 2.5 Jetta and it is an automatic.
  • takapunatakapuna Member Posts: 9
    My commute is 6.5 miles each way. I leave about 15 minutes, but it usually takes less. 4.4 miles of this is on the freeway (I5 Seattle). (I got these distances from Mapquest.) The 2.1 miles is "stop and go" with lights every few blocks. The freeway commute is free running about 50% of the time, stop and go the rest. It's fairly flat, and I would consider it typical for the "around town" driving of the EPA.

    I just can't fathom how the fuel economy could be this bad.
  • moparbadmoparbad Member Posts: 3,870
    EPA's city cycle is 7.5 miles long, so you are similar at least for distance traveled.

    Best way to test the fuel economy of the car is when you take a trip on the highway, fill up the car just before you begin the highway portion and fill up again at the end of the highway portion and calculate the mpg. Drive a fairly consistent speed between 55 and 65 mph while on the highway.

    If your mileage is similar to epa then the car is not the problem.
  • takapunatakapuna Member Posts: 9
    Thanks. I'll test the highway mpg some weekend to try to figure out what is going on.
  • bpeachee1bpeachee1 Member Posts: 19
    Just wanted to report my latest 2 fill up mpg.
    28.3 on the previous fill up, about 70% fwy.
    29.6 on last tank, about 85% fwy.
    average speed, between 75-80mph...its hard to keep it any slower...it just loves to run!
    and I still cant believe how easy is it to blow past slow pokes in top gear :)
  • walterquintwalterquint Member Posts: 89
    Not to push the obvious, but the Rabbit does not have a buzzy, thrifty 4cyl. It's a sophisticated, torquey 5cyl with decent displacement (2.5L). That extra displacement (and extra cylinder) adds torque, but it affects fuel economy. I don't see city economy ever exceeding 25mpg. Highway will probably never break 35-36 or so. But what an engine!!! :blush:
  • edurighteduright Member Posts: 12
    I have done two tanks of mixed cty/hy driving with the 5 speed. I ahve averaged 24.7 and 24.3 MPG. IT was more highway than city. The car seems to do better with HY. MPG than City, by far, overall.

    I have magnets on the fuel line, by the way. Still a lot of controversy on this, but a book on magnet therapy that I just read- a new one, has British studies on fleets of cars that indicate a 1-3 MPG boost using the magnets. I will try it with and without.

    I wonder what people find works for tweaking MPG with add on devices?

    Also, the Continental Conti Pros on my Rabbit are noisy, but that may be the car needing still more noise insulation, especially in the doors and A pillar (expert opinion of weak spots).

    The manual has a launch acceleleration glitch- the car can die pretty esily if pne does not clutch and accelerate just right. Noticed this is the case going into first gear- not so much in reverse. I am still having a hard time getting used to the trasmission shifiting after 9 days with the car.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    Why cant you see it? Do you own a rabbit and have proven it's city ecomomy? I averaged 27.2 mpg on my last tank, about 60% highway and the rest city. Its sophisticated and it does better than expected. You cant expect to get amazing mileage from a fairly large iron block engine with five cylinders.
  • edurighteduright Member Posts: 12
    My last tank was about 23mpg even on a 340 mile mix of city and hy driving. Big temp drop though here in Southern Wisconsin. And tons of snow/ice.

    I am still having trouble learing how to shift it- may not be good for fuel mpg. Clutch is too near the brake pedal. Perhaps I coould get something to make the clutch footpad bigger/wider (to the left). I am still killing the engine too much. Very windy here too. I may do better driving with the radio off- actuually like listneing to the car and recting/interacting. I wish the MPGs were better- I think gas prices will go up more here again. Up 10 cents- just lately.
  • v_dv_d Member Posts: 89
    Its sophisticated

    a 2.5l inline-5 that gets 150hp and 170lb-ft is sophisticated? To compare... in Europe there`s the 2.0FSI gas engine (pretty much the same one in the GTI but without the turbo) and it also gets 150hp and a bit less torque ~150lb-ft. But the fuel economy 25.2mpg in the city (2.5l = 21mpg) and 43.5mpg Extra-urban (30mpg with the 2.5l) is much superior. THAT IS A SOPHISTICATED ENGINE! Not our 2.5l that drinks regular with pleasure.
    If one does the math, the highway fuel economy with the 2.0FSI engine is 50% better than with the 2.5l. What a sophisticated engine... yeah...
    But again the FSI technology is more expensive, and thus the Rabbit would`ve been so.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    Sophisticated doenst neccesarily mean the most frugal. ;)
    I would have prefered the non turbo 2.0 personally too though!
  • ezshift5ezshift5 Member Posts: 858
    ....but most likely it really not very much like yours......

    I get about 55 MPG (but then again that's driving 55 MPH)

    I can get 3/4 yard of bark in the back.........

    I rarely have to worry about spark plugs, distributor, points, wires or a coil. If you get my drift..............

    I bet many of you know what I'm about to reveal............

    A 1983 VW Rabbit LX Diesel pickup. Sure it's a relic. Yeah, it pretty slow. But I get better fuel economy that u.

    ....that sounds much harder than it should. My bad.

    Actually, it's a very neat little vehicle.

  • bakedzitibakedziti Member Posts: 4
    I use my 07' 4dr for commuting only. I drive between 70-80Mph and this includes sitting in traffic and I have been averaging about 27Mpg....which is not bad at all.

    Everyone has to realize that you can't compare our car engines to those found in the japanese imports. Our car is way heavier and more HP/torque!

    I'm happy with my gas milage since I've been driving and Envoy to work and putting 25-30K/year on that getting 18-19mpg.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    27 in traffic? Awesome baked! Glad she's giving you better numbers.

    Yeah on paper our engines definitely have most other japanese cars out gunned. Except maybe the mazda 3 2.3 which has more horspower, but less torque. But i've heard it gets absolute dismal mileage, and not that much different from our car, which has an extra cylinder, more displacement and more weight.

    Having said that, once the 08 rabbits come out, as far as figures go, we will still have everyone out gunned! :P
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    I've got that 2.3 in a Mazda6 and my wife has a Jetta with the 2.5.

    These two cars a close in weight (closer than the 3 and the Jetta). Acceleration figures, based on CR data, are about the same for these two. About 9.5 sec. for 0-60. So in the real world these two engines perform about the same.

    I would not read too much into a 20 HP change, maybe the change will just be a shift in the HP peak to higher rpm and a trade off of low-end torque.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    So in the real world these two engines perform about the same.

    agreed. It just makes a good case for the bunny, since it is an iron block, and is bigger in displacement and has the almighty extra cylinder. They do weigh about the same, but i think its still in the favor of the 3.

    Actually the new figures for the 2.5 in the rabbit will be 170hp and 177 lbs of torque in the same rpm range. Its just better high end and a higher redline that i would like.
  • dscanuckdscanuck Member Posts: 2
    Well I have over 18000 km on my 2007 rabbit and I now get about 36.161 MPG of highway drivng at about 120km/75miles. City I get about 28.4125 MPG.

    I think this works out pretty well
  • pulgopulgo Member Posts: 400
    Is that based on Imperial gallons?

    Automatic or manual?
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    i was wondering the same thing; this sounds a bit lofty, very lofty in fact. I got the same exact miles in the city and about 2 mpg better on the highway....with my 06 civic with a 1.8 litre engine tuned for fuel economy and residing in a chassiss that weighs less.

    It could be that you drive a lot of highway; but then there is no explanation as to why your city miles are so high.
    The rabbits highway driving stickers at 19 mpg city and 28 highway (new epa standards.) So you get and astounding 9 mpg in the city and 8 mpg on the highway more? Hmm...

    I drove to asheville this weekend and about 90% of all my driving was highway at about 75 mph and i got a record 362.2 miles to a tank. That resulted in an average of 28 mpg, my best tank ever. With your numbers, JUST driving in the city and assuming you pump the usuall 13 us gallons that the rabbit takes you should be able to go about 365-370miles (even better than what i got driving mostly highway) in the city and about 470 on the highway. My civic could not even do that, even factoring in its smaller gas tank.

    I agree this works out very well! But you must be the only one of us to have a diesel. :P
  • jeffyscottjeffyscott Member Posts: 3,855
    but then there is no explanation as to why your city miles are so high.

    "City" mileage will vary a lot. Because what people call "city" driving varies a lot. Driving in Chicago traffic, for example, is far different from Milwaukee. What the EPA tests is probably more like the latter.

    CR test came up with 16 mpg for the Jetta 2.5, IIRC...Rabbit would presumably be about the same. Theirs is a pretty tough test, probably simulates the Chicago or NY type of driving.
  • dscanuckdscanuck Member Posts: 2
    I do my driving here in Canada. I drove 600 on 3/4 of a tank and then when I arrived i drove 50km back and forth to someones house then filled up it took 52 L. (sorry Metric system).

    When i first bought the Rabbit i was getting really really bad km's but after reaching 18 000km it has been amazing
  • pulgopulgo Member Posts: 400
    So you are getting 23.66 MPG city (US gallons) and 30.11 MPG highway. Not particularly outstanding numbers I dare to say.

    You still haven't answered if you drive an automatic or a manual.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    outstanding compared to what? Other cars in the class w/ similar engine sizes? Have you ever been to the mazda 3 hatch boards and seen what posters there get? Its not much more, and the engine is smaller, lighter, more hp(less torque tho) and its devoid of one cylinder when compared to the rabbit. I'd expect better numbers personally, from an engine that has all those advantages over the 2.5 in the vw.

    Besides, if the car stickers at 19/28 regardless of tranmission, i'd say his numbers are great.
  • pulgopulgo Member Posts: 400
    I said NOT outstanding meaning nothing to write home about. What I am saying is that quite a few cars in the same segment (Corolla, Civic, Focus, Elantra, etc) are capable of similar or better MPG numbers.

    As you said, and I agree completely with you, I would expect better numbers from this car and YES, I frequent the Mazda 3 board as well.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    i understood what you said, and yes the civic and corolla and the like get better numbers, but their engines are very much so tiny in comparison.

    Plus he's EXCEEDING the epa, out of all the cars to do it in, i think the fact that its the rabbit (which has been labled a gas guzzler here), is the icing on the cake!
  • pulgopulgo Member Posts: 400
    Well, some drivers are lucky or just know how to extract the best mileage out of their cars. My 2001 Toyota Echo automatic is rated at 32 and 38 MPG (city/highway) but my 6 year average over 164k miles is 41, way better than even the highway rating.

    I regularly exceed the speed limit (on the highway portion of the commute) by at least 10 to 15 MPH and 50% of my daily commute is stop and go. 40 miles one way take me 1 hour and 20 minutes.

    What about the Elantra? It also has a 2 liter engine and has a better MPG rating.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    What about the Elantra? It also has a 2 liter engine and has a better MPG rating

    true...but is also a smaller 2.0 as oppossed to the 2.5 in the rabbit. Plus its a four cylinder, wheras the rabbit is a five. And last but not least, the elantra weighs less than the rabbit as well.

    Even if we are comparing 2.0 litre engines, it depends also on the state of tune. The civic si has a 2.0 and gets worse mpg than similarly sized engines, but it has a colossal redline and a lot of hp to boot.
  • hatchbackfreakhatchbackfreak Member Posts: 8
    hi dscanuck,

    Im really considering getting that 2007 Rabbit as I my work is 78 miles oneway. Ive driven all these hatch GTi manual six, GTi Tiptronic, Rabbit Manual 5 and the Rabbit Tiptronic Six.

    The only very noticeable thing that I discovered is the Rabbit matic 6 has only 2,000 rpm on 70 mph. the rest are 2,500rpm.

    :confuse: Are you using Matic 6 or stick 5? What octane do you use and what brand?

    Im using 89 octane. But I definetely would say brand has big diffs.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    i dunno how valid his posts are...hes only been in here to post and then never return.

    I've got the six speed tiptronic, and yes the rabbit does cruise at very low rpms; its just the gearing.

    i only use bp gas, and have tried out different octanes, and none of the higher ones seemed to affect mileage to the point where i would use them all the time.
  • wakemygame13wakemygame13 Member Posts: 5
    Have you not been driving stick for very long?
    I find the rabbit to be amazeningly easy to shift and im able to start from a stop in second gear (yes it has happened accidentally) your mpg should go up if you do your shifts around 3000 rpm
    im averaging 27 mpg
  • shirotorishirotori Member Posts: 51
    I just got back from a week 1,000 mile trip with 90% highway miles using 87 and 89 octane fuel. On the leg of the trip where it was hot and thus using air con. I got about 25.5 mpg and the rest of the trip I was getting about 26.5 mpg without air con. I now have 2,000 miles on the car and am really enjoying it. I just hope the mpg will get a little better, though I'm sure that once I get more proficient at the manual the fuel economy will also improve.
  • eldainoeldaino Member Posts: 1,618
    it should get better; my wife and i only travel about 75-85% highway and we average 28 to 29. Actually, this weekend i drove to asheville, nc (which is about 2 1/2 hours from where i live now) and just before leaving i topped off the tank. Only to realize that the gas station i was at had gas that 'may' contain ethanol. (i had already passed the bp station, which is where i ALWAYS fill up.)

    I have one of the best tanks ever now, granted that half of it was driven on ALL highway, but exceeding the speed limit by about 10mph. I'm just barely below the halfway point, and am turning over 250 miles. If i can hit over 300 before a quarter of a tank is left, and i get over 360 miles before i run out, i will have the highest mileage tank ever recorded.
  • wild8willywild8willy Member Posts: 3
    My wife and I were considering a Rabbit and after reading the mpg's you guys get I can not believe it. I got better mpg in my leased 04 GTO with an LS1. I am really glad I came here and read this. However, I also have an 04 Honda Oddy that gets 9mpg. The Rabbit is a really nice little car, and we almost went to drive it today.
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