2008 Volkswagen Rabbit S 2.5L from North America


They don't make them like this anymore


Absolutely nothing! The only thing replaced to date was the headlights -- and proper maintenance of course.

One thing, passenger seat got stuck forward. A coin was wedged in there, but it's hard to fault VW for that one.

General Comments:


95% German per the sticker. Has the Tiptronic 6-Speed automatic and is a 2-door. No extras. Paid $18k new with 72 miles on it.

I cannot say enough good stuff about this car. I am still in awe that not a single bulb inside or out (except headlights) have burned out on this thing in 99,000 miles.

I like to rate cars in "Fun Factor" to Dollars. This one has a huge fun factor. It hauls a little stuff, a little butt, for little money. So you get a lot of thrills with some practicality for a decent price. Best car purchase I ever made hands-down.

Creature Features are:

ASR (Anti-Slip Rotation), ABS, air, cruise, tilt/telescope steering, "Type2" information center, CD/MP3 player, 10 speaker stereo (yes, that's 5 for each ear!), intermittent wipers, plenty of grab points for the passenger to hang on.


Fit and finish is as expected from Germans, precise.

Interior is robust but comfortable.

Noise level is a little high but quite tolerable, especially with 10 speakers to drown it out.

After 99k miles my interior is still looking quite good; some minor abrasions and minor staining near the top-back edge of the front windows (from having the window cracked open).

Overall the seats have not gone flat, and the fabric retains its tightness. Very nicely done!


Simple, sleek design. Paint still looks great after 99k miles, some bruises from encounters on the right-front, but no bad panels or electrical issues at or near the damage site. A few rock dings on hood, but no major rusting or issue.

The 2-door has the black trim pieces where the 4-door has body-colored trim pieces. Not sure why this is, but I prefer the black trim and 2-door, which retains a more sporty look.

Dealer Experience:

I had a snow chain come off the right front that ended up cutting the brake line. Had it towed to the dealer, and $800 later it was fixed. On the way home the brake pedal sunk to the floor, brake fluid was bleeding out from the same area. I was able to make it home because I am smooth like that (and it was closer than the dealer and late at night). Dealer picked up the car at my home, fixed it, and even had it delivered back to me. Although a bad experience, the dealer did right in handling the issue. I also made a formal complaint toward the mechanic who released the car. I noticed upon return my car did have 20 more miles on it, so I know it was properly tested :)


With some BFG G-Force Super Sport tires, this car handles incredible in the wet or dry. Very stable at high speeds, great stability in excess of 100MPH, top speed (without limiter) is about 142MPH with said upgrades -- and remains surprisingly stable for a FWD car.

Pulled a best 1/4 mile in 15.87 seconds @ 89MPH at Pacific International Raceways in April 2009.

Average 22 MPG overall with a fairly heavy foot, about 70% city driving.


ECU flash (APR tuned $500) @ 22,000.

Cold air intake (Carbonio $200) @ 22,000.

JBL 12" subwoofer with amp ($800) @ 18,000.

Alloy wheels (VW dealer) : $800 @ 75,000.

"Kick a little Asphalt" license plate frame: $22.



Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 11th December, 2012

15th Dec 2012, 17:22

The do make cars like that... it's called the Golf (not City Golf either) and it came after 2010+. Just make sure it has the 2.5 inline 5 and you're set!

The only thing that changed was the name and styling. Aside from that it's just as German and just as reliable (possibly more fuel efficient though).

2008 Volkswagen Rabbit 2.5L from North America


Car was great before this; customer service at VW corporate is terrible and no longer recommended


My brake booster part has malfunctioned only at 25,000 miles.

Yes - 25,000 miles, for a 2008 Rabbit. I have been hearing a hissing air noise from the brakes of my car, and asked the dealer to look at that as well, as I had taken the car in for its routine 5,000 mile check at the 25,000 mileage point.

My awesome service agent calls me back and tells me what's wrong. Unfortunately my warranty has just run out only 3 months ago, and this is going to cost me over $900. He was surprised that this part is broken for a car so young with so little mileage.

I have called Volkswagen customer care, and have been denied by 2 regional managers, with a dry analysis-free response, saying "you are out of warranty, we cannot help you."

I called back a third time explaining, the first time I called I wasn't sure of the specific part, then I called my local VW dealer and got more information (he was still surprised I was denied the service) and explained it's not the brake pads, or the brakes itself, but a specific part, the brake booster. Still I am treated as a faceless customer.

The worst part is - that I am extremely happy with the guys at the dealer - one person has been taking care of my routine maintenance since I purchased it in 2009 - and I knew my second car would be from them. But now after having this problem with such a new car - and especially after being treated this way by Volkswagen corporate, I am no longer their future customer. I wonder if these three regional managers get that? I'm supposed to get a call from a supervisor by noon tomorrow. So I'll sit here and twiddle my thumbs while my car sits at the dealer - that's really nice customer service Volkswagen.

Maybe the saddest thing is I am trying to hard to like VW still, because I like the overall product, but maybe now I am realizing that there's little quality in both the car manufacturing and the customer service behind it.

What's the point of going to an authorized VW dealer for EVERY routine maintenance, paying much more money for it, only to still be treated like this by corporate after years of loyalty to the brand?

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 11th June, 2012

13th Jun 2012, 17:25

Unfortunately a warranty, like any insurance policy, is for a set period... and your failure fell outside that period.

12th Dec 2012, 18:40

I'm sorry to hear of your less-than-satisfactory experience with your dealer. We have a concierge we go through if the parts department or others will not listen or acknowledge our issue (the same person who detailed me on my new car at purchase)... One time I spent 2 hours waiting for a simple oil change while other customers drove up and got serviced and left -- while I had a scheduled appointment from days prior. The concierge walked over to them, talked for a couple minutes and I was out of there in 20 minutes with my oil change done (and the 1/2 quart I asked for as I was at 16k miles on that oil change -- and BTW: The oil looked good enough to put back in. :)

Maintenance costs at dealerships (here in Pacific NW anyhow) are relative to most shops. You may pay more for parts, but labor costs are on par from what I have seen (~$90/hr). I paid $95 at VW for oil change (full synthetic, always!) which includes vacuuming and washing the car, or $78 at Jiffy Lube for just an oil change, and they don't know how to reset the oil change reminder.

But remember, all new VW's come with 36,000 mile (?) cost-free servicing. My parents have owned 1 Jetta (2006) and 2 Tiguans (2010 2.0T and 2013 2.0 TSi) with issues only revolving around teenage abuse -- and they do AWESOME donuts in the snow. These have no-cost oil changes, and had a couple electrical issues on the 2010, which were repaired for free from our dealer, with a loaner car each time. Any servicing beyond oil change, as I was told, often includes a loaner for the said time period or $10 per day (which is CHEAP compared to a rental car).