2008 Volkswagen Rabbit 2.5 from North America


Probably the best car in America under $25k


Aside from a faulty paintjob, fixed within the first week, there've been no problems with the car.

General Comments:

I should've done my homework. Buying my Saab out of the lease or a new VW Rabbit cost the same. Trying to economize, I picked the Rabbit. My insurance increased by over 1/3 and I've yet to get the 30-35 mpg I typically got with my Saab, 28 is the best I've been able to do.

It loses composure sometimes on bumpy Michigan roads, but I can turn corners faster than most and it generally handles well, especially for a subcompact.

It has good scoot, but sounds awful when pushed. Transmission is excellent.

Seat comfort couldn't be better. Adults comfortable in rear as long as front seat isn't in the rear-most two slots.

Sunroof open/close only require one touch.

Wipers/radio sound adjust for speed. I've had other cars that say they do, but the Rabbit actually does.

Htd mirrors are a nice touch, but I'm having a difficult time remembering to turn them off due to the position of the switch (not really visible when seated).

For stepping down from a 9-3 to a Rabbit, I don't really feel as though I gave up much.

Electronic stability control is very slow to kick in. Dealer says it's normal, but I wonder whether I paid extra for something too slow to matter.

Feels rock-solid, except for some wander on grooved pavement.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th May, 2008

24th Jul 2008, 00:20

I own an '08 Rabbit and I couldn't agree more with all (but 1...) of your comments! It's a great car for the money - feels much more expensive than it is.

The comment I disagree with is the sound of the 5cyl when pushed hard... I really like the sound myself... much better than a droning 4 cylinder anyway. If you add an aftermarket intake that eliminates the resonator box to the Rabbit, it sounds eerily similar to the Dodge Viper's V-10 from the movie "Wanted" when accelerating hard! (Cool if you like that sort of sound anyway...).

You can't beat a Rabbit for the money.

27th Jul 2008, 00:41

I also traded a Saab (97 900SE) on a Rabbit (06). It doesn't feel like I gave up much either. The VW feels as solid (if not more so) and sprightly as the Saab did new.

Like everyone says, the mileage isn't exactly stellar. About 10,000 miles later I average about 27/32. I'm about as mechanical as a gerbil, but maybe it's because the Rabbit engine's a 2.5. My Saab was a smaller 2.0 - though the turbo seemed to make her thirstier.

All told, all it seems I gave up was a convertible top (mixed blessing) for a sunroof.

21st Apr 2009, 01:09

The reason the first "commentor" doesn't agree with the "sound of the engine," is because the 08-up 2.5 is tuned differently, and puts out 20 more HP. It sounds better than the previous Rabbits. Other than that.. ROCK ON VW! I love my Rabbit!

12th Dec 2012, 18:26

If you like that sound, put on a Carbonio cold air intake (sits in the driver-front wheel well) and it will growl with a healthy intake sound.

2008 Volkswagen Rabbit S 4dr 2.5L from North America


Perfect car for young active people



General Comments:

I special-ordered a Rabbit for my wife after having an extremely positive time with a 2007 GTI. It's white, with gray interior, manual, esp, and 16" alloy wheels -- a combination that would basically be impossible to find on dealer lots.

She absolutely loves her car, and she tells me that all of her friends always comment about how much they like it. I like it a lot too. For what it's worth, it's a better car than our GTI for long drives; the motor isn't as confidence inspiring, but that also means you don't have to worry about speeding.

I recently helped a friend buy a used Mazda 3, and I was really awe-struck by what the second-best interior in the Rabbit's class is like in person. The Rabbit's interior is simply leagues ahead of its competitors. If it wasn't for the fact that we simply can't find used Rabbits in her price range, I'd have recommended she get a Rabbit instead of the Mazda 3. I guess all of the Rabbit owners like them so much they are keeping them.

The utility of the hatchback is a given. We've never had a problem fitting anything in there. I even moved a piano in it.

The one deal-breaker for some people is the fuel economy, which is considerably sub-par. My family doesn't drive a whole lot, so even given the average 25 mpg or so, we fill up once every week and a half or so; its no big deal for us.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 24th January, 2008

11th Dec 2012, 15:57

I was going to buy a Chevy Cobalt when looking at cars. For about $2000 less than my Rabbit, I basically would get 1 less cylinder, 2 less gears, 30 less HP, no power windows, no power door locks, no keyless entry, 6 less speakers, no air conditioning, no intermittent wipers, no bolstered seats, 1 less exhaust outlet, no traction control... Oh, and less headroom in back -- during the test drive of the Cobalt, my head kept hitting the roof at the back window (I'm only 6 foot).

This was my reason for buying the Rabbit after rigorous review on Consumer Reports site. After considering adding all the options I wanted on the Cobalt relative to the Rabbit, I found my $15,000 base model became a $23,000 base model... For that kind of money I may as well have got a GTI.

If I recall, 2008 was the last year Rabbits were produced in Germany (Rabbit being a U.S. model Golf). I even kept my windows sticker because it shows my car was 95% German built -- and may be why I have had no issues in almost 100,000 miles so far.