Last post on Aug 01, 2009 at 12:36 PM
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Volkswagen Rabbit, Hatchback
#46 of 55 Re: Handling/steering issues [eldaino]
Dec 06, 2006 (6:04 pm)
Not just any ol' garden variety K.G.... a 1500 S, which was a varient model with a 'pancake' 1500 cc boxer engine and if I recall 15" wheels.. a real honey..they only made it for 2 years... sold that for the 70' signal orange bug convertible.. another great one!
#47 of 55 Re: Handling/steering issues [bernardw]
Dec 07, 2006 (7:47 am)
salivating over the thought.
#48 of 55 Bringing this discussion back to life, maybe...
May 20, 2008 (5:51 pm)
A year ago I was faced with an almost certain increase in my monthly mileage from 2,000 miles to 3,000 miles, and as such I drove my trusty minivan down to a local Honda dealership and drove a Civic EX 5-Speed. I was impressed.
Fast forward a year, a couple of contract changes, and lots of trials and tribulations, and I'm once again faced with the possibility of driving an easy 3,000 miles per month. The minivan now has 160,000 miles on the clock and while it runs as good as it did the day we drove it off the showroom floor in 1998, it's beginning to rust in locations were body work has been performed, and it's still only getting about 23 mpg on the highway.
Long story short, I took another test drive in a Civic EX, a drive in a Mazda 3 5-Door, and then a drive in a 2-Door Rabbit (all three cars equipped with 5-Speed manual transmissions). Impressions follow:
- The Civic continued to impress in pretty much every way except power and some of the interior plastic bits that feel cheap and seem to scuff up real easy. This is a car that I could live with; however, I'd have to stash our 75 pound Lab "puppy" in the back seat when schlepping him around. Hmmm, too bad Honda doesn't offer a hatchback version like I saw (or think I saw) in Hong Kong last summer.
- The Mazda has a lot to like about it; however, the driver's seat ain't one of them things. My back and thighs were hurting after only a short test drive, and given that much of my driving is likely to be between southern New Hampshire and Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, I quickly came to the conclusion that I'd never be able to spend six hours in the seat of that car. Cross the Mazda off the list.
- The Mazda dealership had a sister VW dealership in the same building, and with a Jetta Sportwagon TDI in mind, I went over to kick a few tires (yes, I know that the TDI won't be out until fall at the earliest). Taking a look at a Rabbit 2-Door, I could see that it was reasonably likely that not only would my wife and two kids (14 & 11) fit comfortably in the Rabbit (even the 2-Door), but I could fit the barkus in the hatch area as well.
Hmmmmz. I went and fetched the kids, popped them in the back and had the 6' 3" salesman ride shotgun, and away we went. Folks, I've got to say it, the Bunny 2.5 rocks, it's not as fast as the A3 that I drove just recently, however, I'm thinking that it's more than fast enough to keep me happy for a couple of years. So, what happens in two years? That fourteen year old will be sixteen, and I'm thinking that it'll make a good first car for my kids so that I can do my duty by raising another generation of stick-shift drivers.
Long story short, the only things that I feel that could be improved in the Rabbit are the fuel economy (I'm figuring it'll probably get about 5 mpg less than a Civic in real world driving, errr, if I can keep my foot out of it), and the crappy plastic shift knob and steering wheel. Not sure I can do too much about the fuel economy except drive easy; however, I found these items for fixing the plastic issues:
http://www.namotorsports.net/detail.cfm/part_cd/RIV05R-07R (for the shift knob)
http://www.wheelskins.com/index.php (for the steering wheel)
So, assuming that I get the project that I'm bidding on, I'll be ordering a 2009 Rabbit 2-Door 5-Speed (in either Black or Reflex Silver), with Mangy Cours wheel package, Cold Weather package, iPod Adaptor, and the Protection Kit.
I'll keep y'all posted.
#49 of 55 Continuing the resusitation....
May 20, 2008 (7:31 pm)
I have exclusively leased BMW's since 1993 and currently drive a 2005 545i.
I am so tired of the needless complication of BMW vehicles. Now, to my great dismay, they come out with the useless X6. A totally impractical vehicle. What are we supposed to do with THAT???
Instead, what BMW needed to do was come out with a hatchback based on the 128i-something practical with halfway decent mileage as an alternative to gas-guzzling SUV's.
I was thinking MDX for almost a year until the gas expense turned me away.
Then I read in the latest issue of CR containing a comparo of inexpensive hatchbacks and the 4 door VW Rabbit S won with flying colors, with better than average reliability. A VW!! The next day after reading this, with adrenalin flowing, my wife and I went to VW. A hatchback with reasonable mileage seemed just the right choice for these times.
I couldn't believe how much room there was in the 4 door Rabbit hatch. I am 6'2" and I fit nicely. The adjustable console/armrest was a delightful surprise! The side mirrors are nice and big, unlike the crummy small ones on the BMW 328i.
Sure, most of the seat adjustments have to be done manually, but they have to cut corners somewhere for the low price.
The radio was so easy to input stations-push a button for a few seconds and when it beeps, it's in memory. No ridiculous iDrive.
The rear seats fold down (although not completely flat) giving you over 46 cubic feet for stuff. The front passenger seat folds down enabling me to put my intact 68" road bike inside! I know, because I brought the bike with me in a rented cargo van. This is the perfect vehicle for me and my wife. We have no kids living at home, so the rear seats will always be folded down.
The interior was surprisingly handsome considering the vehicle's price. No leather seats are offered-only velour for the 4 door model.
This vehicle has a very tight turning circle-36 feet. I had a lot of fun "turning on a dime." The steering and brakes were excellent. This vehicle handled delightfully and gives up very little to the BMW 328i.
My wife, who hates virtually everything, loved the Rabbit 4 door!
As a result, I ordered a 2008 4 door Rabbit with electronic stabilization program and the 16" "Magny Cours" alloy wheel package. I shopped 2 dealers, and one offered me the car for $888 less than the other guy. Delivery should be in July, when my 545i lease is up.
What a fantastic bargain for around $20,000, out the door! No lease on this one. I will cut them a check from "chump change."
VW should improve its extremely slow factory to showroom delivery system. It can take 13 weeks or longer.
Overall, I was impressed with the 2008 VW Rabbit. It only gets 24 mpg overall on regular gas, but that's the price one pays for having a light, compact 5 cylinder vehicle that is a blast to drive. Besides, the 545i gives me 21 mpg on premium fuel, so the Rabbit's mpg is balm for my soul.
BMW, I hardly know ye.
#50 of 55 Re: Continuing the resusitation.... [hpowders]
May 20, 2008 (8:29 pm)
Hmmm, my last car (as opposed to a minivan) was a 530i and I'm almost sure to buy a Rabbit, now you, a 545i driver opting for a Rabbit as well. Yeesh, what's this world coming to?
#51 of 55 Re: Continuing the resusitation.... [shipo]
May 20, 2008 (9:09 pm)
"What's this world coming to?"
What it's coming to is a realization that BMW has strayed far away from being a great choice for driving enthusiasts. They have sold us out with their stupid iDrive, expensive run-flats and ugly styling. We aren't the only ones. BMW will be taking a big hit on their bottom line-deservedly so.
Anyhow, the VW dealer who had the best price wanted to trade with another dealer for the exact car I wanted and deliver it pronto, but my lease ends July 31st, so I asked him to order one and take his time. This became a problem as they could no longer order 2008's from the factory. I couldn't wait for a 2009 because that would leave me car-less for who knows how long. So I was about to walk when the dealer told me he would call his district rep. and see if he could pull some strings. This was last week on Monday. At this point, he has called me twice at 3 or 4 day intervals to reassure me, BUT he has yet to ask me for a deposit which means the vehicle is a definite maybe. I'm still waiting for his deposit call. If this state of inertia continues for another 2 weeks, I will suggest that I lease any 2008 Rabbit short-term on July 31st they can find, while they place an order for a 2009. I would expect to pay about $1000 more for a 2009. Still well worth it. That car is a hoot to drive!
#52 of 55 Long-distance commuter
Sep 20, 2008 (10:24 pm)
Any opinions on how good the Rabbit is for long-distance commuting (55-60 miles round-trip) and for extended road trips?
#53 of 55 2008 RABBIT HESITATION ON TAKE OFF
Nov 03, 2008 (2:08 pm)
I purchased my Rabbit in April 08. Since that time, every once in a while on accelerating from a stop the revs will drop to idle even while the accelerator is depressed. After 2 to 5 seconds the car accelerates normally. This has caused some anxious moments as I enter traffic. My dealer does not find this happening when test driving because it only happens once in a while. Does anyone know anything of this problem or have any suggestions? The problem occured during the summer so is not related to a very cold engine however it only seems to happen on first starting out.
#54 of 55 Re: 2008 RABBIT HESITATION ON TAKE OFF [donww]
Nov 06, 2008 (2:03 pm)
Have not experienced the drop-to-idle issue - 5M Rabbit June 08, now with 4,500 miles.
Manual or auto transmission?
#55 of 55 re; steering
Aug 01, 2009 (12:36 pm)
hiya. would love to know what other drivers of the 2 door rabbit (2007) feel re; steering. when on a freeway do you continually have to correct steering i.e tweak it slightly when going in a straight line. not used to this as felt it was easier when i had my golf in the u.k. are the rabbits slightly different for u.s driving to those in europe?