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2006 Volkswagen Rabbit Review

Standard Issue Rodent

A three-quarter view of a black 2006 Volkswagen Rabbit

In short: A value-packed and versatile 5-door hatch.

There is nothing sensational about the fifth generation Golf Rabbit, but there is nothing disappointing about it either. Having said that, don’t get us wrong. At $16,000 for a base car you get a totally German-engineered and built automobile. It is solid with great cabin space both in the front with ample head room and in the back seats. Trunk space is also ample with the beauty of the hatch and split fold down seats for everlasting cargo space. We also found it to be very quiet. No wonder this car has been a favorite for years on many continents.

The new skin gives the Rabbit a more aerodynamic shape, quite pleasing to the eye, which we had enjoyed on our earlier test drive of the 2-door sporty version of the GTI.

Interior materials are of good quality and the overall feel is one of a much pricier automobile. The manual gear box (recommended) in our black test car was smooth and efficient; coupled with the trusty 150 horsepower 5-cylinder motor, it delivered constant power… although you won’t set any records for the 0-60 mph acceleration. Steering is precise and braking efficient.

Roaming around the city, this Rabbit is a no-brainer. Due to its relatively compact size, it is very easy to navigate in traffic and park. And yes, you can take it on road trips without any hesitation. Cruising at the posted interstate speed and faster gave us a safe and quite comfortable feeling.

Rest assured, this animal will grind away at all of your urban automobile tasks.

Warranty/Service: Four-year/50,000-mile new vehicle warranty; five-year/60,000-mile powertrain limited warranty; four-year/unlimited-mile roadside assistance.

Base Price: $16,990/As tested: $19,845

Technical Specifications

Performance Data

Vehicle Type: front-engine, front-wheel-drive, 5-passenger, 5-door hatchback

Engine: 2.5-liter inline-5

Transmission: 5-speed manual

Safety: front airbags, front side airbags, front and rear head airbags, traction control

Handling: ESP

Braking: all-wheel ABS, with brake assist and electronic brakeforce distribution

EPA City: 22 mpg

EPA Highway: 30 mpg

Top Speed: 137 mph
Acceleration: 0-60 in 8.5 seconds

Likes: great value, lots of room
Dislikes: Golf is probably a better name

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Photography: AlphaMedia

(Updated: 03/16/09 SV)