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2009 Volkswagen Rabbit S Review


Zippy Runabout

A three-quarter front view of a white 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit S

In short: A reliable and fun-to-drive value hatchback.

olkswagen’s 2009 Rabbit, known as the Golf elsewhere in the world, is a value-minded and reliable hatchback with a low starting price, a bevy of standard features, and a comfortable, stylishly understated design that evokes the VW Jetta sedan. This sporty two-door compact features a 170-horsepower five-cylinder engine with a five-speed manual transmission, which gives this urban daily driver a fun and zippy feeling on the road. A six-speed automatic transmission with Tiptronic, standard on the more upscale four-door version of the bunny-car, is also available for the two-door. There is space for five passengers in the vehicle, but tall passengers would feel most at ease in the front seats. The Rabbit’s standard features include all-wheel power-assisted disc brakes, powered and heatable side mirrors, and an electronic stabilization program that automatically corrects understeer or oversteer. A ten-speaker AM/FM sound system with a CD player, auxiliary input jack and MP3 capability are also included. Options comprise of a power sunroof, iPod adapter, and heatable seats and heated washer nozzles.

Read a review of the 2006 Volkswagen Rabbit

Warranty/Service: Three-year/36,000-mile new vehicle warranty; five-year/60,000-mile powertrain warranty; twelve-year/unlimited-mile corrosion perforation warranty; three-year/36,000-mile 24-hour roadside assistance.

Base Price: $16,300

Technical Specifications

Vehicle type: front-engine, front-wheel drive, 5-passenger, 2-door hatchback

Engine: 2.5-liter, DOHC inline 5-cylinder
Horsepower: 170 hp @ 5,700 rpm
Torque: 177 lb-ft @ 4,250 rpm
Transmission: 5-speed manual

Curb weight:
2,975 lbs
Wheelbase: 101.5 in
Length/Width/Height: 165.8/69.3/58.2 in
Turning circle: 35.7 ft

all-wheel power-assisted disc with ABS, engine braking assist and electronic brake pressure distribution
Suspension: independent MacPherson struts in front; multilink in rear; coil springs, telescopic shock absorbers and stabilizer bar in front and rear
Traction: electronic stabilization program; anti-slip regulation

0-60 mph: 7.8 seconds
Top Speed: 130 mph (electronically limited)

EPA City: 21 mpg
EPA Highway: 30 mpg

dual front and front side thorax airbags; side curtain airbags; anti-intrusion side door beams; steering wheel is collapsible upon impact; daytime running lights; tire pressure monitoring system

Dislikes: n/a



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Photography: Volkswagen

PSV031309 (Updated 03/20/09 SV)