2008 Volkswagen Rabbit

  • 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit Base Hatchback

    Base Hatchback

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      2.5L I5
    • MSRP
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2008 Volkswagen Rabbit Review

Wins the race with a quick, comfortable, and quiet ride and the convenience of the hatchback.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit has the solid build typically found with German engineering. It marks one of the best-selling economy hatchbacks and rates as one of the best family cars of the year. Many economy vehicles do not have that “fun to drive"" factor due to cutting back on some of the fun features in order to keep the price down. The Rabbit, however, makes an exception to that rule.

The sturdy body structure and the multilink rear suspension make a winning combination and offer a comfortable ride with splendid handling. Throw in a solid build and quiet ride and you have a car that’s hard to beat. The 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit makes a solid choice for all types of drivers.

The Range

Body Styles: two-door compact hatchback, four-door compact hatchback
Engines: 2.5-liter five-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, six-speed automatic with manual-shift capability
Models: Volkswagen Rabbit S

What's New

The 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit receives a major power boost since its last production model with 170 horsepower.


The Rabbit is a practical and attractive hatchback available in a two-door or four-door body style and a single model, named S. It has a rather boxy shape with some details, but other than that, it looks a little boring. It comes standard with 15-inch wheels and the option of 16-inch or 17-inch alloy wheels. Some of the exterior features include body-colored door mirrors, body-side molding, body-colored bumpers, heated door mirrors, and power door mirrors. The 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit has a simple grille, which adds to the clean and simple body style.


The interior, without a doubt, highlights one of the finest features of the 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit. The cockpit is a beautiful site, especially at night with its gauges illuminated in blue with red needles. The controls and knobs suit to an upscale premium car. Access to the rear seats even with the two-door, are a snap due to the ability to slide the front seat forward. In addition, it offers plenty of head, leg, and shoulder room in the back seats with the added bonus of adjustable rear air-conditioning and heat.

Even the steering wheel is a thing of beauty with its three spokes and a tilt and telescoping column. Finding the exact position for the steering wheel never causes a problem due to the multiple ways it can be adjusted.

Other features include remote door locks, power windows and mirrors, heated mirrors, and power one-touch windows on both front doors.

Convenience features include cruise control, remote trunk release, electric speed-proportional power steering, 12-volt front and cargo outlets, a front console with storage, front door pockets, front and rear cup holders, interior air filtration, a cargo area light, dual vanity mirrors, and turn signals in the mirrors.

The cargo area seems generous with 15 cubic feet of space, but the split rear seatback folds down, and if drivers need even more room the front-passenger seat folds forward as well.

Performance & Handling

The 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit is not only a fun car to drive, but it also provides a comfortable ride. The acceleration proves excellent, even from low speeds, and what more would you expect to experience in a V-6. The Rabbit runs as if a fox were in high pursuit. This year the Rabbit does not feel as responsive in curves as before, however it makes up for this with a solid and surprisingly quiet ride.


The 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit comes sufficiently loaded with safety features, including front-seat side-impact airbags, full-length head curtain airbags, four-wheel drive, and anti-lock disc brakes. Optional safety features include stability control, with electronic differential lock, and rear-seat side-impact airbags.

In government tests, the four-door Rabbit scores four out of five stars for front-passenger protection in frontal crashes and a perfect five out of five stars for both front and rear occupants in side-impact crashes. The Insurance Institute for Highway Safety gives the Rabbit a score of “Good"" for the protection of occupants in frontal-offset and side-impact crashes.

EPA Fuel Economy

Volkswagen Rabbit S, manual: 22/29 mpg city/highway
Volkswagen Rabbit S, automatic: 21/29 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Upscale and spacious cabin
  • Strong build quality
  • Comfortable ride
  • High crash test scores

You Won't Like

  • Fuel economy inferior to competitors
  • High base price on the four-door

Sum Up

Wins the race with a quick, comfortable, and quiet ride and the convenience of the hatchback.

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