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The Volkswagen Rabbit is a practical car first and foremost, but that doesn’t stop it from being a hatchback that offers pretty spirited performance. In addition to being a nifty hatchback that has plenty going for it, the best things about the Volkswagen Rabbit are probably its upscale cabin and surprisingly impressive performance. There’s pretty good power to be found coming from the 2.5-litre cylinder engine, and the second-row seats are surprisingly spacious. A particularly interesting confusion that has to do with the Rabbit is its moniker conundrum, as “Rabbit” is its name in the United States, “Rabbit/Golf” is how it’s known in Canada and simply “Golf” is what it’s called everywhere else. Here’s what you need to know.
Where the Goodness Starts
You’ll find more than plenty of hustle coming from the 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine, as it has no problem pumping out 170 horsepower and equally tasty 177 lb.-ft. of torque. Simply put, the Rabbit’s powerband is huge and it only takes a quick downshift to pass a slow 18-wheeler on the highway. You’re also able to choose between a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic, which is particularly great since similarly-aged competitors mostly use four-speed automatics. This is also something that’s unheard of in the Rabbit’s price range. The hatch is exceptionally easy to drive thanks to a light clutch, short throws and smooth and perfectly spaced shifts in the manual transmission.
Where the Goodness Continues
The Rabbit’s steering has a solid weight to it and is both accurate and responsive. You’re really able to put the suspension through some pretty harsh tests and the car has a pretty tight turning circle, both great for a fun performance. If you’re looking for a hatch that puts a significant emphasis on practicality and performance, you’ll find it in the Rabbit thanks to a winning powertrain combination. As a result of such inviting playfulness, the Rabbit does create a trade-off in the form of fuel economy.
Interior is a Pleasant Surprise
The Rabbit’s dashboard is very user-friendly, the materials found throughout the cabin are soft and the overall interior is tightly put together and solid. You’re guaranteed to have fun discovering and enjoying the smart little touches like the auxiliary input jack in the adjustable armrest. You can easily hide your iPod when you’re done, though this compartment can keep all sorts of valuables out of sight as it’s pretty big. Another great surprise is the cooled and illuminated glove box, which makes it easy to find things in the dark. The driver’s seat is very adjustable and it’s effortless to find a comfortable seating position. You’re able to opt for additional heat warmers and lumbar support, not to mention that the sound system is equally impressive. The main reason that makes the Volkswagen Rabbit an excellent used car purchase is due to the simple fact that it is exceptionally well-built and solid. It is constructed with undeniable quality, it’s also very practical and most importantly, it’s fun to drive. Another fact of particular importance when it comes to used cars is that the Rabbit also consistently scores high in safety tests. Considering everything previously mentioned, there’s hardly a reason to consider other similarly aged or priced cars – unless you have a particularly important bone to pick with VW as a company.