I recently purchased a brand new 2008 2 door Rabbit and I could not be more happy. Not only is it great to go from a gas guzzling SUV to a sleek and fuel efficient car but the ride is so much smoother and "tighter." I actually like driving now. There is plenty of room in the back seat, and the front seats move way up so it is easy for my dogs to get in and out. The hatch area provides tons of room for groceries or luggage. I have fit a 50 lb dog, 2 sets of gold clubs, and a weeks worth of luggage plus 2 people in this car, plenty of room!
When I was told that they had a VW Rabbit on the lot the picture than ran through my head were the ugly pregnant roller skates that kids drove in high school. However I was very impressed being this was the first VW I'd ever been in. Power everything even heated mirrors which are much needed in Kansas. Within 30 days of my purchase I drove it all the way to San Antonio and back. The only complaints are I wish the seats just had the typical lever for the seat back instead of the slow moving wheel, the A/C couldn't keep up with the Texas heat, and the cargo area is slippery for the dog. The A/C did keep the car comfortable but I'm one of those people that is most comfortable when it's make you shiver cold. It may look little on the outside but it is very big on the inside. An average adult has plenty of room in the back seat and the dog enjoys it when we fold down the seats so he has more room to sprawl out. It would also be nice if the back windshield or one of the side windows rolled down for the back seat passengers or the dog.
I've had my '08 Rabbit for about 6 months now, and it was love at first test drive. I get about 28-29 mpgs and drive mostly highway 5 days a week. With 170 horses under the hood, passing on the highway is super easy and fun. I can get up to 80MPH without much effort. The car seems to do all the work; I barely have to increase force on the pedal to overtake slower drivers when I need to. Aside from being quick and easy to drive, the car's engine is quiet (no turning up the radio to drown out engine and/or road noise) and shifts smoothly on its own (I have an automatic). Handling is great around curves at higher speeds. The ride is consistenly smooth with the Rabbit knocking out bumps in the road like they're almost nothing. I've gone over several speed bumps that would normally rattle other sub-compacts I've owned in the past, but this car seems to give it right back to the speed bumps and barely gets jostled. Another great thing about this car is the interior. It can hold a lot of stuff, and that is one of the main reasons I bought it. I moved recently, and I packed about 80% of my belongings in the hatch back with the seats folded down and the front passenger seat moved forward all the way. I fit in about 6 large Rubbermaid storage totes, 4 half size totes, several shoebox-sized containers, a couple 18" stereo speakers, miscellaneous clothing items and and several tote bags. All that and the car still drove up steep hills here in TN like I was the only thing in it. And, fully loaded, I still managed to drive it over a 5" tall curb into my yard with no problem...being able to unload my stuff right at my front door was so convenient. As for the rest of the car: -The seats are very comfortable for long trips, and there's plenty of height and fore and aft adjustment. The big turning dial to adjust the seat back is good for exact positioning but isn't convenient for laying down if you want to relax at a rest stop or just snooze in the car on your lunch break...not a big deal, though, just gives your wrist a workout. -No complaints from back seaters as there is plenty of leg room for 2 large adults. Getting in and out is easy, too, as the front seats slide quite far and lean forward a good amount. -I've never had so much interior lighting in a car before, and I love being able to see inside my car so well at night when I need to...there are two bright map lights in front, well lit vanity mirrors, faint red ambient lighting that stays lit at night over the console, back seat overhead lights that can be controlled by the front or back seat passengers and a light in the covered hatch area. -My particular model has an open storage console with no armrest in the middle. It would have been nice if I had gotten one with an armrest just for the sake of having more covered storage, but I don't miss not having one. -The base stereo system produces good sound and is satisfactory for my needs, but I do wish the radio had a repeat button for CD playing. I mostly stream Pandora from my phone through the speakers, though, with use of the aux jack in the glove box so it's a minor complaint. I routed a cable through the back of the glove box down the side of my console so I don't have to leave my glovebox open when I use the aux jack. And I discovered when I have my phone connected, phone calls come through the speakers and automatically put my phone on speakerphone, so it's nice I can be handsfree in that way. -The one charging outlet in front is enough for me, but it would be nice if there was one more in the center console for guests or if I needed to hook up two devices. There is another outlet in the hatch area so if a passenger in back needed to charge their phone, I suppose a cable could be routed behind the seat. I could keep talking about this wonderful vehicle, but I'll just sum it up here and say that this car is a fantastic buy despite the few minor personal quibbles I've mentioned. I highly recommend it, and I'll definitely consider buying another one after I've run this rabbit to the ground.