VW Rabbit

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It’s back.
But only in the US and Canada.

Just thought I’d post some official pictures of the “North American Golf”.
The 2 door starts at $14 990 and I think the 4 door is around $2000 more.
The car pictured here has some options and might go for at least $19 000.
Not that cheap anymore.
And without the reliability of most other players in that segment.

Is a cheaper Golf with an “old” name enough to revive VW in the US???

Conversation 31 comments

  1. Long Live the Mexican Revolution!!! Who cares about reliability, when you can own a genuine Mexican built Volkswagon for under 20 grand, and be the envy of all your neighbors and friends? AAA is just around the corner, and you can always buy a new one when the warranty runs out if the car lasts that long!

  2. In the current climate of Americans eventually realising that smaller might actually make sense, how about the Polo for this market?

  3. not sure that vw believers that just changing the name is suppose to “revive” an entire brand that doesnt make sense…..

  4. Hrmm if the 4 door starts at $16999, that would make it a grand more expensive than the current model. And the new Jetta starts at $17900. I see a problem right there.

    But I do like the new design over the old one… much better and expensive looking.

    I am concerned about that 2.5 engine. I hope it won’t be the standard engine… People will be mighty disappointed with the crudeness and the lousy fuel economy.

    Best of luck to them.

  5. $17k for a great car with a near-lux interior and solid performance sounds like a steal to me. Just exactly how cheap do you think it should be? No one will question a crappy handling, crappy quality, poorly engineered $17k Scion Xbox. But we scoff at a supremely engineered hatchback? Some of you guys are nuts. This is a very good value.

  6. I find it hard to call one of the least-reliable car lines (VW) in North America “well-engineered.”

  7. Near-lux interior? Will it come with the same “leatherette” (read: vinyl”) interior as the base Jetta to?

    Near-lux doesn’t mean it is parked near a luxury car.

  8. I agree with the Anonymous poster at 7:48. VW interiors are definetly the best in the classes they compete in. In addion, they have more features than the other cars in their class (stability control, headlamp washers, safety features, etc.) And Vince- the 5-door is not starting $2,000 above the 3-door. VW recently announced a price drop in some of their models, and the Rabbit will be right around the same price as the outgoing Golf. And of course, these cars are a lot of fun to drive while packing great utility- the same cannot be said of many cars in this price range. VW will have a winner on their hands with this car, and it doesn’t hurt that the “Rabbit” name is cool as hell.

  9. What a POS car. You would have to be an idiot to buy this garbage. Besides the Golf VI is coming out next year in Europe. That means we should see it some time around 2011 or so. Don’t reward VW for treating the US market like some second rate banana republic. If they can’t bring out new fresh models with proper engines and reliability they should just pull out of this country.

  10. They do have more features (like those incredibly unnecessary for me headlamp washers) but their options and pricing are way too proud considering what a bad rep they have for reliability lately. No wonder VW in North America isn’t doing very well…

    Keep the price drops coming, and raise the reliability level to at least that of the domestics, then i’ll consider VW. They drive great, but for similar money, I can get a car that would likely last me 2-3x as long as a VW on less money, and not a penalty box either.

    I’ve driven several VW products, including the new Audi A6 3.2…they handlie beautifully, but without the reliability, they are worthless to me, since my family puts over 40k miles a year on a car.

  11. I agree on the reliability issue.
    I have suffered from it myself, and actually, everyone I know who owns one.

    That is what kills them, and they don’t seem to get it…

  12. While I believe there are significant quality issues with the last generation 4cyl engines, the reliability issues have been overstated with VW as a brand. VWs have proven that they will last nearly forever, but it’s not uncommon for VWs (and German cars in general) to give you some nitpicking problems along the way. However both VWs I’ve owned have been nearly bulletproof.

    Actually, it’s not surprising to see twenty or thirty year old VWs still running strong. How many twenty-year-old Toyotas do you see? Very few. They’ve all rusted back into the earth… starting at the wheel arches. How many five-year-old Hyundais do you see that don’t sound like they have marbles in the engine? They all sound like crap and look like they’ve faded five shades. It’s pretty clear that some of Hyundai’s illegal bribe money has gone toward our automotive press. I digress.

    Please everyone, get real and cool it with the hyperbole. A well engineered VW is a steal at $17k.

  13. I agree, a well-engineered VW is a steal at $17k. I doubt this is it though. 150 hp from 2.5 L? POOR reliability ratings in Consumer Reports while a freakin Taurus can garner a rating of “Average”?

    Nit-picky problems are one thing…a family friend of mine has new Beetle Turbo (2000) with 45,000 miles on it, and she has spent $2,300 on it since her warranty expired. Nothing caused by wrecks…it was electrical problems, then the A/C went out. Twice.

    That isn’t nit-picking, that’s unreliability. Many others have similar stories to tell about the VW of recent years. Maybe they are turning things around, but it is too soon to tell. Meanwhile, the tales of VW’s troubles continue.

  14. bmw mercedes, and cadillac have leatherette as their base car options, so whats wrong with vw doing it nothing especially for a car this cheap. and no matter what people say….. vw’s have nicer interiors than the cars they compete with period. there is no way any other car in the jetta or gti, or golfs class in america has nicer materials or detailing, that goes for the passat, and toureg every magazine agrees with that, and anyone logical would also.

  15. Three wrongs don’t make a right…I do know that the seat adjustment lever in the last VW I was in was broken (the jack-style seat height adjuster).

    It had less than 20k miles, and was only 2 years old (but was about 3 years ago).

    I struggle with the logic of “it’s not reliable but it has a nice interior so I’ll get it.” I’m probably too practical for a VW and I’m ok with that. My car isn’t quite as nice to drive, but it’s never spend more than 2 hours in the shop at a time, and now has 161k miles after 10 years…total repairs not covered under warranty cost less than $600 – two of them, and that includes labor costs.

    Much better than the poster who spoke of $2300 over 40k miles.

  16. VWs have cheap looking interior and worthless electronics. If you buy this car you’ll be on a first name basis with your mechanic. Buyer beware. This thing makes Kias look good.

  17. You’re right.
    Their interiors do look very nice. But they do not hold up to daily use.
    Small parts break or fall off for no reason. And the electronics are more than just “nitpicking problems”. They are a nightmare.

    Something you can’t tell in the showroom or during a test drive.

    And you cannot compare companies with what they were doing 30 or 40 years ago.
    40 years ago Disney was putting out The Jungle Book. Today we have Chicken Little.
    VW has just become one of the least realiable car you can buy in the US. Check the facts, not your memories.

  18. Vince, i live in the UK, in reliability surveys VW do not tend to do so badly at all, so whats different in the US? I guess you don’t have Renaults, Peugeots and Citroens which are unreliable, but then again a lot of American built stuff is supposed to be pretty poor quality?

  19. Well, lots of American models actually do pretty good in the surveys.
    But the Japanese are doing so good, they do make every one lese look pretty bad.

    I just saw a British reliability survey somewhere ( i forgot where) and in the top 20 cars, I think about 18 or 19 where Japanese. The most reliable European car was the Jag X type.

  20. HEADS UP PEOPLE!!! Volkswagons sold in Europe are made in Germany! The quality of these German built models is Better than average! Volkswagons sold in North America are mostly made in Mexico!!! Check the VIN number on the dash through the windshield on the driver’s side! If the first digit is the number ‘3’ it’s built in Mexico. If the first digit is the letter ‘W’ it comes from Germany! Even if the name on the product says SUNKIST you still don’t know where it comes from or if it is safe to eat anymore in todays world, unless you do your homework!!!!

  21. The German made Passat has also been one of the worse rated cars in the US…
    The Mexican made PT Cruiser has proven to be mostly reliable.

    Don’t try to excuse VW.

  22. I have a 2003 Golf never had any problems. It’s been reliable all the way and never given me problems. May be people should talk about reliability while owning a car they talk about, not basing their argument on “I heard from a friend” line. These are little super cars, I can’t set foot into US maker’s car of this class after Golf. Japanese cars just don’t have style or flavor. I can’t see how you can possible develop any pride of ownership with Japanese cars. Seriously considering trading Golf for Rabbit (supposed to be German made by the way).

  23. A BIG TIP from an industry insider Vince! If the new Rabbit catches on again in the U.S., Volkswagon plans on bringing back 3 more American nameplates from the past, ‘FOX’, ‘DASHER’ and a New Entry Level Crossover Vehicle called ‘THE THING’!!!! Only time will tell if this will be the case or not!!!

  24. The Fox is already on sale in Europe right now, replacing the Lupo supermini. The press hates it. I owned a 2001 Jetta with 160,000 miles. I have never taken it to the dealer for anything more than a tube of touch up paint. I did all maintenance myself (fluid changing, etc.). I sold it. I bought a 2006 Value Edition (with velour seats, not vinyl) and it now has 15,000 miles. I have never taken it to the dealer before. My uncle has a 1980-something Rabbit with no rust and more than 350,000 miles, and before he had a 1980-something Jetta with 420,000 miles, and he never replaced the clutch on it. I know at least 15 other Vw owners who have experienced similar stories. i agree wth the whole no pride in japanese cars thing. maybe cars like a diahatsu or a nissan cube would make you feel special, but those cars arent available in the u.s. broken Vws are like soldiers in iraq today: everything that happens to them is inflated by arrogant people while the majority of them are quite alright.

  25. i could have bought a bmw, but i didn’t want to shout to the world “look at me! i’m an arrogant snob who buys a car to help me get noticed more!” besides, vws have way more sex appeal (to women) than a kabuki-bangle bay em vay.

  26. Guys,

    According to the VIN and the dealer the Rabbit is made in Wolfsburg Germany and one reason for that , again according to the dealer was to address the bad name VW started to get in NA for reliability. So maybe after all, the Rabbit will not be a bad thing or in fact will actually try to prove that VW finaally got it…

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