Exploring Volkswagen Rabbit Features and Performance

The Volkswagen Rabbit first appeared in 1975 and lasted until 2009. This final model year of the Rabbit is a useful and impressive pre-owned hatchback to drive.

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly used car that isn’t of the typical ilk, the 2009 VW Rabbit could be exactly what you want to drive. During this final model year, two transmissions were offered, giving you options when searching the used car market for this car. Although the Rabbit has been gone from the market for almost 15 years, you might find a good used model. Let’s see what you should expect to find in this compact VW.

What is the VW Rabbit?

For many years, the Rabbit was VW’s entry-level car, providing impressive fuel mileage, a few upscale safety and convenience features, and a roomy and versatile interior. The Rabbit was offered in a hatchback body style, giving owners ample cargo room in the rear and the ability to expand this area when folding the seat down. If you think the Rabbit is basically the same as the Golf, you’d be right. Still, the last model year in which VW used Rabbit as the name of its compact hatchback was 2009.

Were any upgrades offered for 2009?

For the final production year of the Volkswagen Rabbit, this car was equipped with an Electronic Stability Program (ESP) for all models. The four-door versions of the Rabbit were no longer eligible for the 5-speed manual transmission, leaving this to the two-door models. These final model-year four-door Rabbits came with heated front seats, heated windshield washer nozzles, and a premium audio system with Sirius Satellite radio.


  • German lineage
  • High level of interior fit and finish
  • Compact SUV-like versatility


  • Not as fun to drive as the Mazda3
  • No leather seats available
  • Lacks on-board navigation and a Bose audio system

Driving fun for a great price

Because the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit is almost 15 years old, you should find this car for less than $5,000, making it a value choice. The small size gives the Rabbit a nimble and solid feeling on the highway or in the city. This small car is easy to park and enjoy wherever you go. Take a test drive and see if this small VW is a good used car for you to drive. The Rabbit could surprise you.

How much power does the Rabbit produce?

Every 2009 version of this VW hatchback is powered by a 2.5-liter 5-cylinder engine. This engine is attached to either a 5-speed manual or automatic transmission to give you the driving feel you want. The powertrain produces 170 horsepower and 177 lb-ft of torque, which is more than enough to make this small car active and fun on the road. The fuel mileage return is 21 city/30 hwy mpg for the manual versions and 20 city/29 hwy mpg when the automatic transmission is used.

This powertrain and the independent rear suspension make it easy for the Rabbit to keep a grip on the road. This traction is further improved with the use of anti-lock brakes, electronic stability controls, and traction controls.

A hatchback with a spacious cabin

The Volkswagen Rabbit feels roomy for a small vehicle. There’s room for five people to ride inside this car and plenty of cargo room for your gear. Everything is designed for compact driving and easy use, which makes this VW a great choice when you want a car that can be driven without a lot of thought or effort. The 60/40 split folding rear seats increase cargo volume, making this car more practical.

Enjoy the style of the Rabbit

Would you like to drive a car with simple styling elements? The Rabbit can be that car. This German hatchback makes perfect use of its bodywork, avoiding the extra materials that come with artistic design elements. The hood, headlights, and grille are integrated with the front bumper, offering a clean look. The side panels and doors flow smoothly to give this car an impressive appearance. Some models are equipped with a power sunroof, making it easy to let some light and air into the car.

Is the VW Rabbit right for you?

When you’re looking for throwback driving manners, clean lines, and simple features, the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit could be a good car to drive. The Rabbit’s age means you won’t have modern tech features and safety nannies, but you’ll have an affordable small car that could give you a pleasant driving experience on any road.

This post may contain affiliate links. Meaning a commission is given should you decide to make a purchase through these links, at no cost to you. All products shown are researched and tested to give an accurate review for you.

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