Best Bet
  • (4.8) 25 reviews
  • Available Prices: $2,861–$8,937
  • Body Style: Hatchback
  • Combined MPG: 25
  • Engine: 170-hp, 2.5-liter I-5 (regular gas)
  • Drivetrain: Front-wheel Drive
  • Transmission: 5-speed manual w/OD
2008 Volkswagen Rabbit

Our Take on the Latest Model 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit

What We Don't Like

  • Fuel economy
  • Difficult backseat entry and exit in two-door
  • Not as inexpensive as competitors' base models

Notable Features

  • Shares components with VW Jetta
  • Larger engine, interior than Golf predecessor
  • New exterior colors
  • Standard auxiliary input

2008 Volkswagen Rabbit Reviews

Vehicle Overview
For 2008, Volkswagen's entry-level Rabbit receives more power and a new, single trim level: the Rabbit S. The compact hatchback is Volkswagen's answer to compact cars like the Honda Civic and Toyota Corolla.

The Rabbit comes in two- or four-door body styles and retains the basic hatchback shape that has made the model famous since its 1974 introduction. It has a larger interior and more power than its predecessor, though it retains the nameplate's value-oriented principles with plenty of standard safety and convenience equipment. Other advancements include an independent rear suspension instead of the previous torsion-bar setup.

Using the EPA's new 2008 testing procedures, gas mileage with the optional automatic transmission is rated at 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway. That's a nominal increase over last year's numbers (after the 2007 numbers are recalculated to make up for the testing differences). The Rabbit still trails the Civic and Corolla, though, as both have significantly smaller engines.


Exterior
The twin-bezel headlights closely resemble those on the Jetta, although a body-colored bumper doesn't create a one-piece grille appearance, as do the chrome units in other Volkswagens. The Rabbit's simple lines and uncluttered face make it look very similar to its Golf predecessor. The same slatted grille holds a large VW logo in the center, while a lower air dam separates into three sections.

Length, width and height are identical to the previous Golf. Fifteen-inch wheels are standard, with 16-inch wheels optional. An independent rear suspension should allow better handling.


Interior
The Rabbit follows the Jetta and GTI with a three-spoke steering wheel and high-mounted center stack. Upscale elements include one-touch power windows and heated side mirrors. Both are standard, as are many other features, including cruise control, a CD stereo with an auxiliary MP3 jack, remote keyless entry and air conditioning. Options include a moonroof, an iPod-specific connector and heated front seats.

Despite exterior measurements equaling the previous Golf, the five-passenger interior has 7 percent more passenger volume. Most of that goes to the backseat, as rear passengers gain nearly 2 inches of legroom and more than an inch of headroom over the previous model.

Cargo capacity grows thanks to a 60/40-split folding rear seat. A fold-flat front passenger seat is also available, giving the Rabbit capacity to carry longer items, such as skis.


Under the Hood
The Rabbit shares its 2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder engine with the Jetta. Thanks to improved airflow and valve-train management, output in both cars increases to 170 horsepower and 177 pounds-feet of torque, up from 150 hp and 170 pounds-feet last year. In the Rabbit, the engine teams with a five-speed manual or six-speed automatic transmission.

Safety
Four-wheel-disc antilock brakes are standard, as are active head restraints. Side-impact and side curtain airbags also come standard. An electronic stability system is optional.

Consumer Reviews

(4.8)

Average based on 25 reviews

Write a Review

Awesome car.

by Golf from on November 26, 2017

This car met all I needed . Excellent car. I’ve never had any issue at all. I don’t have to drive to work anymore.

Read All Consumer Reviews

2 Trims Available

Photo of undefined
Wondering which configuration is right for you?
Our 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit trim comparison will help you decide.
 

Volkswagen Rabbit Articles

2008 Volkswagen Rabbit Safety Ratings

Crash-Test Reports

IIHS Ratings

Based on Volkswagen Rabbit S

Head Restraints and Seats
M
Moderate overlap front
G
Side
G

IIHS Ratings

Based on Volkswagen Rabbit S

G Good
A Acceptable
M Marginal
P Poor

Head Restraints and Seats

Dynamic Rating
M
Overall Rear
M
Seat Head/Restraint Geometry
G

Moderate overlap front

Chest
G
Head/Neck
G
Left Leg/Foot
G
Overall Front
G
Restraints
G
Right Leg/Foot
M
Structure/safety cage
G

Side

Driver Head Protection
G
Driver Head and Neck
G
Driver Pelvis/Leg
G
Driver Torso
G
Overall Side
G
Rear Passenger Head Protection
G
Rear Passenger Head and Neck
G
Rear Passenger Pelvis/Leg
G
Rear Passenger Torso
G
Structure/safety cage
G
Insurance Institute for Highway Safety (IIHS) is a nonprofit research and communications organization funded by auto insurers. IIHS rates vehicles good, acceptable, marginal or poor based on performance in high-speed front and side crash tests. IIHS also evaluates seat/head restraints for protection against neck injuries in rear impacts.

Service & Repair

Estimated Service & Repair cost: $4,100 per year.

Save on maintenance costs and do your own repairs.

Warranty Coverage

Bumper-to-Bumper

48mo/50,000mi

Powertrain

60mo/60,000mi

Roadside Assistance Coverage

48mo/50,000mi

What you should get in your warranty can be confusing. Make sure you are informed.

Learn More About Warranties

Warranties Explained

Bumper-to-Bumper

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

Powertrain

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

Roadside Assistance

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

Free Scheduled Maintenance

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

Other Years