01 09golfvwsmall.jpg
Volkswagen Rabbit
aka Volkswagen Golf outside the US
Production 2006-Present
Class Compact
Body Style 3- or 5-door Hatchback
Length 165.8 in (4210 mm)
Width 69.3 in (1759 mm)
Height 58.2 in (1479 mm)
Wheelbase 101.5 in (2578 mm)
Weight 2975-3041 lb (1349-1379 kg)
Transmission 5-speed manual
6-speed automatic
Engine 2.5 litre Inline-5
Power 150 hp @ 5000 rpm
170 lb-ft of torque @ 3750 rpm
Similar Ford Focus
Honda Civic
Chevrolet HHR
Mazda Mazda3
Nissan Sentra
Dodge Caliber
Pontiac Vibe
Mini Cooper
Toyota Matrix
Designer Designer (lead designer if it was a team effort)

The Volkswagen Rabbit is a compact car manufactured in Germany by Volkswagen. It originally debuted in Europe in 1974 as the Volkswagen Golf and adopted the Rabbit moniker when it made its first appearance in Canada and the United States in 1975. In 1985, Volkswagen switched its name back to the original Golf, and it remained as such for 21 years. When the new Mk V platform was developed, Volkswagen opted to switch the Golf's name again, and in early 2006 the brand new Rabbit was unveiled. By March 2009, however, Volkswagen has again opted to drop the "Rabbit" moniker in favor of the "Golf", thus continuing Volkswagen's never ending saga of switching the name of its entry-level hatch for the North American market.

Recent Changes

  • On August of 2008, Volkswagen unveiled the sixth generation of the Golf/Rabbit on the internet, though Volkswagen will not 'officially' unveil the car until the 2008 Paris Motor Show in October of that year. Predictably, as of this writing, information is scarce but what is known is that the new 2009 Golf will be wider than the outgoing model and will feature styling reminiscent of the Volkswagen Scirocco and taillamps suspiciously similar to ones found on the Touareg. The new car's styling is more 'evolutionary' than 'revolutionary'. Underhood, the new Golf will feature a range of 2 Diesel (1.9-liter and 2.0-liter TDI) and 3 Petrol (1.4-liter TSI, 1.8-liter and 2.0-liter TFSI) burning engines. BTW, the first UK example of the new Golf will be auctioned of for charity by the London Press Club Ball on October 15, 2008. All proceeds from the auction will go to the “Journalists' Charity”, which is a UK charity organization for all journalists in need. [1][2][3][4][5][6]

The Mk V Rabbit is set to replace the Volkswagen Golf for the 2007 model year and beyond. As such, the engine has been upgraded to a standard 2.5-L 150-hp I-5 for both the 2-door and 4-door models.

Styles and Major Options

The 2006 Rabbit is available in two trims: a 2-door hatchback and a 4-door hatchback. Here are some of the features offered with each of them:

Rabbit 2-Door

  • 150-hp 2.5L DOHC engine
  • 6-way manually adjustable driver's seat
  • Turn signal indicator in side mirrors
  • 10-speaker AM/FM CD stereo system
  • Speed sensitive wipers

Rabbit 4-Door

  • 150-hp 2.5L DOHC engine
  • 60/40 folding rear seat
  • Heatable front seats
  • Adjustable lumbar support for driver and front passenger
  • Light tinted windows


Today's actual prices for the Volkswagen Rabbit can be found at CarsDirect.

3-door 5-door
$14,990 $16,990
$14,378 $16,277

Gas Mileage

As seen on the website, the City/Highway MPG averages are as follows:

5-Cyl. 2.5L
5-Speed Manual
5-Cyl. 2.5L
6-Speed Automatic
22/30 22/30

Engine and Transmission

Specifications, details, graphs, pictures and other information regarding the powertrain is placed in this section.


Please make sure to write information of the vehicle's performance in a third-person point of view. This section should include information about the car's acceleration figures, handling, braking, etc.

If using information gathered from Road Test articles from a reputable automotive source, then please make sure to cite the quote.


Before being redesigned and renamed the Rabbit, the Volkswagen Golf received high reliability ratings in recent years. While there is little reason to believe its ratings will drop significantly, it is wise to bear in mind that the new Rabbit is based on an entirely new platform and that reliability ratings for this model are not yet available.

  • RECALL ALERT: On Dec 15, 2010 Volkswagen launched a recall affecting 228,236 Golf, Jetta sedan, Jetta Sportwagen, New Beetle and Rabbit models, manufactured between 2006 and 2010, due to the possibility that the Golf, Jetta sedan, Jetta Sportwagen may have a small plastic tab on the windshield washer fluid reservoir that may chafe against a fuel supply line. The safety recall is expected to begin on or before January 31, 2011. The German manufacturer can be contacted at 1-800-822-8987.[7]



The Volkswagen Golf has received excellent safety ratings from the NHTSA, earning 5/5 stars in front impact test and 4/5 stars in side impact tests consistently since 2000. These are some of the safety features included or available for the Golf:



The Volkswagen Rabbit is available in the following colors:


  • Black Uni
  • Reflex Silver
  • United Gray
  • Sage Green
  • Shadow Blue
  • Candy White
  • Tornado Red


  • Anthracite
  • Art Gray (only available for 4-door)

Main Competitors

Hybrid Models

There are no hybrid models of the Rabbit.

Unique Attributes

There are no hybrid models of the VW Rabbit; however, there exists a possibility that VW's excellent 2.0 litre clean-diesel engine will be available 2008+.


This section should include information on the interior's design, build quality, ergonomics, space (head and legroom, front and rear), features, stowage compartments and overall comfort and livability. Add pictures wherever applicable and keep information in a third-person point of view.

Resale Values

Add more fields as necessary.

<MODEL> Year
Year X Year X-2 Year X-3 Year X-4
Resale Value
$ $ $ $


The 2.5 liter 5-cylinder provides good torque, but can't match the horsepower figure, or fuel economy, of Japan's 4-cylinders.


The Volkswagen Rabbit was initially introduced in 1974 as the North American version of the European Volkswagen Golf. Production of the Rabbit continued for the duration of the first platform, the Mk I, until 1985 when its original Golf name was reassigned to it. The Rabbit, redesigned on a new platform, now returns the favor in 2007, making its comeback by replacing the Golf in Volkswagen's lineup. A more complete history of the Golf/Rabbit can be found here.


Please make sure NOT to use copyrighted pictures.

Current Generation: Mk VI (2009-present)

Sixth generation Volkswagen Golf.

The 2009 Rabbit features a 5 cylinder engine with Tiptronic 6 speed automatic transmission that can be set to sport mode which allows for longer RPM runs before shifting gears. The sport mode also aggressively down shifts to keep the engine in the power band. Alternatively a manual mode is available which allows the driver to shift gears up and down as with a F1 car (sequentially).

The base radio is OK at best, however the premium sound system is highly recommended. Like the Monsoon system of previous marks, the premium sound system incorporates high end speakers with a much more fidelic head unit.

Turning radius on this car is absolutely fantastic. The stock suspension and geometry setup is perfect for that sporty feeling or emergency maneuver. Five cylinder exhaust sound is impressive, yet quite.

MY 2009 will be the last year for the Rabbit nameplate. Volkswagen announced that for MY2010, the Rabbit will be take on the Golf nomenclature.

Previous Generations


The second-generation Golf was launched in 1983 (launched in North America in 1985) and featured a larger bodyshell and a wider range of engine options.

This Golf was marketed for the first time with that name in the United States and Canada. The Rabbit name used on the MkI was meant to give the car a cuddly image, but with the eighties redesign of the car, Carl Hahn, the former Volkswagen of America president and now chairman of the entire Volkswagen company, dictated that Volkswagen model names be standardized globally. James Fuller, head of the Volkswagen brand in North America, concurred in using the Golf name to stress the car's Teutonic character.

When sales in North America failed to live up to expectations, the Westmoreland plant was closed in July 1988.


In 1978, Volkswagen commenced producing the Rabbit version of the Mk1 Golf in Westmoreland County, Pennsylvania, thus becoming the first European car manufacturer in modern times to produce a vehicle in the United States. Former Chevrolet executive James McLernon was chosen to run the factory, which was built to lower the cost of the Rabbit in North America by producing it locally. Unfortunately, McLernon tried to "Americanize" the Rabbit by softening the suspension and using cheaper materials for the interior. VW purists in America and company executives in Germany were displeased, and for the 1983 model year the Pennsylvania plant went back to using stiffer shocks and suspension with higher-quality interior trim. The plant also began producing the GTI for the North American market. Rabbits were built in Pennsylvania through 1984.

The Volkswagen Rabbit GTI, the North American version of the high-perfomance Golf GTI, debuted in the 1983 model year and was in production for two seasons. Assembled from parts made in Mexico, Canada, Germany and the U.S. in Volkswagen's Westmoreland, Pennsylvania assembly plant, the Rabbit GTI had the same Mk1 chassis, and the same A1 body type as the Mk1 Golf GTI that had been on sale in Europe since 1976, with a few exceptions. Key distinct features of the Rabbit GTI were its GTI surname, the squared front end styling, blue or red felt and leatherette trim, and its alloy "snowflake" wheels. The squared styling of the front end, particularly the wraparound blinkers, gave it added safety and slight improvement in performance. Under the hood, the engine was a JH 1.8 liter 4-cylinder engine that ran on unleaded petroleum fuel. The JH 1.8l was transversely mounted, and it would peak in stock condition at around 80-85 HP. Claims to gas mileage of near-perfectly tuned Rabbit GTIs range bewteen 25 and 30 miles per gallon.


The Rabbit is known everywhere outside North America as the Volkswagen Golf. It has enjoyed immense worldwide success, and remains one of the world's best sellers, moving more than 24 million cars over 5 generations.

Design Quirks and Oddities

The original Golf/Rabbit is credited with popularizing the hot hatch, or European hatchback, style of automobile. After its initial debut, several companies rushed to bring out their own takes on the genre.


See Also


Volkswagen Group

Volkswagen | Audi | SEAT | Škoda | Bentley | Bugatti | Lamborghini | Ducati | Porsche


Cars: Golf · Golf R20 · Golf GTI · Jetta · Passat · New Beetle · Eos · Touran · CrossTouran · Golf Plus · CrossGolf · Fox · Polo · CrossPolo · Polo GTI · Phaeton · Sagitar · Passat Lingyu · Santana 3000 · Santana · Lupo · Passat CC · Scirocco · Lavida · Gol · Parati · Gol Country · Saveiro · New Mid-Size Sedan · Vento · Passat NMS · Up!

Vans/SUV/MPVs: Routan · Touareg · Sharan · Caravelle · Tiguan · SpaceFox · Suran · CrossFox · Multivan · California · Transporter · Crafter · Caddy · Caddy Maxi ·

Trucks: Amarok


Cars: Beetle · Corrado · Dasher · Thing · Karmann Ghia · Karmann Ghia 1500/1600 · Karmann Ghia TC · SP2 · Type 87 Kommandeurswagen · 411 · Pointer · 1500 · Brasilia · 1600 · K70 · Derby · Type 3 · Type 4 · Apollo · Logus · Rabbit · Citi Golf

Vans/SUVs: Eurovan · Vanagon · Bus · Kübelwagen · Fridolin · Type 2 · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

Trucks: Saveiro · Taro · · · · · · · · · · · · · ·

Concept Vehicles

Golf GTI W12 650 Concept · Iroc Concept · Tiguan Concept · EcoRacer Concept · GX3 · Beetle Ragster · Concept A · Concept C · Concept R · Concept T · W12 Nardo · Cheetah · Microbus · 1 Litre · Up! Concept · Polo Cabrio Concept · Concept Slipstream · Space Up! Concept · Viseo Electric Concept · Space Up! Blue Concept · Golf Variant RaVe 270 Concept · EGO Concept · ONE Concept · ROOM Concept · Touareg North Sails Concept · Caddy Topos Sail Concept · Golf BlueMotion Diesel Concept · Concept Pickup · Caddy 4MOTION PanAmericana Concept · Bio Runner Concept · Scirocco Study R Concept · BlueSport Concept · 'NMS' · Polo BlueMotion Concept · Wörthersee 09 Polo GTI Concept · Wörthersee 09 Golf GTI Concept · L1 Concept · E-Up! Concept · Up! Lite Concept · New Compact Coupe Concept · Milano Taxi EV Concept · E-Lavida Concept · Tapiro Concept · London Taxi EV Concept · E-Bugster Concept · Beetle R Concept


Touareg TDI Trophy Truck · Scirocco GT24-CNG · Race Touareg 3

Ferdinand Porsche · Major Ivan Hirst · Gläserne Manufaktur · Engines

German Labour Front (Deutsche Arbeitsfront), a Nazi trade union Corporate website A subsidiary of the Volkswagen Group

External Links

News and References

Enthusiast Sites and Discussion Forums