A Trusty Formula
Volkswagen reintroduced the Rabbit to North America in 2006, an attempt to cash in on the nostalgia for the model, which was first introduced in 1974. The formula that worked so well for the Beetle has worked again for this fun, economical hatchback. After several days in the city, and a long weekend in the country, the test drive totalled nearly 1000 kilometres – and she was a pleasure for every click.
The One with Zip
The Rabbit has a 2.5L straight-5 engine, which, obviously, is a compromise between 4- and 6-cylinder models. The result is decent fuel economy (7 litres/100 km on the highway, 10.6 in the city) and terrific thrust and power. The 16″ tires look abnormally wide, but they provide sticky traction and, when paired with the power assisted steering and manual transmission, make for a thrilling drive. Take the Rabbit to the bendiest roads and enjoy. The exceptionally tight 10.9-metre turning circle is your built-in escape when traffic blocks up.
Good Luck Charm
Truly nostalgic brand weenies will enjoy the tilt-a-whirl device for the hatch door. The palm-sized logo folds ninety degrees, becoming a handle. Ten speakers envelope you in sound, while the six-CD changer blasts. The buttons for locking the doors are tiny lights, electronically powered from your key remote. The remote creepily feels similar in size to a rabbit’s foot. But, hey, it’s good luck.
Comfortline starts at $20,950.
Steven Bochenek, The Urban Driver