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Base model shown as 2009 2dr HB Man S
2009 Volkswagen Rabbit 2dr HB Man S

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Top Features of Base Model

  • Sporty handling
  • Design allows for roomy interior
  • Adaptive suspension smooths the ride
  • Premium cabin materials

Volkswagen Rabbit: New Limited-Edition Trim

Just one drive in the 2019 Volkswagen Rabbit GTI and you'll know that it's the same iconic hatchback that earned its reputation. The GTI strikes a happy balance between performance, practicality, and user-friendliness all packaged for a price that doesn't break the bank. The new Rabbit trim gives you driver help features as standard fare, along with a few bonuses.

The base GTI model builds on the Golf platform, improving on its performance by way of a stronger engine. It also comes with a seven-speed dual-clutch automatic transmission plus a lower suspension to smooth rides on the highway.

This year, the automaker pushes its driver safety features towards the Rabbit and other higher-end trims. However, each trim comes with bigger brakes and a mechanical limited-slip differential, both of which improve the transfer of wheel power.

What's New for the GTI This Year?

This year, Volkswagen introduces the Rabbit trim level, giving it driver safety features as well as upgraded brakes. This year's engine is also stronger, gaining eight horses for a total of 228. Finally, the previous six-speed automatic is gone, replaced with a seven-speed dual-clutch.

Sporty Handling

The GTI feels firm on the ground around the neighborhood, but it's still capable of absorbing shock, meaning the ride feels silky smooth. Once the roads start twisting, the Rabbit rolls, but precision steering and standard disc brakes help you regain confidence behind the wheel.

This year, each trim gets a limited-slip differential that can sense torque, variably distributing it to the front wheels. The limited transmission of power inhibits the problems common with front-wheel drive while improving the traction of all wheels. With the right tires, the unit suffers from little on the road.

That said, if your goal is to find a budget vehicle that doesn't compromise on driving enjoyment, then the Volkswagen Rabbit will satisfy.

How Fast Can the Volkswagen Rabbit Go?

For its price, the VW offers exceptional performance value, but the all-season tires hurt braking and handling. From a standstill, the car takes 6.8 seconds to reach 60 miles per hour. That translates to a quick drive in real-world situations.

Generously Spacious Cabin

The most significant benefit to a hatchback is cargo function, and this year's Volkswagen doesn't disappoint. As long as you are not trying to go camping off-road for the long weekend, there shouldn't be a trunk space problem. There's more than enough room to haul luggage for the whole family.

In all, there are 22.8 cubic feet of space for your luggage behind the seats. Fold the 60/40-split rear seats, and you can ramp it up to 52.7 cubes. There is also a pass-thru that enables you to comfortably fit hockey sticks along with your passengers.

Can the Vehicle Hold Small Objects?

Cabin space isn't lacking, and Volkswagen still uses the space well. The front doors come with tall, long pockets that can each hold two water bottles, while the back doors can hold one. The center console also opens up to reveal more storage space as well as beneath the armrest.

Comfortable Seats and Ride

With cars like the Volkswagen Rabbit, it's crucial to have good seat bolsters to secure your ride. Fortunately, the VW delivers by way of good thigh support and options to adjust.

The passenger in the front seat can adjust his or her height, and the seat uses a hand-cranked lever to do the job. Also, larger adults sitting in the rear may have trouble with shoulder space and legroom. If you really need to bring three other adults, have the tallest one sit up front.

The Rabbit's features include a manual climate control system for more cabin comfort. The system uses three knobs that control the mode, the speed of the fan, and the temperature. Upper trims come with auto climate control upgrades.

Does the Rabbit Have Infotainment?

The upper trims get the best infotainment technology, and the lower trims also offer some appealing extras. The Volkswagen Rabbit Limited Edition works well even without the bigger 8-inch display or with the built-in navigation. If you have a smartphone, you can use it through Apple CarPlay and Android Auto without having to upgrade.

Luxury Materials and Intuitive Design

Inside, the VW comes with smart controls that the driver can easily reach from his or her seat. The hatchback design allows you to get in easily, but tall passengers won't enjoy sitting behind another tall passenger with long legs. Also, the outward view range is fantastic.

The cabin isn't the most exciting in the world, but the conservative design will likely help it age better. The use of hard plastics drops the value a little, but the carbon door and faux leather trim return the aesthetic somewhere closer to upscale.

The steering wheel controls are less intuitive, though. For these, you'll want to read the manual or play around to figure out how each one works. The touchscreen interface, though, gives you access to most functions in a layout that makes more sense.

How Quickly Does the Car Stop?

It takes a long 134 feet to reach a complete stop from 60 miles per hour. Without the all-season tires, this distance would improve. The brake pedal also feels a little light, so you'll have to press them harder than you may think.

Target Market

Hatchbacks like the VW Rabbit offer plenty of room and comfort for families and individual drivers looking to complete daily errands and go on weekend trips. If you have pets who like to join for the journey, then a hatchback also offers enough room to secure a cage.

Drivers who need to bring a group of adult passengers around can do so with this car, but some of those passengers might fight for leg and elbow room. For the most comfort, stick to two adult passengers up front with two kids in the backseat or two smaller adults in the backseat.

If you're looking for a vehicle that feels fun to drive, has plenty of room for your gear, and has the handling that European cars are known for, then the Rabbit is exactly the one for you.

Our Thoughts

The Volkswagen Rabbit GTI is an excellent homage to the automaker's long history. Though we would have liked to see more features added to the new trim, limiting the production certainly helps increase its value. Nonetheless, the 2019 Volkswagen Rabbit is a worthy choice to grab before the company overhauls the model for its eighth generation.

Pros and Cons of the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit


• The Rabbit's sporty handling makes twisting roads fun to drive

• The hatchback design allows for both cargo and passenger versatility

• Great ride quality, especially with the adaptive suspension added

• Premium cabin materials increase value and comfort


• All-season tires come standard, which have poor grip that affect performance

• Lower trims lack many features standard on the competition

Model History

Born in the 1930s, Volkswagen always had high hopes of being a "people's car." It took years to produce an affordable replacement to its flagship, aiming for a spacious long-distance commuter.

Fast forward to the 1980s, and you'll find the Golf GTI. This model helped introduce performance to the masses for the first time, cementing the hatchback body as an innovation to marvel.

The automaker thought it would sell 5,000 vehicles. Over 40 years later, that number is over 2 million and counting. It's impossible to say how many other models the GTI has inspired, but the new 2019 Volkswagen Rabbit trim kicks it up yet another notch.

Specs & Key Features of the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit


Body Style
2 Door HB
170 hp
Passenger Doors
Passenger Seating
Front Wheel Drive
City MPG

Key Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • CD Player
  • Cruise Control
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • Tinted Glass

More Features

  • 15" x 6" steel wheels w/full wheel covers
  • 195/65HR15 all-season tires
  • Temporary use spare tire
  • Body-color bumpers
  • Body-color grille
  • Tinted glass
  • Body-color heated pwr mirrors w/integrated turn signals
  • 2-speed variable intermittent windshield wipers
  • Body-color door handles
  • Anti-intrusion side-impact door beams
  • Fully reclining manually adjustable cloth front bucket seats w/6-way driver & 4-way passenger seats, easy entry system, adjustable headrests
  • 60/40 split folding rear seat w/(3) height-adjustable headrests
  • Pwr door locks
  • Automatic pwr windows
  • Remote fuel door & hatch releases
  • Remote keyless entry
  • Cruise control
  • Theft-deterrent, height-adjustable/telescopic steering column
  • Audible & visible anti-theft vehicle alarm system for doors, hood, hatch, radio, starter
  • Air conditioning
  • Rear window defroster
  • Sun visors w/dual vanity mirrors, driver side sliding
  • (4) assist grips
  • Passenger side removable storage divider in cargo area
  • (2) pwr outlets
  • 2.5L DOHC SMPI I5 engine
  • 5-speed manual transmission w/OD
  • Front wheel drive
  • 4-link independent rear suspension
  • Front/rear stabilizer bars
  • Speed sensitive rack & pinion pwr steering
  • 4-wheel anti-lock disc brakes w/electronic brake pressure distribution, hydraulic brake assistant
  • Electronic stabilization program (ESP)
  • Anti-slip regulation (ASR)
  • Daytime running lights
  • Driver & front passenger airbag supplemental restraint system (SRS)
  • Driver & front passenger side-impact airbags
  • Front/rear side curtain protection
  • Buckle switch sensor for passenger airbag suppression
  • 3-point front/rear safety belts w/front pretensioners, load limiters, outboard height adjusters
  • Child safety rear door locks
  • LATCH child restraint system
  • Tire pressure monitoring system
  • Collapsible steering column
  • AM/FM stereo w/CD/MP3 player -inc: aux input jack, (8) speakers

Warranty Options for the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit (4)










Roadside Assistance



Available Trims for the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit (6)

2dr HB Man S
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2dr HB Man S PZEV
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2dr HB Auto S
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2dr HB Auto S PZEV
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4dr HB Auto S
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4dr HB Auto S PZEV
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Safety Ratings for the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit

2009 Volkswagen Rabbit 2dr HB Man S

US NHTSA Crash Test Results

Results shown are for the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit 2dr HB Man S:

Overall Rating
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
Overall Side Crash Rating
Side Barrier Rating
Side Barrier Rating Driver
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Front Seat
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat
Rollover Rating