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2007 Volkswagen Rabbit Photo
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It's an age-old human struggle and the subject of poems and contentious marketing meetings. For a... Read more »
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by Rex Roy

 

"So what do we call it?"

 

It's an age-old human struggle and the subject of poems and contentious marketing meetings. For a moment, put yourself in Volkswagen's shoes. Your brand was hot not all that long ago, but in recent years, questionable build quality (Touareg) and ego-driven missteps (Phaeton) have cooled things off. Now it's time to launch a genuinely important car, the fifth-generation Golf. In a quest for its lost marketing mojo, somebody floats the idea, "What if we bring back the bunny?" Hmmm, what if?

 

Volkswagen marketing types elected to go retro with the Rabbit name. Director of Brand Innovation, Kerri Martin, believes this move will resonate with "North American enthusiasts who have an emotional connection with the Rabbit name." Whatever. Anything else up your sleeve, VW, other than a name that you used first in 1974?

 

Batteries don't power this bunny

 

Rabbit logo

Rabbit logo

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Well, let's see. Looking past what it's called here inNorth America , the car is most certainly a Golf. And that's a good thing …Teutonic and all that goes with something designed and screwed together in Wolfsburg , Germany .

 

It drives like it's from Germany, too. The ride is taut but never jarring. The front struts and independent rear suspension absorbs big bumps with nary a crash or bang. Ride motions are well controlled with little roll in corners. Steering feels precise with a good on-center feel. Unlike so many budget-minded cars using numbing electric power assisted steering, the Rabbit's steering is actually communicative — downright lively and involving.

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