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STYLING | 7 out of 10
Small on the outside and big on the inside
The Rabbit's simple lines and uncluttered face make it look very similar to its Golf predecessor
A bit too vanilla when compared to sleeker rivals
The 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit is the U.S. version of the fifth-generation Golf--what Rabbits are called in Europe. The Rabbit is available in two- and four-door hatchback body styles, and in three models: base, performance GTI, and high-performance R32. As you might expect from something built in Wolfsburg, Germany, the Rabbit is Teutonic and all that--which explains the conservative, boxy shape that's well detailed but unexciting.
"Functional, practical and sporty" are the words Kelley Blue Book use to describe the 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit; it “wastes no sheet metal or bodywork." Cars.com praises its "simple lines and the uncluttered face." In addition, the VW Rabbit's "forward-leaning stance is emphasized by the narrowing side window line and the hatchback rear window," says Kelley Blue Book. According to MyRide.com, the Volkswagen Rabbit 2008 is "refreshing," and its "teardrop-shaped taillights" look "great with the hatch open or closed.” Edmunds studies the exterior closely and observes, “Notably, the word 'Rabbit' does not appear anywhere on the car; instead, a small chrome bunny cast mid-hop decorates the hatch of Volkswagen's entry-level compact.” Edmunds adds, “although larger and heavier than before, it retains the characteristic boxy but very functional hatchback architecture.” The GTI and R32 editions are characterized by what they don’t have: “the gaping air intakes and wing-and-spoiler bonanza” common to other high-performance compacts, Edmunds reports, though they get distinctive wheels and lower ride heights. The R32 also comes only as a two-door.
The VW Rabbit’s interior sits somewhere just north of somber. Car and Driver calls the interior of the VW Rabbit "pleasingly adult and gimmick-free." MyRide.com echoes the positivity, noting the clean interior design, which "takes advantage of Volkswagen's long touted cabin-building competence." Cars.com makes mention of the three-spoke steering wheel and "a high-mounted center stack" putting the Volkswagen Rabbit 2008 right in line with the Jetta and GTI. The dashboard and center console are "designed for compactness and ease of use," notes Kelley Blue Book. In the GTI edition, the Rabbit wears “standard cloth upholstery, which has a retro plaid print,” as well as a “flat-bottom steering wheel” and some GTI badging. The R32 uses similar seats and steering wheel, with its own badging.
The 2008 Volkswagen Rabbit has clean, characteristically conservative Volkswagen styling.