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PERFORMANCE | 8 out of 10
stiff body structure and multilink rear suspension combine to help deliver comfortably compliant ride and handling
the Rabbit's acceleration time to 60 mph is a somewhat laggard nine seconds
gas mileage with the optional automatic transmission is 21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway
Reviewers are generally pleased with the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit's performance. It's not shocking, but it's not completely disappointing either.
Cars.com notes that the VW Rabbit "shares its 2.5-liter inline-five-cylinder engine with the Jetta." MyRide.com says, "The Rabbit's five-cylinder engine is unique in its class, as competitors use four-cylinder motors." Additionally, "thanks to improved airflow and valve-train management," remarks Cars.com, "output in both cars increases to 170 horsepower and 177 pounds-feet of torque, up from 150 hp and 170 pounds-feet last year." MyRide.com states the base Rabbit offers a five-speed manual and a six-speed automatic. The "manual gearbox is tight and guides between gears with little effort," they contend. Edmunds adds that the standard five-speed manual shooting power over to the front wheels and the optional six-speed automatic with manual-shifting capability make "great use of the engine's power band." MyRide.com observes a "somewhat laggard" acceleration time of nine seconds to 60 mph, but Car and Driver reports "torque pours forth from small motions of your right foot."
Edmunds notes that "fuel economy for the 2009 Rabbit is...a bit lower than average for this class of car." Cars.com provides the 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit's fuel economy numbers, saying the car gives you "21 mpg in the city and 29 mpg on the highway" with the manual transmission and 22/29 mpg with the automatic.
Edmunds also notes, "A stiff body structure and multilink rear suspension combine to help deliver comfortably compliant ride and handling." However, real VW lovers will "lament the loss of some steering feel due to the adoption of electric-assisted power steering." Car and Driver appreciates the VW Rabbit's handling, commenting, "The Rabbit rewards high corner-entry speed with a chassis able not only to help you survive the experience but also to facilitate tire-squealing fun." Steering is "Germanic," feeling "hefty and communicative" in the Volkswagen Rabbit 2009.
The 2009 Volkswagen Rabbit offers performance that is acceptable but never stellar; if fuel economy is a priority, you'll need to go elsewhere.