I had the opportunity to test-drive a very well-kept, low-mileage, 2009 Rabbit 2dr hatchback a few days ago which is being sold at a remarkable price. It was my first time driving a VW, and first time driving a German car.
And what can I say, I was VERY IMPRESSED---by the build quality, the crisp handling, comfortable ride, thoughtful features, simple yet elegant and classy style both inside and out, and the general "solid" feel of the whole car.
HOWEVER, the only reason I restrained myself from forking over the money and buying iton the spot---was because I have all these lingering questions/doubts about:
1. VW long-term reliability: not so much the engine itself but everything else except the engine. I keep reading about how expensive it is to maintain VWs due to silly little stuff going bad like door locks, window motors, etc. Especially when compared to the likes of Honda and Toyota.
2. VW service & parts cost: since VW is not nearly as common in the US as Europe, do you really pay an arm and a leg at the dealer for routine maintenance, let alone periodical repairs?
3. The Rabbit is rated at 21city/30hwy by the EPA. Could such a quite conservative and light-footed driver like myself hope to ever surpass those numbers by say, 3-5mpg?
4. Resale value: is it really difficult to find buyers willing to pay a fair price for this car used, due to #1, 2, & 3 above?
Please share your personal (or anecdotal) experiences with the upkeep of this beautiful-looking car. I am hoping that you all will be able to talk me out of buying a boring 'ole Civic or Corolla or Hyundai Accent, please! I really want to, and I know that I'll be happier than a pig in s**t for the next 23K miles...but the 23K miles after that, and the one after that?