Yonkers, New York – The Volkswagen Rabbit has been named the top-rated affordable hatchback by Consumer Reports magazine, following tests of six vehicles for the June issue. The Rabbit received higher points than the magazine’s previously-rated top hatchback, the Mazda3.

“With agile handling and a versatile, well-finished interior, the Rabbit feels solid and is a pleasant car to drive,” said David Champion, senior direct of Consumer Reports’ Auto Test Center. “The Rabbit has commendable fit and finish, a versatile interior, and agile handling.”

The Rabbit was tested against the Subaru Impreza Outback Sport, Toyota Matrix, Saturn Astra, Mini Cooper Clubman and the Scion xD, a brand made by Toyota but not sold in Canada. The Volkswagen achieved an “Excellent” overall score, the only vehicle of the group to do so. The Impreza and Matrix were rated “Very Good” overall; the Astra and Mini Cooper scored lower, but were still in the “Very Good” range. The xD rated lowest with “Good”.

The engineers separately tested the Toyota Prius with Touring Package trim line; it ranked second overall, behind the Rabbit and one point ahead of the Mazda3.

Of the vehicles in the report, Consumer Reports recommends only the Rabbit and Impreza. It has no reliability data yet on the Matrix, Astra, Mini or xD because they are new or redesigned models for 2008. Consumer Reports only recommends vehicles that have performed well in its tests, have at least average predicted reliability based on a survey of Consumer Reports subscribers, and performed at least adequately if crash-tested or included in a government rollover test.

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