NEW FOR 2008:

– Power increase on Rabbit 2.5 from 150 hp to 170 hp and 170 lb-ft of torque to 177 lb-ft
– 16-inch alloy wheels part of Rabbit convenience package
– Dual-zone climate control standard on GTI
– Optional 18-inch wheels on GTI now equipped with all-season tires
– Optional SIRIUS Satellite Radio
– Rabbit “shark fin” antenna replaced with whip antenna

For 2008, the Rabbit and its performance GTI variant receive minor upgrades, including a power upgrade in the Rabbit’s 2.5-litre engine. The Rabbit was introduced in 2007 as an all-new model, renamed from the Golf.

The hatchback Rabbit is available in two- or four-door configuration (the company calls it a three- and five-door). Both use a 2.5-litre five-cylinder engine with five-speed manual transmission or optional six-speed automatic with manual shift mode.

The GTI is also available in two- or four-door configuration, and uses a turbocharged 2.0-litre four-cylinder engine mated to a six-speed manual or optional six-speed automatic Direct Shift Gearbox with manual mode.

Features on the two-door Rabbit include 15-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, heated mirrors, variable intermittent wipers, anti-theft alarm, cruise control, power locks with keyless entry, CD stereo with auxiliary jack, six-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, 60/40 split folding rear seat, tilt and telescopic wheel, and cloth seat fabric.

The four-door Rabbit adds body-coloured mouldings, adjustable front centre armrest with storage, velour seat fabric, eight-way manually adjustable driver’s seat, lumbar supports, and 60/40 split folding rear seat with centre armrest and pass-through.

Available options on the Rabbit include power sunroof, alloy wheels, six-CD stereo, heated seats, floor mats, stability control, and on the four-door, rear-seat side airbags.

Features on both GTI models include 17-inch alloy wheels, dual-zone automatic climate control, sport suspension, stability control, Xenon headlights, fog lamps, heated mirrors, rear spoiler, variable intermittent wipers, heated washer nozzles, cruise control, floor mats, trip computer, power locks with keyless entry, six-CD/MP3 stereo with auxiliary jack, eight-way manually adjustable heated sport seats, 60/40 split folding rear seat with centre armrest and pass-through, tilt and telescopic wheel, and power windows.

The Rabbit’s power increase makes this fun-to-drive model even better: it corners sharply, the five-speed is fun to drive, and the six-speed is very smooth. The supportive seats provide long-distance comfort, and the rear seat is relatively roomy for the car’s size.

The GTI builds on that, offering punchy performance with no turbo lag, accurate steering and two transmissions that are equally worthy of spirited driving.

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