If Consumer Reports is right, Volkswagen is well on its way to attaining its dream of outselling Toyota by 2015. In the magazine's June 2008 issue, CR threw a handful of hatchbacks into the ring and the VW Rabbit hopped out the winner. The magazine cited the Rabbit's "very well finished" interior for its class, agility, braking and transmission as reasons to choose it over a growing field of small hatchbacks. CR also expects the Rabbit to have an "above average" reliability record.
The biggest negative the staff found in the VW was "mediocre" fuel economy for a car its size, though many SUV drivers looking to downsize will love seeing its 24 mpg figure. Staffers also complained about the large C-pillars blocking their view and engine lag after stops.
Consumer Reports has routinely praised the Mazda3 as one of its favorite hatches, but in overall scoring, the car now comes in third, slightly behind the Toyota Prius Touring. Rounding out the top five are the Subaru Impreza Outback Sport and the newly redesigned Toyota Matrix/Pontiac Vibe twins. At the bottom of the list are the Dodge Caliber and the Chevrolet HHR.