• In 1983 your VW Rabbit diesel didn't have the same emission standards that it would have today. It also didn't have to meet the same crash test standards. It also didn't need to have an air bag. The emission standards all but killed the small diesel in the US. The safety requirements have made todays vehicles heavier and reduced their economy. They are working on small diesels in the US but they will cost more due to the systems required to meet emissions. My take on it and a good question. +++
  • As pointed out elsewhere, emissions and crash test regulations are stricter now. The Rabbit was a small car anyways. While fairly rugged, they are not tough enough to take an impact, ESPECIALLY not against an SUV. And the size would have a hard time selling in an era where even a single, childless woman wants third-row seating and everybody NEEDS the high driver's seat so as to look down upon mere mortals. Oh, and the Rabbit diesels were not exactly quick. Sure, they handled phenomenally and could go fast... given time and a long stretch of level ground. Most people won't consider a car with under 130 HP now.
  • My Dad would agree with you! He told me that the Rabbit was the best car he ever had!

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