By KBB.com Editors
The PT Cruiser continues as one of the most stylish and fun-to-own compact wagons on the market. While some may argue its retro look has grown tiresome, sales remain strong, as does the demand for aftermarket parts and accessories. Beyond its flamboyant "look at me" exterior, the PT Cruiser provides a roomy and highly flexible interior as adept at hauling kids and cargo as it is serving tailgate, or, rather, liftgate-party duty. Unlike most cars in this segment, Chrysler offers PT buyers a choice of three fuel-efficient engines, two of which are turbocharged. Best of all, the PT Cruiser's price tag starts around $15,000, making it a vehicle just about anyone can afford.
If you love driving something that pays homage to a great era in American cars, the PT Cruiser is your vehicle. You don't have to sacrifice for your kicks either, as the PT has loads of space, a clever adjustable rear shelf and a choice of normally-aspirated or turbocharged engines.
If you're looking for a full-size recreation of a 1940s American sedan, the PT Cruiser will be too small and probably not cushy enough for you. And if you look at it as an alternative small SUV like the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4, the PT Cruiser does not offer the same ground clearance or optional all-wheel drive.
For 2007, the base PT Cruiser receives a soft-touch power liftgate release and remote keyless entry. Standard on the Limited, YES Essential odor and stain-resistant seat fabric becomes an option on the Touring model, while a limited-production Pacific Coast Highway Edition becomes available this summer.
Driving Impressions The GT's rowdy personality can be linked directly to its willing power source: A 2.4-liter turbocharged engine that kicks out a whopping 230 horsepower. The GT's brawny muscle shows up...early in the rpm band to rocket the car from zero to 60 miles per hour in a shade over seven seconds. There is no turbo lag here, and you can easily spin the front wheels on a hard standing start.
Adjustable Rear Shelf
The PT Cruiser's adjustable rear shelf can be set to various heights.
PT Cruiser Exterior
The PT's marvelous exterior lends itself to multiple personality changes.
The innovative interior includes new satin-finish dash trim, a retro-looking cue ball shift knob and tall, upright seating. The rear storage area features a moveable shelf that can serve as a table for tailgate parties or a privacy cover to hide valuables. Rear-seat passengers will find plenty of head and legroom and a good view of the road ahead, thanks to the raised rear seats.Exterior
Clearly one of the most recognizable shapes on the road, the PT's retro panel van styling is truly classic. Though built on the now-defunct Dodge Neon platform, the PT sits up higher than most cars, more like a small SUV. Its tall doors make accessing the interior a breeze and the big rear hatch makes it easy to load long or bulky items. An ample supply of aftermarket body kits and performance-enhancing add-ons allows for some wild customization at bargain-basement prices.
As standard equipment the PT has a 150-horsepower 2.4-liter engine, five-speed manual transmission, rear defrost, dual side mirrors, AM/FM stereo with CD and MP3 input jack, tilt wheel, power windows, keyless entry, full wheel covers and a rear wiper/washer. The Touring trim adds air conditioning, AM/FM stereo with CD, power mirrors and a fold-flat passenger seat. The sporty GT model adds a high-output turbocharged engine, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS), fog lights, power glass moonroof, front side-impact airbags, leather seats, sport suspension and 17-inch aluminum wheels.
Options include a 180-horsepower turbocharged engine, navigation radio, anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction control, front side-impact airbags, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, suede-trimmed seats, power driver's seat height adjustment, chrome wheels, Auto Stick automatic transmission (available with the GT) and a 368-watt Boston Acoustic stereo with subwoofer and MP3 playback capability.
The standard engine works well in the PT, giving it good acceleration and respectable fuel economy. For those who want the PT's performance to live up to its racy good looks, a move up to the low-pressure, 180-horsepower turbo engine is recommended, though doing so means you cannot have the five-speed manual and it also adds a hefty $1,200 to the bottom line. Leadfoots should opt for the GT, which has the high-output turbo.
2.4-liter in-line 4
150 horsepower @ 5100 rpm
165 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/29 (manual), 21/26 (automatic)
2.4-liter in-line 4 Turbocharged
180 horsepower @ 5200 rpm
210 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2800-4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 19/26
2.4-liter in-line 4 Turbocharged High-Output
230 horsepower @ 5100 rpm
245 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2800-4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/27 (manual), 19/26 (automatic)
By GM KY on Thursday, July 03, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 198,500overall rating 6 of 10rating details
Pros: "It will last 200,000 miles with proper care"
Cons: "None really"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 6
"It's been a good & practical car. Nothing really fancy about it. It's been driven in all sorts of weather and on all kinds of roads. I can't really complain because it's approaching 200,000 miles. Yes, I've replaced and repaired several items on the car. It's been driven a lot over the past 10 years, so you have to figure things are going to break if you average 20,000 miles a year."
2 people out of 2 found this review helpful
By Ashley on Tuesday, July 01, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 156,969overall rating 1 of 10rating details
Cons: "transmission, engine, tire, and electrical problem"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 1
"Not a good car, needed servicing to replace the engine 3 days after purchase.. since then has been in the shop 6 times over a years time and still is not fixed. This has to be one of the worst cars I have ever owned and I would NOT recommend a car like this to anyone else!"
3 people out of 7 found this review helpful
By Woody on Wednesday, June 25, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 60,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "enjoy driving"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Bought this car new. I have never had any problems with it. The turbo engine gives great performance. Excellent gas mileage. room to carry a lot of items in the back. My Chrysler dealer is excellent. Only maintenance was new rotors and pads on front. New heavy duty spark plug wires and spark plugs. I recommend this car."
7 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Disneybear on Saturday, June 21, 2014
I owned and sold this car
Reason: Time for a new car
Pros: "Fun car, being over 6'2" and 460 pounds there was"
Cons: "They stopped making them"
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"Having had this car for 10 years. The only think I out into is car was oil changes,tires and a new battery. Still had the original parts, from brakes to everything under the hood was original equipment"
6 people out of 6 found this review helpful
By waterdg on Sunday, June 08, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "A GREAT Classic Cabriolet CONVERTIBE Stying"
Cons: "Poor gas mieage and huge turning radius."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10
"When Chrysler first introduced the PT Cruiser, their dealers didn't have demos in stock. I had to make an appointment for a test drive. I wanted one but didn't get on a waiting list. Years later, Retired and living at the beach, we gave up the motorcycles in favor of a convertibe. We looked at a couple of PT's and bought one. This is a quality Chrysler product. Things are engineered and built to function and work. We have taken long road trips with the top both up and down. Never a fault or surprise. A comfortable pleasure to drive."
8 people out of 10 found this review helpful
By Gil on Thursday, June 05, 2014
I own this car - My approximate mileage is 20,000overall rating 10 of 10rating details
Pros: "great vehicle, great price , and value."
Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9
"Outstanding vehicle, great performance. I am 6' 3", 230 lbs and plenty of interior room even with the moon roof. Quiet, smooth and great performance. I have had this car for eight years and have not had any issues . Love this car and would recommend to anyone!"
3 people out of 4 found this review helpful