Advertisement

Why ads?
Popular at KBB.com
  • 10 Best SUVs Under $25,000
  • 10 Best AWD Cars & SUVs Under $25,000
  • The 40 MPG Cars of 2014
  • 10 Best Sedans Under $25,000
Go

2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser

Overview
Share this page
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser Review

By

The 2009 Chrysler 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 fuel-efficient engines, one of which is turbocharged. Best of all, the PT Cruiser's price tag starts around $18,500, making it a vehicle just about anyone can afford.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you love driving something that pays homage to a great era in American cars, the 2009 Chrysler 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.

You May Not Like This Car If...

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.

What's New for 2009

No major changes for 2009.

Driving the PT Cruiser

Driving Impressions Driving the 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser is much like driving any compact car, only you sit a bit higher and get many more smiles and thumbs-up signs flashed your way....

The steering is precise and without vagueness, the brakes are firm and the handling good. We drove the Limited model featuring the more powerful 180-horsepower four-cylinder turbo mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The seamless turbo works in concert with a balanced suspension to deliver a driving experience fitting the car's Cruiser designation. On turbo models, there is very little torque steer, a pleasant surprise for such a powerful front-drive car. There seems to be a good deal of low-end torque as we didn't feel the need to downshift when climbing steep grades or attempting leisurely passing maneuvers.

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.

2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser Details
2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser photo Interior

The 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser's innovative interior includes a satin-finish dash trim, a retro-looking color-keyed 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 old 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.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

As standard equipment, the 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser LX has a 150-horsepower 2.4-liter engine, five-speed manual transmission, rear defrost, manual side mirrors, AM/FM stereo with CD and MP3 input jack, tilt wheel, air conditioning, power windows, keyless entry, front-seat side-impact air bags, full wheel covers and a rear wiper/washer. The Touring trim adds an automatic transmission, power driver's seat, cruise control, power mirrors, 16-inch alloy wheels and a fold-flat passenger's seat. The Limited model adds a turbocharged engine, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) with low-speed traction control, fog lamps, chrome package, leather seats, power moon roof, uconnect with SIRIUS Satellite Radio and 17-inch polished aluminum wheels.

Optional Equipment

Options include the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine (Touring), 368-watt Boston Acoustics audio group with six speakers and subwoofer, anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction control, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, heated front seat power moon roof and a four-speed automatic transmission.

Under the Hood

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 transmission.

2.4-liter in-line 4
150 horsepower @ 5100 rpm
165 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/26 (manual), 19/24 (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: 18/24

Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?

2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.4
Out of 10

Based on 1358 Ratings for the 2001 - 2010 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    7.8/10
    Quality
    7.7/10
  • Reliability
    8.0/10
    Performance
    7.6/10
  • Comfort
    8.1/10
    Styling
    8.3/10

best value ever

By on Wednesday, April 22, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 50,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "fun to drive on long freeway trips"

Cons: "door lock just now broke on right front door"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"the great sound of the engine easy on gas bill always reliable performance, snow storms, hail & downpours loads of space for moving to a new home maintenance costs, affordable stylish, saucy design high value for a modest budget great Chrysler production thanks to all who put the car together"

Convertible is Unique

By on Tuesday, April 14, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 47,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
8/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
9/10

Cons: "Idles roughly sometimes"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"Double lining in roof keeps the vehicle warm in the winter and cool in the summer with A/C; but why bother with a/c. It is comfortable and with fold down rear seat has more cargo space than expected. Handles very well at 75 and on ice."

3 people out of 5 found this review helpful

I love this car

By on Monday, April 06, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 106,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 9

"I bought this GT version seven years ago. It has been virtually a great running vehicle. I absolutely love it. It rides very smooth. It corners great. Plenty of power with the turbo. If I have any complaint, it is the gas mileage. 20 mpg city and hwy. The most major thing that I've had to replace is the radiator at maybe 85,000 miles. Plus of course break discs & brake pads. Have had it tuned up once since I took ownership. As with every vehicle on the road, the older it gets the more it begins to need repairs or replacements."

6 people out of 6 found this review helpful

All looks, no guts

By on Friday, March 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 110,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
3/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
9/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Found the car to be more of a in-town type of car. Has poor power, gas mileage is less than expected After 10 years of use, mechanical breakdowns began to occur. Car now has blown head-gasket. Other issues with water system, emission system have occurred. PTs do not hold their value. Great small carclub type of vehicle with many of exterior tricks and gadgets for spiffy looks. This is my second, the first I had for 1 year and traded in for automatic and color choice. Overall, looks sharp, but just a Neon on the inside......!"

6 people out of 9 found this review helpful

My first and last American made car

By on Tuesday, March 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 169,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
7/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
8/10

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"My husband and I purchased this car brand new. We had it lowered, (my husbands bright idea) and it doesn't do the ride good - made it more bumpy. 5 or 6 years into it, and the transmission needed to be replaced. (out of warranty) I've since had to replace the AC completely, and even now the AC doesn't work properly. Been told the fan needs replacing at $850. Expensive to fix it seems. Timing belt was $1300! A computer malfunction was causing it to stall intermittantly and after taking it to the shop several times they could not find out what was wrong and I finally had someone tell me it needed to be taken to the dealer to fix...$800 later... The paint faded after 10 years in the So Cal sun. Not garaged. The top coat is peeling. I've replaced 3 windshields on it!!!! Yes, I drove a lot of miles but sheesh! I got pretty good years out of this car all in all but it ain't no Honda. I owned 2 Hondas before this."

7 people out of 11 found this review helpful

Versatile, economic, stylish

By on Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 143,000

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
8/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
8/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Attractive, versatile, roomy, cargo space, fuel ef"

Cons: "bad turn radius, trouble shifting into reverse,"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I've owned my PT for 13 years, and I've loved it since I drove it off the lot. As a musician, it's versatile and re-configurable interior space suits me perfectly. I've taken it on several cross-continental road-trips, and I just removed the seats I didn't need!Good gas mileage, too."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Share this page

Advertisement

Why ads?
Trading in or Selling? Know where you stand with the most up-to-date Kelley Blue Book Value at your fingertips. See your car's value

Buying this car?