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2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser

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2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser Review

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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

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2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.5
Out of 10

Based on 1383 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

One Heck Of a Machine

By on Friday, August 28, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 48,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Super FUN TO DRIVE"

Cons: "Not really great for long rips."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"This little car is the basic Cruiser drop -top BUT it is a real sleeper. On the trunk lid is says TURBO BUT under the hood is actually the High Output (HO) Turbo. This buggy can really boogie down the road."

GREAT CAR FOR ME, THE SEATS ARE HIGH!

By on Monday, August 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 4,750

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
10/10

Pros: "IT HAS BEEN A GREAT CAR FOR 11 YEARS. NO MAJOR AS"

Cons: "WISH IT WAS 4 INCHES WIDER; MY SON WOULD TAKE IT."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"THIS IS THE SECOND BEST CAR I HAVE HAD IN 64 YEARS OF DRIVING. I WILL NOT SELL IT TO ANYONE THAT HAS NOT OFFERED TO BUY IT ALREADY."

2 people out of 3 found this review helpful

Solid convertible

By on Friday, August 14, 2015

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

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Not a noise convertible, roomy, quick"

Cons: "Gas mileage so,so."

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

"Love my prowler purple turbo GT PT, Have owned it since new, no real problems, it's comfy and roomy, it's smokes them when I need her too. I feel safe in it."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Its my first car, and was from a relative.

By on Monday, August 03, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 41,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
2/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "It was free"

Cons: "Gas millage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 4

"When I turned 18, my aunt no longer was driving so she generously offered the car to me. It has been overall oaky, definitely not my first choice of car, but I am grateful to have a set of wheels that starts up 9/10 times :) My only ongoing complaint is it gets awful gas milage for being a tiny car, you would think the image would be better? they say 22mpg, but I usually average around 17mpg that being mostly highway driving."

12 people out of 14 found this review helpful

I positively love this car. It's fun to drive.

By on Friday, July 31, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 46,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive. Love the ease of handling"

Cons: "Seat belt placement is rather difficult"

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

"Driving this car is a joy. Car reacts well, smooth ride and easy handling. Only criticism I have , the seat belts are difficult to locate, to far back. Fun and fabulous!"

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

Great American car

By on Monday, July 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 200,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"People nowadays buy these well used and tend to bash them.ßorry but all old cars will give you problems. Mine has 200010 thousand miles and still going strong. Why? Proper care. Like they say be good it ,it will be good to you. All in all a pretty fun styish and good ride."

7 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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