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2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser

Overview
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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

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

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2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.4
Out of 10

Based on 1376 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

STAY AWAY

By on Saturday, July 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 135,000

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
2/10
Quality
1/10
Performance
6/10
Styling
6/10
Comfort
6/10

Pros: "RIDES GOOD"

Cons: "see review"

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

"Car has the famous "Dash board" lights issue. We have been unable to determine the cause, thus no way to solve issue. All the dash board lights come on and the needles (gas gauge, rpm gauge, ect)go down and vehicle seems to loose power for no reason."

Like a Mini-SUV, but a problem every year.

By on Monday, July 13, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Fan malfunction,overheated

10 4.0
overall rating 4 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
4/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
6/10
Quality
3/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Room in back for moving furniture, mulch, teens!"

Cons: "Cheap parts, a problem once a year."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"I bought my 2008 PT Cruiser in 2010. Low miles 35,000 and only $8,500 (basic car, no cruise control and no moonroof). It worked terrifically, until two months in, it would not start while I was at the grocery store. A computer chip malfunction (problem 1). Within the next 9 months, my tires went flat and replacing was costly due to the sensor on the tires (problem 2). Eventually the remaining 3 tires within the next year needed to be replaced, and I elected to ditch the sensors. During the 3rd year the car started to make a squeaking sound and the struts needed replacement. Soon after, the steering column, I was told was loose and needed to be tightened. Perhaps I was being taken for a ride by my mechanic. I had a good year of no problems, then ball joints needed to be replaced. Yes, I took care of the car by doing the oil changes every 3,000 miles, and having the tires rotated and air pressure checked. Last summer, the car and I were in an accident where my front end was damaged. Took a week to fix the car, but the insurance and mechanics took care of everything. Then last Spring 2015, brakes and rotars needed replacing (which is routine). Well, last week as we traveled to Chicago for the Taste, I noticed the heat gauge to the top. Smoke came out of the engine. It was overheating. Once we stopped in a parking area, all the coolant came spilling out of the car. The mechanic said it was the fan failing. The head gasket may need replacing. Way too much to repair. Its been a nice ride and had served me well, but I've never had so many computer chip, strut, tire, brake, fan, steering column problems in my life with any other car!! When I finally got rid of it it only had 117,000 miles!! I had recommended this car to my friend, and I hope their car lasts longer than mine, and does not have the same problems mine had. Perhaps I got a lemon. Not certain, but I would not recommend this car again, I'm going back to a Japanese car."

5 people out of 7 found this review helpful

Love my PT Convertible-Turbo

By on Saturday, July 04, 2015

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

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "With the right tires, nice sporty feel and handle"

Cons: "2 door convertible access to back seat"

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

"I can't part with it. I bought this 2007 used in 2008 from the Chrysler dealer and was happy from the start. I used to travel in my work and rented many different cars. The PT Cruiser was my best pick from the lot. So I bought one. This was the first convertible I bought in a few years. I used to drive sport cars in Europe and here. This car fits my needs for a sporty car. The turbo is fantastic. Just step on it and go! I love back roads with the top down at night. I do maintain it properly and have no problems at all. Just use OEM parts. The only drawback is the accessibility to the back seat in a 2 door. But I don't use the back seat anyway, except maybe to store something."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Awesome little car

By on Wednesday, July 01, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 117,000

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
9/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Dependable and economical"

Cons: "To small for a large family"

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

"I love this car the only thing is my family has grown and all six of can no longer fit in it. I do drive it though when its just me or just me and a couple kids or just my husband and I. This little car has been and is the most reliable I have ever owned not to mention the great gas mileage."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

I love this car it was designed for me.....

By on Thursday, June 18, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 735,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Great car"

Cons: "I think the inside could have been a little better"

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

"love my car, it runs great, drives well on the ice. It keeps us cool on the road, I hauled a dishwasher in the back with the seats down, and my pugs love to ride in it. You can put the ledge up in the back and hide your purchases. I feel safe in my car and I love it."

6 people out of 8 found this review helpful

This is a top shelf listed as a DREAM CRUSER TURBO

By on Monday, June 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 12,000

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
10/10

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

"This car was purchased to replace my aspencade Honda motorcycle, it has never been out of storage for the winter. I used it in the months May to September, I just had it inspected 6-15-2015 also replaced the battery. The car is in show room condition and must be seen."

3 people out of 8 found this review helpful

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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

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