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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

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2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
7.4
Out of 10

Based on 1315 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

11 years and counting...

By on Sunday, August 17, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 61,965

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Character, dependability, turbo, comfortable."

Cons: "Needs an updated stereo"

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

"I have adored this car for eleven years so far. It's the most comfortable vehicle I have ever owned, and it was even comfortable when I was severely obese. Most cars' seat belt buckle receiver that sticks up from the seat are painful for anyone who has an ample rear. This was the first car I ever drove that did not have that problem. I know this seems like a small thing, but for anyone looking for a car that doesn't torture them in this way, it's a big deal. I love the style, and the fact that this is not a cookie cutter car. So many vehicles are completely devoid of any sort of character, and this one has it in spades. I'm glad I chose the turbocharged model as it is fantastic in traffic. The turbo did go out recently, and I had to have it replaced to the tune of about $2,000 but if that means I get to keep my GT Cruiser for a few more years it's well worth it. The storage capacity is fantastic as the "trunk" is huge and if you let the seats down you can carry all the equipment for a rock band in there. The low-profile tires are a little annoying as people are always stopping me in traffic to tell me my tires are too low when they aren't. It's had to have its share of work done over the years like any other car, but overall it has been a very dependable vehicle. I'm sad that I won't be able to replace it with a new PT Cruiser when it has run its course."

1 person out of 2 found this review helpful

Best car I've ever had the privilege to own.

By on Sunday, August 10, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 154,000

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

Pros: "Very roomy, comfortable and fun to drive."

Cons: "Center console could be alittle higher."

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

"Honestly do not understand why some people do not like this vehicle. (All cars fall apart or have some problems.) Other than minor routine maintenance, mine is good. :) I drove over 100 miles just in order to purchase the one I now currently own."

5 people out of 9 found this review helpful

Car is the best I ever owed

By on Monday, August 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 37,858

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
7/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Convenient & easy to handle"

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

"I love my car but have to give up driving. I want to sell it only because I don't feel comfortable driving in the city anymore."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Not as sound as previous PT

By on Monday, August 04, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,000

10 7.0
overall rating 7 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Quiet car, fun to drive, handles nicely in turns"

Cons: "Control arm bushings bad, lousy gas mpg"

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

"This 2007 was my second PT Cruiser. My first one was a 2004 which lasted for 77000 miles with no mechanical problems at all up to trade in time. The 2007 which I bought brand new came with a faulty factory installed remote control which caused a variety of engine failures until I had it ripped out. Then other mechanical problems started to unfold even though my first 4 years of driving put 36000 miles on the odometer. Control arm bushings have been replaced twice. Some type of sensor that controls the speed and emissions went bad and forced me to tow the car. I just had engine failure while driving 70 MPH on the highway. On the good side my front struts (88k) and back shocks (88k)lasted quite a long time. I just did my front and back brakes at 90k so that was good too. Overall I won't be getting another one."

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

2ND TIME AROUND

By on Saturday, August 02, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 24,000

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
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "GREAT VALUE, STYLING, INTERIOR COMFORT"

Cons: "CORNERING, CITY GAS MPG"

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

"THIS IS MY 2ND PT. I BOUGHT A 2002 BASE 5 SPEED USED. REPLACED ONLY WIPER MOTOR + NORMAL MAINTENANCE. I TRADED IT IN ON A NEW 2007 BASE PT WITH AUTO TRANS. REPLACED ONLY CAMSHAFT POSITIONING SENSOR IN 24K MILES (2007) GET ABOUT 18 MPG CITY & 35 HWY. BEST CARS I HAVE EVER OWNED IN 45 YEARS. EXCELLENT VISIBILITY IN ALL DIRECTIONS. EASE OF ENTRY AND EGRESS. STYLING WAS THE DRAW FOR MY PURCHASE. VERY COMFORTABLE CLOTH SEATS. EXCELLENT STEREO WITH SIRIUS RADIO. EXCELLENT AC AND HEATER. CARGO FLEXIBILTY, EXCEPT GOLF CLUBS WONT FIT ACROSS IN REAR HATCH AREA SINCE WHEEL WELLS INTRUDE. HIGH SEAT POSITION GIVES GREAT VISIBILTY IN TRAFFIC. V-SHAPED NOSE MAKES SOME ENGINE COMPARTMENT CHORES DIFFICULT ( HEADLIGHT REPLACEMENT-E.G.)"

1 person out of 3 found this review helpful

Comfortable, easy to drive; good mileage/ AC XXXX!

By on Sunday, July 27, 2014

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 115,210

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
8/10
Quality
7/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Easy & fun car. Great in winter, too."

Cons: "It's not a truck. (: duh"

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

"My second one and I love it. It's economical, kind of fun to drive, and does well in the winter, too...."

2 people out of 3 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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