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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 1368 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

This is a fun car to drive for young person.

By on Wednesday, May 27, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 97,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
9/10
Quality
6/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
7/10

Pros: "Recent repairs, good air and heat unit"

Cons: "It is all manual except transmission."

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

"Just replaced water pump, thermostat. Plenty of tread on tires. Black, shines paint. Back seats fold down Great gas mileag Am selling cause I need a newer model."

reliable and safe

By on Sunday, May 17, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 91,225

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
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "safe, reliable,classy"

Cons: "could use some air shocks to left it up in high pl"

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

"I have had many nice cars in my lifetime, but many have turned out not so reliable as my little PT, it's great on gas and has not caused me any major problems, it's a classy looking car that can be dressed well."

3 people out of 4 found this review helpful

Nice car. Be prepared to spend a small fortune.

By on Saturday, May 16, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 120,300

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Fun to drive, comfortable, Nicely styled"

Cons: "Poorly built transmission, TERRIBLE gas mileage"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 7

"I bought this car back in Feb of 2015 with a little over 116k miles. Beautiful car. I absolutely love the bright silver metallic with black leather seating combo. I drove this car for about 500 miles and then the transmission gave out. I was able to work out something with the dealer since it hadn't even been 30 days since I bought the car. I have also learned that the GT Turbo models are more expensive to maintain higher on insurance than regular PT's. If you like the car, go for it. But just beware, the transmission WILL go out sooner or later thanks to Chrysler's poor mechanical craftsmanship. I average about 19-21 miles to the gallon with a very light foot and no A/C and properly inflated tires on 93 octane (which is recommended). I was quite shocked at how bad these cars are. But other than that - these cars are very fun to drive, plenty of power, and a lot of bang for your buck."

IT'S BEEN A FUN CAR TO DRIVE, VERY DEPENDABLE.

By on Saturday, May 09, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,700

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "SHE IS NICE LOOKING AND WILL GET UP AND GO."

Cons: "THE TURBO REQUIRES TOP GRADE GAS & ONLY 20 MPG."

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

"IT HAS A SPORTY INTERIOR WITH SPECIAL DASH, PEDALS AND FLOOR MATTS. IT HAS A HIGH OUTPUT 4.2 TURBO AND WILL GET YOU OUT OF THE WAY AND DOWN THE ROAD."

4 people out of 6 found this review helpful

Worst Car Ever

By on Thursday, April 30, 2015

I owned and sold this car
Reason: Horrible Car

10 1.0
overall rating 1 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
1/10
Value
2/10
Reliability
1/10
Quality
2/10
Performance
2/10
Styling
5/10
Comfort
2/10

Pros: "NOthing"

Cons: "Everything"

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

"I had so many problems with this vehicle from day one. I got it with 48000 miles on it, the first day I had it, the car overheated, bad thermostat. 2 weeks later it overheated again, bad fan. 6 months later, transmission became disconnected from gear selector, bad bushings. A month later, horn got stuck and wouldn't spring back up, bad plastic piece in steering wheel. I got rid of the car with 70,000 miles on it. I would never, ever recommend this car."

2 people out of 4 found this review helpful

I got it new in 2002.

By on Friday, April 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 114,500

10 8.0
overall rating 8 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "I will be happy to answer any questions."

Cons: "I know nothing negative about this car."

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

"The car absolutely, runs like new. I have driven very nearly all of the full 114,500 miles. It has never been in an accident, and the only blemishes are those that happen when the car is in a parking lot, and cars next to it open their doors too hard and the door then has hit my car leaving a slight blemish. Most amazing is the small 4 cylinder engine that this car puts out on the road. It can keep up with most cars, from one traffic light to the next, or on the open road at higher speeds. This car is now our 3rd car, and we have just a 2 car garage. I am open to offers."

4 people out of 5 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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