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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 1404 Ratings for the 2001 - 2010 models.

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

34,400 actual miles

By on Thursday, February 04, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 34,400

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Still lots of miles to be driven."

Cons: "alittle vibration in steering wheel at 65 MPH"

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

Have to see, to appricate

"Snow birds,second car. used only 6 months, garage kept. only local driven. Faux spare tire on rear gate. Chrome grill, New chrome wheels, New whitewalls, with yellow strip, steel belt radial tires, New rear shocks, New front struts and springs. New life-time front brake pads. New Euro-chrome tail lights. Use synthetic oil. other chrome moldings, hand-pin striping by "Gypsy"of Lakeland. One good looking car..with alot of driving miles left. $7,450.00"

1 person out of 1 found this review helpful

Have to see, to appricate

4 Pt's. Buying my 5th (tubo woody) and 6th (GT cv)

By on Monday, February 01, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 214,000

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): 9

"Of all the cars I have owned, The PT Cruiser has been my favorite with the exception of my First car (1940 Chevy - still own). My first and favorite PT is a 04 Limited "Woody" with Regular Gas Factory Tubo. It has 214,000 miles on it. I am replacing it with another Limited "Woody", a low milage 05 that is nearly identical to the 04. The maintenance items that needed replacing on the 04 "Woody" have been new ball joints, new front end bushings, replaced a leaky oil sender, new head light housing (to get rid of the hazing), new battery and of course the norms, fluids and tires. This PT still runs strong the tubo works flawlessly. The wood paneling still looks good. Because of this PT I bought another, an 04 Touring Cvt (Approx 55k miles). Fun car but without the turbo not near as fun to drive as the Woody. Traded it in on a new Dodge. 3rd PT was a 05 GT. Great car till some idiot ran thru a stop light and totaled the car (approx. 80k miles when wrecked). The forth PT is a customized lowrider - summer driver. It was made from a 150k miles base model. It now has 198,000 miles Super cool but not very practical because of the low ground clearance. The engine and trans have had no issues. Anyone looking at these car should get a Limited (with Turbo)or GT. You won't be disappointed. I have had great luck with the 04 or 05 cars. This spring I will be getting my 6th pt. A convertible GT that will be going to northern CA to drive thru the redwoods."

2 people out of 2 found this review helpful

A Great PT Cruiser Limited

By on Sunday, January 24, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 70,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "$4000.00 Fun to Drive"

Cons: "The best deal around."

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

"I am the 2nd owner of this car. It is totally different then any other PT Cruiser. The color is purple with a complete chrome package. Moon Roof It has a feature a Cadillac has on it ."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

PT Cruiser is good at everything - even 14 yrs old

By on Sunday, January 10, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 134,000

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

Pros: "Cheap, Fun, Practical, small yet large,"

Cons: "Seats too high off floor. Image."

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

"I bought my used PT Cruiser - after wanting one for years but never in the right situation to get one. Finally have mine, and it is without a doubt the most practical vehicle I've ever owned. It's good at everything it does, and it does a lot. Fun to drive, roomy inside, good on fuel, flexible interior,good in snow, easy to maintain, comfortable,cheap to repair, handles great, good radio, everything still works after 14 years. Don't let the "experts" (who probably loved it in 2001) tell you it's bad. To me, it's a supremely competent small-SUV. I love this goofy thing..."

5 people out of 5 found this review helpful

Fun powerful driving experience.

By on Tuesday, December 15, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 107,200

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

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

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

"My wife selected this one because the seating was more comfortable than the Chrysler LeBaron that I traded for it. The cruise went out and had to replace the steering column to fix that (what were the engineers thinking?) The turbo lets the car accelerate smoothly without dropping into a lower gear (A/T). This car did not experience any of the front end problems that have been reported by others. Because of the continuously changing Maryland weather, I didn't get much use from the tonneau that I bought extra. I'm selling this car because I didn't trade it in. It has been well maintained and equipped with CU recommended tires. The top is like new because the car has been garage kept."

5 people out of 6 found this review helpful

My most favorite car that I've ever owned!

By on Sunday, December 13, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 199,000

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: "The one car you will never want to give up."

Cons: "Could stand better gas mileage."

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

"I bought my 2005 PT Cruiser used. I was the second owner, and I did not know at the time that the car had been wrecked. Must be why I got it at a good price! But it looked perfect, drove perfectly, and was in every way what I had hoped for--except that the gas mileage for such a small car isn't the best (17-18 mpg around town, 20-23 mpg on long trips). I am in my 60's, so I've owned a number of cars, but I love my PT Cruiser the best. It's easy to handle, quiet, comfortable, user friendly, and has the perfect amount of head room and storage space. It seems to have a true personality, purring along like a cat. In fact, I think the PT stands for "Putty Tat", so I call it my Putty Tat Cruiser. The brilliant electric blue color stands out in a crowd, and the paint job has stood up well to time and weather. The interior is black and cleans up well. At 10 years of age, my car barely uses oil, and has had very few issues. Normal maintenance, like oil changes, occasionally buying new tires, sometimes replacing a hose or belt, is all that my car has ever needed. I would highly recommend a PT Cruiser, but I warn you, you will fall in love. It will be hard to ever part with, even for a new car."

10 people out of 10 found this review helpful

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