Chrysler PT Cruiser Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.32/5 Average
1,351 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

Inspired by the panel vans of the1930s, the Chrysler PT Cruiser caused quite a buzz when it was first released, for model year 2001. It was one of a few vehicles to herald the new retro trend and became an instant success.

As an entire decade passed, the PT's utility and versatility remained intact, but the hype surrounding it faded. Such was the life of the PT Cruiser: a bright spot for Chrysler that was ultimately left alone while other practical yet smartly styled hatchback/wagons were introduced. From a used car purchase standpoint, however, the PT is still a respectable choice, especially considering that you'll have plenty of examples to choose from given its decade in production.

Most Recent Chrysler PT Cruiser
The Chrysler PT Cruiser was produced from 2001-'10 as a four-door wagon, and from 2005-'08 as a two-door convertible. Despite sharing its platform with the much-maligned Neon, it drove better than its DNA would suggest. It was also versatile, with a maximum cargo space of 76 cubic feet, and there was ample seating space and headroom. The rear seats could fold down or be removed completely, and a two-tiered luggage area further enhanced the PT's usability.

Throughout its run, the standard engine was a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produced 150 horsepower. A five-speed manual and four-speed automatic were available. Acceleration was adequate, but fuel economy was poor for a small wagon. For 2003, Chrysler added a turbocharged GT model; it originally produced 215 horses and later 230 for 2006. It was discontinued for '07. Those desiring more power after that time could opt for a 180-hp turbo engine on certain trims from 2004-'09.

Besides a minor interior styling refresh for '06 and the gradual addition of more features such as an auxiliary audio jack or Bluetooth, the PT Cruiser was otherwise unchanged.

In road tests, our editors found the Chrysler PT Cruiser to be an entertaining drive. It handled adequately, and its overall ride quality was smooth. The Cruiser's utility also bettered that of many compact crossovers. The main downsides included the tepid acceleration of the base engine and poor fuel economy. In its later years, the PT's design also became stale compared to newer competing hatchbacks and wagons. As for the convertible, its fixed roll bar made access to the backseat tricky and top-up visibility was a perpetual issue. We weren't enamored with it at the time, but it could be a good pick if you're looking for an affordable and stylish drop top.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 1,351.00
  • PT Cruiser 4 dr wagon std - 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser
    By -

    Chrysler could have done better. The seats are hard as a rock and uncomfortable over long drives. No cruise control means a lot of physical driving. Reliability sucks. The brakes had to be replaced twice and tires wore out quick. I didn't hot rod this car, I babied the heck out of it and still the little things broke down. I had sensors go bad after I bought the car. BIG repair bills. Gas mileage is the same as my Dodge Caravan SXT! 22 mpg on the highway for a PT Cruiser? That's just dumb. I love the color and the interior are nice to look at. I don't like the vents though. Can't use my cell phone clip to hold my phone. Forget about self repairs. Can't get to the oil dipstick w/out moving hoses

  • Great Car - 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser
    By -

    This car is not only cute, but is also a great family car.

  • Fun Car - 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser
    By -

    This car has been a commuter's dream! The turbo engine is a monster on the highway with no hesitation, and the roll bar design is a real head turner. I drive this year round, and with the addition of studded snow tires in the winter, I have no issues with snow or any weather. The leather is heated, and the headlights are great for night driving. The only issue I have had are front wheel bearings, replaced them twice, but I highly recommend this car to anyone who likes the top down! Plenty of leg and head room, (I am over 6'1",) and easy to access the back seats for small people! My top MPG highway has been 27, however, I can only reach that using 93 octane fuel.

  • PT NOT FOR ME - 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser
    By -

    I only got the car because it was the most affordable. I ended up hating this car 1 year later not because of its reliability but because of its looks. This car is definitely perfect for older people. Why anyone under 50 would drive this car is beyond me? Although, I wasn't forced to purchase, it was a regret. However, no big maintenance issues. I just think it has no sex appeal.

  • Best on the Road - 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser
    By -

    For a car this size,the way it handles, & comfort, Iam surprised that its cost is so low, but rates with the luxes & even better I treaded in a '99 VW BEETLE, & its the best deal I have ever made. I hardly feel the bumps on the road & when Iam at a stop light, next to someone who likes to blast their radio, I put up my windows, & I do not hear a thing. Thanks to Dick Hannah, I would buy another one from them, if I needed it. Passing other cars on the road, is a breeze. It just seems like you barely touch the gas pedal, & your moving.

  • great affordable car - 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser
    By -

    I now own two, a 2002 and my new one. Im aware of the recall, and I admire Chrysler for recalling a half million cars with only 9 reported cases of the problem! How many would Ford/GM wait for? anyway, drove to Texas on cruise 75-85 all the way, good ride, good gas, about 21 mpg on hwy. I dont need a turbo, cars plenty responsive. Its a luxury car for a fair price

  • Old fashioned styling..... - 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser
    By -

    I like the way the styling is.. classic look. I've enjoyed my cruiser, roomy. The gas mileage could be improved. And the funky smell that some others have come across is the engine coolant. I've noticed that smell last winter and occasionally when the AC is on. The AC doesn't get as cold as my first car did. But its comfortable. The rear stabilizer bar was not installed even though it's on the window sticker. It needs one for a better ride. The turning radius is not tight enough and there are a few blind spots if you happen to be five foot and under. Had some paint problems with the metalic paint. Dealer finally fixed. After contacting HQ.

  • 2002 PT - 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser
    By -

    Since i have had the pt it has been awesome, fun to drive, quick, the only problem is it only has 40,000 on it and needed front end work, the place were i bought it would not fix it. Other than that i love my candy apple pt. Oh it also needs the retro sound, needs to be a little more louder. Rmc

  • Great Car - 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser
    By -

    I have just over 2500 miles on my PT and amreally liking it. Love being back to a stick shift. Like how it sits higher than typical compact sedan. Really like the '06 and newer PT interiors.

  • love it!!! - 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser
    By -

    I just bought my Pt on 02/12/05, I love it, It is so much fun to drive, very roomy and my 3 kids love it as well. We like how you sit up high in it, like an suv, very comfortable to ride in, stylish, and I am getting really good gas mileage. This car gets alot of attention with people wanting to race me. We absolutely love the color midnight blue. I would recommend this car to anyone!!!!!

Chrysler PT Cruiser Reviews By Year:
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