The Chrysler PT Cruise entered the market on a hype and gained instant recognition as a versatile utility, but it was only a spark amongst the competition. Although retaining its practical aspects, the initial impetus was lost. This vehicle proved itself a Chrysler gem, but in the light of fierce competition lost its luster.
The PT Cruiser a Chrysler Gem
Produced and retaining its popularity and appeal for more than a decade, the Chrysler PT Cruiser is still held in high regard today. The vehicle was manufactured between 2001 to 2010 as a four-door wagon and from 2005 to 2008 as a two-door convertible. It provided a versatility that included over 2-cubic metres of cargo space while retaining a comfortable passenger space and headroom. The advantage of the rear seats folding or being completely removed provided a further two-tiered luggage area.
During its time serving the market, the Chrysler PT Cruiser utilized a standard 2.4-litre four-cylinder engine that generated 150 horsepower. It was linked to a 5-speed manual or 4-speed automatic transmission and although the acceleration was capable, the question of its fuel efficiency was an issue. From 2003, a turbocharged GT model was added, with at first a 215 horsepower engine and then upgraded in the 2006 model year, to 230 horsepower, but discontinued in 2007. Thereafter, from 2004 to 2009, motorists seeking increased power had with determined trims, the option of a 180 horsepower turbo engine.
Driving the PT Cruiser
During various road tests of the Chrysler PT Cruiser series, it was reportedly perceived that the vehicle provided a comfortable and interesting driving experience. Its handling capabilities were effective and the general quality of the ride was smooth and comfortable. Some of the test reports indicated that the PT Cruiser performed generally better than various other comparable compacts.
Viewing the convertible model, the first aspect that seems to have made an impression was the fact of the fixed roll-bar being an obstacle in accessing the rear seat. Another aggravation was that with the top raised, visibility became a separate issue. Although this version of the Chrysler PT Cruiser did not receive rave notices, it proved itself to be an affordable drop-top with some style!
The Chrysler PT Cruiser compact wagon could be described as a character vehicle which made its own styled impression on the market and those who invested in it. This Chrysler was allowed to just fade away, without the final long blast of triumph it deserved. Without being updated and with ever-increasing competition, it was not helped by the relatively recent retirement of the convertible and GT models.
Some vehicles leave the scene without being missed, but most likely there are still some motorists who remember the Chrysler PT Cruiser and its brash stylish impact on the market!