PT Cruiser gets a reprieve 'till 2011

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 Originally Posted By: Burt
That cheering sound you're hearing is from rental car companies...
That booing sound is all the people on the road that still have to look at those ugly things driving around.
 
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Feb 1, 2009
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 Originally Posted By: rszappa1
They could if they would put a good 4 in it like a 2.4 Honda engine...
And take a step sideways from the excellent non-valve-bashing 2.4 that it already has?!? The fuel mileage "problem" with the PT isn't the engine so much as the shape and to a lesser extent the transmission. Cars that are tall and wide but not very long tend to have a higher drag coefficient or poor "fineness ratio" (which is exactly why the Smart car mileage is relatively awful for its size at highway speeds compared to a Yaris or Fit, for example). A transmission with more speeds or a CVT would also help, and my gut feel in driving my wife's PT is that the 41TE's ratios aren't nearly as well suited for the 2.4 as they are for a v6. Could they make it do better? Sure, a bit. The PT is 10 years old at this point and has only had one minor cosmetic update and virtually no mechanical changes! The HHR does a little better mileage-wise (although part of that may be the added length helping the fineness ratio) but it feels buzzy, rough, absolutely cheap, plastic-and-tin plated compared to the solidity of the PT chassis (which is definitely the PTs strongest point). In a perfect world I think Chrysler should put the Caliber drivetrain in the PT, including the "world engine" with variable valve timing and the Jatco CVT. Right now the PT is the *only* vehicle (I think...) still using the Chrysler 2.4 and 41TE combo. But the cost to fit and certify it with an alternate drivetrain would probably be more than its worth for just another years' production. What it *really* could use (and might induce me to buy another one...) is the turbo driveline from the Caliber SRT-4. The dropped the 2.4 turbo a year or so ago, and I think the market for a more powerful PT is still there- especially if it came with a little better efficiency.
 
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Had one as a rental for a weekend. The only thing positive I can say is that the GF thought it was cute. NUFF SAID
 
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I owned a 2004 PT Cruiser with a turbo. It was a neat car because of its look...but in the three years I had it many problems....Within the first week the front seal on the A/T needed to be changed....over the three years an AC compressor....both left and right front axles...spark plug wires...coil...left door power window motor....
 
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 Originally Posted By: Hermann
Had one as a rental for a weekend. The only thing positive I can say is that the GF thought it was cute. NUFF SAID
Never assume a lousy rental car is the car's fault. The last rental Honda Accord I had shook like a dog trying to sh*t a peach pit, so all Accords are junk? No, it was just an abused rental car. LOOKED nice, ran like poop. On the other hand, if you *like* a rental, car in spite of how its been treated, that's probably a good sign.
 
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Feb 23, 2007
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Grand Rapids, MI
My dad owns an '08. Personally, I think they look ugly, the interior seems cheap, the handling is terrible (turning radius of a school bus!) and the transmission seems to shift oddly. For its size, I was expecting the car to be more quick, but it seems sluggish. Poor gas mileage as well. The only good thing about it, was that it was fairly cheap and he seems to love the retro-styling. Also, I don't know if it's just me but it seems to have poor visibility.
 
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Nov 30, 2008
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 Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
A transmission with more speeds or a CVT would also help
So would a transmission that lasted longer than 35,000 miles. My friends PT needed a new one at that point. Nice of Chrysler to replace it free of charge. While he was driving it home with the new "remaned" unit his front wheel came loose. Lucky for him he was just turning the corner at 5mph and nothing bad happened. Having been screwed by both corporate and the dealership he feels the Chrysler experience is pretty consistent overall. Naturally I told him none of that would have happened if he had used Pennzoil Platinum.
 
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Sep 25, 2002
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Richmond, VA
I wonder why the PT and the Chevy HHR don't get similar mileage. The shape of the car looks the same, and the engine size is about the same, but a difference in fuel mileage?
 
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Jul 11, 2008
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It's interesting to see that other people have problems with poor gas mileage from the PT cruiser. When they first came out, my dad fell in love with the styling. He finally broke down and got a new one last year after he retired. He's really disappointed in the mileage, so much so that he's thinking about getting rid of it already.
 
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 Originally Posted By: cousincletus
I wonder why the PT and the Chevy HHR don't get similar mileage. The shape of the car looks the same, and the engine size is about the same, but a difference in fuel mileage?
The difference isn't very large, just a couple of MPG. We get about 27 out of or 2005 PT on the highway, about 21-22 around town. Not great for a car of that overall size, but when you factor in the versatility of the PT (you can haul a washing machine back there with the rear seats removed, or a step ladder with the front seat down, or you can have concealed trunk space with the rear seats up and the movable panel in the high position) it is pretty good. Plus as I've said, the thing is just built superbly- no rattles, no flimsy panels, high-quality interior plastics and fabrics- the whole 9 yards. Its the complete antithesis of the Caliber with its cheap flimsy interior. The HHR, piece of poorly-assembled, rattling, buzzing, cheap plastic filled [censored] that it was its first few years- I hear its better now, but I haven't driven one since 07- does benefit from a more advanced engine and transmission combo. GM's Ecotec is one of the bright spots in GM engineering in recent years and is available with VVT whereas the old Chrysler 2.4 in the PT is not. GM FWD automatics have always been very efficient. That's why I think Chrysler *should* have gone ahead and put their GEMA 2.4 with VVT and a Jatco CVT in the PT- it would have then been a serious HHR-killer. But the certification process is probably what is cost-prohibitive this near end-of-life for the PT platform.
 
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May 30, 2009
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Los Angeles
 Originally Posted By: Samilcar
It's interesting to see that other people have problems with poor gas mileage from the PT cruiser. When they first came out, my dad fell in love with the styling. He finally broke down and got a new one last year after he retired. He's really disappointed in the mileage, so much so that he's thinking about getting rid of it already.
It has a retro drag coefficient and 3 speed auto. The PT was the only Chrysler product that got 1st place or tied for first in its category for quality. If you want MPG get a jellybean with at least 5 forward gears.
 
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 Originally Posted By: DeeAgeaux
It has a retro drag coefficient and 3 speed auto.
The PT has never had a 3-speed, actually. From the start it was offered with a 4-speed electronic automatic (the 41TE) or a 5-speed manual. I never hear any MPG complaints with manual-trans PTs.
 
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Aug 10, 2005
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 Originally Posted By: 440Magnum
 Originally Posted By: Hermann
Had one as a rental for a weekend. The only thing positive I can say is that the GF thought it was cute. NUFF SAID
Never assume a lousy rental car is the car's fault. The last rental Honda Accord I had shook like a dog trying to sh*t a peach pit, so all Accords are junk? No, it was just an abused rental car. LOOKED nice, ran like poop. On the other hand, if you *like* a rental, car in spite of how its been treated, that's probably a good sign.
It was a nearly new PT that had less than 1000 miles. It just did not impress in any area, just like thirdeye said, and got 17 MPG. SLURPPPPP
 
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Oct 5, 2008
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Buckley, Wa.
No comment here of any great value....but man, that car is really UGLY and I certainly won't be sad when production ends. From my personal viewpoint the car reminds me of a circus car....ya know the ones where the clowns all pile into? I'm sorry to those that like this vehicle....but my opinion is what it is. In my neck of the woods the most likely type of person that drives them are older ladies (with the dreaded stuffed animals and rear-view mirror trinkets visible), and men over 55 that have some odd idea that it's a hot-rod of sorts. Sorry....
 
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