Chrysler PT cruiser combines the retro look of a late-'30s American sedan with modern performance, efficiency and features.The PT Cruiser is based on the Dodge Neon, a compact car noted for its sprightly performance.The Cruiser's taller body adds not only a unique look, but also extra room for people and cargo.
Its interior volume and versatility compares well to a small SUV.Fold the seats down and you can carry an eight-foot ladder.Pull the rear seats out and you can haul a load of building materials or a big-screen TV.Yet the PT Cruiser is shorter in length than a Neon, making it easy to park.And it's easy on gas.
Now in its fifth year, with annual sales of more than 100,000, the Cruiser is a familiar sight, but people are still intrigued by it.For starters, it's difficult to define within existing automotive marketing segments, leading Chrysler to call the PT Cruiser too cool to categorize.It's the only car we can think of that offers flames as an option.
Turbochargers are available to add fire under the hood.That fire comes in the form of 220 horsepower in the GT; a more affordable 180-horsepower turbo is also available.
If there's anything cooler than the standard PT Cruiser, it's the PT Cruiser convertible.The base model may be the least expensive convertible you can buy, though options quickly drive the price up.It looks like a chopped-top gangster-mobile with the top up and puts the wind in your hair with the top down.Roomy seats make it great for four passengers, but an awkward trunk makes it terrible for cargo.
Chrysler has lowered the base price of the 2005 PT Cruiser by almost $4,000, pitting this unique and stylish vehicle against some of the lowest-priced compact sedans on the market.However, the lower price means that base and Touring models are not as well equipped as they were last year; air conditioning, for example, is a now an extra-cost option on base models.