Since its introduction in 2000 the PT Cruiser seems to be losing its appeal. The Cruiser proved instrumental for the Chrysler Company in gaining a foothold in the UK market. The PT’s sporty unique looks caused it to take off like wildfire.
The car’s popularity and novelty quickly started to wear off, and Chrysler knew they had to address the problem. In 2005, Chrysler gave the PT Cruiser a new interior to better match its hot rod exterior. The new interior looks great and is functional as well.
The company also improved the car’s 2.2-litre diesel engine that is very popular among UK buyers. The engine now boasts more power and even better fuel economy. Chrysler has added additional equipment to the package in order to give buyers more of an incentive to consider the PT Cruiser.
With competition on the rise the PT Cruiser’s better days may be behind it. Its original strength was its novelty. Now that the car has lost its strong point it will be interesting to see if the make-over and other enhancements will be enough to attract buyers, or if the PT Cruiser will just fade away.
The PT Cruiser is selling for a fairly competitive price. Dealers know that attracting buyers will be an uphill battle, even with the car’s new enhancements. Most buyers will be looking to buy a car with more to offer for less. The Cruiser’s running costs and insurance are average. The Cruiser’s decline will most likely continue, taking the car’s resale value with it.
The PT Cruiser has plenty of passenger and storage space. The front seat folds down to create a convenient table top for the driver. The seat can also be maneuvered to allow an eight foot carrying capacity with the car’s tailgate closed. The Cruiser does offer some versatility as far as space goes.
The Cruiser now sports a three dial instrument panel with easier to read graphics. One very convenient feature is the location of the power window switches; they are located in the centre stack and provide added convenience.
The seats are large and supportive, steering can be adjusted for rake not reach, and noise levels are better in the latest version. Rear passengers have adequate space for comfort but not any extra space for head and legroom.
The PT Cruiser is equipped with heavy doors that don’t open to a ninety degrees and slightly limits accessibility. Overall accessibility is decent but not great. The boot offers good accessibility, but removing the car’s back seats to improve cargo space is not an easy task.
The driver sits high in the PT Cruiser and has a good all around view, making parking fairly easy. Steering can feel a bit heavy at low speeds, but that would be the only minor obstacle to parking the Cruiser.
The improved diesel engine provides good power during acceleration, and the car’s cabin gives the driver a nostalgic feel of the 50’s. The cars chassis and suspension do well on smooth road surfaces, but do not do well at all on rough surfaces.
The PT Cruiser could be used as a family car. It provides adequate space and decent transportation. The rear seats could easily accommodate smaller children. Teens may begin to feel cramped on longer journeys. The PT Cruiser could be used as a family vehicle or as a second car.
This would not make a great first car. Although prices for the PT Cruiser are falling, it is still too expensive for most first time car buyers. Novice drivers will also find the car is too big to navigate easily.
The PT’s new interior design insured that its exterior and interior image matched. This definitely made the car more appealing. Fit and finish is good, but the new interior is not enough to catch buyer’s eyes, and because the car’s novelty is gone it will have a hard time catching anyone’s eye.
Security and Safety
The car is outfitted with a clutch-starter interlock system that prevents the engine from starting until the manual transmission clutch is depressed. It also comes standard with a Sentry Key deterrent system, and a Thatcham approved Category One Alarm and immobilizer system.
The PT Cruiser offers several safety features including front and side airbags, and an ABS braking system.
The Finishing Touches
The Cruiser comes standard with a stereo/CD player, and includes an MP3 input jack and six speakers.
PT Cruisers look better in brighter colors helping to accentuate the retro look of the car. The PT Cruiser looks exceptionally good in orange.
The popularity of the PT Cruiser has worn off, and all buyers are left with is a mediocre car. The Cruiser even with its newly enhanced cabin and engine design may not offer buyers enough to be able to hold its own with the competition.