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New PT Cruiser Owners - Share the Excitement

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Pennsylvania Furnace, PAPosts: 5,914
Are you the proud new owner of a PT Cruiser? This is the place to let us know about all the things that you're enjoying about your new ride!

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  • vocusvocus Posts: 7,777
    I picked it up tonight. It's an 03 Limited Edition with automatic and every option in Craberry. The reason I went for Chrysler is because I work for them and got a really good price and financing on it. It's pretty roomy inside and comfortable for me (I am 6'3), and it has lots of cargo room. It has all of 56 miles on it now, and I like it alot.

    I ended up paying below invoice because of working for Chrysler, and I got the special 1.9% financing for 72 months. I had an 02 Jetta that was totalled, and my payment actually went DOWN $125 a MONTH! I am pretty happy with it. :)
  • I am extremely happy with my gt. I can not believe my luck... zero defects inside or out...I have looked over the whole car dozen times but can not find anything. Not even a small hairline scratch on a paint. This was not the case with other PT's I have looked at previously. I was expecting couple of small defects here and their inside and out, but nothing.

    I bought a oil filter that I will be changing out at 1500-2000km and first oil change at 4000km. Also bought wheel locks and door sills at 25% off.

    My impression of the car after putting 100km today( 7km before PDI...had only 12km on it when I picked it up): - first 100km suppose be gentle so I have not gone pass 3500rpm but still I was able to leave traffic behind at times. The engine seems tight( does not rev freely). It should free up as I dial up the revs with more kms. - Quality of paint and leather seats are way better than new nissan 6 cyl.altimas and maximas I was considering. - 5 speed shifter and clutch takeup are also better than a new 3.5 6cyl. altima I tried out. Much smoother and feels just right with faint rumble coming from straight thru. exhaust. - Very quite ride with all windows closed. Engine is also very quite. - handling is also very good for this type of car. For me, bit soft... but aftermarket spring and fstb will tighten up things and make it handle betterfor sure.

    That's it for now.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Traded in Our CR-V on a 2006 Base Model PT Cruiser

    My wife, who is small and also a newly licensed driver, felt uncomfortable in the CR-V (which we got by trading in a PT Cruiser, ironically).

    After exploring other smaller vehicle options (Cobalt, Caliber, Malibu, Matrix) we settled on another PT Cruiser - mainly because the packaging is very good (lots of rear seat legroom for kids), but here's what sealed the deal:

    1. MUCH quieter than the 2004 we had before - before, if you threw a downshift on the freeway, or held it in gear (we have an automatic) to maximize acceleration, the engine roar was very noticeable. Now, it is subdued - feels much higher quality, and more powerful (subjective, I know!). Road noise is GONE. Now the wind noise feels louder, but only because it is the only noise left!

    2. The new interior is VERY nice. Looking at it, at first, I didn't like it, but when sitting and driving the satin chrome on the center stack doesn't overwhelm, like it did at first. I like the location of the power window buttons, I like all the details and quality of the dash. Even the new vents are better - at first I didn't like them, but they are easier to operate and actually grow on you. I like the new "canvas feel" cloth seat fabric. The radio controls are better, too.

    3. HANDLING is MUCH improved on this base model. On our first base model, the suspension was way too soft for my taste. Now, it feels like they firmed up the suspension to greatly reduce body lean. BUT, the ride is still MUCH more comfortable than the CR-V was (which was my one complaint).

    4. We gained power door locks (but not a remote), and lost a rear security cover (cargo cover) and tinted rear windows vs. our 2004. However, I ordered a rear security cover for only $106, and we are tinting the rear windows on our own for $175. To be honest, after a weekend trip with our new car, I understood why Chrysler left off the cargo cover - you can store a lot more in there. The cargo cover limits how much you can stack. After a trip to Costco, we were just a little higher than the cargo cover mounting point. So for a lot of owners, with dark tinted rear windows, you can store more in the back without a lot of security risk. Since we live in a transitional neighborhood, I have ordered the cargo cover and will deal with "excess" trunk stuff another way. As for the window tinting, I actually prefer clear glass, but with the kids they need a little sun protection. So I will select a tinting that makes them happy but isn't the total "black out" you get on the factory tinting.

    5. As in 2004, the dealer still has periodic advertised specials on PT's. We got ours for $12,587 plus tax and licensing and a $60 (limited by law in California) doc fee. Which is only $87 more than we paid in 2004! Yay!
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    My wife, who is small and also a newly licensed driver, felt uncomfortable in the CR-V (which we got by trading in a PT Cruiser, ironically).

    After exploring other smaller vehicle options (Cobalt, Caliber, Malibu, Matrix) we settled on another PT Cruiser - mainly because the packaging is very good (lots of rear seat legroom for kids), but here's what sealed the deal:

    1. MUCH quieter than the 2004 we had before - before, if you threw a downshift on the freeway, or held it in gear (we have an automatic) to maximize acceleration, the engine roar was very noticeable. Now, it is subdued - feels much higher quality, and more powerful (subjective, I know!). Road noise is GONE. Now the wind noise feels louder, but only because it is the only noise left!

    2. The new interior is VERY nice. Looking at it, at first, I didn't like it, but when sitting and driving the satin chrome on the center stack doesn't overwhelm, like it did at first. I like the location of the power window buttons, I like all the details and quality of the dash. Even the new vents are better - at first I didn't like them, but they are easier to operate and actually grow on you. I like the new "canvas feel" cloth seat fabric. The radio controls are better, too.

    3. HANDLING is MUCH improved on this base model. On our first base model, the suspension was way too soft for my taste. Now, it feels like they firmed up the suspension to greatly reduce body lean. BUT, the ride is still MUCH more comfortable than the CR-V was (which was my one complaint).

    4. We gained power door locks (but not a remote), and lost a rear security cover (cargo cover) and tinted rear windows vs. our 2004. However, I ordered a rear security cover for only $106, and we are tinting the rear windows on our own for $175. To be honest, after a weekend trip with our new car, I understood why Chrysler left off the cargo cover - you can store a lot more in their. The cargo cover limits how much you can stack. After a trip to Costco, we were just a little higher than the cargo cover mounting point. So for a lot of owners, with dark tinted rear windows, you can store more in the back without a lot of security risk. Since we live in a transitional neighborhood, I have ordered the cargo cover and will deal with "excess" trunk stuff another way. As for the window tinting, I actually prefer clear glass, but with the kids they need a little sun protection. So I will select a tinting that makes them happy but isn't the total "black out" you get on the factory tinting.

    5. As in 2004, the dealer still has periodic advertised specials on PT's. We got ours for $12,587 plus tax and licensing and a $60 (limited by law in California) doc fee. Which is only $87 more than we paid in 2004! Yay!
  • I've had my 2001 Stone White Limited Edition PT Cruiser for 1 1/2 weeks now...I love it so far! Good price, only had 40,000 km on it, one previous owner who kept it in immaculate shape. I was so scared that I was buying a lemon that I purchased an extended warranty, probably a waste of money, but who knows.

    The car has all the bells and whistles on it except for ABS and traction control. I love the taupe colour leather and suede interior, and I'm really going to appreciate the heated seats in about a month when winter sets in. I think the stereo system sounds quite good, not thinking of replacing it.

    At first I was going to purchase a brand new hatchback like a Matrix, Vibe, Honda Fit etc, but decided to go with a slightly used car to save on all the taxes and extra costs. I hadn't considered getting a PT Cruiser, thought they would be too expensive, so when I saw what they actually sold for used and what good shape they all seemed to be in, it was a no-brainer for me. I wanted to get a 2003 - 2005 model, but this one came in as a trade in at a local dealership and it was in such good shape, I went for it. Now I have extra money for my home reno!

    Also, I have a teenage son who is 6'4" and still growing - he couldn't even fit in some of the hatchbacks I wanted to test drive. He is quite comfortable in the Cruiser for height and leg room.

    I have had no problems yet (knock on wood), went on a day trip to see how it handled on the highway, it was great! The only thing I question is that either it has a much smaller gas tank than my previous car (94 Buick Regal GS) or it doesn't get very good gas mileage. I'll give it a bit longer to see how it does.
  • 2003 PT Cruiser - A very satisfied owner...

    What can I say about the PT: In short this is a very good car overall. My wife and I had our eyes on these way back in '99 but we wanted to wait a few years before picking one up. We're especially glad we did as the prices did come down a bit from the early models. Plus the four star crash test ratings are significantly better than the earlier models two star ratings.

    We bought ours for about $16,700 out the door (thanks to a $2500 rebate and my Chrysler supplier discount code) when it stickered at $19,200! Thanks to Brian Bemis Autoworld for locating just the color and options we wanted at no charge. We purchased the base model PT (which came with many standard options) in light almond pearl metallic with the taupe/ivory interior. It's a very nice looking vehicle inside and out, classy even. Ours was only equipped with two extra options; cruise control & tinted glass. Upon owning this car for about 4 years I have some thoughts and opinions to share with you all. And to note we have had NO repairs of any kind on this vehicle, and no unscheduled service stops.

    Pros:

    Nice view out the front windshield. Not a "commanding" view but a bit higher than most normal cars. Excellent brakes, this thing stops extremely well even with the front disc/rear drum set up. The stock 195/60/R15 Goodyear Eagle RS-A tires have lasted a fairly long time. Now with 27000 miles we still have pretty ample tread depth. The vehicle has been driven about 60%/40% city/highway miles in it's four years with us here in north central Illinois. These tires provide very good grip in nearly all weather conditions and the vehicle handles particularly well for something of its shape, weight, and size. It hugs the curves well on off ramps and loves to eat up 40-45 MPH curves with the cruise set at 55-60. The handling gives you a lot of confidence in the platform.

    Steering feel & effort is very good with a nice on center position. It takes very little correction to keep the PT in your lane. I do not share other reviewer’s opinions of the turning circle, it's pretty normal as there aren't many cars made that can do a u-turn on a side street without having to three-point it eventually. The cruise control is very intuitive and the placement on the steering wheel at the 4 o'clock position is nearly ideal for adjustments.

    The engine is well suited at 150 HP to motivate our 4 speed auto PT just fine, low R.P.M. torque is pretty standard for a 4 cylinder car. Even the engine at idle sounds a bit retro which is nifty, but takes on a smooth feel/sound at speed. If you're looking to be speedy upgrade to the 180 HP mid-turbo version, or go nuts with the 210 HP version, but expect a bit more harshness and vibrations under boost from the turbo engines.

    Ours does very well around town, and I must say this...for a car of this weight when you punch the throttle at about 35-40 M.P.H. this thing goes like nearly nothing I've ever owned....your doing 70-80 in what seems like less than four seconds and the thrust brings a smile to your face. Seriously, try it its fun. I never have trouble passing anyone on two lane roads...ever. And to note I've previously owned two Rx-7's ('85 GSL SE & '88 Turbo) so I think I'm an ample judge of acceleration.

    We've loaded everything from 8ft step ladders, to weekly groceries, to camping gear, to sheets of styrofoam insulation, to our 32" flat screen TV in our PT. It holds pretty much everything we need it to. It's not a family car though, don't be fooled. The seats are simple to fold and remove, but the 60% side takes some muscle to heft in and out of the car.

    The multi-position shelf is a nice feature and something every suv/car/minivan should offer. Beware though it has only a 50 pound weight limit. We like to put our 22lb bag of cat food on it up high and it won't squash the groceries below it. Nice tie-downs and hooks all over the place. Plus a convenient "pocket" for a chamois bottle or jumper cables and gloves on the drivers side cargo sill.

    The standard single CD player and six speaker stereo system have very good sound quality....even when played fairly loud. I've previously had 200 watt eclipse matched component speakers and Ford JBL speaker systems, this is nearly on a par with the Eclipse system, however it can't play nearly as loud. The D-pillar speakers are a bit weak though when played separately from the dash and doors (they could be upgraded a bit) but you can't tell when they're all played in unison. Pop in the Eagles Hell Freezes over CD and play track 6, Hotel California, and wait for the smile to break...you'll see.

    HVAC works well and is easy to use. The dash center mounted window controls take a bit of getting used to but once you're there you're fine, you don't have to take your eyes off the road to control the windows at all.

    Love, love, love the gauges in this car. White faced with black numbers and orange pointers during the day, black faced with bluish-green numbers and reddish-orange pointers at night. Easy to read and see all the time. The PT has a nice low fuel indicator/chime which tells you at 2.2 gallons remaining and then flashes repeatedly and chimes again when you're down to approx. 1 gallon.

    Passenger under seat drawer is perfect for gloves, radar detectors, some maps, or small umbrellas. It holds CD's too for long trips but we like the CD wallets best and put them in the cavernous door pockets. Fit and finish is good and the push button door entry is a nice throwback, and beats the hell out of pull up clunky handles. The doors close (with a nice soft thud) and open easily and the sill is wide but not too wide giving you a good place to knock off snow before settling in. The center console and three cup holders work well to hold most any type of drink you need. We never have to worry about a sharp turn or hard braking spilling a drink. Another nice feature is the pen only spot. It's a small cut-out next to the kleenex box nook that neatly holds one or two pens.

    Cons:

    Rear windshield wiper doesn't have an ample spring to keep the blade in contact with the window, it needs to be pushed against the glass about once a week in order to wipe the entire glass area properly. This might be an "ours only" issue but it begs mentioning.

    Rear brakes squeak (started after about 20K miles) after the car has been sitting for more than say an over night. However they do it in just a work day's time on really moist or rainy days. After a few stops though it goes away. I might need to get the brakes checked, but typically rear brakes last longer than that before needing service.

    Mileage, yes this ones all over the internet. We were a bit disappointed with this too. However the sticker on the window of ours said 20 city/25 highway and that's pretty much what you get. Why are we surprised then? I now commute with it about 400 miles a week to work with about 74% highway an
  • Post was cut off here is the rest of it....

    74% highway and 26% city driving. Last 4 tanks I have gotten 24-25.5 MPG using BP gas. I struggle to get more than 340 miles per tank though which does annoy me a bit. However, this is a larger 2.4 liter engine mind you than say a 2.0 or 1.6-1.8 liter as you see in the Civics, Corollas, Cobalts and the like that get the 30-40 MPG ratings. Those cars also weigh a LOT less than the PT, but they don't look good and suck for comfort, ride, and cargo carrying ability. We've never taken a long distance trip though (200 + miles) so I can't tell what the mileage would be like for a 100% highway trip. I would guess at 65 MPH if you get better than 27 MPG your doing very well in a PT.

    The cargo area could hold a bit more with the seats up. We've noticed on heavy grocery load weeks that we're "piling" the bags a bit more than we'd like. However I think a grocery net or using paper bags would help. The PT's cargo area favors taller items over things that are broad and have no shape.

    What would we have done differently/change if we could:

    We might have opted for the electric/light group option which would have given us the overhead console with temp gauge, compass, clock, trip computer and map/reading lights. We found the single dome light to be bit dim for seeing the toll change, but now that we have the I-pass system it's not really an issue.

    For a bit more zip around town we might have opted for the mid-turbo engine. An extra thirty horsepower wouldn't hurt and I doubt the mileage would suffer much, how can it you only get 20 MPG in town right?

    I wish the windshield washer spray pattern was more atomized than just four streams that shoot out across the entire windshield. Check out the pattern on the Honda Odyssey and you'll see what I mean. I'm considering changing the nozzles to something from another vehicle since I plan to keep my PT for a long time.

    The rear window washer also needs work as it just sprays a stream of fluid which "runs" down the glass and depends on the wiper to spread it around, which doesn't work all that well.

    An engine management system to save fuel at highway cruising would be good. Something like the displacement on demand system Chrysler has on its newer vehicles. If the PT could get to 30 MPG it would be great! Or they could offer a CRD engine....hmmm diesel anyone? I'd sign up for that!
  • I've got an 06 PT with the 180 HP turbo. To be honest gas mileage sucked when I first bought the vehicle. 16.4 city 21 hiway. After several trips to the dealer and lots of excuses later I decided to take things into my own hands even though the vehicle is still under warranty with 4K miles. I upgraded the plugs and wires and ordered a Mopar stage 1 PCM at a cost of $460.00. The new PCM increased the HP from 180 to 250. Fuel economy increased from 16.4 city to 23.0 and from 21.0 to 27.8 hyway. Not a bad trade off for a $460 investment. The power curves and acceleration remind you of a 60s' muscle car.For $460 grandma's little PT can be turned into a real street hot rod.
    Chrysler is not pushing this factory upgrade for the PT because they would rather sell $35K 300C hemis'.Chrysler continues to market the PT cruiser as grandma's little grocery hauler. Put stage 1 in a PT and grandma's PT will be able to run with GT mustangs
  • eugenedeugened Posts: 7
    Chrysler makes some nice looking cars, but ownership experience is not great. I purchased new PT Cruiser Limited in 2001 and put only 30,000 miles on it. Since then I had to replace rack and pinion for 1800$, onboard computer and side air bag computer for 1000$, and another repair was for engine harness - estimated cost 1600$. Total about 4500$ in repairs in 6 years. And I took great maintenance of the car. All repairs happen after warranty expires. My neighbor bought Toyota Camry at the same time. He did not spend a single cent on repairs. Just regular maintenance. I already get rid of PT, he still driving Toyota. My next car is mazda5, and no way I will buy or recommend Chrysler again.
    They have to do something extra ordinary, like 10 years transferable bumper-to-bumper to win people back. The non - transferable lifetime powertranny is a joke. Who is going to drive the same (PT?) car whole life? And does not increase resale value.
  • game76game76 Posts: 2
    I also have an 06 limited turbo,but last time i checked I could not get stage 1 upgrade for mine because I have ABS brakes, I see you have the same 06 limited and you were able to get stage 1, do you have the non ABS? Or has the stage 1 finally come out for mine? Marty
  • I agree with you, I will never ever purchase a Chrysler product again once I get rid of the 07 PT base cruiser. I am having vibration problems, just 1650 miles on it, purchased in July 07. Getting the run around from the dealer, but I will not "go away" until I am satisfied, the sooner the better to rid myself of this. I am not desperate for a car.
  • Tip, take it to another dealer and have him contact chrysler and replace drivers side half shaft with a half shaft from turbo model. Chrysler know this. It worked on mine.
  • UPDATE: On the vibration problem on some PT Cruisers. I have a 2007 and a 2006 PT Cruiser. The 2006 had a vibration at 18 - 20 and 40 - 50 mph. Very irritating. Took to a local Chrysler dealership to have the service manager tell me at 22000 miles their was nothing that could be done. Took the vehicle to Greensburg, Indiana dealership and they ask me to leave it a few days which was no problem. They contacted Chrysler and found the drivers side axle shaft was the culprit. Chrysler had them to order a turbo axle shaft which is balanced. They put it in and the vehicle is as smooth as silk. he standard axle shaft is not balanced but the turbo axle shaft is balanced and it made as much difference as night and day. Hope this helps you all with vibration problems.
  • tubertuber Posts: 2
    I'm about to buy a great old car - NEW! I found a new 2005 PT Conv. GT with all the extras and a 5-speed. I got more than 10K off the sticker and I can't wait to pick it up next month out of state. I'd like help from those who have owned these on performance upgrades, tips, problems to watch for, any suggestions.
    Should I get it undercoated? ( I live in a much snow - much salt area)
    Suggest a good trailer hitch?
    Some kind of turbo enhancement (do these void warrantee or not work w/ ABS?)
    Wax or other exterior protection?
    An owners club in WNY?
    Any kind of do's and don'ts?
    Thanks so much to any who reply!!
  • I could not agree more. I became the proud owner of an Electric Blue PT Cruiser 2006 in October 26, 2006 and I could not be happier, it handles great, goes in any kind of weather (I live in Missouri) and it just makes me feel good to drive it. Anyone who does not belong to a PT club that has one, is alittle one plum off a bob, in my opinion. Squirrleyh
  • I had an '03 Limited, my wife totaled it then I got an '06 convertible. Nothing but problems since day 1. Brakes, shimmy, clutch, transmission, door squeaks, windows rattling, a dealer that lied to me and charged me for work they didn't do. I say don't bail out Ford, Chrysler or GM. They've had 30 years to catch up on the quality of foreign and they haven't even tried. Let them all go under.

    I have a Camry Hybrid, rides like a dream and gets 44MPG. I got only 23MPG with a 4-cylinder 5 Speed. Chrysler should be ashamed of that.
  • If you wanted high mileage when you bought your Cruiser you should have looked at the Neon instead. It gets over 30 mpg and has the same engine as the PT. The Cruiser is hampered by the large frontal area and greater weight.

    We currently have an 03 GT Cruiser in our family. We had a Neon before that. We like them both for different reasons.

    If you want a vehicle that has a really high mpg rating I currently get 217.6 mpg of WATER with one of my vehicles - my Trek bike.

    Enjoy your import.
  • good to hear someone else had a 40-50mph vibration, had mine in the dealer several times and still got the problem. last time the left axle was replaced but with the original axle that came out in it. was your car a automatic non-turbo? and what was the part number of the turbo axle they installed? thanks
  • I've got a 2007 PT Touring and am having this same problem!! I bought it used from a Chrysler dealer in '08 and had the axle replaced - on my dime - around 12 months later. Now, I'm having the same problem AGAIN!! I'm outside any warranty and called Chrysler in "Detroit" - which is apparently now located in India - and was given the runaround. Suggestions??
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