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Chrysler PT Cruiser Owners: MPG-Real World Numbers



  • crkeehncrkeehn Posts: 513
    Generally in mixed driving about 24 mpg, Highway mileage is about 28-30

    I do very little local driving

    My wife's 2002 Touring Edition Automatic does about 23 mpg mixed and about 27 mpg on the highway
  • Highway rated 20 city, 25 highway.

    Currently, 22 or 23 mpg per tank. I drive about half city and half highway. My gas mileage when I first owned the car was pretty bad, I estimated about 17 mpg. I think it got better after the first 3 to 5 thousand miles.

    But as they say, YMMV, Your Mileage May Vary.
  • I have a 2004 high output Turbo. My mileage is between 13 and 24.
  • tcsmpsitcsmpsi Posts: 31
    We have an '03 PT purchased new, which currently has about 60,000 miles. It is a base model, black, 5 spd trans., with few cosmetic options. It has consistently gotten 26-32 mpg. My wife's daily miles (about 120 miles a day roundtrip to/from work) average about 31 mpg.
  • robmanrobman Posts: 7
    I have a 5-speed '03 Limited that I use as a daily driver. YTD I've averaged 24.8 MPG with a balance of 75/25 city/highway driving. Not bad for a vehicle with this interior space!
  • philgradphilgrad Posts: 1
    2003 GT

    We are getting ~15mpg city, ~20mpg hwy. Terrible, TERRIBLE numbers. They are consistent. If we turn off the AC and drive tentatively, we can boost those numbers by 1mpg.

    I've added a performance air filter, but it did not change the mileage. This is way outside the EPA estimates, and we are looking for a replacement vehicle. Chrysler refuses to look at the car unless the check engine light has come on.

    Fun to drive, but we wouldn't have bought one if we had known the realworld mileage up front.
  • 02accord02accord Posts: 3
    I have an '05 Touring Edition 5-speed. Have 2900 miles on it. My overall average so far is 29.36... although that's over 95% highway, A/C on about 20% of the time. I drive conservatively and have stayed between 60-70 MPH. In my Honda Accord 5-speed I would have gotten around 34 or so in similar conditions. I'm not disappointed; hopefully it will improve further as the engine wears in a bit.
  • hojohojo Posts: 6
    Agree with all that gas mileage is pathetic. I have a 2002 Limited with the 2.4L engine and automatic. I have never gotten better than 25 mpg on the highway. I usually get 18-20 with mix of local and highway. My Camry averaged 27 mpg, my Colt got 28 or better, my Arrow got 35-40, and even my '88 Taurus with a V-6 got 26-28 mpg. Chrysler engineers (or management) need a spanking that they can't do better with the gas mileage.
  • I have a PT Touring with basic 4 cyl. and got 16.1 after driving 600 miles--that's all there is on auto. A mix of 75% city--20% Highway and 5% idle/warm-up! Should I expect more or complain to the dealer? :mad:
    They are presently replacing a the head gasket as I had a very minor oil leak -- car had 100 miles on it when I discovered leak. They found leak with dye in the oil and a special light. They also will check head valve cover to make sure it isn't the cause as well. :cry: :mad: :lemon: ?
    Thanks for any comments.
  • dfox4dfox4 Posts: 2
    Purchased 2003 Cruiser (not turbo) new with automatic. currently has 16,000 miles. Routine servicing has been performed and use mobile 1 oil, changed every 3000 miles. The cruiser is used mostly in a light traffic suburban area.
    MPG with air conditiong running =17.0 MPG MPG with out air running is 20.0 these numbers are very consistent as the MPG is checked every fill up and the overall MPG is 18.5 compared to the EPA window sticker of 18.0 city
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    New car, so I guess MPG will change as it hits around 3,000 on the odometer. I have a PT with a stick. The best mileage so far was 29.68. That is highway and not freeway. On the mostly freeway run, I was up around 80 MPH and with air on the return portion, with a little in town and a couple short hill climbs, and got around 26.5 MPG. The worst was in mostly short runs and in town use and that was 20 MPG. Due to the aero dynamics and weight, it all depends on head winds and hills. The heavy foot now and then eats a bit of gas too, but all in all, so far it is not too bad. Certainly uses more than my Miata and Corolla did, but it is a totally different car. Load a Corolla with seven sacks of cement and it will not get the typical 38 MPG, as would a Miata loaded to 700#s. No - I would not try that, being the load limit on Miata is some 330 or is it 335#s, which is ridiculously low. Glad I got the stick, the automatics must suck more gas.

    Question for [ dfox4 ] : Why, when using Mobil1, do you change it every 3k instead of the 6k schedule?

  • dfox4dfox4 Posts: 2
    We typically keep our cars 10+ years and keep a very tight maintenance schedule.
    I will replace it at the severe use schedule recommended by Chrysler till there is 18K on th odometer, do a oil analysis (the type you can mail in) if all is within parameters then will start to use the light use schedule recommended by Chrysler. (which will match the cars actual driving conditions) Also I have been following the sludge build up issues on toyota engines and several other manufactures with great interest. Use of Synthetic oil reduces oil break down under extreme heat but it still gets dirty just as quick as conventional oil from blow by, short engine cycles etc. There are some oils out there that are advertised as good for 7500 miles but that doesn't make sense for 99% of driving conditions. When was the last time you heard an engine needed rebuild because the oil was changed frequently?
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Well, I guess you could say the same for when have you heard of engine problems actually related to an oil change at 6 or 7.5K miles instead of 3k? The Toyota engine design had a flaw in it. They had made some change in the design, I guess for smog or fuel efficiency, and somehow missed a potential problem area in the process. I have heard of problems with the Chrysler 2.7 V6, but none so far with the 2.4 i4. In Europe they go for what, say 12k miles on oil changes. This 3K mile oil changes is just to get your money. I did use the Mobil1 with my Miata and changed it at around 7,500 miles each time. Miata turns a lot more RPMs than the PT and you can take it well past 6,ooo RPMs on shifts, so the Mobil1 is a good choice. I will consider Mobil1 on the PT after 3K miles, but will likely just use the oil at the dealership, changed at 3K miles, then at 6K miles thereafter. Does Mopar use Champion for a source of filters? Please tell me it is not Fram. I think it is Champion or Purolator.

  • I checked this board before I bought my Crusier and had me worried with stories of 13 -15 mpg. I couldn't resist though, and went ahead and bought my new '05 PT Crusier convertible turbo (lite). I had a scare with an early tank at 15 mpg, but with several tankfuls of gas and 2300 miles under her belt I have been getting consistantly 20 mpg around town and 24 mpg highway. Slightly worse than my big Olds 88 I traded in, but a whole lot more fun!
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    I bought my wife a 2002 Limited with 52500 miles on it just over two weeks ago. It seems to be in excellent condition, but I refilled it for the first time yesterday and it came to just under 16mpg. I sure hope that was an anomaly, because I haven't had that poor milage out of anything since a four wheel drive Ford F-250 I sold years ago. And for the life of me I see no reason this car should get such poor milage. I'll continue to keep track of it for awhile.

    Like rtimac, I have (he had) an Olds 88. Mine is a "95 with just under 100000 on the odometer and still gets around 18 to 20 average with 26 or so on trips. Otherwise it has been a troublesome car.

    Thankfully she won't be putting a lot of milage on the Cruiser if it continues to be a gas glutton.
  • The PT has been a gas hog for us. 2001 Limited automatic started out in the 20 MPG range, but now we tend to get 20/22-ish highway. We mostly do around town and have gotten between 13 (!) and 18 MPG, on average. That's deplorable. Everything engine-wise is in tip-top shape.
  • I've got a 2002 classic with the manual trans, having clocked over 75,000 miles since purchased new. I've added a K&N Fuel Injection Performance Kit (or FIPK) and removed the muffler and added a 5 inch diameter by 24 inch long diesel truck stainless steel "echo pipe" and with running plus or middle test fuel, I consistently get 28 -32 MPG driving 500+ miles per week. I love my PT and enjoy driving it everywhere. :P :shades:
  • I am going through this exact same thing with my 2005 PT Cruiser. What happened with your problem?
  • katspt & david91304

    My 2005 PT Cruiser is in the shop with the same problem. (Oil dripping between transaxle and oil pan.) Did you get your problem resolved? Here is my history:

    Car is now in for the third attempt to repair this problem.
    1st attempt - replaced the galley plug.
    2nd attempt - replaced the oil pressure sending unit.
    Currently - Mechanic called to say that oil is leaking from head gasket. Chrysler has issued a TSB instructing them to retorque the engine head bolts to specs. Mechanic said they retorqued the head bolts to specs. He test drove the car and oil is still leaking. Now they are ordering a new head gasket.
  • I have had my 2005 PT Cruiser since mid September and it leaked oil from from day one. The first time in the shop they tightened some bolts which didn't fix it now this week they replaced the head gasket. But its back in today because now its making a noise similar to a loose motor mount....I am not sure yet if the gasket has fixed the problem I only was able to drive it less than a day before be took it back in for the current problem.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Got 28 MPG on last run. This was mainly on highway, freeway, with little in town driving. Most of the time, with a third in town and two thirds highway ( putting good foot into it ) I average 24 MPG. Doing mainly in town or short highway trips it can dip into the 20 - 22 range. Considering the weight and more box structure of the beast, it is doing OK. I do have the manual transmission. The automatic seemed too slow, and I was worried about the gas mileage, so I went with the stick shift. I take it, most people with auto tranny average three MPG less. Seemed like it takes away a lot of power too.

  • My Mom's got a 2001 with just 2200 miles on it. It gets no better gas mileage than my Suburban. I went 40 miles with it yesterday and it went through over 1/4 tank! When does it kick in to get better mileage? It eats gas very quickly. Course she's the little old lady that only drives it to the store and back and it's going to take a while to break it in!
  • i really like the 2006 pt , is there anyone having problems with the oil like in the 2005 etc .any other special problems?
  • 2005-or 2006 what kind of gas milage are you getting ?
  • jbw929jbw929 Posts: 1
    I purchased a 2006 PT Cruiser Touring in Marine Blue. It has an automatic and sunroof. I have yet to crack 21 mpg on highway driving. Around town, it gets only 17-18, and that is nursing it.

    Also, why does the trip computer not reset to zero? Everytime I reset it, it starts all over from the previous mileage. If I had know how bad this MPG was, I would have never had purchased the car.

    Other than that, I like the car.
  • gary7379gary7379 Posts: 1
    I've got the same car as you except with manual and I struggle to get 24 on the highway. Usually get around 20-22 in the city. Pretty disappointing for such a small engine but that's probably the problem with so much car.
  • hhrguyhhrguy Posts: 3
    When I bought My PT, I felt that I was the only one getting poor gas miles. Boy was I wrong. I average 18mpg in the city, and 23 on the hiway. If mountains are involved, mpg drops to 21! I have owned this car 3 1/2 years and love it but the gas miles stink. I test drove a NEW HHR, and this will be the car that will replace the PT!
    Good pick up, larger fuel tank, tight turnig radius, and 30mpg!
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    We just bought a new 2006 PT Cruiser in Base trim instead of an HHR. The HHR is rated about 4 mpg higher on the freeway; I wouldn't assume it will actually get 30 mpg. More likely, 25 or 26 versus the 23-24 we get on road trips on the PT. Keep in mind ALL PT Cruisers come with the larger, more powerful 2.4 engine vs. the 2.2 in the HHR. So you have to choose what is more important to you, throw in styling choices, and make a decision.

    I think they are both good cars, but the PT has gotten good initial quality and long term quality ratings. Also, as a "mature model" (it's been out several years, although this year they did some minor styling, and major soundproofing, updates) it goes on sale. We got ours for $12,500 - with power windows and doorlocks, but not the power mirrors, cruise control, and remote entry that you get on the stock HHR.

    Like I said, you have to choose the one you like. I would have been happy with either one, but we chose the cheaper - much cheaper - alternative.
  • obwan45obwan45 Posts: 1
    :D Most people in this forum seem to be getting bad mileage. I have a 2002 Limited, auto, loaded, and in the city I get about 26mpg, and out on the road I get between 28 and 31.
  • jacksmom1jacksmom1 Posts: 2
    We recently purchased a pt cruiser and were shocked by the gas mileage. the window sticker said 20/26. Has anyone looked into any recourse for this terrible gas mileage occurence? We let the saslesman know upfront that we were looking for a car with good gas mileage , because we travel. we love the comfort but hate the gas mileage. :cry:
  • jacksmom1jacksmom1 Posts: 2
    I forgot to add, we get between 16 and 19 mpgs :cry:
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    On our 2006 PT, btw, we get 17-18 in mostly (80%) city driving, 20 mpg in 60/40 mixed freeway/city driving, and 24 mpg on long freeway road trips. Automatic. This matches our experience with a 2004 PT.

    We do drive the '06 harder than we drove the '04, simply because I realized that babying it only gains about 1 mpg....
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Your mileage isn't off relative to the EPA city /highway ratings. Getting about 3 mpg less in each category seems good to normal. Some drivers of other cars get 5 mpg less in each category. Basically the EPA ratings are viewed as way out of whack. The PT has a 150 hp/165 torque 2.4 liter engine optimized for performance, not mileage. Hence the dismal mileage. I actually get more mileage with the same engine in a 2006 Caravan. But the Caravan is a slug compared to the PT Cruiser.

    In short, nothing wrong with your car. Coming from a Scion xA which got 33-35 mpg on a freeway commute, I can assure you that mileage isn't everything, and the additional comfort, size, and safety of the PT make up for "passenger car" mileage.
  • tom28tom28 Posts: 2
    I had a 2001 Touring and achieved 23-28 MPG. Car had 115,000 when I sold it for a 2006 GT. This HO Turbo gets 17-23, but there I only have about 3,000 on the engine. My 2001 MPG increased/stabilized after 3,000 on it. Looking forward to more improvements on the 2006...
  • tom28tom28 Posts: 2
    I, too, had difficulty resetting the MPG. The dealer sent this to me: "Once a particular system is displayed, short and long presses of the STEP button will move the EVIC through the system menu. Pressing and holding the STEP button once will clear the resettable function currently being displayed. Reset will occur if a resettable function is currently being displayed. To reset all resettable functions, press and release the STEP button a second time within 3 seconds of resetting the currently displayed function (Reset ALL will be displayed during this 3 second window)."

    I tried this on my 2006 PT, and it seemed to do something, but I couldn't get ALL to display. Maybe you can have better luck.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    That is pretty bad. I bought the stick, which gets a little better gas mileage. Would never want that automatic if mileage is that bad. I would complain about 16-19, as there has to be something wrong with that engine. Once you have a third fill of gas, or so, I would think mileage should be close to listed on your model.

    My car is listed as 22 - 29. Only once did I hit the close to 29. Most of the time in mixed driving I get 24, with 26.5 say for an average freeway drive with two in the car. Can sometimes get 28 or more without passengers. Most cars I have owned, I got at or better than EPA gas mileage figures as shown on the sticker. The GM V6 would get at to 10% more. Same with Toyota Corolla and Miata, at or better than government real gas mileage.

    My next car could be a V6 or even some V8s and get similar gas mileage, I think.
  • marybarrowmarybarrow Posts: 3
    I have a 2004 GT that gets between 13 and 26 mpg. What a spread that is. I just returned from a trip and I got an amazingly 26 mpg!!! I was so pleased. But then, that is not why I bought my car. I love the looks of it and style. Driving it is a fun experience. I had a 2001 that I traded in on my 2004, and I probably get another one when the time is right, if they still make them. My husband had a 2003 GT that he just recently turned in on a Chrysler 300, but that car suits him more than the PT did. I belong to a wonderful PT club and have made so many great friends. What other kind of car could give you so much????
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    On my freeway commute, with a 2006 PT base model with automatic and 2700 miles, I am now getting 26 mpg. Apparently the city mileage is so rotten it drags down the overall mileage if you throw in many miles of street driving. BUT, on a 35 mile freeway commute, those freeway miles help a lot and bring the average up to 26.

    I think that is OK. Not as great as "pie in the sky" hybrid mileage, but it is much better, for the weight and versatility of this little wagon, than a Ford Focus ZX3 with automatic that I had that returned only 26 mpg on the same commute. The only automatics I have had that did better were a 2004 Neon and a 2002 or 3 Echo that got 30 and 32 mpg respectively. With none of the Cruiser's versatility.
  • fwatsonfwatson Posts: 639
    My wife had been using her '02 Limited exclusively for local and back and forth work. Used that way I don't think she was getting better than 18 on average. But last Friday she had to make a 190 mile round trip so I filled it with regular and made sure it was topped off completely. When she got back I repeated the topping off to be sure there was no major difference.

    What a surprise that turned out to be. The trip was highway except for about 15 miles of it and she got 27.27 MPG. I'll probably check the local milage the same way to see what that yields, but I am very pleased with the results of that trip.
  • hhrguyhhrguy Posts: 3
    I sold my PT cruiser for 3 main reasons. 1) pooor hiway gas mileage 2) small fuel tank (more fill ups on long road trips) 3) Poor turning radius.
    I purchased a new '06 hhr, and it has the 2.4 engine. much more power than the pt, 16gal gas tank, and the best of all was the promise of 30mpg hiway. Our first trip was 2 days after purchase, and it got 27.5 mpg hiway. I thought it might get better when broken in. Boy, was I right! now at 2800mi, we consistently get 34-36 mpg hiway. yea, iI gave up some other comforts,to buy the HHR, (2 extra cup holders, and 1 power outlet), but i don't miss those much. The HHR is a car that will turn on a dime, and give charng, the pick up is as good as the PT, and the HHR is very quite on the road. I relly like not cranking up the cd to drownd out the noise. I have owned both, and my vote goes to the HHR!
  • We got our 02 Limited about a year ago. We just got our best tank - 24 mpg - YaaHoo! I knew the gas mileage would suck, but I didn't think about the range, that's what really sucks. But I love my PT!
  • I'm actually quite upset about the MPG I'm getting.
    I just bought a 2006 base model in November.

    I purchased the car not only for it's looks, but it's supposidly good MPG. The sticker says 20/26 City/Highway.

    I've been testing it since the day I bought it and I can only get 20mpg from it. I drive 70 miles a day for work. Nearly all Highway but a few miles. I've driven an entire tank at 65mph as well as 70mph, 75mph, and 80mph to see what I can get. 80mph get's me 19mpg while 65/70mpg get's me 20mpg.

    I had Chrysler perform a test because I felt the car was not getting the advertised mpg for highway miles. They tested the car at 20.86mpg at 70mph.

    I do love the car, but I'm very unhappy with the mpg. Are there any American model cars that get mpg as the Japanese and Korean's do? I don't want to buy one, but curious to know what cars our country produces in this catagory that complete with the foreign cars.
  • jpfjpf Posts: 496
    I have a 2006 Caravan with the same 4 cylinder engine. I have gotten as high as 28 to 30 MPG on the highway if I drive at a constant speed (60 MPH). On a recent 2,500 mile trip I averaged 25 MPG. Maybe the computer is programmed differently between the 4 cylinder Caravan and the Cruiser. Anyhow, it's odd that the Cruiser doesn't get better mileage.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Same situation here. 2004 and 2006 PT's, 23 mpg on freeway trips; 2006 Caravan SE, 25 mpg on freeway trips with same engine. (The 2006 2.4 in the SE actually satisfied passenger car emissions requirements, too.)

    Then again look at the mpg figures for the new Sebring with the new 2.4 "world engine" vs. that same engine in the smaller, lighter Caliber...
  • Hello...

    You are getting better mileage than I am believe it or not - I have a 2006 red Touring. I have been tracking the last 10 tanks of gas and averaging 15-17 (sometimes 18) MGP. I manually caluclate the mileage according to miles per trip/gallons in...I'm not a speed demon and go about (sometimes more highway) 50%/50% city/highway. Once I got 22 MPG but that was on a 75 mile trip on nearly all freeway at 65mph.

    The service department says this "You aren't driving it right, only under certain circumstances do you get said gas mileage, the emissions are different than other cars, the engine is new, some people are getting that much..."

    Survey person called, I said I was unhappy, am planning on selling it and I then got a call from Chrysler...They are going to 'look' at my car. He asked if I would buy another Chrysler and I said "No way, I won't buy another American made car at all."

    I too would NOT have bought this car if I knew the gas mileage was this bad. It is too bad, the car is sweeet otherwise. The thechnology is there, it is a flipping 4 cyl car. There is no excuse for poor mpg other than a lousy engine. None.

    Thanks for reading this!

  • Hello...

    You are getting better mileage than I am believe it or not - I have a 2006 red Touring. I have been tracking the last 10 tanks of gas and averaging 15-17 (sometimes 18) MGP...This is crap. I manually caluclate the mileage according to miles per trip/gallons in...I'm not a speed demon and go about (sometimes more highway) 50%/50% city/highway. Once I got 22 MPG but that way a 75 mile trip on nearly all freeway at 65mph.

    The serice department says this "You aren't driving it right, only under certain circumstances do you get said gas mileage, the emissions are different than other cars, the engine is new, some people are getting that much..."

    Survey person called, I said I was unhappy, am planning on selling it and I then got a call from Chrysler...They are going to 'look' at my car. He asked if I would buy another Chrysler and I said "No way, I won't buy another American made car at all."

    I too would NOT have bought this car if I knew the gas mileage was this bad. It is too bad, the car is sweeet otherwise. The thechnology is there, it is a flipping 4 cyl car. There is no excuse for poor mpg other than a lousy engine. None.

    Thanks for reading this!

  • well i have the opposite experence to share than many of you, while it could use a larger tank, about a month ago we bought my wife a 06 touring with the 2.4L and auto tranny it had 10.7k miles on it. she drives a round trip of 80mi four days a week just to get to school and back, of that it is roughly 50% 4-lane hwy with speeds of 65-70mph, and maybe 3 stop lights each way, the other 50% is 2-lane twisty rural rd avg speed on this is 50-60mph she has to slow down (to turn) or stop 6 times each way (not incl) red lights, and also does a lot (prob close to 150mi a week) of local (we are rural so for us local is less than 15 mi one way) driving also. She has gotten better than 24mpg on every tank she had put in it (87 octane) granted this is during the winter so we dont run the ac much, i expect that to affect the mpg during the summer. we went on a short trip a week ago, about 120 mi round trips, 70% on 4-lane hwy @ aproxx 70mph and i reset the current mpg in the DIC and was amazed to see hwy mpg consistintly at 27.9 mpg. she nor i are easy on a vehicle so i was not expecting this kind of mpg, figured it would be closer to 20. anyway i guess you can chalk me up as plesently suprised at our first "CAR"
  • hojohojo Posts: 6
    I finally got tired of the poor gas mileage, blind spot, and large turning radius. I miss some things about the PT (solid ride, compass, electronics...), but I like getting 30-38 mpg, no blind spot, and being able to make a U-turn on ordinary roads. The Pontiac Vibe (really a Toyota Matrix/Corolla with Pontiac emblem on it) is similar in size and utility to the PT, but almost doubles the gas mileage I used to get with my PT. Now why couldn't Chrysler do better with the mpg? Too bad.

  • I bought an '06 PT Turbo convertable right off the lot.
    The odometer was at 00000003!!
    It's fun to drive, but it's getting the worst milage imaginable! It comes with an onboard mpg calculator, so I always know how poorly it performs. Assuming that it's accurate, I'm getting between 15 and 16 mpg. That's combined highway and city. I've never done a full tank on the highway, though I would assume it would get better numbers. I only have 4500 miles on it now. At $3 a gallon, I can only go 215 miles on a tank. Anyone want to buy a great low milage car? :-{
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Posts: 402
    I've always like the PT's, sorry you're getting less than stellar gas mileage.
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