2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser Woody (413)

Boy, how that certain smile, that certain place or that certain car bring back memories like this weeks PT Cruiser Woody. I liked this car when it was introduced and I like it even more today. They’ve been painting them “Candy Apple” colors and of course as a flashback to the days of the “Woody” design. If only they could have used real wood. Would that have been cool or what? The one I tested had a roof rack and was only missing the surfboard to make the picture complete.

If Phil Stubbs, PHS Class of 1957 had lived he would have been toting his surfboard to Laguna Beach on this “Back in Time” SUV-like Woody wagon. It surely is a reminder of the late 1950’s and early 1960’s for me.

Handling & Performance:

It was great fun to drive this car. Albeit a little underpowered for my taste. I want to drive the Turbo Charged version, but at 215 horsepower it would surely remove the problem I had with the 150 horsepower version.


Chrysler has, by and large, been the best auto manufacturer when it comes to stepping out and taking chances at being different and leading instead of following. Too bad they lost the kid who designed the PT Cruiser. Their loss – Chevrolet’s gain. Let’s see if he can continue to contribute in this industry or whether he fades away.

Fit and Finish:

Very good. I like what the employees of Chrysler Corp have done since Lee Iococca helped the company rise from the ashes like the Mythical Phoenix. They have done a great job in the design area and they do good work too. Chrysler cars used to be a bucket of bolts not always tightened down enough.


This Special Purpose car/truck/van/classic car (you name it) is well priced although it has risen almost $3,000 in two years. If you don’t have to buy new, buy a year old Cruiser if you can find one. This car is so popular they seem to be everywhere you look.

Consumer Recommendation:

If you’re nostalgic or simply love “Rods” and don’t need the large SUV this is a versatile, comfortable efficient, personalized vehicle that will also be a hit with your kids. As I said

I didn’t test the Turbocharged version but if you do, let me know what you think.

The Competition: * (in order of ranking)

(1) Mini Cooper $16-19,000, (2) VW Beetle $16-23,000 (3) Toyota RAV4 $17-18,000, (4) Honda CR-V $19-22,000, (5) Chrysler PT Cruiser $17-22,000, (6) Subaru Forester $21-24,000, (7) Suzuki Grand Vitara $19-23,000.

* – Ranking is based on cost, cu ft, number of features, warranty and gas mileage.

Good News:

SUV-Like Special Purpose vehicle with good gas performance, unique “Back to the Future design.

Bad News:

A bit underpowered equipped with the 150 hp version. Go for the 215 hp turbocharged version – it should make a lot of difference.

Standard Equipment:

2.4 liter 150 horsepower 4 cylinder engine, 4-speed auto trans, front air bags, child seat anchor, power front disc with rear drum brakes, stabilizer bars, air conditioning, tilt steering column, power windows, fold down rear removable seats, AM/FM six speaker radio with cassette and CD, power driver seat and fold flat passenger seat, theft deterent system, door locks, keyless entry, tint glass and power mirrors.

Gas Stats:

19 City and 25 Highway MPG.


MSRP $18,115.


Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is joe@atthewheel.com

Copyright © 2002 – An Automotive Love Affair

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