This week I took a vacation from the heavy work requiring a truck. This 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser Touring Convertible begs for a trip to the beach. And for me, who has owned several convertibles, I can vouch for how solid this one is. It was built AS a convertible so you won’t feel the twisting gyrations so common in convertibles. It was most noticeable to me in the 1967 Camaro and then again in the 1990 Camaro I owned and “Loved” by the way.
As to this PT Cruiser, you’ve gotta love this example of how America continues to lead the way in true creativity in making our love of the automobile easy even after the honeymoon was over. For over a hundred years after America gave birth to the best method of transportation of the 20th century we still embrace the relationship. Perhaps that has to do with how people collectively have contributed to the automobiles evolutionary growth. We all made the automobile what it is today. From the very beginning buyer’s have loved to tinker and that caused manufacturers to put consumer ideas into action on the drawing board and on through the production line. That made those back yard modifications and designs cost effective. This PT Cruiser is a perfect example of that marriage between the consumer and the auto industry.
Handling & Performance:
Wonderful. The Turbo makes it fast, and the ride is ultra smooth and comfortable. It takes the wrinkles out of the road. The steering is perfect and overall performance reflects its name. It is indeed a cruiser.
It is apparent many like, as do I, the styling of this example of the best of “Retro”. But because of the design, the trunk is obnoxiously difficult to use. Ok, so I could live with it.
Just to prove Old Habits are hard to change, I must complain about the placement of the window controls. They are in the center of the dash and I still prefer them on the door, where they belong. My first thought was, “What’s this all about?” I seems to be an obvious effort to be different. But the car is already different, so why do such a dumb thing.
Another quickly noticeable flaw is the bad visibility. I don’t know how they could have made it better, but that’s what we pay them for, right? Of course, with the top down peripheral and rear view is totally unobstructed.
When they decided on the color combos, someone must have been humming the song that goes, “Blue, blue, my world is blue, blue is my world, now I’m without yoooou”.
Fit and Finish:
Outstanding. But I have to tell you, the high beams didn’t work but I don’t get excited about the small stuff because I don’t think it went any further than a bad fuse. “But it was assembled in Mexico”, you say. Ok, so that was my first thought too. VW Beetle and several other cars are also assembled in Mexico, so we can’t make that assumption.
Better than I thought was possible. Chrysler has been smart in making this link to the past affordable to many.
If you’re into Retro this is the cheapest “Rod” you could ever buy. This is a great example of a ready to go Rod that is not only classy and fun but also new and reliable. I’ll bet you have considered buying one of these if you are old enough for it to launch you back in time to the “Good old days” when these original designs graced our roads. And today, this is the best of the bunch of competition in terms of being original. Go for it.
Oh, by the way I consider the MINI Cooper a close second.
PT Cruiser $14-28,000, Pontiac Vibe $17-20,000, Ford Mustang $19-31,000, Subaru Forester $21-28,000, Chrysler Sebring $19-31,000, MINI Cooper $17-25,000, Mitsubishi Eclipse $20-30,000, Toyota RAV4 $19-20,000, VW Beetle $17-25,000, VW Golf $16-20,000, Honda CR-V $20-25,000, Suzuki Grand Vitara $18-23,000, Toyota Matrix $15-19,000 Honda Element $17-22,000.
Wonderful handling, fast turbo, great retro design, decent mileage and great convertible top operation.
Poor visibility, poorly placed window controls and lousy trunk space.
2.4 liter 4 cylinder Turbo generating 220 horsepower, 5-speed manual transmission, dual front and side air bags, 4-wheel ABS disc brakes, traction control, power rack and pinion steering, sport suspension with front stabilizer bar, rear window defroster, air conditioning, tilt steering column, power windows, power driver’s seat, stereo with cassette and CD players and 6 speakers, easy entry system with tip and slide seats, front and rear auxiliary 12 volt power outlets, cruise control, leather wrapped steering wheel, power locks, remote keyless entry, theft deterrent system / security alarm, convertible boot top cover, power convertible top, quad halogen headlights, power mirrors and fog lights.
21 City and 27 Highway MPG
Your comments are welcomed. My e-mail is email@example.com
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