Last post on Sep 26, 2006 at 9:18 PM
You are in the Chrysler PT Cruiser
What is this discussion about?
Chrysler PT Cruiser, Wagon
#133 of 418 Cannot find perfect vehicle for $25K or less.
Nov 30, 2002 (1:14 pm)
I am looking at the Mini, the GT Cruiser, the Honda Element and they all have problems.
The Mini has a bone-jarring ride on the Cooper S and you can't get an automatic on the S, but if you get the plain Cooper CVT, you don't have adequate power. You can't win either way.
The Honda Element lacks a moonroof and is supposed to be slow with the automatic.
I was glad to see that the crash test results on the PT Cruiser have improved on the 2002 and newer PT Cuisers and it now has more than adequate power with the Turbo. I had written the PT off earlier because of the bad crash results on the 2001s, so I never bothered to even test drive one. However, I found out that the GT Cruiser has an A/C system that is inadequate for very hot summer weather (Phoenix, Las Vegas, Miami etc.), the turning radius of a Chevy Surburban and has severe dashboard reflections in the windshield. I think I could live with everything except an A/C that can't the interior cool in a heatwave.
The Element has the fewest faults. I will have to test drive one next month to see if I can either live the the automatic's slower acceleration or if I am willing to get the stick shift which is relatively quick (at least with 2-wheel drive). Haven't seen any acceleration tests for the AWD Element.
I may wait until 2004 to see if Chrysler either improves the A/C on the GT Cruiser next year of if BMW can do something to make the ride of the Cooper S liveable.
I was surprised to see that posts here indicate the the resale value of used PTs are not that great now that dealers are discounting new ones.
Dec 01, 2002 (12:07 am)
The turning radius could be better for sure but you get used to it quickly. Haven't had problems with dash reflections. Might show up if you armorall it. As for the A/C I will have to wait till next summer as I just bought mine 2 weeks ago. Live in Oklahoma. But haven't heard the A/C is weak. Seen complaints about the Vibe/Matrix A/C.
The turbo and re tested crash scores are what got me looking at the PT GT.
The Element will be slower and get worse gas mileage than the CR-V.
Dec 01, 2002 (1:38 am)
Have had the PT GT since Aug. My wife drives it as her primary car and she makes do with the huge turning circle and no longer finds it much of a problem. I drive a much larger vehicle most of the time that has a tight turning circle by comparison and I find the turning circle of the PT GT a parking irritation (but not enough to keep me from wanting to drive it).
The A/C is okay on the freeways even in 90 degree plus temperatures. It is not great, but it is good enough to keep the cabin, including the back seat, cool. It is in town stop and go low speed driving where the GT A/C is weak. Using recirculated air instead of outside air helps quite a bit while at the same time increasing fan speed to more than slowest speeds helps too. My GT is black. Other colors may be easier to cool.
I've never used armorall or anything on the dash. Dash reflections in the windshield are the worst I've ever seen, but your seating position will probably be different than mine and therefore so will the reflections. My wife says they are minor for her.
No regrets getting the GT. It is not perfect, but what car is?
Dec 03, 2002 (8:21 pm)
I just picked up my new PT GT and noticed the light flicker that several folks have mentioned. Has anyone found out what the cause of the problem?
#137 of 418 Not worried about it.
Dec 04, 2002 (12:28 am)
Wouldn't have even noticed it if I hadn't read it here. If it gets worse then I will worry.
#138 of 418 Friends GT stick update
Dec 05, 2002 (10:56 am)
After it arrived at Laredo a couple weeks ago it got "lost" so he didn't get it by Thanksgiving. I just talked to him and it arrived at the Dealer last Friday. But he hasn't been able to get in to pick it up. (Can you believe that!!??) He picks it up Saturday. It's his Wife's car so I don't know when he'll get to drive it to work!
Dec 05, 2002 (5:30 pm)
I still see the flickering but i don't worry about it. I have a GT with the missing rear sway bar so I am waiting to take mine in until they have a sway bar in stock. I will then ask about the flicker. It is just an annoyance but ... even I would have seen it when I test drove it..I would have still bought one!
Dec 06, 2002 (1:07 pm)
I've seen a few posts about the turning radius, but in all honesty, I've never had any problems with it. It feels quite manueverable in slow speed (parking lot) driving.
Dec 14, 2002 (9:20 pm)
I finally got around to reading their review of the Turbo. What car did they drive? It sounds like they were in a Chevette! Turbo lag-I found the Turbo to be one of the best performing cars I have ever driven and between 40 and 80 it just explodes! The Turbo has a staccato rasp when started that the others do not have. The turning radius is too large. What causes that?
I still can't believe the test drivers results. I have yet to punch it that I have not had to back off and still do not know the top end speed.
Dec 15, 2002 (12:39 am)
Top speed is 120 (electronically limited) though the car has the power to go much faster. Tires are only good for 130, therefore a speed limit is set less than the car's full potential.
There is turbo lag, but it is very short. Floor it from an idle start (snap the pedal down) and the car does not jump at first. The is a very short period (the first few feet traveled) of seeming slow acceleration followed by some wheel spin and very fast acceleration as the boost comes on. The same micro lag can be felt in 4th gear on the highway at speeds below 65 or so. The lag is less than any other turbo I have owned and is not noticed in normal driving or spirited driving.
Chrysler front drive cars are not noted for tight turning circles. My PT GT Turbo has a bigger turning circle than a Chevy Suburban (actually measured both). Makes maneuvering difficult in tight places, however one gets used to it unless you usually drive a vehicle with a much smaller turning circle (as I do). The short local driving range is a bigger annoyance.
Bought mine in the heat of the summer. Typical of turbo cars, performance is much better now that the weather is cool.