Chrysler has had some ups and downs when it comes to cars, but one of their worst cars also happens to be one of the most iconic: the PT Cruiser. This weird, ugly little car that you should avoid buying.
Starting with just appearance, the car doesn’t have much cosmetic appeal. Is it a hearse for clowns? Is it a giant replica of a children’s drawing of a car? The surprising answer to both of these questions is no. It’s simple a Chrysler PT Cruiser.
You would be hard-pressed to find the PT Cruiser on a list of attractive cars. It’s awkward, clunky body lines pair with unattractive styling of headlights and front fascia complement the otherwise bland interior. The front end of the car is outdated. In fact, most people would say the PT Cruiser was an attempt at a retro-throwback design, and they might be right.
The front end and body lines aren’t completely dissimilar from a Plymouth Prowler, except in a wider, puffier way. The Prowler was a favorited classic hotrod that many people enjoyed, but Chrysler seemed to really miss the styling cues in following suit.
The standard PT Cruiser was a four-door sedan that wasn’t overly appealing style-wise but added some utility in way of storage and allowing extra passengers the freedom to get in and out of the car without the driver and passenger need to move. Somewhere along the way, however, designers decided it wasn’t enough to have a sedan, and they also produced a two-door convertible model. That’s right – This awkward new-age Prowler-want-to-be could be purchased as a “sporty’ two-door convertible, and it didn’t do much to improve the appearances of the car either.
There is only one notably positive feature of the PT Cruiser is the motor. The PT Cruiser shares a motor with the popular Dodge Neon, namely the SRT-4 engine that many people coveted from the Neon. It produced the exact same amount of horsepower, and like the Dodge Neon tested to have a higher horsepower than the manufacture claimed. If the engine is the only positive thing you can think of when looking to buy this car, it might make more sense to just buy a Dodge Neon all together.
The PT Cruiser wasn’t all that bad after all, and the GT even made it a little fun to drive. The PT Cruiser GT had an optional 5-speed manual transmission, larger rotors and disc brakes on the front and rear tires. The PT Cruiser was surprisingly rear-wheel drive, and while it was a little too top-heavy to corner well at higher speeds, it was an overall comfortable and fun drive. The GT model also had a lowered suspension and larger chrome wheels that helped improve the Cruiser’s appearance just a tad.
Some models of the PT Cruiser might be worth buying, but others are a complete flop. While some people may enjoy the nostalgic, classic design, others agree that they are downright ugly. With enough power and utility to make it a decent buy, you wouldn’t be in the dog house if you brought one home – but there are definitely some better options.