To recognize the PT Cruiser"s ar in automotive history, it"s finest to start with a quote native Douglas Adams" Hitchhiker"s guide to the Galaxy: "Most that it seemed to do some sort of sense at the time." In the mid-1990s, Chrysler was looking to drum up attention for the fading Plymouth brand. The company had been toying through the idea that a tall wagon based on the Neon platform, this despite bad customer research results and also a lack of sales success because that the Eagle Summit wagon. Offered the acclaim for the Plymouth Prowler concept (which to be on its means to manufacturing as a 1997 model) and the enthusiasm for Volkswagen"s upcoming New Beetle, Plymouth made decision to create a retro-themed mini-minivan.

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After numerous false starts, designer Bryan Nesbitt come up with a sketch that had actually the appropriate mix of retro and also contemporary. (Read an ext about the PT"s styling development in this Allpar interview.) Chrysler previewed the PT"s styling theme with two concept cars, the 1997 Plymouth Pronto and also the 1999 Pronto Cruizer. A manufacturing version was readied because that the 1999 Detroit Auto Show, by i m sorry time the decision had been made come shutter Plymouth. Once the automobile made the debut, the did so together the Chrysler PT Cruiser. Production started in 2000 because that the 2001 version year.

Based ~ above a greatly reworked Neon platform, the PT Cruiser to be designed to it is in EPA-classified as a truck in stimulate to help improve Chrysler"s corporate typical fuel economic situation (CAFÉ) numbers. Initially, all 3 PT Cruiser models (Base, Touring and also Limited) to be powered through a 150-hp, 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine control the front wheels v either a five-speed hands-on transmission or a four-speed automatic. The PT to be exported come several international markets, where it might be had with a 2.0-liter gasoline engine or a 2.2-liter turbodiesel.

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For the 2003 version year, Chrysler included the PT Cruiser GT. It is provided by a turbocharged 2.4-liter engine that created 215 hp, the was accessible with both manual and also automatic transmissions. Because that 2004, a 180-hp variation of the turbocharged engine was introduced for Touring and limited models. Chrysler debuted a convertible PT at the 2004 Detroit Auto Show, and also it join the lineup for the 2005 version year.

In 2006 the PT Cruiser got its just styling update, with new headlights, a to reduce grille, and a amendment interior, when GT models acquired a power bump come 230 hp. The refreshed version came simply in time come greet its only competitor, Chevy"s new-for-"06 HHR.

Chrysler stoked interest in the PT Cruiser v a number of special editions, starting in 2002 with the Woodie and also Flame packages. Various other special editions consisted of the Walter P. Chrysler Signature series (2005-08), Street Cruiser Route 66 Edition (2006), Street Cruiser Pacific shore Highway Edition (2007), Street Cruiser Sunset Boulevard Edition (2008), Couture Edition (2010), and also five Dream Cruiser editions (2001-2008).

The PT Cruiser attracted a sizeable pan base greatly owing to its styling. However, owners complained around indifferent build quality and low fuel economy from the supposedly economically 2.4.

PT Cruiser sales decreased steadily after the 2006 facelift, dropping by nearly a 3rd in 2007 and then by half in 2008, the critical year because that the convertible. With then-owner Cerberus capital Management spring to reduced costs, Chrysler announced that 2010 would certainly be the critical year for the PT Cruiser. By the time manufacturing ended, over 1.3 million PT Cruisers had been marketed world-wide.

At launch, Chrysler claimed that PT stood for "Personal Transport". Follow to kris Theodore, vice chairman of platform engineering at Chrysler, the upcoming 2000 Neon on i m sorry the PT Cruiser was originally to it is in based was well-known internally through the password PL, and also PT was quick for ns Tall.

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The breakthrough of the PT Cruiser was topic to good internal debate. Bob Lutz, head of worldwide product development, François Castaing, head that powertrain operations, and Chris Theodore to be in favor of the project, however CEO Bob Eaton was opposed, and Sales and Marketing didn"t think it would sell. In the interim, Castaing was supported to EVP of worldwide operations and also pledged to take 50,000 devices for export, i beg your pardon clinched the organization case.

The designer behind the PT Cruiser, Bryan Nesbitt, likewise penned its just retro competitor, the Chevrolet HHR.

Despite that age and also uniqueness, the PT Cruiser has not yet captured on together a collectible car, despite inevitably that will… someday. For now, PTs space still trading as ordinary offered cars in ~ rock-bottom prices, and even PT Cruiser clubs are seeing waning interest. That makes the PT great buy for those who want to acquire in early; just keep in mind that you may be very, very early.

It"s too early to call if any details PT Cruiser models will certainly attain certain desirability, though it isn"t hard to guess the GT models and also limited-production special editions are most likely to it is in the many collectible.

Chrysler"s develop quality throughout the 2000s wasn"t stellar, so it"s most likely that all but the lowest-mileage instances will run right into problems—and for the low-mileage cars it"s a matter of time. Since of their practical interiors and also low resale values, many PTs were pressed into company as cheap family haulers, which means they might not have received the finest of care.

First year that production: 2000 (2001 version year)Last year that production: 2010Total sold: 1.05 million (US), 300,000 (export)Original price (base): $16,000Characteristic feature: Retro styling, plethora of one-of-a-kind editions

After peaking in 2006, PT Cruiser sales began to decline rapidly. Owner Cerberus resources Management was looking to reduced costs, therefore the PT Cruiser gained the axe.

That relies on your meaning of good. In terms of style, uniqueness, and also utility, the PT Cruiser is an extremely good—and uneven anything rather on the road. In terms of performance and also build quality… no so much.

2010 to be the last year because that the Chrysler PT Cruiser. The last PT Cruiser come off the assembly line in Toluca, Mexico, top top July 9, 2010.

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The PT Cruiser to be not known for outstanding construct quality. The 2.4-liter engine was known to burn oil, an especially in early on years. Electrical troubles leading to unstable running or complicated starting may likewise crop up. Owner complained about a absence of power and poor fuel economy from the base 2.4-liter engine.

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