What's New, Changed, Different
Our biggest complaint about the Cruiser--lack of power--has been addressed for '03, and in a big way. Chrysler has turbocharged and intercooled the 2.4-liter to create a new, even sportier, and decidedly faster PT model. The PT Cruiser Turbo cranks out 215 horsepower and 245 lb-ft torque--impressive for a forced-induced four-cylinder. It comes standard with 17-inch wheels, a performance-tuned suspension, and monochromatic paint. When ordered with the four-speed automatic, the Turbo is the only PT available with Chrysler's AutoStick sequential shift control. Since the introduction of the PT, Chrysler has offered numerous "special models," including some that feature either flame or woodgrain-looking (woodie) decals. In '02, Chrysler offered the first in a series of limited-edition models, dubbed the Dream Cruiser Series 1, which featured unique Inca Gold paint. Look for another Dream Cruise soon. PT production was increased by 80,000 units in '02, helping Chrysler meet continuing world-wide demand.
From the Logbook
"Now that the novelty has worn off, how does it sit? Still interesting in a quirky way, pleasantly oddball, nicely executed in many areas (interior space and ride/handling), but, golly, it's slow, with a terribly overworked engine." --Kevin Smith
"Tight in stock form, but exudes a solid amount of performance potential. I love spending less than $15 per fill-up." --Mark Williams
"I have to push the four-banger harder than I'd normally be inclined to--based on the aural feedback of the engine--in order to respect its urban acceleration ability. Once I keep the revs up, the engine seems adequate, after all." --John Matthius
"Pop quiz: What do you get when you cross a '36 Ford Tudor Sedan with a Dodge Neon? Answer: The hottest looking retro rod anyone can afford. No matter where you go, people stare at the PT like it's a Ferrari." --Scott Mead