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Chrysler PT Cruiser Classic 2005 review

The look hasn't changed; full points for still being one of the funkiest cars on the road – especially with a front grille that looks like a big grin and chrome door handles with buttons.

And the PT feels the same – until you put your foot down. What's under the bonnet is bigger and better. Chrysler has responded to criticisms that the Cruiser was underpowered by upping the ante with a 2.4-litre engine.

There's more torque in this 16-valve, four-cylinder version. The engine no longer feels like its struggling to pull the big body of the PT.

And the gears are tight in the five-speed manual ... "as tight as Pinky Tuscadaro's butt", quips a male friend of mine. (Apologies to anyone who didn't watch Happy Days ... or its re-runs).

Those who already own PTs – especially the 122 die-hard enthusiasts in the PT Cruiser Car Club – will tell you that the bigger engine isn't the only attraction for their much-loved cars. It's the whole package that sets their spark plugs firing. In my eyes, though, grunt is good. More grunt? Well, that can only be Grrroovy.

Whoops, sorry, wrong era. But there's a lot of that going on when you're talking about the Cruiser.

Most people think 1950s ... a car to go with big skirts, bobbysocks and stovepipe pants.

Others say we should be thinking more along the lines of gangster cars in the vein of Bonny and Clyde or Al Capone.

But I'm told that the PT was actually styled on a 1940s' car.

To save confusion, picture someone in the '50s, restoring a prewar 1940s' car. Then transport it to 2005, upgrade the engine and add the latest gadgets such as airbags, power windows, a sunroof, adjustable armrests, side mirrors that fold in like cute ears, cruise control – even seat warmers – and you have a funk-mobile that's still turning heads. Love it or hate it, the Cruiser does command attention.

Inside, the black leather and suede-trim seats, sleek silver dash, cue-ball knob on the gearstick and holes in side-door pockets add to "the" look.

But enough talking, I'm ready to rock and roll.

Love it

SEAT-BELT warning – as loud and annoying as it is – it does its job very well.

Seats in the back fold down and clip out to make the boot space even bigger.

Leave it

IT has a big turning circle that takes a while to get used to.

Lack of lighting on the instrument panel and in the glove box.

Pricing guides

Based on 12 cars listed for sale in the last 6 months
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Range and Specs

Classic 2.4L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $3,700 – 6,050 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser 2005 Classic Pricing and Specs
Grand Tourer 2.4L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $3,900 – 6,270 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser 2005 Grand Tourer Pricing and Specs
Limited 2.4L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $3,700 – 5,940 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser 2005 Limited Pricing and Specs
Route 66 2.4L, ULP, 4 SP AUTO $3,900 – 6,380 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser 2005 Route 66 Pricing and Specs
Pricing Guide


Lowest price, based on 7 car listings in the last 6 months

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