2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser

  • 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser Base Wagon

    Base Wagon

    • MAX MPG
    • SEATS
    • ENGINE
      2.4L I4
    • MSRP
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2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser Review

An unconventional design that delivers.

Reviewed by Automotive on


The 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser serves as a new offering for city drivers. While this car’s unique design remains quite common on the Japanese and European markets, it surprises the American market when first launched this year. The PT Cruiser is a small, functional, stylish hatchback with an affordable price tag. Unlike many other vehicles, its design does not focus on cruising down highways at 65 mph. Rather, the PT Cruiser keeps the urban driver in mind. Its nimble design and small body let it maneuver through tight conditions and it offers good fuel economy.

The 2001 PT Cruiser makes a very good vehicle for city dwellers. Quite often, the considerations for this driving segment get largely ignored. This results in many vehicles that offer poor fuel efficiency in city conditions and have trouble trying to get through undersized roadways or tight parking garages. The PT Cruiser proves excellent in these conditions. However, the small engine makes it far less useful for cruising down the highway or on open roads.

The Range

Body Styles: hatchback
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Chrysler PT Cruiser

What's New

In 2001, the Chrysler PT Cruiser makes its debut.


Measuring in at 168.8 inches long, the 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser is considered to be quite small. American drivers often feel shocked by its small size, although it comes as refreshing change. The 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser offers an interesting blend of retro and modern styling that makes it look very unique. No one mistakes the PT Cruiser for any other vehicle, which—given its attractive styling—works in its favor.


For such a small vehicle, the 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser has a surprisingly spacious interior, despite its small exterior appearance. It offers ample leg, hip, and head room for drivers and passengers alike. Standard amenities for the 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser are pretty basic and include an AM/FM radio, a CD player, power windows, and air-conditioning.

Performance & Handling

The 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser performs very well in urban environments. However, its performance is rather mediocre for other types of driving. With the lower speed limits and traffic often found in cities, the PT Cruiser’s engine proves more than adequate to move around without wasting much fuel in gridlock. The PT Cruiser corners nimbly, allowing it to move through city streets with ease. In highway driving, the 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser has lower than average acceleration and speed, but the turning still feels solid. It seems less ideal in these situations, but it still works.


The 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser features dual front airbags and electronic brake force distribution as standard safety equipment. Side curtain airbags remain available as an option. Since the PT Cruiser’s design focuses primarily on slow-paced, stop-and-go driving in an urban environment, it does not anticipate high-speed collisions, and is therefore not fully equipped for such situations.

EPA Fuel Economy

Chrysler PT Cruiser four-speed automatic: 17/23 mpg city/highway
Chrysler PT Cruiser five-speed manual: 18/24 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Good value
  • Unique design
  • Nimble drive
  • Great cornering
  • Surprisingly spacious interior

You Won't Like

  • Low production
  • Mediocre performance at highway speeds

Sum Up

An unconventional design that delivers.

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