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2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser

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2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser Review

Practical, fun, and stylish, but it may be worth the wait for a more powerful engine.

Reviewed by Automotive on


As the PT Cruiser enters its second year on the market Chrysler adds custom looks to the list of reasons to buy it. The 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser has an option to purchase the wagon with painted flames over the original color options. The flames actually provide factory-installed decals that come in several color combinations.

Even though the PT Cruiser actually measures shorter than the Neon in length, it has many storage options built into the vehicle. The overall interior space equals 120 cubic feet and comfortably seats four adult passengers.

The Range

Body Styles: wagon
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: four-speed automatic, five-speed manual
Models: Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chrysler PT Cruiser Touring Edition, Chrysler PT Cruiser Limited Edition

What's New

Taking a cue from past custom cars, Chrysler offers a flame-accented paint job on the popular PT Cruiser. Two new models debut this year, the Dream Cruiser and the Touring Edition. Another new custom offer for the 2002 model year, the Woodie appearance, includes exterior panels painted to look wooden. Gold paint finishes off the luxurious look.


The 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser has an unmistakable look. Some say that it looks like a wagon and others say it looks like a car. Either way, it has a very uniquely designed exterior with its fender-mounted taillights and headlights, the unique fender bulge, and an exquisite egg-crate grille. Numerous features remain standard and provide optional equipment. Starting with the base, it uses 15-inch steel wheels, a rear defogger, full wheel covers, and intermittent wipers. Adding to that list of standard features, the Touring Edition gains a deep-tint glass, 16-inch alloy wheels, and fog lights. The top-level Limited Edition includes chrome wheels and a power-operated, glass moonroof.

Additional color choices include the flame decal on the exterior and a new Woodie appearance.


Inside the PT Cruiser drivers find a versatile interior where up to five passengers fit comfortably. The rear seatbacks have a design that lays flat for better cargo space and storage volume. After removing the seats, the cargo area in the 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser extends to 64.2 cubic feet. Standard features include air-conditioning, power windows, and a six-speaker cassette stereo system. The next level Touring Edition adds a cargo net, rear headrests, a digital compass, a tachometer, keyless entry, a touring suspension, and a security system. Going up one more level to the Limited Edition adds side airbags, cruise control, and power-operated suede/leather seats that offer height adjustment.

Performance & Handling

The power under the hood of the 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser comes from a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that generates 150 horsepower and mates with an automatic four-speed or manual five-speed transmission. Either of the choices proves sufficient for daily driving and running errands with the family, but for more intense tasks, experts advise the manual shifting. The automatic becomes a bit sluggish during passing and high-demand merging. The throttle response moves quickly and easily takes on winding roads. The heavy body of the Cruiser allows it to trudge well through hilly terrains and adverse weather conditions.


The safety features for on the 2002 Chrysler PT Cruiser include anti-lock brakes, child seat anchors, an engine immobilizer, and front seat belt pretensioners. The upper-level Limited adds an anti-theft alarm system and front driving and fog lights. Front-seat, side-impact airbags remain optional on other models and the Limited includes these as standard equipment.

EPA Fuel Economy

Chrysler PT Cruiser Base: 19/27 mpg city/highway
Chrysler PT Cruiser Touring Edition: 19/27 mpg city/highway
Chrysler PT Cruiser Limited Edition: 19/27 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Generous list of features
  • Snappy styling
  • Cargo and passenger flexibility

You Won't Like

  • No engine options
  • Tight cargo space when using back seat

Sum Up

Practical, fun, and stylish, but it may be worth the wait for a more powerful engine.

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