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2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser

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2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser Review

Fun to drive and lots of style, but it has its practical side.

Reviewed by Automotive on


From its introduction in the 2001 model year, the PT Cruiser from Chrysler has been getting a lot of attention. The Cruiser is loosely based on the panel vans from the 1930s. This nod to history proves popular with young professionals and families. The 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser surprises a lot of critics with its smooth ride and impressive handling. The spacious and well-equipped cabin space certainly hasn’t hurt it either. Overall, it makes a good choice for anyone who doesn’t mind spending a little more on fuel and wants lots of space and a unique body style.

The Range

Body Styles: wagon
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chrysler PT Cruiser Touring Edition, Chrysler PT Cruiser Limited Edition, Chrysler PT Cruiser GT, Chrysler PT Cruiser Dream Cruiser 3

What's New

Chrysler makes some change to the PT Cruiser for 2004. This model comes equipped with several new options. The PT Dream Cruiser Series 3 sees a limited production. The Limited Edition offers the optional Chrome Accent Group. This option includes exterior chrome accents such as on the fuel door, shift knob, and metallic finish pedals. The Limited and Touring also offer a turbocharged, 180-hp engine.


The PT Cruiser from Chrysler certainly looks unique. This wagon features a distinctive shape with fenders reminiscent of the old Volkswagen Beetle design. The triangular grille sits next to slanted headlights and an assertive nose. The hood looks bulbous and the rest of the body design appears somewhat rounded as well. This wagon has bumpers painted to match the rest of the body for a clean, cohesive look in every trim level. The 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser comes in several color choices, including Inferno Red Tinted Clearcoat, Midnight Blue Pearlcoat, and Bright Silver Metallic Clearcoat just to name a few.


The 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser comes in several trim levels. Each one offers unique features. The lower trim levels come equipped with cloth bucket front seats and split-folding rear seats. The back of the cabin also has its own ventilation ducts for comfort. Storage appears in the form of the center console, cup holders, and front and rear door pockets. Air-conditioning and a six-speaker audio system come standard as well.


The mid-range trim levels step things up a bit with leather suede bucket seats, equipped with a height-adjustable driver’s seat and lumbar support. These editions also feature a leather steering wheel and additional power accessories. When it comes to the highest trim levels available, the PT Cruiser comes equipped with many of the same features. One of the biggest differences concerns the audio system. With these trim levels, the Cruiser has a standard stereo with Sirius satellite radio and a six-disc CD player.

Performance & Handling

The 2004 PT Cruiser surprises many people with its more than adequate handling and performance. While it offers the best fuel economy for a small wagon, the vehicle’s four-cylinder engine provides enough power to make the Cruiser viable in different driving situations. For the 2004 model year, Chrysler offers the four-cylinder motor in a turbocharged version. This option may be the better choice for drivers with demanding expectations. The five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission choices are effective paired with the engine. Drivers and passengers can expect a smooth, comfortable ride from the 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser.


The 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser transports families or large groups of people. Naturally, it this vehicle should be as safe as possible. It comes equipped with four-wheel anti-lock brakes and child seat anchors. It also features dual front head-protection chambers complete with side-mounted airbags. Traction control remains optional on several trim levels and the front and rear of the cabin come equipped with height-adjustable headrests. The rear center seat also comes equipped with a lap seat belt.

EPA Fuel Economy

Chrysler PT Cruiser: 19/26 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Distinctive exterior and interior
  • Lots of interior space
  • Reconfigurable rear seats
  • Nice acceleration on the turbo
  • Comfortable, smooth ride
  • Affordable pricing

You Won't Like

  • Sluggish acceleration with base engine
  • Uncomfortable for shorter drivers
  • Not the best fuel economy

Sum Up

Fun to drive and lots of style, but it has its practical side.

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