In 2001, just as a retro trend was gathering steam in American culture, Chrysler introduced its nostalgic PT Cruiser. Inspired by the panel vans of the 1930s, it's available as either a four-door wagon or a two-door convertible. The convertible version is new for 2005. It comes in base, Touring, Limited, and GT trim levels.
Body styles: wagon, convertible
Engines: 2.4-liter four-cylinder, turbocharged 2.4-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Chrysler PT Cruiser, Chrysler PT Cruiser Touring, Chrysler PT Cruiser Limited, Chrysler PT Cruiser GT
A convertible version joins the PT Cruiser lineup for 2005.
The 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser’s whimsical styling blends the look of a 1930s American sedan with modern styling cues, including dual-beam, flush headlights and teardrop taillight lenses. The horizontal grille stops at the bumper and is topped by Chrysler’s eagle badge. Round fog lights frame a slot in the bumper, and GT models feature a body-colored spoiler on the liftgate to improve aerodynamics. The PT cruiser is shorter than most compact sedans but relatively tall at 63 inches. The convertible stands almost three inches lower to the ground than the wagon. The windshield is also more steeply raked and uses a different A-pillar design. Base and Touring wagons come with 15-inch steel wheels, while the Limited wagon upgrades to 16-inch alloys. The GT has 17-inch alloy wheels, a rear spoiler, and a power glass sunroof. Base, Touring, and the GT convertibles are equipped similarly to its wagon counterparts with the addition of a power convertible roof.
Inside the 2005 PT Cruiser is a spacious, versatile cabin with a retro-themed dash. The tall stance allows plenty of headroom, even for taller drivers. The rear seats in both the wagon and convertible versions are slightly elevated so passengers have a nice view as well as generous head and legroom for such a compact car. In the wagon, an adjustable shelf makes it easy to secure small items behind the backseat. The wagon’s rear seats are removable, allowing for an impressive 64.2 cubic feet of cargo room. Convertibles have a small trunk opening leading to a deep cargo hold with 7.4 cubic feet of space. This expands to 13 cubic feet with the rear seats folded. Base wagons come standard with power windows, a tilt-adjustable steering wheel, and an AM/FM/CD-controller stereo. The Touring model adds remote power door locks, power mirrors, and an upgraded stereo system with an in-dash single CD player. The Limited has those features plus a two-way power driver’s seat with manual lumbar support adjustment, leather-wrapped steering wheel, a universal remote transmitter, and cruise control. The GT adds leather upholstery and a power sunroof. Base and Touring convertibles have similar interior features to the Touring wagon, while the GT has the same standard equipment as its wagon counterpart.
Performance & Handling
The 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser’s base engine is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that generates 150 hp and 165 lb-ft of torque. This engine is standard on the base, Touring, and Limited wagon models, and it’s available with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. The Touring and GT convertible models and the GT wagon come with a turbocharged version that adds an extra 30 hp and 45 lb-ft of torque. When equipped with the turbo, 2.4-liter engine, it accelerates much better than the somewhat lethargic base engine. It is easy to steer, except for a somewhat wide turning radius, and the suspension yields a smooth, comfortable ride.
The 2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser is equipped with ventilated front disc and rear drum brakes that come standard for all models except the GT. Both GT models come with four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes. Child seat anchors, rear door child safety locks, an engine immobilizer, three-point seatbelts in all seating positions, and seatbelt pre-tensioners are standard safety equipment. Limited and GT models add dual front side-mounted airbags. The National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s most recent data rate the wagon at four out of five stars for frontal-impact protection and four out of five stars for rollover resistance.
EPA Fuel Economy
Chrysler PT Cruiser Base Manual: 19/26 mpg city/highway
Chrysler PT Cruiser Base Automatic: 19/24 mpg city/highway
Chrysler PT Cruiser Turbocharged Manual: 19/25 mpg city/highway
Chrysler PT Cruiser Turbocharged Automatic: 17/24 mpg city/highway
- Roomy, versatile interior
- Affordable price
- Smooth Ride
You Won't Like
- Lackluster acceleration with base engine
- Average or below-average fuel economy
- Awkward seating for shorter drivers
A small convertible or inexpensive wagon that is great choice for drivers looking for a little nostalgia.
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