It's like a clown car: With back seats out I haul three 15-inch speakers sitting upright, DJ box, 2 big tubs of wires/cables, 8 flood lamps, 2 speaker stands, 3 mic stands, 40-in folding table, rolled carpet, case of cordless mics, folding hand truck, video monitor and stand, laptop, hard drive, props and subwoofer (front seat). Never stranded in 154,000 mi. Honest 23 mpg mixed, 28-30 highway. Easy on tires, brakes. Adequate power with 5M. But on 3rd $1,200 engine fan assembly! Fans last maybe 3 years and then A/C overheats until new fan installed. Great ride, decent handling. Quiet. Like all twin-cam Chryslers, it uses oil. I'm 6'2" and fit comfortably. Aiming for 200,000 mi as on my Neon.
Space, reliability, comfort, torque.
Needs stronger engine fan assembly. Could use shorter third gear to improve driveability. Radio needs better reception. Cam position sensor tends to fail at about 100,000 miles.
The problems start by design. This car is not user friendly when it comes to roadside emergency. the way the engine is set up, its almost impossible to simply replace a tire under an hour. the spare tire retainer is bolted under the car that must be accessed from the trunk. If you ever wanted to replace your spare tire with a full sized tire, the retainer is far to small.
The thermostat retainer is very poorly designed. Chrysler has made it in such a way that its almost necessary to remove the intake manifold rather work around/under it. When the thermostat seizes -- rather than have a high-pressure release, it will just rupture a hose (usually the smallest near the air filter.)
My 2005 PT Cruiser GT 2.4 Turbo is very fun to drive, fairly reliable car with little problems that occur. Its easy to maintain with easily accessible fluid containers that are easily identifiable the moment you open the hood.
The car makes a lot of noise. Everything from the sqeaks you hear from the suspension and frame to the unignorable turbo spool you hear at cuizing speed. Much more testing needed to be done before this car went into mass production. Over-all it has stood the test of time however the cons of driving this car daily wear on you over time.
2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser Limited 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 5M)
I got my PT in 2006, when it had only 57 miles on it. It has 156,000 miles on it. I have pushed it to its limits and then some. I moved from WI to TX and hauled 9x its max load pulling a trailer. The car did not give out not even when I knew I broke the engine. Literally. Never did it leave me or my family on the side of the road. Best Car I have Ever Owned. I rebuilt the old engine and purrrrrs like a kitty.... Update 6-1-2016, still have this car, besides changing the oil every 4,500 miles, I check the water levels once a month, and the oil levels, once a week. Its still by far the best car I have ever owned. I love it at the beach when I go fishing and I love it at work to and from. Minor issue, due to my hobby of fishing, I will need some work on minor rust areas. As it turns out, ocean water is not any cars best friend. Besides that, I'm at 180,000 miles now and still, the engine is going strong.
2005 Chrysler PT Cruiser Touring 4dr Wagon (2.4L 4cyl 5M)
I bought a 2005 PT in 2007 with 11k miles as a 16th birthday gift for my daughter, with the plan it would get her through college and then "throw it away". Well, now at 50k miles and 7 years later, this has been the most trouble free car ever. The plan was to sell it and use the proceeds on a new car, but it still looks and drive as new, she still loves it and for the $5000-6000 it's worth, is still half what I paid 7 years ago. Huge value in my mind.
In '02 my TC by Maserati blew up/quit. After some time/research, I went to my Mopar dealer & told him I wanted a "Throw away car" I could abuse for 5 years hauling a 500 lb. show display & inventory. So, I ordered a brand new base PT Cruiser w/ disc. brakes (safety), radio upgrade, and cruise control. I've hauled most everything: show display, bricks, '38 car fenders, most all yard stuff, etc. Problem - I liked it. Added fog/driving lights & que ball shifter knob (4 spd.). Then, 16" mag wheels & tires. Next, replaced seats w/ some leather ones from a limited. Finished w/ a used Borla stainless exhaust. @ 84,000 mi. I've done the brakes, shift cable, shocks & struts, & drive shafts.
Its all black incl. bumpers ('02 came grey).
It gets 2nd gear scratch w/ stock motor.
Its reliable & I take it to car shows over 500 mi. all the time.
Ordered a "Throw Away" and now can't find a replacement for it.
Chrysler needs a suitable replacement. Maybe Fiat could come out w/ a '48 Topolino Station Wagon retro car or one styled after the '50 Fiat 1100 Sedan & put a 180+ hp motor in it.
I could get into that.
The new Fiat 500L just doesn't have the looks.