Full 2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser Review
What's New for 2007
A soft-touch electric liftgate switch is now standard on base models of the Chrysler PT Cruiser wagon, along with remote keyless entry. A console floodlamp is included on all PT Cruiser wagons and convertibles.
Perhaps the only thing more fascinating than the future is the past. Whether it's losing ourselves in sweeping period films or surrounding ourselves with finely crafted antiques, many of us enjoy journeying back in time. This nostalgia no doubt played a part in the early success of the Chrysler PT Cruiser. Though the fervor has since cooled, this Chrysler sparked a rabid buying frenzy among car shoppers won over by its retro, vaguely art deco aesthetic when it was introduced for model-year 2001.
The 2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser is available as both a small wagon and a convertible. The wagon's cabin is roomy and incredibly cargo-friendly, thanks to reconfigurable rear seats and an available fold-flat front passenger seat. The PT Cruiser convertible boasts a folding backseat that's spacious enough for two adults, with a pass-through from the trunk enhancing its versatility.
Most will appreciate the Cruiser's interior. Its balanced dash is highlighted by body-colored panels and a clean-looking gauge cluster bearing a circular motif that's repeated elsewhere in the cabin. The PT Cruiser's plastics are hard but attractively textured, and a host of leather-suede upholstery combinations give it a look more high-end than bargain basement.
When equipped with the base 150-horsepower four-cylinder, the 2007 PT Cruiser feels underpowered. Buyers seeking a more spirited driving experience will want to opt for the GT model, which is powered by a 230-hp turbocharged engine. Touring and Limited models boast a lower-boost, 180-hp version of the turbo offered in the GT.
If retro style is your thing and you're shopping for a compact wagon, you'll enjoy the 2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser, which enjoys better handling than its partner in retro-chic, the Chevy HHR. Just be sure to avoid the base engine. But if you're looking for the best wagon, period, put your money on the Mazda 3, which offers more refined road manners. When equipped with the turbo engine, the PT Cruiser convertible is a strong pick in the drop-top class, offering more versatility than its rivals thanks to its folding rear seats. Still, buyers unconcerned with nostalgic styling cues and this added degree of flexibility will want to test-drive the more refined Toyota Camry Solara or the new Volkswagen Eos before making a decision.
Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options
Chrysler PT Cruiser aficionados may choose between a four-door wagon and a two-door convertible. Wagons come in base, Touring, Limited and GT trim levels. The convertible is offered in base, Touring and GT trim.
Base PT Cruiser wagons offer a CD stereo with an MP3 audio input jack, power windows and locks, and remote keyless entry; base convertibles also feature air-conditioning, power mirrors and a power-folding top. Touring models add air-conditioning and fold-flat passenger seating on the wagon version, and power outlets in both body styles. The Limited wagon ups the ante with upgraded seats (with six-way power adjustment for the driver), 16-inch aluminum wheels, a moonroof and touring suspension. The sporty GT comes standard with sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch wheels and leather seats across both body styles. Options include heated seats, satellite radio and an in-dash, six-disc CD changer with MP3 capability.
Powertrains and Performance
All base-model 2007 Chrysler PT Cruisers are motivated by a 2.4-liter inline-4 that makes 150 hp. It's available with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. Optional on Touring and Limited models is a turbocharged version of that engine, which puts out 180 hp. If that's not enough, the performance-oriented GT offers a higher-boost version good for 230 ponies. Turbo-equipped Touring and Limited Cruisers come standard with the automatic, while the GT can take either a manual or automatic.
ABS is standard on GT models and optional on all other PTs. Four-wheel disc brakes are also included on the GT; Touring and Limited buyers can pick them up by ordering ABS. Side airbags for front occupants are standard on GT and Limited models and optional on base and Touring models. NHTSA crash test scores for Chrysler PT Cruiser models with side airbags come in at four stars for all frontal- and side-impact categories, except for rear side-impact protection, in which the Cruiser earned a perfect five.
Interior Design and Special Features
Inside the PT Cruiser, you'll find a spacious and versatile cabin with a retro-themed dash. Taller drivers will find plenty of room to get comfortable, but shorter drivers may not care for the somewhat flat seat design and elevated driving position. The rear seats in both variants are slightly elevated to provide a nice view, and adults will find plenty of head- and legroom. An adjustable parcel shelf makes it easy to secure items behind the backseat in the PT wagon. Remove the rear seats and the wagon boasts an impressive 64.2 cubic feet of maximum cargo capacity. Convertibles have a small trunk opening (with an awkward top-hinged lid) but a fairly deep cargo hold with 7.4 cubic feet of space -- expandable to 13 cubes with the seats folded.
Equipped with either turbocharged engine, the 2007 Chrysler PT Cruiser doesn't feel like a sports car, but it accelerates smartly once the turbo is spooled up. Buyers will want to avoid the base engine, which leaves the car feeling starved for power. Apart from a wide turning radius, all PTs are easy to steer, and the suspension consistently soaks up road irregularities, yielding a smooth, composed ride. Body roll is evident during cornering, but the PT can still hustle through the curves at a rapid clip, particularly the GT, which has firmer suspension tuning and stickier tires. Strong, reassuring brakes round out the PT's compliant road manners.