2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible Review | Edmunds.com

2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible

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Chrysler PT Cruiser Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.4 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 150 hp @ 5200 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/26 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats Yes

Review of the 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser

  • For a small wagon or inexpensive four-seat convertible, the 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser is a decent choice. But newer competitors outdo the PT in terms of performance, handling and features.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Roomy cabin with great utility, smooth ride, low price.

  • Cons

    Aged design, tepid acceleration with the base engine, less than stellar fuel economy, awkward seating position for shorter drivers.

  • What's New for 2008

    The Chrysler PT Cruiser's sporty GT trim level has been dropped for 2008. Chrysler has also reduced the convertible model's trim level availability and made minor adjustments to feature availability. However, there will be a new special-edition model coming out later in the model year, the PT Street Cruiser Sunset Boulevard Edition.

What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (5 total reviews)  |  Write a Review


Smile time

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Vehicle: 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser 2dr Convertible (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

Wife picked this car out while driving by the dealership. Test drive was satisfactory, price was right, wife was right, traded my 97 Stratus ES. Overall, after a year, quite satisfactory. Bad fit on the doors, rowdy motor, so-so gas mileage, all disappear when the top goes down. Then its all grins (and compliments from bystanders).




Engine type makes all the

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Vehicle: 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser 2dr Convertible (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

rented a convertible two different times for a total of 2k miles and thought it was the funnest car i'd ever driven. when i heard they were going to discontinue it, i ordered one from the factory. feels top-heavy on sharp turns but is an absolute king of flat-out cruising. the standard engine is adequate -- the turbo is thrilling. the stereo upgrade is worth every penny and is easily the best audio i've ever heard in ANY vehicle. front seats are comfortable -- especially with leather and seat heaters. the back seats are cambered just a bit too far back. tons and tons of head room. extremely easy engine to check the oil on. very fun.




Love the pt

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Vehicle: 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser 2dr Convertible (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

This is my third PT. My first of the Limited and I wished it had a little more power and better handling. In 2004, I traded it in for the GT and I've loved it ever since. But I've always wanted a convertible so I just traded it in for a Vanilla one with the turbo. I couldn't be happier. I've read some comments about discontinuing the PT and I hope it's not true because I'll want another one in a few years.




I can't believe i bought

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Vehicle: 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser 2dr Convertible (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I've owned this all of 2 days and its been incredible. Everyone goes WOW!!! The surf blue is a real eye catcher. I am a large person and everyone is shocked I bought this convertible!!! At 350 lbs.. most cars are not suitable but this is so roomy! Of course all good things in Detroit get discontinued. Had to really search to find one but so far it was well worth it!



3 of 22 people found this review helpful

Had to have one!

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Vehicle: 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser 2dr Convertible (2.4L 4cyl 5M)

I ordered a 2008 PT Conv. with a 5 speed for my wife to replace her tiny Hyundai Accent. We wanted a fun car. Even though it was December and we are in the North the car handles great on the snow. The gears are a little closer in range than her Hyundai and the shifter has a better action. The car handles great even though it is a little porky and we like to hustle the car. The fuel economy could be better as we are getting about 26 mpg right now. After break in and warmer weather that number should be better. We love the insulated top. Its quieter than the Hyundai and its just as warm. YES essentials seats are great, coffee doesn't soak in!



Full 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser Review

What's New for 2008

The Chrysler PT Cruiser's sporty GT trim level has been dropped for 2008. Chrysler has also reduced the convertible model's trim level availability and made minor adjustments to feature availability. However, there will be a new special-edition model coming out later in the model year, the PT Street Cruiser Sunset Boulevard Edition.

Introduction

It's typically said that for dogs one year is about the equivalent of seven years for a human. Cars have even shorter lifespans -- most automakers redesign their cars every four or five years. So we might have a miracle of longevity on our hands with the 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser, a vehicle that exists largely as it did way back in 2001.

Yes, it's true. The PT Cruiser, the spiffiest retro small wagon the world has ever seen, is still for sale. And it still does respectably well, should you bother to check the sales charts. Most of the qualities that were good about the PT when it debuted -- versatility, distinctive style and a comfortable ride -- are still there.

For 2008, Chrysler has discontinued the GT model. This makes the PT a bit less desirable, as the GT trim's 230-horsepower turbocharged engine gave the pudgy PT some needed excitement. Of some small consolation, perhaps, is a new special edition this year called the Chrysler PT Street Cruiser Sunset Boulevard Edition. It's similar to previous road-named PT special editions (PCH, Route 66). The name comes from the famed Los Angeles street -- presumably, Chrysler has the idealized Hollywood version of Sunset in mind and not the parking and traffic nightmare it actually is today. The PT-SCSBE (catchy, eh?) comes with specialized exterior paint and interior trim. Only 500 will be built.

Special trim or not, the 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser is still a decent choice for a small wagon or inexpensive four-seat convertible. But be aware that Chevrolet has made some nice upgrades to its nearly as retro-chic HHR this year. Plus, Scion's redesigned xB is impressive, and we're still very fond of the Mazda 3 wagon. The PT Cruiser deserves respect for hanging in there for so long. But like presidential administrations, eight years is enough. It's time for this PT Cruiser to drive off into the sunset.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser is offered as a small wagon or convertible. The wagon comes in base, Touring and Limited trim levels, while the convertible is sold in a single base trim level. Base wagons come with 15-inch steel wheels, keyless entry, power windows and a CD player with an auxiliary audio jack. Most buyers will want to go for the PT Cruiser Touring wagon as it adds 16-inch alloy wheels, air-conditioning, a fold-down front passenger seat, a power driver seat, power mirrors, satellite radio, cruise control and upgraded seat fabric. The Limited has those features plus 17-inch alloy wheels, a touring suspension, heated front seats, leather upholstery and a sunroof. Convertible models come with a power-operated top and are equipped similar to the Touring wagon.

Main options for the PT Cruiser include an upgraded Boston Acoustics audio system and, for the Limited, Bluetooth cell-phone connectivity. Many standard features on upper trim levels are optional on lower trims. Available in very limited quantities, the Street Cruiser Sunset Boulevard Edition is basically a base model with special exterior and interior trim, 16-inch chrome-clad wheels, window tint and a sunroof. The base models' options list also applies to this special edition.

Powertrains and Performance

The base engine for the PT Cruiser is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that makes 150 hp and 165 pound-feet of torque. Chrysler fits this engine to the base and Touring models. It's available with either a five-speed manual or a four-speed automatic transmission. Optional for the convertible and Touring, and standard for the Limited, is a turbocharged version of that engine that's rated at 180 hp and 210 lb-ft of torque. It comes standard with a four-speed automatic. With the turbocharged engine, the PT has a 2008 fuel economy estimate of 18 mpg city/24 mpg highway, below average for the small wagon and convertible segments. Opting for the less powerful, non-turbo 2.4-liter with the automatic only nets 1 mpg better in the city and the same gas mileage on the highway.

Safety

Most 2008 Chrysler PT Cruisers start out with front disc and rear drum brakes. Limiteds have four-wheel discs as well as standard ABS, and this upgrade is optional on all remaining models. (It also comes packaged with the turbocharged engine.) Side airbags are standard on all models. The most recent government crash test scores for the Chrysler PT Cruiser wagon rate the car at four out of five 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.

Driving Impressions

Equipped with the turbo 2.4-liter engine, the 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser accelerates decently once the turbo is spooled up. Buyers will want to avoid the base engine, which leaves the car feeling lethargic. Apart from a wide turning circle, all PTs are easy to steer, and the suspension consistently soaks up road irregularities, yielding a smooth, composed ride.

Talk About The 2008 PT Cruiser

Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 21
  • cty
/
  • 26
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs