These cars are known for major engine failures in many ways. they break randomly and to fix anything the whole engine has to come out. before buying ask yourself why. only redemption comes with good acceleration and an appealing interior.
Bought 2002 pt dream cruiser for $2200. Car had 69000 miles. Now has 461000 miles. Love this car. Great on gas, put studded winter tires on, car was great in snow. Put a heavy duty racing rad in car & no more heating problems. Just regular mant. No major problems at all. Have driven car for over 8 years, & have 3 of the same car. Would recommend these cars. Mine has the turbo motor & 250 hp. 5 spd. 18" wheels & ceramic brake pads on all 4 wheels. Also racing struts on all 4 corners. I also use lucas gas treatment, 1 bottle per tank of gas & get 4 more miles per. Gallon. Also use only moble 1 oil. Also put lucas treatment in trans. Power steering & it makes a big different.
This is a 2002 base model, 5 speed. I bought this car in May of 2016 with only 68,500 on it. I have had no major issues with it. Most of the repairs were minor such as the front and rear sway bar bushings, plugs and wires and front wheel bearings. The car is an absolute joy to drive. With the rear seats removed it can hold an 8-piece drum set with ease. The controls are easy to find and use. Though it is not a high performance car, it does have some "get up and go" to it. The ride can be a little hard on rough roads, but overall it is a smooth ride. If this car is well maintained, it can last years. There are a few major expenses to expect when getting the car. One is the timing belt. It must be replaced around the 90,000 to 100,000 mile mark. This can cost up to $1000 unless you "know a guy"
Update 4/24/18: The replacement of the timing belt cost about $900. This includes the belt, Idler pulley, Tensioner pulley, water pump, disconnecting and recharging the AC, and a refill of the coolant. Both pulleys and the belt were in poor shape. If you are looking to get one, check and see if the time belt has been done. The mechanic that did mine put a label on the timing belt cover stating the mileage of replacement.