I bought my PT GT used with about 37k miles. After the dealer performed a realignment the handling became quite good. I have been in a few low-speed front impact accidents, and the car has protected me quite well and been repairable. In a region of weather extremes (-20 to 105 degrees), I have never once been unable to start my car, outside of my effort to stretch more time out of my battery (college student). I commute to school, about 800 miles a week the last year, and the PT GT is quite an able speeder; it merges quickly and confidently on the highway and can hold 80 mph at a mere 2500 rpm. Much of the car is rock-simple, but the vitals (engine, drivetrain) are rock solid as well.
I purchased my 2004 PT Cruiser GT a year ago after an auto accident had totaled my 2001 Ford Escort (no great loss). I had driven one previously as a rental in Florida and fell in love with it. When I bought it a year ago, it was fully loaded, all chrome, leather interior, great sound system, automatic seats, sun roof, spoiler, etc. It was a one owner vehicle and had around 55,000 miles on it; I paid about $6,000 for it.
A good car, strong and reliable. Great around town, and fine on the freeway. The only problem we've had is with the idle when the AC is on, but if you turn the AC off it's fine, and we didn't notice this when we first had the car so maybe it's the AC.
Wife owns one of these, so I get a chance to drive occasionally. Not overly impressed with this car, but don't hate it. Acceleration is average, but the engine seems under-powered for the weight of the vehicle. The turbo version is better. Wife's car is auto-perhaps the 5 speed is better suited for the engine. Working on vehicle is difficult for many tasks given that engine is tightly wedged in compartment-changing timing belt and water pump is a real nightmare-I let the dealer do that job :) Styling is ok-wife likes it better than I do. That being said, it is pretty roomy on the inside-can easily fit 5 adults and cargo. Fuel economy suffers due to weight of vehicle.
I've always driven larger vehicles and after looking at several PT's I decided on a Platinum series. I was suprised by the pep the turbo adds and the 'roomy' interior. I've driven the car about three months/2000 miles now. People constantly look and ask qestions. The car handles well. The headlights are bright, unlike our Caravan. The local gas mileage is at 18. Highway, well I've travelled across state once and the mileage wasn't much better. Probably due to the fact I couldn't contain myself. The car is a pleasure to drive. The mid-range acceleration is so smooth and quick. Yikes!!! Maybe the next road trip I'll set the cruise. Until then . . . .