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.
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.
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.
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 black, base PT Cruiser w/ all wheel disc. brakes (safety), radio upgrade, 4 speed and cruise control (no turbo). I've hauled most everything: show display, bricks, '38 car fenders, most all yard stuff, etc. Problem: I still really like it .- 1st Added fog/driving lights & que ball shifter knob (4 spd.) . Then, 16" Motige Mags & Cooper GT tires (handling greatly improved). Next, replaced all seats w/ PT Ltd. leather . Finished w/ Borla stainless catback exhaust. . I've replaced: brakes, shift cable, shocks & struts, drive shafts & headlights = still runs great . As '16 Scatpack Chgr., '08 Chy. Retractable, &'05 Gd. Cher. Jeep driven most, PT should last & hope top give to a grandson (now 14) .
Three years and no problems. My gas mileage is better than EPA rating and I'm a lead foot; I get 22 city, 29 Hwy with automatic. Quality is on par with Accord or Camry (I've owned Hondas and Toyotas) and the car cost me ten grand less, about 15K new. The mini-limo back seat gets rave reviews from family and friends; we always use this car for road trips. I would buy again without hesitation.