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.
In '02 my TC by Maserati blew up/quit.
After some time/research, I 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 base PT Cruiser w/ disc. brakes (safety), radio upgrade, and cruise control.
I've hauled most everything: show display, bricks, '38 car fenders, most all yard stuff, etc.
Problem - I liked it.
Added fog/driving lights & que ball shifter knob (4 spd.).
Then, 16" mag wheels & tires. Next, replaced seats w/ some leather ones from a limited.
Finished w/ a used Borla stainless exhaust.
@ 84,000 mi. I've done the brakes, shift cable, shocks & struts, & drive shafts.
I have owned my PT for about two and half years. I went from a Dodge Ram 1500 to this small PT only due to the fact my Ram only got nine mpg and fuel was running $4.00 per gallon. Basically there is plenty of room, with the back seats up, for my two hunting dogs. This was the only reason I bought it, because of the large cargo area.