RIP: End Of The Road For PT Cruisers

If you always wanted to roll like Michael Scott on The Office but hadn’t yet gotten around to purchasing a PT Cruiser, you might want to hurry. The last of the once-popular vehicles was slated to leave the factory yesterday.

When the retro-ish PT Cruiser hit the market 10 years ago, it became a highly successful vehicle for Chrysler. The car maker has subsequently sold around 1.3 million Cruisers since then.

But as the years passed and the Cruiser’s design was no longer a novelty, Chrysler made and sold less and less. In the first half of 2010, only around 5,500 new PTs were sold.

And so, PT Cruiser, we send you to your eternal resting place… At least for a few years until someone decides your once-retro design is once again in vogue.

End of the line for PT Cruiser [L.A. Times]

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  1. Grrrrrrr, now with two buns made of bacon. says:

    Cool…I was beginning to think they’d never go away!

  2. Green Mountain Boy says:

    While they’re at it they can get rid of the planet killers too…..Like Escalade, Yukons etc.

    Almost every time I see on of those on the road there is usually only a stay at home mom driving it, on a cell phone acting like she’s important all the while killing the planet and at the same time complaining about the price of gasoline.

    • Hardwired says:

      Sorry, that was probably my wife. I hope she didn’t almost run into you. She insisted on the Escalade when buying a new vehicle. She’s pretty hot so she got her way. In ten years, the bitch will be driving a USED PT Cruiser and LIKE it. You’ll see. Age is so tough on women. Have a heart.

    • newfenoix says:

      It’s just me and my wife. We have two vehicles….a Dodge Durango and a Toyota Tundra and if you don’t like that I don’t care.

    • seishino says:

      I’ve never understood Yukons, F-150′s and the like. I know people who haul engine parts and lumber and stuff across terrible roads, and these vehicles are perfect for them. But I keep seeing teenagers in F-150′s with empty beds and not a speck of dirt anywhere near them.

      If you need to haul kids and stuff, minivans and wagons are far more effective for the purpose. They handle better on-road, have better fuel efficiency, go faster, and cost less to operate. If you don’t want to drive “your parent’s sedan,” grab a sporty 2-door hatchback. Or suck up to the fact that maybe your parents knew what they were doing. If you don’t mind spending 25k on a car with terrible gas mileage, why aren’t you tearing up the roads with an Impreza WRX?

      And if you’re buying a car for your kid, for god’s sakes get them some 2nd hand piece of garbage. Let them learn about car maintenance by changing leaky hoses themselves, while at the same time giving them something to work towards.

      • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

        Pickups are very useful if you’re a homeowner. I’m constantly borrowing one from work for various projects — mulch, fill dirt, drywall, lumber, firewood, pulling a trailer, etc. 4WD is also very useful if you live on a dirt road or when hunting.

        If I didn’t have ready access to trucks through work, our second vehicle would definitely a pickup.

      • DieBretter says:

        I know people that can’t physically fit inside of a car because they’re too tall. My own brother is one of them. Every single car he’s been in, he’s touched the ceiling, be it a Mustang, Stratus (sedan or coupe), LeSabre, Caprice, Town Car, Camaro, and I’m sure many others.

      • Eugene says:

        I always see the anti truck/suv crowd suggest a minivan, we made the minivan mistake once. three rows of seating, captains chairs would haul 6 people if you took the seat out by the sliding door so people could get in the back and put it back in. My pickup truck holds 6 people, three wide across each split bench, its wider than the minivan so three can fit comfortably. Our v6 minivan got 25mpg highway but 15mpg city (AWD). My v8 4×4 truck gets 21mpg highway and 15 city Average for both was around 17mpg (more city driving than highway). To haul a sheet of plywood or drywall in the minivan you had to take out all the (heavy) second and third row seats, store the somewhere, make a trip to the hardware store load up with the back hatch open and tie a rope on it,then unload at home, clean the carpet, put the (heavy) seats back in. With my truck I just drive to the hardware store, open the tailgate and slide the stuff in, seats stay in so I can take the kids too. Safety, is someone his me in that minivan with the back hatch open they would have shoved the plywood through the seats chopping me in half, the truck had the front of the bed and back of the cab protecting me from the cargo. Bough new mattress for my bed, minivan you strap it on the roof rack and drive white knuckled home hoping no big wind comes up, truck you just sit it in the bed. Towing, don’t even try in the minivan without buying a new transmission, truck you check the mirrors to see if the trailer is still there. Drive to the WV mountains in the minivan and put new brakes and rotors on afterward. Truck, the pads lasted 60,000 miles, rotors are still original at 94,000 miles.
        People that equate safety to others then talk about minivans have never owned one. You can’t safely haul anything in a minivan, get rear ended and your groceries fly up and hit you in the head, gas can for the lawn mower, better drive with all the windows open, tie something on the roof rack, or drive with the back hatch open, thats real safe for others on the road.
        Minivans are the worst vehicle design there was, they tried to design them to do everything so they do nothing well. Now all these new crossover suvs are basically minivans so they have the same faults.
        now the full size SUV’s, yukon, suburban, expedition, and trucks, f150, silverado, ram, those are designed to haul/tow more weight so the frame, brakes, etc are all sized with that extra weight. They have a strong heavy frame down low, heavy axles, drive shaft, etc all down low, that lowers the center of gravity making them hard to roll. Then they are wide, that makes them harder to roll, the ones that roll are the cheap smaller copies made narrower or car (unibody) based without the weight down low so the CG is higher.

        • Bystander says:

          Correct me if I’m wrong here, but weren’t the “Dangerous Rolling Over Killing Their Occupants And Murdering Newborn Kittens and Puppies” type SUV’s later proven to be mostly driven on under inflated tires on hot days, the excuse being that they rode better?

    • jason in boston says:

      Guess what…the earth was fine before humans and will be just as fine after humans are extinct. I don’t understand people like you. The planet is fine. Humans might not be. Stop believing the “green” marketing.

      You forgot my Jeep! I get 8-9mpg anywhere around 50mph and above. When I have the top and doors off and hitting 85-90 on route 128, I can literally see my gas gauge going down. Sucks for the wallet but oh well. I just bring lunch to work every day to offset the cost. Not everyone is as enlightened as you. Some of us prefer to live life and have fun.

      • jason in boston says:

        Okay, that was harsh. I do understand green marketing (don’t agree with it however) and how it works so well. To me, if it isn’t cost effective to save energy then I don’t do it. I would LOVE an electric car, but not for the “planet’s” sake. I want it for instant torque. I’m also the opposite of a NIMBY person, I was a reactor in my basement. Maybe I am jaded for being in the reactor department on an aircraft carrier, but I would love a reactor in my basement, charging the hell out of a battery array. Charge my all electric car every night, and we have a winner.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      If you can put down you talking points for a few moments, give a listen to this: http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4015 . It might just inform you.

      • jason in boston says:

        Someone else here listens to this podcast! I prefer the Skeptic’s Guide – but that is mostly because I am a Boston guy. Both are great.

      • JennQPublic says:

        I skimmed the article, but it didn’t seem to address the fact that SUVs are top-heavy, prone to roll-overs, and have a much higher ‘kill rate’ than cars (meaning if that Escalade is involved in an accident it is far more likely to seriously hurt or kill someone than a Civic).

        That’s not to mention that they reduce visibility for other drivers on the road, take up more room in parking lots, and do seem to be dis-proportionally owned by douchebags.

        IMO, most of the arguments for SUVs are specious, as most current models aren’t appropriate for their originally intended purpose (off-roading) (and even the ones that are, aren’t used for that purpose), and most SUV owners could easily switch to a minivan or station wagon, except those options aren’t ‘cool’.

        • jason in boston says:

          The article is about gas mileage, not “topheavyness”.

          I would want to be in a vehicle that will win in a crash. Who cares about “kill rate”? I would also bet that someone crashing a tractor trailer would do more damage to an object than a person driving a vespa. It is the whole f=ma thing.

          With respect to rolling over, I can’t really argue with that. Then again, I have seen a Saleen on it’s roof. There are other factors involved in rollover deaths. If stupid housewife wants to take a corner too fast, or dumb rich kid is greasing his hair, missing their turn and neither of them have their belts on, then when they do roll I expect Darwinism to take over. My mother got hit by a banker on his phone a few winters go. SUV rolled a few times. She was wearing her belt and walked away. You see, modern vehicles are made with a safety cage. As long as said person stays in the cage, they will have a higher probability if sustaining less injury. No belt, then they won’t be missed by me.

          I have a jeep. It is top heavy. It is a gas guzzler (far worse than any mommy SUV on the market). I also like to enjoy life. I wear my belt, pay the “fun tax” of fueling up the jeep, and live my life.

          • JennQPublic says:

            “Who cares about ‘kill rate’?” Umm, people who have some consideration for other people on the road. But since you are far too self-absorbed to care about them (I would almost think you’re just joking in an attempt to perpetuate the stereotype of self-involved SUV owners, but I’m afraid you’re quite serous), here is some information on SUV’s higher DEATH RATE:

            http://www.autosafety.org/safety-gap-grows-wider-between-suvs-and-cars

            Yes, the data is old, but that’s because I’m too lazy to look for more current data. A snippet regarding auto safety: “But the United States has not made as much progress as some other developed nations, because rates of seat belt use remain lower here and because of the growing numbers of S.U.V.’s and pickup trucks, which tend to pose greater hazards than cars both to their occupants and to others on the road.”

            So, although you care nothing for the safety of my family, perhaps you will give some thought to your own.

            • jason in boston says:

              You are right Jenn. We should all drive minis and vespas so your family will feel safe. How about this…buy something with a little more mass? Like I said before, F=MA.

              Should we also open up separate roads for tractor trailers and commercial vehicles? It all comes down to what you think is more important: your family’s safety or open roads. There is risk while driving.

              My jeep vs a civic…I will “win” and since I always buckle up, chances are I will walk away. Both cars will be totaled, but I will walk away. The factory roll cage is there for a reason. My jeep vs anything requiring a CDL, and chances are I would die…along with most other people. Shall we also ban anything over 5 tonnes because your civic can’t take the impact?

              Like I said before, I don’t care about if my jeep will kill anyone. I don’t care if trucks (and SUVs that are on trucks bodies) will kill anyone. Life is about living with calculated risk. I will never drive a smart car outside of the city because I am afraid of getting flattened by a mini or a kia. If some soccer mom is doing her makeup and misses a stop sign and I plow into her, I wouldn’t really care what happens to her. If some rich kid is blabbing on his phone and misses the exclusive red arrow at park and tremont and I literally run the car over then I wouldn’t care about that either. As long as I walk away and my insurance is paid up then I am doing my part. I bring up these examples because I have seen this happen during my commute, ruining everyone’s day.

              I just cannot understand why I should care if you put your family in a vehicle with less mass, I should have to drive something with the same or less mass. Yes, I seem heartless, but life is too short as it is.

        • suedehead4 says:

          This. It amazes me that many SUV owners still believe they’re so, so, so much safer.

        • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

          Why do you assume they are top heavy? Do you really think they are using that much more metal on a car frame? Just because they are taller doesn’t mean they are top heavy. Putting a thin sheet metal body(which are folded to increase strength/allow crumple zones while decreasing weight) on top of a heavy frame doesn’t make the car top heavy.

      • Tim says:

        That’s a very poorly written article. It relies completely on stating that certain SUVs have the same chassis as compact cars. But the author fails to actually cite fuel efficiency ratings for the vehicles. In reality, each SUV has significantly worse fuel efficiency than the compact car he compares it to.

      • DustingWhale says:

        Sorry, but this is a fail. The author tries to argue that the fire breathing Audi S4 is a “common sedan.” This is an outright lie. The 2004 S4 listed for $45k, and comes standard with a V8. I can’t think of any “common sedans” that boast such figures.

        No doubt people feel cooler in an SUV than other vehicle. But I feel way cooler than all the SUV drivers in a old VW with 220k miles that is paid off an that I’ve used to avoid countless accidents that I couldn’t if I were driving a SUV.

    • TVGenius says:

      My V8 Toyota Tundra gets better gas mileage than my 4 cylinder PT Cruiser did.

    • DieBretter says:

      Here we have 2 F-150s, an Explorer, and a Stratus (we JUST got rid of the Mustang), and sure, we may not always have things in them. But, we have a family farm (and we do sometimes haul literally tons of stuff, and tractors) and we also have a cottage. Both are about 250 miles away from us, so we generally need space when we DO go there. Compound that with the fact that we have 3 bigger dogs, and the 5 of us, what are we reasonably to take?

      Just for comparisons sake, humor me this. We, this was a couple years ago, went up to our farm during November. It was 6 of us, as we had a guest, and luggage for a couple days, and the dogs. We COULD have taken 3 cars or so, and figure about 30 mpg per car, so that works out to what..10 mpg combined, OR, we could have taken an Excursion, which was just one vehicle, and got about 18 mpg. This is a no brainer, and we ended up taking the Excursion.

      If anyone mentions that SUVs and trucks are all horrific and don’t serve a purpose, I’d love to see them hitch a trailer up to their car to haul a 2.5 ton (at the small end) tractor somewhere. I would really like to see them try to figure out how to cram a tractor tire in their car. I would especially love to see them try to cram 3 dogs, luggage, and 5 people into something.

      If you were in my shoes, what would you get? A full size van that gets the same mileage? A minivan that can’t haul? A sedan? That’s definitely out of the question. An SUV? Maybe a full-size crew cab pick-up? Would you suggest that for every truck we have that we also need to have a car? That gets pretty cost prohibitive in no time at all.

      • sp00nix says:

        You have a use for it. 99% of the people i see in them don’t. It can just hold bigger rims.

    • YOXIM says:

      She complains about gas prices while you complain about her complaining about gas prices while I complain about you complaining about her complaining about gas prices. Full circle, here we go!

    • bdgbill says:

      You have the ability to determine of someone is a “stay at home mom” just from seeing them on the road huh?

      People who use cell phone are “acting important”? Cell phones stopped being status symbols around 1997. Homeless people and 10 year old children carry cell phones now, get over it.

      If you are going to go around crucifying people over “killing the planet”, SUV drivers should be pretty far down your list. Someone who owns a medium size recreational boat can burn more gas in a weekend than an SUV “wastes” in a year. How about people who keep a second home air conditioned, heated, lawn mowed etc year round just in case they show up? How about RV owners who criss cross the country getting 6 miles to the gallon so they can drag their little plastic house with them everywhere?

  3. Cyniconvention says:

    I did see a convertible one when I was younger, about eight years ago. (Can’t tell if the one in the picture is like it, but it looks to be.)

    I wonder if they were rare/uncommon.

  4. Mr_Human says:

    Thank god — they looked like derby hats.

  5. TinaBringMeTheAx says:

    I rented one once.

    Worst piece of garbage I ever drove.

    • kmw2 says:

      Seriously. I’m only 5’1″ – a car designed so I smack my head on the doorframe getting out? Badly designed. Plus, the inside was just cheap. Blarg.

      • Preyfar says:

        Eh? I’m 6ft tall, I used to own a PT… never smacked my head getting in/out of the car in the five years I owned it.

        Not sure what you did that I didn’t?

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          I just bought one and I’m 6′ 3″ and find it incredibly roomy vs. any other compacts on the market.

    • Jay911 says:

      I spent the longest five days of my life renting one for a team of volunteer marshals running a road rally in Newfoundland, Canada. They had used up all the cars the rally had asked for, so they were throwing whatever they could find at us – and I got this POS PT Cruiser. Four nearly-bald tires (on rough “highways” in hurricane season no less), a crappy little engine that could barely get the car out of its own way, and horrible gas mileage. Oh did I mention that there were three of us, all our luggage, and all our team’s timing/scoring/etc equipment in this jalopy? For five days over 2200 kilometers?

      • GrimJack says:

        Newfoundland has a hurricane season?

        The more you know…

        That said, I rented one (not by choice – it’s all they had) on a business trip to Seattle to visit Microsoft. Of course, it happened that our CEO flew in for something unrelated and decided to wanted to sit in on this client visit. The upside was that afterward he made it clear that accounting would not hold my toes to the fire if I started upgrading my rentals to full size/premium vehicles, especially if I was planning on taking a client to lunch.

        Thanks, PT Cruiser!

    • Dutchess says:

      I agree…I was given one as a rental…I took it back after 5 minutes and said I couldn’t possibly drive this. Ugly pastil interior and completely gutless.

      Good riddance…..

      However I did have one that was parked in my lot at work all the time…metallic blue…wood grain sides…long antenna with coon tail and yellow surf board perpetually latched on top. It was kinda cool to look at…beyond that…never liked one

    • veronykah says:

      I had the unfortunate luck of getting one as a rental too, I’m with you 100%.
      We felt like we needed to lean forward to make it accelerate on the freeway as we were getting passed by old ladies.

    • johnmc says:

      I’m with you all the way on this. I rented one late at night because the pickings were slim and returned it next morning for something less awful.

    • dolemite says:

      Agreed. I’ve driven 2 as rentals. My opion:
      1. Poorly designed interior. Cheap.
      2. Low power.
      3. Incredibly bad gas mileage for such low power.
      4. Rode like a pickup truck.

  6. sirwired says:

    I thought that the external design and overall of the PT Cruiser was genius. It really was the first of the now-common “retro”-styled cars. This was combined with an overall design that was quite practical to use.

    However, in typical Detroit fashion, the interior was 100% Pure Suck. Everything inside just screamed “cheap and poorly designed.” The drivetrain was unrefined and the handling poor.

    Great idea. Lousy execution.

    • Mr_D says:

      Having driven both a PT Cruiser and HHR, I always thought the HHR did whatever the PT Cruiser did, better. What that was and whether it was a thing worth doing, I don’t know.

      • KillerBee says:

        Hence the impetus for most of the criticism of that car. It stands to reason that the HHR, being designed and built several years after the first PT, would be an improvement. (I disagree with that in many ways, but I won’t get into that here). Chrysler, being Chrysler, never bothered to refresh the design to improve upon it and modernize it. Not to mention Daimler hated the thing and allowed it to languish after they bought Chrysler. They could easily have made improvements and surpassed the HHR, but they didn’t. And thus signed it’s death warrant.

    • DaWezl says:

      I signed up with Chrysler as “Highly Interested” about the PT Cruiser almost as soon as the car was announced. I got all sorts of awesome mailers, such as the Swiss Army knife and the “Hot Wheels” version. At the time, I was in the market for a new car, and was completely ready to buy a PT Cruiser, but I refused to buy one until I could test drive it. Thankfully I did that, as the interior was so miserable that I instantly fell out of love with the car itself.

      Still have all the mailers though–they were all pretty cool!

    • Dutchess says:

      I agree…the interior looked like a stripped down hyundai just cheap plastic everything…typical American Car

    • Smashville says:

      Also, in typical Detroit fashion…it was of course made in Mexico.

  7. Psylocke says:

    Oh the end is nigh! No really I can’t stand these things. Always thought the people driving them were ‘wanna be’s”

  8. colorisnteverything says:

    What will the old people dooooo?

    These and HHR’s are always driven by people over 50 who cannot drive. My neighbor is one and I could just stab myself when I watch him park the thing.

    • lockdog says:

      My wife has an HHR. I will say she loves it, although I don;t know how she can see to drive, the window pillars as so thick. Interior is bleh, but we have a toddler, so no point in spending money on anything nicer for a few more years. To it’s credit, I got us up to 37 miles per gallon on one road trip, and it does have a decent amount of cargo room for such a small car.

    • Press1forDialTone says:

      I’ll just bet you’d put your hand up to be on a “death panel” wouldn’t you?
      This is just a snarky remark from one of those horrible old people who
      gave birth to the perfection that is you. Well, I own a black gnarly Neon
      sport coupe (25-30mpg), its a blast to drive, passes all emission tests
      and gets looks from the younger street thugs.

  9. Nikky817 says:

    I owned a 2001 PT, at 124,000 miles the thing went down hill. Every two weeks something was going out. The cost of ownership I know. I got tired of dropping money into it. All the mechanics shivered when I drove it up. They are a pain to fix because of how the engine was crammed into the car.

    On Wednesday I traded it in for a 2009 HHR – I love it. I am a 28 year old single female, with no children, and have never attended a soccer game, and do not talk on the phone when I drive. It is an affordable version of a SUV/Car/Truck with good gas mileage that allows me to have the cargo capacity that I need.

  10. Brent says:

    Great. Now when will the Smart Car die?

    • TacoChuck says:

      Me and my 65 mpg diesel smart car are going to be around a long time.

      • Mike says:

        Not if you get into an accident with a regular sized sedan. Cabin intrusion of slow speed accidents on Smart cars is terrible: http://www.spike.com/video/crash-test-shows/3151924

        I am glad you are saving gas and have a smaller carbon footprint, just be careful.

        • colorisnteverything says:

          Yeah, I figure it isn’t very safe when a bunch of students can play chicken with it in the middle of an intersection and the driver is actually scared. This is what happened on my university campus earlier this year. The students ran around the car, pushed on it and then ran off.

          If it gets in an accident with a SUV, it’s going to be even worse, just because instead of hitting the nose, it will go OVER it and hit the driver square in the face basically. SMARTS are a good idea if you live in a place with tiny cars, but that place is not America.

    • TuxedoCartman says:

      Smart Cars are AWESOME!!!

  11. felixgolden says:

    While I appreciated the concept when they first came out, I despised the execution. The engine could be generously described as loud, weak, rough and thirsty. If a large turning radius, non-existent handling, and the ability to be jolted by every pebble in the road was your desire, then this was your car. Oh, I forgot to mention the awkward entry/exit and general weird layout of the interior.

    I’ve had a number of them as rentals, and virtually every one has had some mechanical problem, leaving me stranded waiting for roadside assistance.

    • temporaryscars says:

      It’s Chrysler. The large turning radius is sort of their thing.

    • ChunkyBarf says:

      When the PT Cruiser came out one of the deriding monikers associated to it was:
      All Show and No Go

      If I recall correctly, it was based on the Neon platform. It made it a bit underpowered for the extra weight and the gas tank was small for a vehicle of its size.

  12. aja175 says:

    Good Riddance! I looked at one a few years ago and hated the entire experience… Granted, the cobalt I bought wasn’t much better…

  13. antifox says:

    I love my 2006 Pt cruiser, maybe if chrysler spent a few dollars on advertising it may have caught on, great gas mileage, looks good and can haul 4 adults. Lets hear it for gas guzzlers.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      We just purchased a loaded 2006 PT Cruiser with low miles for next to nothing. I like the styling, the ability to remove the back seats, the back shelving, etc. The performance and handling aren’t great but pretty comparable to other economy cars in the price range. The reliability (according to CR) is pretty good and it’s cheap to work on.

      My only real complaint is the poor gas mileage and the fact that it has a timing belt instead of chain.

      • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

        Every car I have ever owned has a timing belt… which ones have chains now?

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          Most cars on the market have chains vs. belts today. VW, Honda and Hyundai were long-time holdouts but even they’re slowly switching over. Belts have advantages, especially with the advent of the non-interference engine but I think chains are better for the vast majority of consumers. I worked for an auto repair shop in college and can’t even count the number of low mileage (less than 100,000 miles) interference engines completely destroyed by neglected timing belts that we dealt with.

  14. JediJohn82 says:

    What will funeral homes that cater to midgets do now without the Chrysler PT Mini-hearse?

  15. davere says:

    How am I going to identify bad drivers now?

  16. madtube says:

    About friggin time! I looked under the hood of one and wondered how in the hell the techs could work on it? Made me glad I was not a Chrysler technician.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      They’re actually not too bad to work on; no worse than any other sub compact. Spark plugs take a little bit longer because you have to remove the manifold. Changing the timing belt is a major undertaking because of how cramped it is inside.

      If you want an easy car to work on, I recommend buying a car that has a 6-cylinder option and getting the 4-cylinder. That’ll leave plenty of room to navigate in the engine bay.

      • madtube says:

        You brought up a valid point. The new Acura TSX is an Accord in the rest of the world. The rest of the world also gets a diesel engine. The engine bay has tons of room in the American TSX models. You see, they decided to opt in for only the petrol engine. On the plus side, the diesel engine was loads larger than the petrol engine. The result is an engine bay that is very spacious. Until the engineers decided to shoehorn the TL V6 into the TSX. Now a car that was designed with a 4-cylinder engine has a HUGE (by Honda standards) 6-cylinder engine instead. Now the idea is reversed. A very cramped engine bay indeed.

  17. majortom1981 says:

    The PT cruisers actually had a nasty recall (which wasnt really on the news that much) they would get a short and burst into flames .a friend i knew witnessed it happen right ifront of his eyes. It was brand new pt cruiser that his mom had just gotten. he saw a spark then the interior of the car caught fire.

    • GuyGuidoEyesSteveDaveâ„¢ says:

      Only recall I read about relating to fire was the fuel line getting rubbed by the engine block. Also, given the flame retardant materials used in cars, I doubt this “spark” cause the entire interior to light up. Perhaps your friend was mistaken.

  18. RogerX says:

    It wasn’t the design, it was the cheap Chrysler interior design, poor quality assembly, and miserable reliability. That’s what you get for starting with an upsized Neon chassis.

    • CPC says:

      It’s not a Neon platform! That is the biggest myth about the PT. The Neon has front wheel drive, but all PTs have rear.

      It’s not mechanically bad, either, as long as you take care of it. My wife owns one, and it hasn’t had any real problems, other than flat tires, and a couple sensors going out. Those were cheap and easy to fix.

      It rides great if you keep the tires inflated and rotated, and can get 24mpg highway if you use cruise control.

  19. NTC-Brendan says:

    If we are going to get rid of so called “Planet killers” let’s start with the Prius; it takes more hazmat and has a larger “carbon footprint” than a Land Rover due to the manufacturing process. While we are at it let’s come up with some sort of Method of Procedure for the safe removal and disposal of those batteries made from hazmat.

    Going “green” is great as long as we can do it with our brains turned on. For some folks it is more of a narcissistic buzzword or a fashion statement – hence rubbish like the Prius, CF bulbs, R134a refrigerant etc. that manage to cock things up even worse than those evil SVUs ever could, all for someone else’s gain. Attitude over substance.

    I totally agree about folks complaining about gas prices. I had someone at the pub whining about it a little over a year ago when gas here was $4/gallon; while drinking beer at roughly $40/gallon. NICE. Did any of those people save any of that money that there were spending when gas prices got back down under $3? I mean they paid $4 and no one died, seems like we could put that $1/gallon to good use (i.e. not an Iphone or Starbucks) and not have any fatalities….

    • NTC-Brendan says:

      Sorry for whatever reason that didn’t get nested under as reply.

      5500 units sold is not a good deal for the company or its share holders. I guess the PT has run it course.

    • YouDidWhatNow? says:

      Whoa, stop trying to be all rational and stuff.

      Look, dude, electricity just comes out of the wall, man! It’s clean! Practically free! Look, I’m saving the world, man!

    • econobiker says:

      Priuses are just eco snob mobiles driven by alot of folks who have other vehicles. The whole Hollywood Prius thing is a hoot- anyone ever ask those actors if they take private jets often?

      A sub $1000 Dodge Neon can get between 30 and 40mpg and be alot less damaging to the world.

  20. Mike says:

    I used to work at a Chrysler dealership. I felt guilty just letting people test drive these things. Only one type of person bought these, middle-age women. I rarely saw anyone else buy them.

    I think the biggest problem was that they sold a lot of these to rental car companies. The rentals would have cheap, terrible tires and the least powerful engine. It came in 150, 180, and even a 220 hp engine. I wouldn’t touch the 150 hp engine with a ten foot pole, but the others were fine. But the styling was so unique that only a select few actually liked it.

    Depreciation was horrible on this car, so you can pick up a 2005/06 GT convertible for less than $10k right now if you like these.

  21. rpm773 says:

    The convertibles looked like an old fashioned bathtub on wheels.

    I thought they stopped with this nonsense a few years ago.

  22. BayardMozie says:

    Apparently they were classified as a light truck instead of a car to get around some EPA regs. Ick.

  23. YouDidWhatNow? says:

    They apparently sold like hotcakes to rental car companies. I get one frequently when renting.

    The seating position is like a bus. I feel like I’m driving the short bus to school. External aesthetics being as subjective as they are, I can see people liking the style, but I can’t imagine anyone buying one after driving one and having to drive in that weird position.

  24. DanRydell says:

    I dont’ know why everyone expected so much from the interior. Aside from the window buttons being in the middle (stupid) it’s a typical economy car interior.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I agree. The PT Cruiser is a $15,000 sub compact and is pretty comparable to any other cars in the price range.

  25. Oranges w/ Cheese says:

    WORST CAR EVER.

    You know its a terrible car when, as a rental, you can’t find the damn button to get the window down.

    ITS IN THE MIDDLE OF THE DASH!? wtf.

    • Mike says:

      LOL. I see this complaint a lot. Many German cars do this, both my Mercedes and BMW have the switch in the middle, although my VW did not. Perhaps they put the switches there because Mercedes was partnered with Chrysler when they made this car?

      To really freak you out, in Porsches the key is on the left of the steering wheel and in Saabs the ignition used to be between the seats.

  26. Charmander says:

    Ick. Yuck. Good riddance.

    When we were shopping for a new car 10 years ago, my husband had narrowed down his preference to either a PT Cruiser or a Focus Wagon.

    Guess which one we bought?

    • Oranges w/ Cheese says:

      I’m sorry on both accounts :(

      • rickhamilton620 says:

        Actually, 10 years ago, the Focus was definitely near the top of the compact car heap. It offered excellent handling, unique safety features like stability control and a high quality (for the time) interior only marred by odd dash styling. The fact that you could get all that in a wagon, hatch or sedan was icening on the cake. Sure reliability wasn’t perfect on those first few years of cars, but they improved over time and the new Focus will be built using the same production processes and machines in every plant, thus (hopefully) nipping the issues that hurt the US Focus in the bud.

        I also rode in a post Daimler interior neutering PT Cruiser, and while the interior did take a step back from the pre refresh model, it seemed to drive and ride pretty well, and even the doors had a solid “thunk” when we closed them.

        • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

          We just recently sold our 2000 Focus SE which we bought new. Performance wise, it was a great small car. It was also very reliable and we never had any problems with it. My only complaint was the sheer quantity of recalls and the very cheap OEM tires.

  27. Draw2much says:

    I feel really bad for this car. I actually LIKE the way it looks, even all these years later. It’s just such a shame that Chrysler didn’t even try to make it a “nice car”. Especially as the car aged.

    Econoboxes don’t have to be terrible to drive and disgustingly cheap looking on the inside. Honda, Toyota, Kia, Nissan, and Hyndai have all prove that. (Even Ford might prove it, if they do right by the Fiesta.) The technology is there to make a cheap reliable engine if any thought it put to it. And plastic doesn’t have to look ugly if an effort is put into the interior design.

    I own a Honda Fit. The interior is all plastic, but so well designed that it doesn’t even matter. I’ve owned it for almost a year now and it still amazes me how they made it so roomy for it’s size! And the engine is not exactly sports car quality, but it’s adequate for highway and freakin’ awesome for city driving.

    It’s just sad that Chrysler did such a terrible job with the PT Cruiser. If they’d even tried to make it half-way decent, it would have sold like hot-cakes. :(

  28. george69 says:

    Fugly gross vehicle.

    nice to see it die :)

  29. Chandru1 says:

    I’ve seen one for sale on my commute. I was thinking of buying it, because a Matrix would be more expensive. I haven’t been in one lately, but I’ve heard the manual versions are a lot better than the automatic rental car ones that everyone in the comments is hating on. However, the Matrix is more expensive for a reason, and the Honda Fit is much more fun than either of those.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I used to own a Matrix (it was my corporate car) and just bought a used PT Cruiser. The Matrix has more interior room but the PT has a bit more versatility because of the back shelf and the ability to completely remove the back seats. The interior is slightly nicer on the Matrix but it’s still pretty cheap. Neither handles terribly well and have anemic engines but the Matrix gets better gas mileage. I actually like the way the PT handles better and it has a quieter interior but this is very subjective. One huge perk of the Matrix is it uses a timing chain and not a timing belt, which will save you from a $700 bill at 90,000 miles.

      From used car shopping in the past few months, a Matrix is going to run 50% more than a comparable PT. If you really like the Matrix, you should keep an eye out for a Pontiac Vibe since they’re identical and can be found for significantly less than a comparable Matrix.

      I’d take all of the PT Cruiser bashing with a grain of salt. They’re small, reliable and cheap sub-compacts and are very comparable to anything else on the market. In terms of manual vs. automatic, you’re always better off getting a manual on underpowered econoboxes. The automatic isn’t too bad on the PT but like any Chrysler you have to absolutely 100% make sure it has been maintained and only ATF+4 has been used and not universal fluid w/additive packs.

  30. gman863 says:

    Now if Chrysler could only kill off the rest of its pathetic lineup.

    Other than Dodge Ram trucks and (possibly, compared to the Ford Crown Vic) the police version of the Charger, Chrysler products blow chow. The past two rentals I got stuck with a Dodge Nitro and 4 cyl. Charger: Both had horrible fuel mileage and the acceleration of a moped. The Jeep Wrangler is even worse; it makes even freshly paved roads feel like a motocross track.

  31. gc3160thtuk says you got your humor in my sarcasm and you say you got your sarcasm in my humor says:

    good…I’m glad. What an ugly car anyways.

  32. jp7570-2 says:

    One of the worst concepts in automotive history and a contributing reason to Chrysler’s inevitable disappearance as a nameplate. The PT was actually conceived as part of a focus group to see what kind of designs would be bought by certain segments of the market. This car was literally designed by a committee of amateurs!

    I’ve had the misfortune of getting a few PT’s as rental cars. They handle bad, the controls are laid out weird, and the car is generally a poor performer.

    Glad this piece of crap is going away. Fiat must never allow it to return.

  33. smo0 says:

    A F**king Dodge Neon with a different body kit, people.

    What a POS of a car.

    Also the thread chains about SUVs was entertaining.

    I, for one, am an advocate of getting a little “tack on” to people who drive in SUV who are found at fault in an accident involving a fatality… just need more data to say if the fatality could have been avoidable HAD the person been driving a sedan or coupe type car….

    it’s all about data – and with regards to the person owning the big size cars and living on the farm – you are who these cars are designed for… there aren’t many of you – it’s like Lambo’s being catered to the rich, if there were as many SUV as high priced Italian sports cars – we’d all be a lot better off….

    as for the rest of you – I think I mentioned this in another article… I hope your SUV rolls over and it explodes.. Have a nice day, folks!

    • Press1forDialTone says:

      Yeah! a Dodge/Plymouth Neon that can f**k! I love it. Then they can mate and
      make lots more!! Literally so many they *will* take over the world!

  34. sp00nix says:

    Woo! This makes me happy.

  35. econobiker says:

    “In the first half of 2010, only around 5,500 new PTs were sold”

    Some advertising might have helped! Plus they were going to ax it in 2009 until Cash for Clunkers came along and boosted sales…

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I think they were originally going to end the run with the 09 model year. I’m not surprised they wanted to squeeze out another year or two — all of the R&D and retooling for the plant was paid off long ago.

  36. bdgbill says:

    Ugh Thank You Chrysler! My only request when renting cars is “anything but a PT Cruiser”. The cars are noisy, cramped and hard to see out of. The car handles like a lowered pickup truck. Typical Chrysler, eye catching styling and nothing else.

  37. dolemite says:

    I had one for a rental, and my wife had a different one years later. One of the worst cars I’ve ever driven in years. I’m baffled that people actually buy them and are satisfied. I theorize these people only buy chrysler, so they’ve never had the benefit of owning a well-designed car, so are ignorant of the other options out there.

    • Nigerian prince looking for business partner says:

      I theorize these people only buy chrysler, so they’ve never had the benefit of owning a well-designed car, so are ignorant of the other options out there.

      Or… taste is completely subjective. I just picked up an ’06 PT Cruiser for next to nothing. Our other car is a late model Prius. Both cars have their pluses and minuses. Before the Prius, we had a Toyota Matrix, and before that a Ford Focus. In the 80′s and 90′s, I had a variety of Nissans, a Mercury, an Oldsmobile and a Plymouth.

  38. nuke3ae says:

    I hate how every rental car company has them

  39. BHall says:

    I think it might be entertaining to classify it as premeditated in vehicular manslaughter cases when SUV’s kill the occupants of a smaller vehicle.

    But that’s just more of the same school yard bulling that you’re trying to pass off ass personal safety.

    I have a CDL and I thank you not to compare my professional talent to the mail-in driving test you managed to pass.

  40. Press1forDialTone says:

    Everybody who did: stop whining about PT Cruisers being in rental fleets,
    if you don’t want one, pony up for something else. The rental companies
    must be making money by using them or they would drop them like hot
    potatoes. And they don’t have any intention of going broke on a bad
    rental; they can choose from anything out there! I agree with the notion
    of SUV owners rolling their ride, walking away whining and then it bursts
    into flames. Love it.