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2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser Review

The PT Cruiser has comfortable seating, but its low safety score and small cargo space make it a poor pick in the wagon class.

Pros & Cons

  • Confident handling
  • Comfortable seating
  • Low safety score among classmates
  • Cheap-looking interior
  • Small cargo space for the class
  • Weak base engine

Rankings & Research

The 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser's #5 ranking is based on its score within the 2009 Wagons category. Currently the Chrysler PT Cruiser has a score of 8.3 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 65 pieces of research and data elements using various sources.




Critics' Rating: 6.9
Performance: 7.4
Interior: 7.7
Total Cost of Ownership: 9.3
Safety: 7.6
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser Overview

Reviewers did not like the standard four-cylinder engine on the Chrysler PT Cruiser. They said it lacks passing power and feels sluggish on hills. For more powerful performance, reviewers suggested upgrading to the turbocharged four-cylinder. Test drivers said the PT Cruiser takes corners very well and some even described the overall handling as being sporty. The 2009 PT Cruiser gets 19/24 mpg with its base engine and available automatic transmission, which is low for the class.

There’s a lot of cheap-looking plastic in the interior of the PT Cruiser, according to reviewers. However, they also said that the seats are very comfortable. The rear seats also have enough headroom for taller passengers. There is 21.6 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row, and 62.7 cubic feet when the back seat is folded. There are other wagons in the class that have larger cargo spaces. Standard features on the 2009 PT Cruiser include a CD player, auxiliary input jack, exterior temperature display and remote keyless entry system. Optional features or features available on the two higher trims when the PT Cruiser was new include heated front seats, leather upholstery, satellite radio, six-disc CD changer, six-way power-adjustable driver’s seat with lumbar support and cruise control.

The 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser has a very low safety score for the class.

See the full 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser specs »

Other Cars to Consider

Those who like the retro style of the PT Cruiser but want more cargo space should consider the 2009 Chevrolet HHR. Reviewers liked the simple and functional interior of the HHR, and it has better fuel economy than the PT Cruiser.

For a wagon with a better safety score, check out the 2009 Volkswagen Jetta SportWagen. The Jetta SportWagen has an array of different engines that boast great fuel economy ratings, as well as a generous 32.8 cubic feet of cargo space behind the second row.

Compare the PT Cruiser to the HHR and Jetta SportWagen »


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