Chrysler's PT Cruiser gets a whole new look for 2006, with updated front and rear fascias, a new front grille, new headlamps, fog lamps, and a new body-color spoiler on the liftgate. Inside, there are new seat trims and fabric choices, a fresh instrument panel with larger gauges, rotating air vents, courtesy map lamps, and an available six-way power adjustable driver seat with manual lumbar adjuster. Power locks are now standard on all models, as are multi-stage front air bags and a driver knee air bag, and an analog clock has been added to the dash. The glove box has been enlarged, front cup holders on the Limited and GT models get bright accents, and new radio options include a Boston Acoustics premium sound system that features six speakers, a subwoofer and a 368-watt amplifier. Also new in the audio department: all PT Cruiser models get MP3 play capability. GT models get a boost in power with the turbo inline-four now developing 230 hp. Marine Blue Pearl Coat and Magnesium Pearl Coat are two new colors offered this year.
The model that arguably started the retro styling trend, Chrysler's PT Cruiser is available in four trim levels: Base, Touring, Limited, and GT. All are offered in hard-top configuration, while the Touring and GT trims are also available with a convertible top. For power, three variations of a 2.4L inline four are offered: Base, Touring, and Limited PT Cruisers come with a normally-aspirated, 150-hp version with a standard 5-speed manual transmission or optional 4-speed automatic. Limited models are also available with a 180-hp, turbocharged version linked to a 4-speed automatic. GT models come equipped with a 230-hp, high-output turbo engine, which comes standard with a 5-speed manual or available 4-speed automatic with AutoStick control. Safety equipment includes: front multi-stage, driver's knee, and optional side air bags; vehicle theft alarm; and Sentry Key engine immobilizer.
Standard fare on the base PT Cruiser includes sport contour bucket seats, an AM/FM radio with CD player and MP3 input jack, chrome grille accents, speed-sensitive power locks, a console with sliding armrest and storage, a body-color strip spoiler on the liftgate, analog clock, and 15-inch wheels with bolt-on wheel covers. The Touring model gains an Electronic Vehicle Information Center, illuminated visor mirrors, courtesy map lamps, power outlets in the console and rear cargo area, and interior assist handles. Additionally, air conditioning, a fold-flat passenger seat, power mirrors, remote keyless entry, body-color bodyside moldings, a shelf panel for the cargo area, and a security alarm are also standard.
Limited models include sport cloth seats with manual lumbar adjustment for the driver, a leather-wrapped steering wheel, HomeLink universal garage door opener, side air bags, power moon roof with sliding sunshade, and a touring suspension. Opting for the GT trim nets a six-way power driver's seat, two-tone sport leather, a liftgate spoiler, 17-inch chrome alloy wheels, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and low-speed traction control, a 140-mph speedometer, a large chrome exhaust tip, bright pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel with Satin Silver spokes, AM/FM radio with CD player and MP3 input jack, and a Satin Silver shift knob.
The PT Cruiser is one of two dozen models competing in the Compact Crossover Utility Vehicle segment-a group that shares the same basic formula; they are based on passenger-car designs and feature unit-body construction to provide better ride and handling.
The sales leader in the group is the Ford Escape, with 165,122 units sold in calendar year 2005, according to the J.D. Power and Associates Sales Report.SM The Honda CR-V was next, with 150,219 units sold in 2005, followed by the Chrysler PT Cruiser (133,740). One other model (the Chevrolet Equinox, with 130,542), had sales greater than 100,000 during 2005.
|Base||5 speed manual||$14,485||150-hp / 2.4L 4-cyl||22/29|
|Touring||5 speed manual||$16,480||150-hp / 2.4L 4-cyl||22/29|
|Limited||5 speed manual||$18,895||150-hp / 2.4L 4-cyl||22/29|
|GT||5 speed manual||$23,645||230-hp / 2.4L 4-cyl||21/27|