An automaker’s worth is sometimes measured by its guts in starting or reviving a trend. In 2000, Chrysler launched a retro-styled model called the PT Cruiser, with the first part of its name standing for
Personal Transport. The style was a bit similar to panel vans that became popular in the 1930s, but the difference was that the models were designed to look fresh in order to attract the younger generation. Despite being welcomed to the marketplace with some copying issues, the PT Cruiser still made a big hit in the beginning, though its spark eventually waned after a decade.
2001 - 2005: First generation (the basic PT Cruiser)
The first releases of the PT Cruiser model were satisfactory if viewed from the standards of a common user. The units had a 2.4-liter DOHC engine that provided enough power of 150-hp. The suspension was made with McPherson struts, lower control arms, a sway bar, and coil springs, while the rear portion had a twist beam and a trailing arm. There were a lot of built-in features in the interiors, including an AM/FM stereo with cassette player, a floor console, a height-adjustable steering column, power windows, and foldable seats. Other options were a moon roof with one-touch open feature, aluminum wheels, ABS and traction control, and a 4-speed automatic transmission. From the 2000 release, the PT Cruiser was restyled and reinvented. One of these alterations was the introduction of a cue ball shifter for the auto transmission, the shift to cloth backseats, the increase of power to 180-hp, and the offering of several interior and exterior colors.
2006 – 2010: Second generation (the PT Cruiser with more power and features)
The second-generation PT Cruisers were made more powerful, more appealing, and more efficient. First off, power was increased to 230-hp and 245-lb-ft of torque. The interiors also received a redesign, including new fabric options and seat trims, a restyled instrument panel with bigger gauges, a signature analog clock, and rotating air vents. The units still had a turbo-charged engine with a displacement of 2.4-liters. The addition of Bluetooth, audio jacks, power locks, map lamps, lumbar adjuster for the seats, rear window switches, and a more graphical EVIC made the models more reliable and enjoyable to drive. Above all these noticeable alterations, the models received some system tweaking to reduce powertrain noise. Moreover, getting behind the wheels was quieter by five decibels because of the improved sealing around the floor pan, doors, and windows.