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You'll Like The 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser If...

If you love driving something that pays homage to a great era in American cars, the 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser is your vehicle. You don’t have to sacrifice for your kicks either, as the PT has loads of space, a clever adjustable rear shelf and a choice of normally-aspirated or turbocharged engines.

You May Not Like The 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser If...

If you’re looking for a full-size recreation of a 1940s American sedan, the PT Cruiser will be too small and probably not cushy enough for you. And if you look at it as an alternative small SUV like the Honda CR-V or Toyota RAV4, the PT Cruiser does not offer the same ground clearance or optional all-wheel drive.

What's New

No major changes for 2009.

Interior Features

The 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser’s innovative interior includes a satin-finish dash trim, a retro-looking color-keyed ball shift knob and tall, upright seating. The rear storage area features a moveable shelf that can serve as a table for tailgate parties or a privacy cover to hide valuables. Rear-seat passengers will find plenty of head and legroom and a good view of the road ahead, thanks to the raised rear seats.

Exterior Features

Clearly one of the most recognizable shapes on the road, the PT’s retro panel van styling is truly classic. Though built on the old Dodge Neon platform, the PT sits up higher than most cars, more like a small SUV. Its tall doors make accessing the interior a breeze and the big rear hatch makes it easy to load long or bulky items. An ample supply of aftermarket body kits and performance-enhancing add-ons allows for some wild customization at bargain-basement prices.

Driving Impressions

Driving the 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser is much like driving any compact car, only you sit a bit higher and get many more smiles and thumbs-up signs flashed your way. The steering is precise and without vagueness, the brakes are firm and the handling good. We drove the Limited model featuring the more powerful 180-horsepower four-cylinder turbo mated to a four-speed automatic transmission. The seamless turbo works in concert with a balanced suspension to deliver a driving experience fitting the car’s Cruiser designation. On turbo models, there is very little torque steer, a pleasant surprise for such a powerful front-drive car. There seems to be a good deal of low-end torque as we didn’t feel the need to downshift when climbing steep grades or attempting leisurely passing maneuvers.

Pricing Notes

The 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser LX’s Manufacturer’s Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts close to $18,500, while the Touring starts closer to $21,000 and the Limited is about $25,000. Despite the wide price range, it’s safe to say you can buy a nicely equipped LX for around $20,000 and a nicely equipped turbocharged model for about $25,000. To make your best deal, be sure to check the Fair Purchase Price, which lists the typical transaction price paid for a PT Cruiser in your area. Despite its strong appeal, the PT Cruiser is projected to retain less-than-average resale values, well below the standards set by the Toyota Matrix, Scion xB and Mazda MAZDA5.

Notable Equipment

As standard equipment, the 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser LX has a 150-horsepower 2.4-liter engine, five-speed manual transmission, rear defrost, manual side mirrors, AM/FM stereo with CD and MP3 input jack, tilt wheel, air conditioning, power windows, keyless entry, front-seat side-impact air bags, full wheel covers and a rear wiper/washer. The Touring trim adds an automatic transmission, power driver’s seat, cruise control, power mirrors, 16-inch alloy wheels and a fold-flat passenger’s seat. The Limited model adds a turbocharged engine, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) with low-speed traction control, fog lamps, chrome package, leather seats, power moon roof, uconnect with SIRIUS Satellite Radio and 17-inch polished aluminum wheels.

Notable Options

Options include the 2.4-liter turbocharged engine (Touring), 368-watt Boston Acoustics audio group with six speakers and subwoofer, anti-lock brakes (ABS), traction control, SIRIUS Satellite Radio, heated front seat power moon roof and a four-speed automatic transmission.

Favorite Features

Adjustable Rear ShelfThe PT Cruiser’s adjustable rear shelf can be set to various heights.PT Cruiser ExteriorThe PT’s marvelous exterior lends itself to multiple personality changes.

Under the Hood

The standard engine works well in the PT, giving it good acceleration and respectable fuel economy. For those who want the PT’s performance to live up to its racy good looks, a move up to the low-pressure, 180-horsepower turbo engine is recommended, though doing so means you cannot have the five-speed manual transmission.2.4-liter in-line 4150 horsepower @ 5100 rpm165 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/26 (manual), 19/24 (automatic)2.4-liter in-line 4 Turbocharged180 horsepower @ 5200 rpm210 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2800-4000 rpmEPA city/highway fuel economy: 18/24

Editors' Notes

The 2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser continues as one of the most stylish and fun-to-own compact wagons on the market. While some may argue its retro look has grown tiresome, sales remain strong, as does the demand for aftermarket parts and accessories. Beyond its flamboyant "look at me" exterior, the PT Cruiser provides a roomy and highly flexible interior as adept at hauling kids and cargo as it is serving tailgate, or, rather, liftgate-party duty. Unlike most cars in this segment, Chrysler offers PT buyers a choice of fuel-efficient engines, one of which is turbocharged. Best of all, the PT Cruiser’s price tag starts around $18,500, making it a vehicle just about anyone can afford.

Road Test Video Reviews

2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser Owner Reviews

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all around good car

2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser base

Have a 2009, white automatic with no cruise control or Turbo, bought at 70k now 90k in 2019. MPG is 21 to 26, average is 22. Regular Unleaded . Highway and urban driving characteristics are normal to good to me and driving stability quite adequate. No turbo but to boost it has a helpful passing gear. Will take hwy driving whether freeway in city or cross country. Driving is comfortable around town. See for yourself the safety. Had my automatic PT 70 to 90,000 miles and reliability is strong, no major repairs (but see timing belt requirement coming up, $800?) Interior works for me at exactly normal adult male size in USA. Fond of retro dash, fitting with the exterior style, reminds me of late 40's Pontiac. Keep mine shiny, no exterior flaws, cheap and helpful to replace classic PT wheel covers. Don't have ABS, skired me pants off one time, so keep in mind if no ABS. VALUE: complaint about it depreciating quickly is false alarm to value situation. To my advantage I twice have bought a USED PT and it's already cheap. That was to my advantage personally. From there, it keeps a normal range of depreciation so I don’t lose money. It's Sept 2019 and you can buy a used PT as a real bargain if you are diligent, and have a fun, easy driving, useful small family vehicle easy on mon and dad, that can be reliable if not run down. Lower the mileage on car the better deal you are getting. Check yer Edmunds and Better Blue Book. Peace

- Robert Durkin

White 2009 Chrysler pt cruiser touring edition.

2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser

Drives really slow, has no get up and go at all, has 155, 000 miles, vibrates really bad the entire time your behind the wheel from the time you crank it up, there is a loud popping noise coming from the front passenger wheel, there is a continuous clicking nice like a loose wire in my steering wheel, my alarm will just randomly go off at times and I have no button to stop the blaring, you have to be extremely careful not to drag every time you hit a bump, the driver side mirror is shattered, something is always going bad with this car, the only cool thing about this car is that the back seats come completely out and it is actually rather easy and quick.

- Toni B

Ok but could be better. Overall it is good on gas

2009 Chrysler PT Cruiser Base

The vehicle overall drives well for buying it second hand. Horn doesn't work and am having a hard time finding a solution on how to fix it. The trunk is locked and am having trouble getting it unlocked. But she drives very well. I love the fold down and removable seats. I don't care for the position of the side mirrors, first because they are manual and the position allows for each passenger to move my preset position. So constantly putting it back in the right spot to see for my driving convenience. I don't appreciate having one opening point for key control getting in the vehicle and no key place to open the trunk manually.

- Debra L

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