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01 thru 05 or 06 thru 2010 which model is best

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Old 17 Dec 2010, 06:11 pm
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Default 01 thru 05 or 06 thru 2010 which model is best

After driving an early 02' Limited 5 speed for 8 years, (totaled this summer), and a used 09' Touring automatic for 5 months, I recently compared the two. Based on the last 5 months I have to give the nod to the 02'. Overall, in my opinion, is was a better built car. After so many years it was like slipping into a comfortable pair of old slippers. I enjoyed shifting gears as much after 8 years as I did in the beginning. The leather seats were still supple and very comfortable. I don't think it's my imagination but I firmly believe it had a tighter turning radius than the 09'. One thing I am sure of it got far better gas mileage. Don't get me wrong the 09' is a good car and my wife loves it primarily because it has an automatic transmission. Ergonomically I don't like the layout of the switches and controls or the towel rack on the passenger side. The cloth seats are not as comfortable as the leather. The rear wiper controls on the stalk are not user friendly as well as the hazard switch location. It just doesn't have the old PT feel to it when I drive it which is not very often. My wife is reluctant to give it up so we are a house devided on our opinion of the car. Chrysler tried to save money after the 02' year by eliminating certain options or using cheaper materials or fasteners. I do believe if they had done the opposite and added more features or luxury items found on other Chrysler models it would have enhanced sales. Had a stupid driver not t-boned my wife in the 02' we would still be driving it and would for years to come. I only hope the 09' will last as long but in the back of my there is an element of doubt that it will. That being said I'm interested in hearing how PT owners feel about their cars based on which group they are in.
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Old 17 Dec 2010, 06:32 pm
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Default Re: 01 thru 05 or 06 thru 2010 which model is best

I think after 8 years in one car nothing else will never feel the same after only 5 mths. Give it time and you will get used to the new car and all it's little differences. You spent 8 years molding those leather seats to fit your butt and make it feel comfy!!! The new car will take time. I am in the same boat right now going from my 07 of 3 years to a new 2010. Even though I am sure they are pretty much identical cars, the 2010 is just not quite the same. The seats seem a little harder, I can't get them adjusted to where I like, it shifts differently, it accelerates differently an so on. But I'm sure after a while I will get used to it.

I have noticed a few things that Chrysler started cheaping out on and it seems that every year they got rid of a few things to save a few pennies. On mine there is no rubber molding around the back window!!! Like you say, if they had gone the other way and added a few things they could have made a fortune on the car. One of the things I don't understand is getting rid of the turbos. Everyone wants a bit of performance without sacrificing gas mileage and the turbo is a perfect way to do that. Even if they had put a small V6 in the car they could be sitting on a huge pile of money by now
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Old 17 Dec 2010, 08:15 pm
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Smile Re: 01 thru 05 or 06 thru 2010 which model is best

I bought a late 01 Limited Edition with pretty much the works on it and it came with a five speed. It's been a great and heavy feeling car and goes as good now as it was when new. I did hear somewhere that the std. trans. models had a shorter turning radius than the automatics. Two things have bugged me a little are the location of the ignition key (leaves key right in line with inside of right knee and key has plastic tab hanging) and placement of the accelerator pedal being slightly closer to the driver. Those two things probably wouldn't affect a person with shorter legs but I am 6'-3". I have plenty of headroom. Power isn't a problem with the 4 cyl. using the five speed, it's easy to spin the wheels and get into a lot of torque steer if not careful. I would think it would be a lot trickier with much more horsepower. That little four can really go if you push it. All in all I love the way it shifts and rides. I never drove a later model to compare as I never wanted to trade mine in.
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Old 21 Dec 2010, 10:56 am
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Default Re: 01 thru 05 or 06 thru 2010 which model is best

When I decided I needed a new car and reluctanlty started looking (not a new car fan) I narrowed it down ot the HHR and PT. I'm a GM guy so wanted a HHR.. but as I dont want this to get into a HHR VS PT thing.. Leaving that out of it. Price, won, It was far easier to get a good deal on a PT than a HHR. So when I narrowed my search to PT's I had never drove one. I started driving all sorts, ones with 200,000, ones with 6,000 miles. I am pretty sure I drove almost every year. Turbos', Turbo lites, auto's, manuals, and several "versions" of some years.

First thing, when it comes to used, the owners make a big impact on the car.. I drove one with 200,000 (almost) miles that road and drove as good as a new one. One that had 40,000 looked like it was 30 years old. As far as PT's that where all in good shape. I didnt care for the manuals, easily the most peppy, but for a driving everyday car I want simple.. Autos have more than enough pep in town, more than my mini van with a 3.6 I think. The engines are noisy (compared ot other cars I think), but not horribly bad.. I really didnt notice any difference in any year on that.
Ride, again I didnt notice any real differnce in any year when it had low miles.

I really think the same thing most say, it comes down to looks (I dont like the molded in bumpers and wierd headlights of the 06 and newer). As far as I can tell the drivetrain is pretty much the same, I think it is, isnt it? Sure seems like it. For some reason the newest ones seemed like the seats where slightly "harder" to me.. but I was maybe imagining it.

I got lucky I wanted the older style bumpers (color matched (04-05?)) and low miles.. I got an 05 with 30,000 (wrong color though.. PLUM! purple is not my color of choice) for almost exactly half of what KBB lists it for from a dealer.

I really think it gets down to Options and looks.. and how well it was taken care of. I dont mind the newer interior, but the older one matchs the "retro" look better IMHO. I know I keep hearing hte older ones are better on MPG, ture or not.. I couldnt tell in test driving. I do know mine is doing way better then I expected from my reading here and other places. 70mph seems to consistanly give rouhgly 25+, and in town seems ot hang right in 18-19 ish (less now in the cold and auto starts for sure). Much better than my 03 Seville (in town, on road its about the same, pity) of course it doesnt ride anywhere near as nice.
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Old 21 Dec 2010, 12:56 pm
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Default Re: 01 thru 05 or 06 thru 2010 which model is best

I have an 03 GT and 06 GT convertible, both 5 spds

The materials and workmanship are about the same to me. The 03 is a little quicker because it is lighter and has the MP stg 1 computer in it.

I like the 03 interior better because the center stack is just odd in the 06, the seats are about the same, too firm in both cases. The rest of the car is the same.

They changed the radiator fan, brake reservoir(o6 has single for both the brake and clutch slave) and I guess the electronics are a different bus.

The radio and stalks are different but not much. The instrument cluster and AC/heat controls are different but again doesnt make much difference to me.

Brakes and suspension are the same.

So all in all it is just cosmetic change for the sake of change. I hope the 06 will be as reliable as the 03 has been. Of course owning the same model makes it easier to maintain because you dont have to learn multiple cars and make.

86 TurboZ CS 2.2 T2 +20's A555
00 Durango SLT+ 5.9 4x4
02 Grand Cherokee 4.7 4x4
03 PT GT Black 5 sp Stg 1 sold
05 PT GT Silver 5 Spd Conv
06 PT GT Cool Vanilla 5 spd Conv
06 PT Base Marine Blue 40TE Conv
15 Grand Cherokee Overland 5.7 QD2
17 Challenger SRT A8 GoMango
18 JL Wrangler Sahara Punkn
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Old 21 Dec 2010, 09:40 pm
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Default Re: 01 thru 05 or 06 thru 2010 which model is best

Though I never owned another pt than the 03 model, all I can say is that the newer pt's have a nicer grill, but I don't like the AC/radio block they made in the middle of the dashboard.
On the older models the dashboard looks better, more streamlined.

I wish there was more I knew of the difference between those vehicles, but I'm sure other people's comments will be much more enlighting.
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Old 13 Jan 2011, 07:02 pm
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Default Re: 01 thru 05 or 06 thru 2010 which model is best

i wanted one from the first day i saw them, i sat in a few at the dealership. had the chance to do a head job and heater core on a 01, after working on it for 11hrs i had to get one so when my last daughter move and didn`t want the 96 neon it was retired for a 07, it`s the coolest thing on the road.
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Old 13 Jan 2011, 10:08 pm
edb edb is offline
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Default Re: 01 thru 05 or 06 thru 2010 which model is best

I have a friend working for an auto supplier of Chrysler, he told me he had worked on some PT Cruiser projects. Around 2008, costs went up but Chrysler still paid the same money to the supplier, so the supplier had to use cheap materials. He told me after 2008, PT Cruiser is just a low quality car.
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Old 13 Jan 2011, 11:25 pm
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Default Re: 01 thru 05 or 06 thru 2010 which model is best

myself and my parents were at one time a three pt family owning an 01 limited', an 04 limited turbo-lite, and my 07' gt turbo. i kinda have the best outlook on it all. i liked the 01 for the fact that it wasnt turbo and it was a 5spd it was good on gas and fun to drive. the 04 was fun mom hardly let anyone drive it but herself and i drove it from time to time, it got good mpg and the turbo packed a nice punch. and my 07 is just hmmmm amazing, i love it! the turbo and the 5spd are a great pair! i get good gas mileage on the highway when im not flying like a bat out of hell. i find that the ride quality varied from each model tho. it seems that over the years the suspension somewhat improved, or maybe its just the fact that they are all different models/sub-models. but who knows, i just know that i sure do love these little cars!
07' tangerine pearl gt turbo sedan with 5spd... mods: bov, airaid-airbox, turbo-to-airbox-pipe, axle-back-exhaust, custom intercooler, Jet stage 2 chip, short-throw-shifter, lowered, black 16" wheels, blacked out windows, de-badged.... more mods' coming soon.
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  #10 (permalink)  
Old 13 Jan 2011, 11:34 pm
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Default Re: 01 thru 05 or 06 thru 2010 which model is best

I've only slept with a couple of them so I can't really judge which is best....
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