2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser Reviews - Page 5 of 10

2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser GT 2.4 turbo from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 2.4 turbo Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 10 / 10
Comfort marks 7 / 10
Dealer Service marks 9 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 6 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
8.2 / 10
Distance when acquired5100 miles
Most recent distance13200 miles
Previous carDodge Neon

Summary:

Best turbo-minivan ever made

Faults:

Nothing has gone wrong.

General Comments:

Docile when I want it to be, quick when I want it to be, surprisingly good cornering and surprising large and versatile interior. Really love it. Just wish the GT came with the body-colored dash panels instead of the cheesy faux carbon-fiber - and that it used less gas.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th October, 2006

2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2003
Most recent year of ownership2003
Engine and transmission Automatic
Performance marks 3 / 10
Reliability marks 3 / 10
Comfort marks 6 / 10
Dealer Service marks 2 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
3.5 / 10
Distance when acquired900 miles
Previous carChrysler PT Cruiser

Summary:

I won't buy a PT Cruiser again!!

Faults:

I bough my PT Cruiser in January 2003.

At 87,000 miles, the transmission failed. It began to stutter between 1st gear and 2nd, and then took a minute to pressurize from park to reverse.

The radiator fan went out at the same time also.

It takes me a while to get the speed I need to pass a car or move to another line. It is so dangerous when I have to merge with the flow, when I know my car takes a while to get there.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? No

Review Date: 7th August, 2006

8th Aug 2006, 09:39

Did you ever change the tranny oil & filter? I haven't had any problems with my 2005 pt cruiser.

9th Aug 2006, 13:22

Dodge auto transmissions are, and have always been junk.

Others looking at Dodge cars, be aware. The PT Cruiser in a 5 speed is a good mode of transportation if you like the roomy and unique (other than the 5 million other Cruisers) look.

2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser GT 2.4L turbo from North America

Model year2003
Year of manufacture2003
First year of ownership2005
Most recent year of ownership2006
Engine and transmission 2.4L turbo Manual
Performance marks 9 / 10
Reliability marks 9 / 10
Comfort marks 8 / 10
Dealer Service marks 8 / 10
Running Costs (higher is cheaper) 5 / 10
Overall marks (average of all marks)
7.8 / 10
Distance when acquired13000 kilometres
Most recent distance30000 kilometres
Previous carSuzuki Sidekick

Summary:

I can haul all my outdoor gear and/or family and the turbo adds a huge wow factor to a good car

Faults:

The car has a known issue for flickering lights. When you press the brake pedal (and make the tail lights engage) the headlights and interior lights will flicker. This is also true whenever you engage any electronic equipment in the cabin (including the windows). However, you grow accustomed to it after a few months.

In addition, the engine had a stutter when you opened the throttle past 5,000 RPM. This was resolved for free with a Technical Service Bulletin.

The light in the rear cargo area had a faulty connector. This was fixed under warranty.

The engine belts whine sometimes on a cold morning. Dealer could not fix issue

General Comments:

The car is unbelievably fast when you need to pass or just want to rev it up. The turbo lag is small relative to other four bangers from imports. Usually the real kick hits around 3,000 rpm where you get the real "wow" factor. he engine is has significant torque as well. In my trips to the mountains, I am able to continue to accelerate up almost any grade and the thin air does not affect the turbo. The engine is unreal, but eats up premium fuel at a moderate pace even during conservative driving.

The Getrag transmission is a little heavy at first, but you get used to it after a while. My wife has trouble remembering that the reverse gear is up and to the left. This placement also makes some people nervous when shifting to first since they worry they will hit reverse instead.

The outside look is very clean and not differentiated from other PTs other than the lower grill, 17" rims and the GT badge on the back. Usually, the import car doesn't realize what's hit it until they see the GT sticker on the back. Preludes, Integras, Celicas and of course Civics do not have a chance in straight lines. Cornering is another issue. There is significant under-steer, especially when you try to power out of a long corner.

The 17" tires make you feel confident and do not squeal until really pushed. The tires are not very good when it is raining though. I live on the west coast of Canada where it rains for 6 months a year. The tires lose their grip when pushed even a little. I have tried to open up the throttle in second to pass another car and spun the front wheels wildly after the traction control turns off (around 55 km/h). The tires however handled compact snow and slightly icy conditions confidently. The other major complaint I have is the turn radius. The radius is really small making tight parking spots and parallel parking a real event sometimes.

The interior is built tightly and very functional. The removable seats are easy for a man to do, as they weigh around 50 lbs and are a little awkward. I have not had issues with the build quality and feel the interior leather, and ergonomics are well thought out.

All issues have been handled quickly by the dealership. However, they are not proactive at solving the problems. I have had to research many issues myself to ensure the TSBs and other updates are implemented on my car.

Overall, I would buy the car again.

Would you buy another car from this manufacturer? Yes

Review Date: 8th May, 2006

24th May 2007, 14:23

Update to review:

I now have 45,000 km on the odometer. The car continues to run well and is still very fast.

Issues:

Last week a bubble was found on the outer wall of one tire. (Tires were factory original). The tires have been extremely disappointing and need to be upgraded anyway. The only time they really gripped was on a hot sunny day. Replacements will be ordered next week.

The whining belts became a more persistent problem at 42,000KM. In the end, they had to be replaced at the dealer from my wallet.

The wheels have started to become tarnished on the outside near the hub. Dealership said that it was part of normal wear and tear and would not be covered unde my bumper to bumper warranty.

The light in the trunk area burnt out again. This has happened about four times now. Caused by a faulty connection this time, covered by warranty.

Apparentlythe PCV valve vents into the air filter chamber. This causes engine oil to accumulate in the air filter chamber and into the air filter. This is a common issue with GT Cruisers according to online groups. I need to start cleaning it out with every servicing.

Current Review

Gas mileage is still the same (not great), and no other parts have given me an issue. Car still runs smoothly and will be used for a long distance summer trip this year.

Bought a Mopar branded roof rack with the board carrier (was bout $100-175 cheaper than Thule / Yakima options) and it served me well. Very stable and did not need to be adjusted all winter. Comes off easily in the spring for the clean roof look for the summer.

Average review marks: 7.5 / 10, based on 29 reviews