With retro-styling inspired by the 1930s panel vans that were later converted to surf wagons and hot rods, the front-wheel drive 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser mixes classic styling cues with modern fuel efficiency and conveniences.
The versatile seat arrangement in the PT Cruiser wagon allows for more rear space than most vehicles its size, and the back seats can either fold forward or be removed completely for expanded cargo space and to accommodate objects up to eight feet long.
The convertible model, with its power-retractable soft top, also bows to those who want a little more practicality in an open-air car. The top is insulated for a quieter interior, there is a small back seat, and the trunk is reasonably roomy.
The PT Cruiser wagon is available in three trim levels--base, Touring, and Limited--though 500 Sunset Boulevard Editions are available with special exterior paint and interior trim. The convertible is only available in base trim.
A 150-horsepower, 2.4L four-cylinder engine is standard on the base and Touring models, while the 180-horsepower, turbocharged 2.4L engine comes standard in the Limited and is optional in the Touring. A five-speed manual is available on the base only, while a four-speed automatic is the transmission of choice in both Touring and Limited models. It is an option on the base.
The entry-level model has power locks and windows and rides on 15-inch steel wheels. The Touring adds 16-inch aluminum wheels, power mirrors and seats, and stain-resistant cloth fabric, plus many popular features like air conditioning, Sirius satellite radio, a fold-flat front passenger seat, and a security alarm. The Limited includes 17-inch aluminum wheels, leather-trimmed bucket seats, anti-lock brakes, polished interior and exterior accents, a power moonroof, and a different suspension tune. Front, side curtain, and front seat-mounted side-impact air bags are standard on all 2008 PT Cruiser wagons.
The 2008 PT Cruiser convertible is outfitted much the same as the base wagon, though it gets power mirrors and driver's seat, air conditioning, 16-inch wheels, and the special cloth seating of the Touring model.
Popular options include a six-speaker Boston Acoustics stereo, UConnect hands-free communication (Limited only), and several interior and exterior chrome accent pieces. The Sunset Boulevard Edition is similar to the base wagon, but adds chromed alloy wheels, tinted glass, floor mats, and special interior and exterior trim features. It is limited to 500 examples.
The unique retro-styled Chrysler PT Cruiser enters 2008 with a few changes. Most noticeably, several trim levels have been dropped, including the potent 230-horsepower GT in hatchback guise and the Touring and GT in convertible form. Standard on the Limited models is the 180-horsepower turbocharged four-cylinder, and the engine is now optional on Touring models. The convertibles now include front seat side-impact air bags. The Sunset Boulevard Cruiser slots into the Street Cruiser series and is limited to 500 examples.
New colors include Deep Water Blue Pearl, Melbourne Green, Silver Steel Metallic, Stone White, and Surf Blue Pearl.