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The idea for the Chrysler PT Cruiser was hatched as plans for the second generation Neon were being formulated. Instead of a Neon Coupe, it was decided that the funds that were allocated to that model would instead be used to create something different, something unique. The five door hatch concept had been tried before (see Summit, Eagle; Expo, Mitsubishi; Axcess, Nissan and others) but had never caught on. This new vehicle would have to possess a style, a character, that these others lacked. It would have to be Too Cool To Categorize. It would have to be...PT Cruiser.



This section of Richweb offers a year by year timeline of the production changes to the PT from model years 2001-2010, PT Cruiser links, and archival photographs. There's also a comparison between the 2001-2005 and 2006-2010 iterations of the PT. Off of this page you will find detailed information on our two PT Cruisers (Plummer, a 2005 Touring Edition, and Little Devil, a 2004 Limited Edition) including periodic ownership updates. There is also further archival information relating to the original 2001 PT Cruiser that initially made up the bulk of this page's content Enjoy!


 
Little Devil (2004 Inferno Red Limited) and Plummer (2005 Dark Plum Touring)









Note the different hatch release and separate, smaller, badge on this preproduction model.


The PT Through the Years 2001-2010

2001
The PT debuts in the year 2000 a smash hit, selling out in record time. The factory was backed up beyond expectations and six month waits were not unheard of. Plans were hastily made to transfer production of European spec models to a plant in Graz, Austria. People did silly things like pay $10k over sticker in some cases. PT enthusiast websites sprung up everywhere and PT Mania was in full bloom. During the model year the dash mounted switch pod gains toggles for the two rear windows in addition to the front. A storage bin that resides under the passenger seat arrives. PT is offered in one interior color combo: Dark Taupe over Light Pearl Beige. A more complete overview of the 2001 model year can now be found on this pageColor options: Bright Silver Metallic, Shale Green Metallic*, Deep Cranberry Pearl*, Patriot Blue Pearl*, Taupe Frost Metallic, Aquamarine Metallic*, Inferno Red Tinted Pearl*, Black, Stone white.
Asterisks denote body color instrument panels are supplied with this color.
2002
Dream Cruiser Series 1 feeds the PT customization craze. Production 'flames' and a woody trim package are available, as is a chrome trim package. In response to customer feedback, the front passenger now gets a fold down armrest just like the driver and the rear seat headrests are made smaller to improve the view out back. Otherwise, Chrysler chooses to leave well enough alone as PT Mania is still strong.  Color changes: Add Light Almond Pearl, Steel Blue Pearl*. Delete Shale Green*, Aquamarine*.
2003
The first significant content changes. The PT Turbo, featuring 215 hp, arrives. Bumpers are now body colored on Touring, Limited and Turbo models. The drivers' seatback pocket changes to a cloth one instead of the netting; entire seatback now cloth. Cars with automatic transmissions get a white 'cue ball' shifter similar to the manual. PT shoppers finally get another interior color choice to choose from: Dark Slate Gray. There are deletions as well: Folding/heated exterior mirrors, cargo net, fold forward front seat headrests, passenger front door keyhole, and the passenger side seatback netted pocket. The Dream Cruiser Series 2 carries on the tradition.  Color changes: Add Onyx Green Pearl*, Electric Blue Pearl*, Delete Taupe Frost.
2004
The PT Turbo goes to 220 hp and is renamed the GT, an homage to the concept 'GT Cruiser' that debuted the turbo PT idea. A 180 hp turbo is introduced. This is the last year  the "touring suspension" is available on the Touring model. Base models get body colored bumpers. Lights for the power lock and rear power window switches are dropped. This also is the last year for the original "Inferno Red" color (at right).  Dream Cruiser Series 3 wraps up the series as employed on the Sedan. Color changes: Significant changes this year: Add Bright Seamist Green Pearl*, Dark Plum Pearl*, Midnight Blue Pearl*. Cool Vanilla, Graphite Metallic. Delete Steel Blue*, Patriot Blue*, Deep Cranberry*, Onyx Green Pearl*, Stone White.
2005
The PT Convertible debuts and is used as the base for Dream Cruiser Series 4. On the original PT, now defined as the Sedan, the tailgate hatch is changed to a one piece design from a mechanical latch. On models equipped with keyless entry, there is a pressure switch on the underside of the Chrysler badge that releases the lock. Otherwise, the hatch is released via the key cylinder. The shifter ball changes from white to interior body color. The lever to adjust the tilt wheel is new, with a larger grip area. Prices are cut almost $4,000 by diluting standard equipment levels.  For 2005, the trim names stayed the same, but there were significant content changes:
Base: Lost the CD player, lost the package shelf, may options are now not available. A/C optional.
Touring Edition: Is now, essentially, an expanded base model. Base suspension and 15" steel wheels with bolt on covers. Standard list is larger, available options list is longer than the Base model. However, not really equivalent to a 2004 Touring Edition (the foglights and alarm system are deleted). In an earlier time a loaded version would've been referred to as "Nicely Equipped" and probably identified as a Highline.
Limited Edition: There are in reality two Limited Editions. The "typical" one, with the leather seats, is only available with the 180 hp turbo motor, and is essentially the same as previous iterations. The 'new' Limited Edition is closer to what the Touring Edition has classically been: cloth seats (though a different cloth than
Base/Touring), standard 2.4L motor, chrome/aluminum 16" wheels, security system, and the like.

This represents a market shift for the PT; with the lower standard equipment level, it's now positioned as a 'small car alternative'. This is the last year for the 'Classic' PT Cruiser: next year brings a styling refresh. 
 Color changes: Add Linen Gold Metallic, Inferno Red Crystal Pearl*. Delete Graphite Metallic, Light Almond, Bright Seamist Green Pearl*, Inferno Red Tinted Pearl*.
2006
For 2006, the PT will undergo it's first visual update: a new front fascia, tweaked lighting front and rear See a pictorial comparison.  Gone are the two tone and woody options; the chrome package remains. The interior is redesigned but familiar, with a new center stack based on that in the 300/Magnum/Charger the most prominent change as it adopts the current Chrysler 'corporate' brushed aluminum look. A high point of the new interior is the analog clock that sits above the window switches, which are familiar in layout but fall a bit short in feel.  The vents are still round but of a more traditional sort; the feel is a bit less substantive here as well. The gauge cluster is similar in layout, but the gauges themselves are larger, the typeface is more elegant, and the expanded EVIC system moves from the overhead console to here. HVAC knobs go from four to three and move below the radio. The 'rubber' coin holder is swapped out for one strangely reminiscent of the one used in the first generation Neon. The door panels gain a longer armrest. On the passenger side of the dash a controversial 'handle bar' has been added, ostensibly to assist entry. It's beefy and grippy, but seems oddly out of place in a retro vehicle. The individual seat mounted folding armrests are jettisoned in favor of a console style unit.  Advantages to this are more (and hidden) storage, as the console includes two separate levels of compartments, flip out rear cup holders, and a padded lid for comfort. On the flip side it seems a bit less adept at actually being an armrest, despite the sliding feature of the console - and of course it doesn't get out of the way if you fold down the passenger seat to accept long objects. The two cupholders up front are familiar, and there's still the center one just behind the shifter. A small cubby lies between the cupholder and the two tier console unit. The two way only power seat feature turns into the more traditional  six way power seat option, though still only for the driver and without a memory feature. The seats themselves seem to be comfortable. Headrests up front have a hole in them now, and are vinyl front and rear regardless of seat cover material. Raise the hatch and all looks familiar, except the rear speakers move from the D pillar to the rear doors, and four speakers are standard as opposed to six.
 Overall the look is much in line with the 300; squared off edges abound.  Interior colors are Pastel Slate Gray on Base models, with Pastel Pebble Beige being an option on the higher trim levels. Hi-po turbo goes to 230 hp. NVH has been lessened dramatically. However, the decontented 'value approach' begun in 2005 continues for the most part (Touring models have gained back the security alarm and the light group). The Dream Cruiser is retired; replaced by the Street Cruiser series; the Route 66 edition in Solar Yellow marks the debut of this new Series.  Production started 6/20/05. Color changes: Add Marine Blue Pearl*, Magnesium Pearl*. Delete Dark Plum Pearl*, Midnight Blue Pearl*.  See more at PTCruizer.com   
2007
Not unexpectedly, the changes for 2007 are expected to be slight given the 2006 facelift. According to PT Cruizer.com, the new YES Essentials stain resistant fabric will be available on the Touring Edition and standard on the Limited Edition G package. Keyless entry with interior illumination will become standard across the line. The electronic liftgate switch becomes standard.  For the first time, the badging is tinkered with. The 'PT Cruiser' lettering on the door is gone, replaced by the same lettering on the lower left of the hatch, where the "Edition" lettering once lived. The model designation has moved to the other side of the hatch.  The Street Cruiser series continues with the Street Cruiser Pacific Coast Highway Edition in Ocean Blue, based on the Touring as was the Rte. 66 Edition.
Color changes: Add Opal Metallic*, Pastel Yellow*, Tangerine Pearl*. Delete: Electric Blue Pearl*, Linen Gold, Magnesium Pearl*
2008
Content gets reshuffled for 2008, and the color palette receives quite a makeover. The "Edition" tag on the Limited and Touring models disappears as you can see in the image. The base model has been renamed the LX for 2008, and there's no sign of the GT model or its 230 hp engine. The 180 hp turbo is accounted for, and indeed it is standard equipment on the Limited model. The 5spd manual is only available on the LX. The turbo is now optional on the Touring Edition, however the chrome bars on the grille are gone from Touring, LX and Convertibles, available only on the Limited. Side airbags are standard. Touring models now have the wheels on last year's Limited models, and the Limited receives the wheels (and some interior bits) from the departed GT. Only a base model convertible is available, though the 180 hp turbo is still available, as is a manual transmission.  On all models the HVAC knobs go from silver to black - the color used on other models implementing these knobs. Chrysler is sending all the usual signals that the  unique PT Cruiser  is nearing the end of its run - indeed the Convertible does not last through the 2008 model year. The Sunset Boulevard Cruiser carrys on the Street Cruiser series - this time based on the LX (base) model and extremely limited to 500 examples. It is possible that this is the last year for the PT, but it may live on to 2009.
Color changes: Add Deep Water Blue Pearl, Melbourne Green, Silver Steel Metallic, Stone White, Surf Blue Pearl. Delete Opal Metallic*, Pastel Yellow*, Tangerine Pearl*, Marine Blue Pearl* 
2009
For enthusiasts, probably the most interesting thing about the 2009 model year is that the Dream Cruiser returns for the first time since the 2005 modelyear. Since the convertible is gone, it is based on the sedan and also marks the return of the turbocharged engine to the special edition lineup.  In fact, other than the Limited, this is the only place the remaining turbo will be found this year, as Chrysler continues to streamline option availability in what will likely be the last year for the PT. A/C will be standard across the board. Badging is tinkered with again, with "2.4 turbo" making way for "2.4T" on vehicles with that option. 2009 was originally to be the final year for the PT Cruiser, but Fiat issued a stay of execution, so it looks like one more year.    Color changes: Add: Bright White. Delete: Cool Vanilla
2010
The production year that wasn't supposed to be. Apparently there are a lot of leftover parts, enough to continue production through July 9 2010. A good number of these may be sent to South America, though that is unconfirmed. Fiat also is reported to want to bring Fiat 500 production to the Toluca plant that produces PTs, but these things take time. PTs are cheap to produce at this point, so rather than idle the plant they opted to continue producing PT Cruisers. For 2010 the PT is streamlined to one model: the Classic. 4spd auto, 4 wheel disc ABS brakes, 16" aluminum wheels, tinted glass, and the interior/exterior chrome accents (including a return of the bright HVAC knobs) found previously on Limiteds are all standard at a base price starting at 18K. You can add sunroof and upgraded seating (stain repelling cloth, six way power drivers seat, fold flat front passenger seat and heated front seats). The body color dash panels that were a hallmark of the PT (with certain colors) have also been streamlined to only silver inserts and leather seats are a memory. Overall though, it's a nice package. 

 From the heady days of long lines for test drives and six month waits, through the special Woody editions, the various Dream and Street Cruisers, the Turbos and Convertible, the PT Cruiser has been an attention getter since it was first brought to light in 1999. The PT goes out having sold well over a million copies, so you'll be seeing PT's out there for some time to come. 
Color changes:  Delete: Bright white, Melbourne Green, Surf Blue Pearl




6/24/05, a PT joins the clan!

Meet Plummer (Click on him for more pictures):

Plummer is a
2005 Touring Edition in Dark Plum Pearl Coat, with Dark Slate Gray interior.

Plummer1




New, 11/10/05. another PT joins the clan!

Meet Little Devil (click here or on the below pic, for more):

Little Devil is a
2004 Limited Edition in Inferno Red Tinted Pearl Coat, with Dark Taupe interior.




Hatchlatch


Above - The new for 2005 one piece hatch release with pressure release switch

Stay tuned for work to be done on the rest of this page, which is admittedly a *bit* old :)


It's available!

Photo at left from Car-Truck.com; Photo above from USA Today.

Yup, this is pretty much it....


 Read My Initial Review!

2001 Cruiser archival information


 Tracking your PT Cruiser! 
PTCruizer.com has a great page that will assist you in finding where your PT is on it's journey
PT Tracker will aid you in learning how far along the production has gone...if your dealer has signed up with them...
A concept drawing of the PT interior.*

Photos from the 1999 Detroit Auto Show, where the PT Concept (in gold) first appeared


Three more auto show pics:






The very handy hatchback; showing the tailgate shelf; and a PT postcard.

PT Links

  Please check out the front door ; there's a lot more to see :) Thanks...

.....This site is in no way affiliated with DaimlerChrysler or Mopar. It is simply one fans' views......

Last updated 7/3/10
Home - ComputerNeon - PT Cruiser - Granian - The Strange Page - Funny Stuff - Music -  Webb Wilder - Cryptic Void - Bandroom - TNT - Email  About