GoAutoLogo
MENU

Car reviews - Chrysler - PT Cruiser - Cabrio range

Launch Story

Chrysler logo19 Jun 2006

By MARTON PETTENDY

SOMETIMES things just do not translate. Take the PT Cruiser, which has been on sale here since 2000.

In its homeland of the U S of A, the wildly designed retro machine was well received as an attractive, yet functional, hatch in the Chrysler line-up.

The curvy 1940s-style body with a hugely practical interior carried over to an interesting interior theme of faux polished dash and cue-ball shifter.

Around town the PT experienced a similar visual impact to the New Beetle. People stopped and stared.

But the Chrysler was let down by a small, front-wheel drive 2.0-litre four-cylinder when it looked – and everyone expected – at least a V6.

Less than 6000 examples have hit Australian roads since its launch but the PT has grudgingly massaged its way into our consciousness across a very conservative buyer landscape.

Now Chrysler may have something to crow about, delivering cool in the form of the PT Cruiser cabrio, a sleek soft-top, three-door boulevard cruiser that will be available in Touring and Limited variants.

A four-seater, the soft-top PT Cruiser is perhaps the car Chrysler should have done in the first place, utilising the retro theme to its best effect.

Based on the Chrysler PT show car revealed at the 2001 Paris motor show, the Cruiser cabrio gets a sleek black convertible hood that is 65mm lower than the hatch.

The cabrio borrows much from the hatch, sharing the same wheelbase and front and rear tracks, while the doors are 185mm longer to provide a purposeful silhouette for the two-door shape.

Suspension carries over too, with MacPherson struts up front and coil springs supporting a twist-beam layout with Watt’s linkage at the rear.

Chrysler Australia managing director, Gerry Jenkins, said few other cabrios could rival the PT cabrio for its combination of looks, practicality and value.

"Ever since the PT Cruiser hatch was launched there has been consistently strong demand for the one-of-a-kind cruiser and now the cabrio expands its appeal."

Designed as a soft-top from the ground up, the PT cabrio’s B-pillar mounted rollover bar is not only designed for safety but also to deflect air over the rear-seat passengers.

Chrysler claims the cabrio is one of the quietest open-top tourers around with a three-layer, cloth top and "smart glass" side windows that also reduce road noise when the top is up.

A new windscreen frame masks the leading edge of the folding roof to further reduce wind noise.

The roof, which has a single roof-mounted D-ring release, can be lowered or raised in 10 seconds and when folded can be covered with a soft tonneau cover.

A high-pressure hydraulic pump mounted behind the rear seats powers the roof’s folding mechanism.

The car’s exterior shares the new look adopted by the hatch, including smooth front-end and grille, the adoption of the Chrysler winged badge and restyled headlights and foglights.

Inside the functionality carries over to a flip/fold front passenger seat and twin 50/50-split folding rear seats for load-through capability.

The cabrio Touring and Limited are powered by the same 2.4-litre four-cylinder as the hatch.

The 2.4-litre develops 105kW at 5200rpm and 214Nm at 4000rpm, providing a zero to 100km/h time of 10.3 seconds and top speed (manual) of 195km/h.

Standard equipment runs to dual front and side airbags, anti-lock brakes, immobiliser, 16-inch alloys, electronic vehicle information centre, cruise control, air-conditioning, electric windows/mirrors, electric driver’s seat, fold-flat front passenger seat and single in-dash six-speaker CD stereo.

The Limited adds 16-inch chrome-finished alloys, heated leather and suede seats, leather steering wheel, chrome door locks and gear knob, and a bright chrome finished exhaust.

Pricing starts at $35,890 for the Touring, a $5900 premium over the entry-level hatch Classic.

This compares well to that other retro machine, Volkswagen’s VW Beetle Cabrio 2.0-litre, which is priced at $36,990.

The PT cabrio is only eclipsed in price by the far smaller Peugeot 206CC, which is $32,990 for the base 1.6-litre.

Other cars in the PT’s sights are the Holden Astra 2.2 cabrio, Peugeot's 307CC and the Renault Megane cabrio, all of which are considerably more expensive.

Chrysler claims the Cruiser cabrio is the most affordable four-seater in the segment.

The company expects to find 250 buyers eager for the cabrio experience through the rest of 2006, bringing to 1200 the total PT sales expected for the year.

It expects 70 per cent to be automatics with 65 per cent Touring models.

Chrysler spokesman, Simon Johnson, said the arrival of the cabrio right in the middle of winter would help generate awareness as customers started to think about summer.

Share with your friends

Enquire on or Test Drive a New PT Cruiser

Customer Terms and Conditions – New Car Lead enquires

Agreement

This is an agreement between GoAutoMedia Pty Limited ACN 094 732 457 of PO Box 18, Beach Road, Sandringham, VIC, 3191 (“we/us”), the owner and operator of the GoAuto.com.au website (“the website”) and the person wanting GoAuto.com.au to provide them with a lead for the purchase of a new car (“you”).

By completing a New Car Lead Enquiry, you agree to the terms and conditions and disclaimers and acknowledge the policies set out below.

Terms and Conditions

  • In order for us to effect a lead you must you must complete a New Car Lead Enquiry (“Enquiry”).
  • We will call you as soon as possible after you complete the Enquiry and certainly no later than the next business day. When we call, we will discuss with you your new car requirements.
  • You consent to our passing on the Enquiry and your requirements to an appropriate authorised motor car dealer as a lead.
  • We will contact you again in approximately eight days following your initial enquiry to check on the progress of the Enquiry.
  • While we will provide the dealer with the Enquiry and details of your new car requirements, we take no responsibility for what happens after passing on that material as a lead.
  • You acknowledge that we are a new car information service providing new car editorial information, pictures and prices to our customers as a guide only. Any new car prices published on the website are the manufacturers’ recommended retail prices and do not include delivery charges and on-road costs. Any authorized motor car dealer to which we pass on your Enquiry as a lead will provide you with full details of the price at which the vehicle will be sold to you.
  • You acknowledge that we do not sell motor vehicles. Any sale of a new car to you by a dealer after we have passed on your Enquiry to that dealer as a lead, is a sale by that dealer not by us.

Privacy Policy– New Car Lead Enquires

  • We take privacy very seriously. We understand that you will only complete an Enquiry if you can trust us to protect your personal information and use it appropriately. Our policy is to ensure that the personal information collected when you make an Enquiry is only used for the purposes of connecting you with an authorised motor car dealer.
  • We do not on-sell information collected from you or any other customer.
  • From time to time, we may email you with information or promotions that may be relevant for car buyers. You will continue to receive communications from us unless you tell us that you do not want to receive any advertising or promotional information in the future by unsubscribing from these communications.
close
* Denotes required field
** Australian inquiries only
*** Prices exclude on road costs and dealer delivery fees

Motor industry news

GoAutoNews is Australia’s number one automotive industry journal covering the latest news, future and new model releases, market trends, industry personnel movements, and international events.