The oddball, yet iconic design
Perhaps the first thing that we need to address is the iconoclastic design of the 2006 PT Cruiser. The car’s distinctive neo-retro design language is so good that buyers flocked to buy the car when it debuted. Each and every angle you look at the car, you will get that emotive feeling that you are looking at something different. This iconic design is the reason why it has become a fan favorite.
The 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser is a car that continues to build on its strengths and for this year, the car has a redesigned front and rear, along with a new wheel design. The car still has the 40s look, with its protruding nose, dual-beam headlights, and teardrop-shaped taillights.
The horizontal grille stands prominently and you can tell the car’s hood and design language are heavily borrowed from earlier Chrysler models. The back swoops up instead of going down and gives the car a wider and taller section in the rear. Despite the proportions, the car is relatively compact.
The 2006 PT Cruiser problems with design can be surmised with something as simple as the height of the car. The problems are just nitpicking and the iconic design can often be polarizing to people.
There is a distinct difference in the design between the convertible and the sedan. The convertible is lower, comes with two doors, despite which the car is still the same length as the sedan. The windscreen is slightly more raked, the A-pillar design is different, and best of all, with the top down the 2006 PT Cruiser convertible looks like a really cool modified car.
Space in a small car
While the exterior of the car represents a vision and is a matter of tastes and distastes, the interiors of the 2006 PT Cruiser are a completely different story. The car’s cabin is simply masterful. The dashboard’s symmetry, classic gauges, and body-color panels lend the car a retro feel.
The car does use a lot of hard plastics but a soft-touch finish has been applied to disguise its usage. You can also opt for a leather or suede finish on the car’s various parts to get a more up-market feel. The wagon variant is better for space and cargo; however, we think the differences are minor. The seats are configurable and you will have no problems fitting in cargo.
The car can easily accommodate taller passengers and in fact, it may do so to the dismay of shorter passengers. They may not like the flat seating and the elevated driving position. There is plenty of headroom and legroom in the back, and the seats are at a higher position than the front. The positioning gives the car a kind of theatre-esque seating experience, adults will feel at ease with the view. The quality of materials and the space all help prolong the 2006 PT Cruiser life expectancy.
The seats are removable and can also be adjusted to configure it multiple ways. The customizability gives you plenty of cargo real estate. You can customize the car in 65 different ways as per Chrysler.
Engine: The Turbo option
The 2006 PT Cruiser is a fun car to drive. You should know that there are two engine options. The 2.4-liter engine churns out a respectable 150 bhp and has a max torque output of 165 lb-ft. These numbers make the car a peppy ride.
It gets a decent 0-60 time of 8.5 seconds and it can do the quarter-mile in just about 16.7 seconds. There are two transmission options, a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic. The manual is precise and handles the shifts accurately, very sports car-esque but not quite. It also manages to get the best out of the car when cruising.
The real standout option is the engine available on the Limited Sedan and the Touring Convertible. The engine is turbocharged and can churn out 180 bhp and 210 lb-ft of torque. Here the automatic transmission works great. The GT cruiser has an even better engine, capable of producing 230 bhp and 245 lb-ft of torque.
This is the engine you want to choose if your idea is to make the car sound like a hot rod. The 2006 PT Cruiser reviews suggest that the cruiser handles more like a sedan than a cruiser and even the GT model handles more like a sports sedan. The car is a cruiser through and through, you do not have to worry about trivial things like maneuverability or how it handles turns, a fun drive is guaranteed.
Features and trims
2006 PT Cruiser comes with most of the amenities. You get AC, CD stereo, power locks and mirrors, and a folding top for the convertible. On the touring model, you get fog lights, compass, keyless entry, 16-inch alloy wheels, and a touring suspension. The Limited trim fetches you upgraded seats, side airbags, and cruise control. If you get the GT version, you will get 17-inch wheels, leather seats, tuned suspension, and exhaust. The car can be customized as per your needs and despite the retro look, you will not feel a lack of modernity in the cabin.
The 2006 PT Cruiser comes with optional ABS and side airbags; however, we recommend you get it. The NHTSA gives the car four stars, in both frontal and side impacts. The size and sturdiness mean that you won’t have major issues when it comes to safety.
The 2006 PT Cruiser is an enigmatic car. The design is simply brilliant. It is so polarizing that those that love the retro look will be ardent fans, and those that are dismayed by the looks will not like it. However, it is clear the car is not out there to please each and every person. The 2006 PT Cruiser is an earnest attempt at bringing something fresh into the world of automobiles. The car is plenty spacious and the interiors are remarkably good. You get mediocre performance but the car’s design and space are worthy distractions.