Tuesday, September 25, 2007

2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser Review

Although the 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser is a carry over from 2007 -- in fact the Cruiser line hasn't been significantly updated since its introduction in 2000 -- the sporty little four-doors with room for five have become something of a cultural icon, sporting custom paint jobs from flames to racing stripes. For the coming model year the PT Cruiser carries an MSRP range of $15,015 to $22,660 and promises to be as much fun as ever.

Available in three trim levels (Base, Touring and Cruiser Limited), all the Cruisers are powered by a 2.4-liter I4 producing 150 horsepower (180 on the Limited which has a turbo engine.) The Cruiser gets around 18 mpg city to a maximum 26 out on the highway for the base model. The standard transmission is a five-speed manual (with overdrive), but a four-speed with overdrive is an option.

You're going to get all the standards in terms of safety and engine tech. Cruisers have a full array of airbags front and back including side protection. The front brakes are ventilated discs with drums to the rear. Anti-lock brakes can be added. A standard AM/FM/CD combo with four speakers is included with an upgrade to a Boston Acoustics system an option as is Sirius Satellite Radio.

New for 2008 is the Sunset Boulevard Edition painted in "Sunset Crystal," a deep maroon offset by slightly more chrome than the regular Cruiser. The SBE features a moonroof and 16-inch wheels and is powered by the line's basic four-cylinder engine producing 150 horsepower. The manual transmission version sells for $16,010 with the automatic version adding $825, putting the SBE at about $1,000 over the basic Cruiser. Only 500 units will be produced.

And don't forget, there's also a 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser convertible available starting at $20,605 and moving up to $29,825 when you start adding the bells and whistles.

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