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2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser

2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser

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$1,257 — $6,865 USED
7
Photos
Sport Utility
5 Seats
24-25 MPG
(Combined)
Key specs of the base trim
 — 
Compare 4 trims

Overview

Is this the car for you?

The Good

  • Visual appeal
  • Fun and easy to drive
  • Maneuverability
  • Ride comfort
  • Performance of GT

The Bad

  • Performance in non-turbo model with automatic
  • Body lean

What to Know

about the 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser
  • Unabashed retro styling
  • Two turbocharged engines
  • Manual or automatic
  • Versatile interior layout
  • Available convertible for 2005

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2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser Review

from the Cars.com expert editorial team

Vehicle Overview
Chrysler’s retro-looking PT Cruiser wagon became available in 2003 with a turbocharged engine, which addressed some complaints about the PT Cruiser being underpowered. Operating with a 14-psi boost, the GT model’s high-output turbocharged engine produces 220 horsepower and 245 pounds-feet of torque.

Available in Touring and Limited models, a lower-priced 180-hp turbocharged engine went on sale for the 2004 model year. The Cruiser’s non-turbocharged engine makes 150 hp. Sirius Satellite Radio and a liftgate-mounted spoiler are available on the new models. The Chrome Accent Group has been expanded this year.

The potent PT Cruiser GT has a larger, lower grille opening for its air-to-air intercooler. Additional features include a large-diameter chrome exhaust tip, all-disc antilock brakes with traction control and all-season performance tires on 17-inch chromed-aluminum wheels. Performance seats, silver cluster gauges and a satin silver gearshift knob are featured.

According to Chrysler, the front-wheel-drive PT Cruiser melds the elements of a sedan, wagon, sport utility vehicle and minivan. A PT Cruiser Convertible went on sale in spring 2004 as a 2005 model.

Exterior
The PT Cruiser vaguely resembles fastback-panel trucks of the 1930s, overlaid with street-rod styling from the 1950s. Bulging fenders, fender-mounted headlights and taillights, and a tall, wide eggcrate grille help give this vehicle its unique look. Another distinctive feature is its basic stance, wh...

Vehicle Overview
Chrysler’s retro-looking PT Cruiser wagon became available in 2003 with a turbocharged engine, which addressed some complaints about the PT Cruiser being underpowered. Operating with a 14-psi boost, the GT model’s high-output turbocharged engine produces 220 horsepower and 245 pounds-feet of torque.

Available in Touring and Limited models, a lower-priced 180-hp turbocharged engine went on sale for the 2004 model year. The Cruiser’s non-turbocharged engine makes 150 hp. Sirius Satellite Radio and a liftgate-mounted spoiler are available on the new models. The Chrome Accent Group has been expanded this year.

The potent PT Cruiser GT has a larger, lower grille opening for its air-to-air intercooler. Additional features include a large-diameter chrome exhaust tip, all-disc antilock brakes with traction control and all-season performance tires on 17-inch chromed-aluminum wheels. Performance seats, silver cluster gauges and a satin silver gearshift knob are featured.

According to Chrysler, the front-wheel-drive PT Cruiser melds the elements of a sedan, wagon, sport utility vehicle and minivan. A PT Cruiser Convertible went on sale in spring 2004 as a 2005 model.

Exterior
The PT Cruiser vaguely resembles fastback-panel trucks of the 1930s, overlaid with street-rod styling from the 1950s. Bulging fenders, fender-mounted headlights and taillights, and a tall, wide eggcrate grille help give this vehicle its unique look. Another distinctive feature is its basic stance, which makes the wagon look like it’s leaning forward. Built on a 103-inch wheelbase, the PT Cruiser is 168.8 inches long overall and 63 inches tall.

Interior
Five people fit in the PT Cruiser’s versatile interior. Two bucket seats are installed up front and a 65/35-split, folding rear bench holds three. Outboard passengers have adequate space, but the center rear position is cramped.

The rear seatbacks lay flat, and the entire backseat tilts forward. Removing the rear seat expands cargo volume from a moderate 21.9 cubic feet to a sizable 64.2 cubic feet. The front-passenger seatback also folds flat when desired, leaving enough space to haul an 8-foot ladder.

Under the Hood
The base 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine produces 150 hp, compared to either 180 hp or 220 hp for the two turbocharged models. Each engine mates with either a four-speed-automatic or five-speed-manual transmission. The automatic in the 220-hp PT Cruiser GT incorporates AutoStick manual gear selection.

Safety
Antilock brakes are standard on the GT model and optional on other trim levels. Side-impact airbags for the front seats are standard in the Limited Edition and optional in the other models.

Driving Impressions
Only a few cars make a visual statement that’s as strong as the PT Cruiser’s proclamation. Imaginative and distinctive styling may be the main attraction, but the PT Cruiser’s roomy and flexible interior keeps buyers interested.

Though the original PT Cruiser is far from overpowering, its performance is more satisfying than some critics suggest. Its throttle response is rapid, even if the action that follows is a little lackadaisical. As expected, the high-output turbocharged GT delivers some welcome extra energy.

The PT Cruiser’s terrific handling is confident and nimble. The wagon maneuvers with utter crispness and can take corners with impressive dispatch. Body lean in curves is moderate, and the stable PT Cruiser is exceptionally easy to drive. It seldom encounters a truly troublesome bump or hole.

Consumer Reviews

What drivers are saying

4.3
51 reviews — Read All reviews
Exterior Styling
(4.6)
Performance
(3.9)
Interior Design
(4.2)
Comfort
(4.5)
Reliability
(3.8)
Value For The Money
(4.2)

Read reviews that mention:

(3.0)

Good car for the price, you get what you pay for.

by Cleo E from Pueblo, Colorado on October 7, 2020

Pt Cruisers are known to have problems just like any other Chrysler product. But my Pt Crusier has over 197,000 miles and gets me to point A to B. It is a cheap little car, so I can’t hate that it has... Read full review

(5.0)

It has been a great car overall

by Alan from WHITEWATER on August 7, 2020

My wife still loves it!! She doesn't drive it more than once a month anymore. She finally agreed we don't need it. Now I have drive her to the Beauty Parlor once a month!!! Read full review

Safety

Recalls and crash tests

Recalls

The 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser currently has 3 recalls


Crash and Rollover Test Ratings

The 2004 Chrysler PT Cruiser has not been tested.

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Cars.com Car Seat Check

Certified child passenger safety technicians conduct hands-on tests of a car’s Latch system and check the vehicle’s ability to accommodate different types of car seats. The PT Cruiser received the following grades on a scale of A-F.*
* This score may not apply to all trims, especially for vehicles with multiple body styles that affect the space and design of the seating.

Warranty FAQs

What is a Bumper-to-Bumper warranty?

Often called a basic warranty or new-vehicle warranty, a bumper-to-bumper policy covers components like air conditioning, audio systems, vehicle sensors, fuel systems and major electrical components. Most policies exclude regular maintenance like fluid top offs and oil changes, but a few brands have separate free-maintenance provisions, and those that do offer them is slowly rising. Bumper-to-bumper warranties typically expire faster than powertrain warranties.

What is a Powertrain warranty?

Don't be misled a 10-year or 100,000-mile powertrain warranty doesn't promise a decade of free repairs for your car. It typically covers just the engine and transmission, along with any other moving parts that lead to the wheels, like the driveshaft and constant velocity joints. Some automakers also bundle seat belts and airbags into their powertrain warranties. With a few exceptions, powertrain warranties don't cover regular maintenance like engine tuneups and tire rotations.

What is included in Roadside Assistance?

Some automakers include roadside assistance with their bumper-to-bumper or powertrain warranties, while others have separate policies. These programs cover anything from flat-tire changes and locksmith services to jump-starts and towing. Few reimburse incidental costs like motel rooms (if you have to wait for repairs).

What other services could be included in a warranty?

Some automakers include free scheduled maintenance for items such as oil changes, air filters and tire rotations. Some include consumables including brake pads and windshield wipers; others do not. They are typically for the first couple of years of ownership of a new car.

What does CPO mean?

A certified pre-owned or CPO car has been inspected to meet minimum quality standards and typically includes some type of warranty. While dealers and third parties certify cars, the gold standard is an automaker-certified vehicle that provides a factory-backed warranty, often extending the original coverage. Vehicles must be in excellent condition and have low miles and wear to be certified, which is why off-lease vehicles feed many CPO programs.

See also the latest CPO incentives by automaker

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