Going to keep this short and sweet. Through a confluence of events I’ve hinted at through the ownership of my ’89 Chevy and ’09 Subaru… I wound up owning a 2001 Chrysler PT Cruiser for a short time.
For all the grief this vehicle got, it was one of the best selling and most reliable Chrysler’s ever built. DaimlerChrysler milked this thing for all it was worth. It had plenty of storage space, adequate power, and handled like a Neon (read: not awful).
Even without regular maintenance until I took over caring for it, the thing started every time we turned the key. At around 120k, I installed a new timing belt, water pump, plugs, wires, valve cover gasket, etc… Oil changes, transmission services, regular maintenance the car just worked.
The only defects I hit towards the end of its life – the A/C condenser failed, the ABS failed due to some sort of ring falling off the CV joint, and one of the rear brake mounts snapped because someone (me) attempted a J-Turn.
More than once I found myself pulling all the seats out to stuff an obscene amount of cargo into it…. Would I have bought one on my own? Probably not. For a small family with limited funds though? You couldn’t ask for something better or more affordable at the time.