Specifications of the Chrysler PT Cruiser

North American versions started out with a 2.4 liter DOHC engine with either a four speed automatic or manual transmission. International markets will get a diesel and 2.0 DOHC engine option.

All PT Cruisers are made in Toluca, Mexico and Graz, Austria.

PT Cruiser Competitive Comparisons

2002 Suzuki Aerio SX 2002 Ford Focus 4dr HB ZX5 2002 Mazda Protégé 5 4dr HB 2003 Toyota Matrix XR 2003 Chrysler PT Cruiser 2003 Dodge Neon SE
Base price including freight 15,999 17170 17,875 17,465 17,185 13,110
Price after Sept 2002 rebates 15,999 (0%) 15170 (0%) 17875 17465 16185 (0%) 11,110 (0%)
Gas mileage (manual) 27/33 25/33 25/31 25/30 20/26 28/34
horsepower 141@5700 130@5300 130@6000 130@6000 150@5600 132@5600
torque (lb.-f.t) 135@3000 135@4500 135@4000 125@4200 162@4000 130@4600


type front disc rear drum front disc rear drum 4 wheel disc front disc rear drum 4 wheel disc front disc rear drum
abs standard option option option option with traction control option
Weight (manual transmission) 2,668 2,600 2,716 2,701 3,108 2,645


Front legroom 41.4 43.1 42.2 41.8
Rear legroom 35.2 37.6 35.4 36.3 40.9 34.8
Front Headroom 40.6 38.7 39.3 40.6 40.4 38.4
Rear Headroom 39 38.5 37.4 39.8 39.6 36.7
Passenger Volume (cubic feet) 103.6 93.86 92.66 96.2 107 90
Cargo Volume (seats folded) 63.7 n.a. n.a. 53.2 n.a. n.a.
Exterior Length 166.5 168.1 170.5 171.3 168.8 174.4
Exterior Width 67.7 66.9 67.1 69.9 67.1 67.4
Exterior Height 60.8 56.3 57.8 60.6 63.0 56
Wheelbase 97.6 103 102.8 102.4 103 105


Bumper to Bumper 3/36 3/36 3/50 3/36 3/36 3/36
Powertrain 7/100 5/50 7/70 7/70

The engine is a revised version of the standard Chrysler 2.4 liter used in base minivans. Revisions include tuning of the cylinder head, pistons, camshaft, intake manifold, fuel metering, and air induction system. Unlike the Neon, the PT Cruiser should have an electronic automatic transmission; a five speed should also be available, which would be the better choice given the power to weight ratio. Finally, a five speed minivan again!

Engine 2.4 liter DOHC (with or without turbo)
Transaxle 5 speed manual; 4 speed auto
Overall Length: 168.8 inches 4288.5 mm
Overall Width: 67.1 inches 1704.9 mm
Overall Height: 63.0 inches 1601.3 mm
Wheelbase: 103.0 inches 2616.7 mm
Track (F/R): 58.3 / 58.2 inches 1481 / 1478 mm
Interior Volume (EPA): 119.8 cu. ft. 3.39 cu. m
Towing 1,000 lb
Cargo Volume (EPA): 18.3 cu.ft. .52 cu. m

Engine Specs

Non-turbocharged: 150 hp @ 5,600, 162 lb-ft @ 4,000 (click here for turbo)

Bore and Stroke - 3.44" X 3.98"

Fuel Delivery System: Sequential Multipoint Fuel Injection

Compression Ratio - 9.5:1

The engine uses balance shafts to reduce vibration, as the 2.5 liter engine did before it.

Revisions include:

Cylinder head. Reshaped ports and redesigned cooling passages, reduced exhaust valve diameters to increase cooling of the spark plugs and exhaust valve seats.

Pistons. New aluminum alloy pistons have a new crown configuration to improve charge motion for improved idle stability.

Camshafts. A redesigned exhaust cam optimizes performance and idle quality in conjunction with the redesigned exhaust ports and valves in the cylinder head.

Intake Manifold. Refined manifold runner and plenum configurations help provide a broad torque curve with abundant low-speed torque. The intake manifold configuration also helps minimize low-speed wide-open throttle induction noise (called rumble). Ribs molded into the top surface of the manifold provide rigidity and minimize radiated engine noise.

As usual, returnless sequential fuel injection isi used, though the fuel pressure was increased to 58 psi for better warm weather driveability. A larger air cleaner reduces resistance, while a tuning chamber lowers noise.

A Double Start Override feature prevents starter operation when the engine is running and automatically disengages the starter when the engine reaches operating speed to prevent excessive overrun. The alternator charging rate, fuel injection rate, and spark advance, which vary with temperature, are computer controlled. An electronic engine idle speed control provides a low nominal idle speed.

The manual transmission includes a gear brake for reverse, so it is easier to shift into that gear. Other changes were made to increase durability of the gears and clutch. The self-adjusting mechanism maintains a consistent clutch spring orientation as the disc wears, where the spring orientation changed with prior mechanisms. Hydraulic clutch actuation provides pedal isolation from power train vibration and noise and provides a positive feel.

The cable operated transmission has a 3-plane shifter and these gear ratios:

1st - 3.50
2nd - 1.96
3rd - 1.36
4th - 0.971
5th - 0.811
Reverse - 3.42
Final Drive - 3.94
Overall Top-Gear - 3.20

For the four speed automatic:

1st - 2.84
2nd - 1.57
3rd - 1.00
4th - 0.69
Effective Final Drive - 3.910
Overall Top Gear - 2.694

Suspension systems

The MacPherson strut front suspension features a high roll center that contributes to responsive steering. It reduces body lean during cornering to establish stable tire loads quickly. Low-lean geometry achieves the desired suspension handling performance. A stiff front suspension crossmember attaches the front suspension to the body structure and supports the steering gear. Stiffness, which results in a high natural vibration frequency, helps limit transmission of road noise and engine vibration to the passenger compartment.

Coil springs support the twist beam rear suspension. Trailing arms and a Watts linkage provide longitudinal and transverse location, respectively. Ample suspension travel of 8.5 inches (215 mm) provides a comfortable ride and minimizes instances of suspension bottoming even when fully loaded. Large oval trailing arm front eye bushings allow ample deflection in the fore-aft direction to dampen harshness effects. The rear suspension's transverse beam causes the tires to remain vertical relative to the road during cornering. This enhances rear tire cornering traction for good handling. The rear suspension's coil springs and jounce bumpers mount above the beam, in line with the wheel centerline to prevent after shake when the wheel hits a bump.

The Watts linkage is used for lateral location. It includes two transverse links pivoting on the body structure at the outer end and on a third link at the inboard ends. The third link pivots at its center on the axle, moving in a vertical plane relative to the body. This system constrains lateral movement of the axle. Compared to the more commonly used track bar, the Watts linkage:

A new power steering fluid is used.

Brake systems

Large vented front rotors 10.94 x 0.9-inch (280 x 23-mm) feature a gooseneck design that contributes to heat resistance and long-term smooth operation. Large-diameter rotors help ensure ample stopping ability and heat resistance. Air scoops in the front fascia and sculptured areas in the front wheel splash shields provide cooling air for the front brakes. This contributes to lining life and long-term quiet operation.

Standard drum-type rear brakes are 8.66 inches (220 mm) in diameter by 1.57-inches (40-mm) wide. They have stamped steel hub sections and cast iron friction surfaces and adjust automatically when the brakes are applied. A parking brake mechanism is included in each brake.

A four wheel disc system with antilock brakes and traction control is available. Traction control is automatically active below about 35 mph, but the driver may disable it using a switch. The traction control system software includes a thermal model that calculates front brake temperatures. The thermal model will shut off traction control and illuminate the TRAC OFF indicator when the brakes may be overheating to ensure that adequate braking effectiveness is always available.

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