Fleet News

Chrysler PT Cruiser 2.2 CRD Limited - 2,280 miles

Review

CHRYSLER responded with admirable speed to my grumble in the article marking the arrival of the PT Cruiser to our long-term test fleet at the beginning of April, regarding the off-centre steering wheel positioning.

A member of the head office staff contacted our offices while the ink was still wet on Fleet News offering to take the car back, carry out the necessary repairs and return the car in 24 hours.

The Cruiser is on its way back to Chrysler's Milton Keynes headquarters as I write. Chrysler has also provided a replacement car, a lower spec version.

Collection and return times have been given as between 9am and 11am. The car is going to be away for three days, including a weekend. I'll give a run-down on how the repair process went in the next review – but so far, full marks to Chrysler for customer care.

We know we're in a privileged position as members of the Press, so if you have a different story to tell on the firm's 'gripe response' let us know.

I am pleased, however, that I should only be parted from the car for a brief period. Each morning, through still sleepy eyes, the car's looks are still striking more than a month after first getting the keys.

Our photographer commented that the colour, called Electric Blue Pearlcoat, is the best he's seen on a car and each time I see it, I feel the same.

As I acknowledged in my first Cruiser review, opinion on the car will be divided. A friend's father said he thought the colour was revolting!

With a little over 2,200 miles on the clock, the engine and transmission are beginning to loosen up nicely. The slightly ratchety gearbox that I complained about previously has smoothed out somewhat and the engine is becoming more impressive each time I take to the wheel.

The Cruiser is a little lacklustre in first gear, taking a moment to respond to throttle pressure but this is barely of concern when the car is such an impressive cruiser giving an ultra smooth ride and, at speed, great throttle response through the 2.2-litre Mercedes-Benz common rail diesel engine, which offers one of the highest torque figures (221lb-ft at 1,900-2,600rpm) in sector. You can be confident of safe overtaking with a 40-60mph time of 5.4 seconds and 50-70mph time of seven seconds.

In other respects the Cruiser is proving to be a blast too. It's holding together well – no squeaks or bumps – so, in summary, the honeymoon period for this car looks set to continue.

Company car tax bill 2004/05 (22% tax-payer) £81 per month
Figures based on three-years/60,000-miles

CO2 emissions and fuel consumption data correct at time of writing. The latest figures are available in the Fleet News fuel cost calculator and the company car tax calculator.

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