The Second Generation: 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser

inside of the 2006 Chrysler PT CruiserThe PT Cruiser was updated for 2006 with new front and rear sheet metal, a new front grille with the Chrysler winged badge and chrome accents, new headlamps and fog lamps, and a body-color spoiler on the liftgate.

While some of the changes were welcome (larger, white-faced gauges, “Chrysler clock”), others were not. The lower front fascia was clearly a cost-cutting measure, and the “scalloped” headlamps, replacing the trademark teardrop headlamps, were generally considered to be less than ideal. Some preferred them, but many thought they were a desecration of a highly attractive design.

Inside, the “Coanda affect” vents were replaced with cheaper, conventional vents. Rerouting the ventilation system to accommodate the new vent positions without total rework of the back-dashboard area resulted in a large amount of fan noise, which defeated the purpose of extra sound insulation.

On the bright side, the high output turbo was boosted and was now rated at 230 horsepower (171.5 kW) and 245 lb.-ft. (332 Nm) of torque; in addition to higher numbers on paper, the engine produced power over a broader range and had several reliability enhancements.

2008 Sunset Boulevard Edition PT Cruiser review / test drive

2006 PT Cruiser GT review

The interior was redesigned, with new seat trims and fabrics, larger gauges, rotating air vents, and a Chrysler signature analog clock. A major improvement is the white-faced gauges, which provide better visibility than the original faces.

The radio was higher in the center stack, and a passenger grab handle was added to the right side of the instrument panel to make it easier for passengers to get in and out of the vehicle. The glove box capacity increased, and the door gained a dampened movement. A new trip computer provided far more information than the original car, designed after all as a Plymouth, did.

The original air vents were praised for their design, which allowed easy direction of air via a center knob. The system worked better than most conventional vents.

A new center console with a sliding armrest and covered storage space replaced the previous seat-mounted armrests and front passenger seat storage bin for the 2006 model year. This console includes a covered tray for concealing small items, a deep storage bin that holds six CDs, an available battery-fed power outlet for cell-phone charging, a new coin holder and two fold-out cup holders for rear-seat occupants. Front cup holders on the Limited and GT models get bright accents.

New radio options for 2006 include a Boston Acoustics® premium sound system that features six speakers and a subwoofer, as well as a 368-watt amplifier. Rear door speakers improve bass response. Also new for the 2006 model year, all Chrysler PT Cruiser models get MP3 play capability.

outside of the 2006 chrysler pt cruiser

New convenience features for the Chrysler PT Cruiser included standard power locks, courtesy map lamps, and an optional six-way power adjustable driver seat with manual lumbar adjuster. Rear window switches are higher on the back of the center console for easier access. The new Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) let customize adjust their personal settings and provided a compass and temperature display, fuel economy, distance to empty and elapsed time.

An acoustic package improved sealing around the doors, windows, rear floor pan and reverberant cavity area, and sound insulation was added to the trim panels and dashboard. Wind noise was reduced by the use of redesigned inner belt seals in the door and added foam in the A-pillar.

2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser (base model)

New standard features on the 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser included sport contour bucket seats with new Bauhaus feature fabric, vinyl door trim bolsters, an AM/FM radio with CD player and MP3 input jack, chrome grille accents, speed-sensitive power locks, a console with sliding armrest and storage, a body-color strip spoiler on the liftgate, analog clock, and rear door speakers. Additional standard features include Sentry Key engine immobilizer, power windows with auto-down function on both front windows, a 65/35 fold/tumble/removable rear seat, 15-inch wheels with bolt-on wheel covers and floor mats. Satellite radio was optional.

2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser Touring model

Touring included the Electronic Vehicle Information Center, illuminated visor mirrors, courtesy map lamps, power outlets in the console and rear cargo area, and interior assist handles; it added to the Base model air conditioning, a fold-flat passenger seat, power mirrors, remote keyless entry with illuminated entry, body color bodyside moldings, a shelf panel for the cargo area and a security alarm.

One new option was a Boston Acoustics premium audio system, which featured a 368-watt amplifier and rear subwoofer. Additional options included side air bags, disc/drum anti-lock brakes, speed control, an AM/FM radio with six-disc CD changer with MP3 play capability, satellite radio, sunscreen glass and power moon roof with sliding sun shade.

Limited model

The Chrysler PT Cruiser Limited got a new six-way power driver’s seat, standard. Limited had, above Touring, sport cloth seats with Alias fabric, driver manual lumbar adjuster, leather-wrapped steering wheel, universal garage door opener, side air bags, 16-inch aluminum wheels with a new nine-spoke design, fog lamps, chrome exhaust tip, speed control, bright cup holder surround rings, sunscreen glass, power moon roof with sliding sunshade and a touring suspension.

Additional options on the Limited included a 180-horsepower turbo engine, automatic transaxle, anti-lock brakes, heated seats, six-disc CD player with MP3-play capability, SIRIUS Satellite Radio with a free first-year subscription, UConnect hands-free communication system that includes auto day/night rearview mirror, a liftgate spoiler and a Chrome Accents Group, which includes 16-inch chrome-clad wheels with a new nine-spoke design, chrome fuel door, chrome bodyside moldings, chrome door lock knobs, scuff plates with bright accents and a Chrysler winged badge.

An upgraded Limited package was available with a 180-horsepower (134 kW) turbo engine that produced 210 lb.-ft. (255 N•m) of torque with automatic transaxle, leather-trimmed interior with suede-like inserts on the seats, four-wheel disc brakes with low-speed traction control and many of the Chrome Accents Group elements.

PT Cruiser GT / GT Cruiser 

The High-Output Turbo engine had a standard five-speed Getrag heavy-duty manual transaxle and a sport-tuned suspension. Standard features on the Chrysler PT Cruiser GT included a new six-way power driver’s seat, two-tone sport leather seats, a liftgate spoiler, 17-inch chrome-clad wheels with a new 15-spoke design, four-wheel disc brakes with ABS and low-speed traction control, 140 mile-per-hour speedometer, a large chrome exhaust tip, bright pedals, leather-wrapped steering wheel, AM/FM radio with CD player and MP3 input jack, Satin Silver shift knob and a instrument
panel center stack bezel with a “Mini-Carbon design.” An automatic was optional.

Marine Blue Pearl Coat and Magnesium Pearl Coat were new exterior colors on the PT Cruiser for 2006, joining Electric Blue Pearl Coat, Linen Gold Pearl Coat, Inferno Red Crystal Pearl Coat, Bright Silver Metallic Clear Coat, Black and Cool Vanilla Clear Coat. New interior colors included Pastel Slate Gray and Pastel Pebble Beige.

Read our review!

2008 Sunset Boulevard Edition PT Cruiser review / test drive!

PT Cruiser Convertible

See our convertible page for details.

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