Skip advert
Advertisement
Features

Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible - the worst cars ever

A ghastly chunk of retro automotive Americana foisted onto the UK market, the Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible was as bad as it looked

Vote percentage: 7%Vote count: 347

The Volkswagen Beetle has a lot to answer for. We're not talking about the original Beetle, mind, this is the late-Nineties version. The New Beetle kicked off a craze for 'retro modern' remakes of old models. While the Beetle was successful, as were the MINI and Fiat 500, the Chrysler PT Cruiser was less convincing, especially when the roof was chopped off.

Advertisement - Article continues below

It had started so well for this retro looking hatch, too. The original Plymouth Pronto Cruizer concept followed in the footsteps of the hot rod-inspired Plymouth Prowler, and its bulbous wings and tall grille gave it the look of a Fifties custom car that would certainly appeal to the US market.

But the late Nineties was a difficult time for Chrysler. It was in partnership with Mercedes, and the German firm wanted to make cuts to bring Chrysler back into profitability. It did this by dropping the Plymouth brand, so the Pronto Cruizer became a concept without a home, while the production version appeared with a Chrysler badge on the nose.

Best convertible cars

Now called the PT Cruiser - PT standing for Personal Transport - the concept's transition to reality hadn't been very successful. There was a taller roof with larger windows that you could actually see out of, and the overall design was more upright. The PT Cruiser was no oil painting compared to the concept, while in the US Chrysler classified the car as a truck, in an effort to bring the average emissions of its commercial vehicles down.

Still, Chrysler brought it to the UK, where it sold in low numbers, because it wasn't competitive with other retro models like the MINI and Beetle, thanks to poor build quality and sloppy handling.

Whoever decided to add a convertible to the line-up probably had good intentions, but the execution was pretty poor. Removing the roof meant that any structural rigidity that existed disappeared completely, so Chrysler had to add a ghastly roll hoop between the front and rear seats. Bosses claimed the roll bar helped airflow over the back seats, but it got in the way when getting in and out, even with the roof down. It's no surprise that the PT Cruiser Convertible was only on sale for two years and sold in modest numbers.

Top 10 worst cars ever

  1. 1. REVA G-Wiz
  2. 2. Austin Allegro
  3. 3. Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible
  4. 4. SsangYong Rodius
  5. 5. Alfa Romeo Arna
  6. 6. Rover CityRover
  7. 7. Morris Marina
  8. 8. Reliant Robin
  9. 9. FSO Polonez
  10. 10. Vauxhall Frontera
Skip advert
Advertisement
Skip advert
Advertisement

Recommended

Dramatic Chrysler Halycon Concept previews brand’s all-electric future
Chrysler Halycon Concept - front static
News

Dramatic Chrysler Halycon Concept previews brand’s all-electric future

Chrysler plans to launch its first electric car in 2025 to coincide with the American brand’s centenary
13 Feb 2024

Most Popular

‘Dacia Zen’ seven-year warranty brings added peace of mind
Dacia Duster - tailgate
News

‘Dacia Zen’ seven-year warranty brings added peace of mind

The value brand’s new warranty is also available on used cars, as well as for existing Dacia customers
16 Apr 2024
Car Deal of the Day: Mercedes EQC offers luxury EV motoring for £327 a month
Mercedes EQC - front cornering
News

Car Deal of the Day: Mercedes EQC offers luxury EV motoring for £327 a month

Mercedes’s EQC showed that the German firm was serious about electric cars and it’s our Car Deal of the Day for Monday 15 April
15 Apr 2024
New Nissan Qashqai gets angry, as best-selling family SUV receives aggressive facelift
Nissan Qashqai reveal - front
News

New Nissan Qashqai gets angry, as best-selling family SUV receives aggressive facelift

In addition to its new much sharper design, the Qashqai now features Google apps and voice assistant built in
17 Apr 2024