The 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible comes with a light face-lift to consolidate its position in the heart of the convertible segment. With a less conventional body and unprecedented room and comfort for this class, the PT can appeal to those who may not have been interested in a convertible before.
The US convertible market segment is relatively small at about 315,000 units per year. The sales in the luxury specialty segment have increased almost 50 percent in the last four years, and those in the standard luxury segment went up more than 40 percent. The Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible can appeal to both of this segments with a low base price and the wide palette of optional equipment. The Convertible GT we are now reviewing, even gets to catch the interest of those with a sporty feel, as the new 230 bhp turbo engine can promise 0 to 60 in 7 seconds
The 2006 Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible offers the retro PT Cruiser styling combined with the freedom feel offered by a convertible. Too bad Chrysler couldn’t drop the middle safety arch that gets to ensure car roll-over security. In more expensive convertibles that arch was replaced by a reinforced windscreen frame and by pop-up roll-bars that eject from behind the rear seats only in case of an imminent roll-over. Probably that solution was considered to expensive for the PT Cruiser, but it would have improved the car looks and the open feel a lot.
The main advantages of the PT Cruiser Convertible over the competition are the passenger room, both in front and rear, and also the luggage room. All that and the generally comfort oriented ride don’t make the car an exponent of the category who’s name is uses, the cruiser. But, this distinct combination of retro styling, general versatility, roominess and comfort, make the PT a unique offering to the convertible customer. With 84.3 cu.-ft. of space and 13.3 cu.-ft. of pass-through luggage volume, the PT Cruiser Convertible has more interior cargo volume than any other cabriolet.
Also on the comfort side, something to be noticed in this car is the almost 10 inches more rear leg room than that other competitors offer. Another noticeable feature is that the convertible has the same rear seat height as the sedan, which is very good for an "open air" vehicle.
We can’t say we like the face-lift recently performed on the PT Cruiser family. The front lights got a less fluid line, the front grid was shortened, and therefore the 40s look of the car diminished. The new front bumper isn’t a thing of beauty either, but this matters are too subjective to further discuss, so we’ll let them for your individual judgment.
The PT Cruiser’s distinctive silhouette was kept almost intact for the convertible. Especially with the top up, the convertible is clear to belong to the PT family. The convertible even manages to look more like a car from the `30s or `40s than its sedan sibling with the top up because of the profile and small rear window. As a pro, we should mention the good mirror visibility that allows good rear and rear quarter vision with the top up. From front bumper to the windscreen, the convertible is identical to the sedan. Behind that they become different. The convertible gets two larger doors instead of the sedan’s larger ones.
- Redesigned front and rear fascias
- Redesigned front grille with chrome-accented horizontal bars
- Larger Chrysler "winged badge" on front hood
- Redesigned headlamps with lower "scalloped" edge
- Modified tail-lamps with white turn signal
- Fog lamps with updated round design
- Increased opening articulation on rear deck-lid
Overall Width @ front seat 67.1
Overall Height @ curb weight 60.6
Curb Weight (est.) manual trans. 3458 lbs., auto. trans. 3468 lbs.
Weight Distribution, F/R: manual trans. 58/42, auto. trans. 59/41
Fuel Tank Capacity 15 gal.
The 2006 PT Cruiser Convertible GT features a high-output 148.2 cui turbocharged engine matched with a five-speed Getrag manual. This turbo engine is an updated version of the later one and 230 horsepower and 245 lb.-ft. of torque. A four-speed automatic transaxle gear-box with AutoStick is also available as an option.
In addition to the other PT Cruiser Convertibles, the GT model offers a sport-tuned suspension, ABS four-wheel disc brakes and low-speed traction control, 140-mph speedometer, 17-inch chrome-clad cast-aluminum wheels, GT embroidered floor mats, 2.4-liter turbo/high-output badge, chrome lock knobs, large diameter bright exhaust tip, and a unique center stack bezel with Mini-Carbon technical design.
Engine Type Four-cylinder, in-line, liquid-cooled
System Valve System Belt-driven DOHC, 16 valves, stamped-steel roller followers, hydraulic lash adjusters
Fuel feed type Fuel Injection Sequential, multi-port, electronic, returnless
Construction Cast-iron block, cast-iron bedplate and counter-rotating balance shafts,
Torque (SAE net) 245 lb.-ft. @ 2,400-4,500 rpm
Emission Controls Three-way catalyst, twin-heated oxygen sensors, NGC III calibrations
Max. Gross Trailer Weight 1,000 lbs. (20 sq. ft maximum allowable frontal area)
Estimated EPA Fuel Economy mpg (City/Hwy) 21/27 manual, 19/26 automatic
1/4 mile: 15.4 secs @ 92mph
TRANSAXLE: GETRAG G288 MANUAL, FIVE-SPEED
Description Five-speed, overdrive; synchronized in all gears; cable-operated, four-plane shifter
Gear Ratios 1st 3.923,2nd 2.208, 3rd 1.458, 4th 1.114, 5th 0.881, Reverse 3.624, Final Drive Ratio 3.29, Overall Top Gear 2.898
TRANSAXLE: AUTOMATIC, FOUR-SPEED OVERDRIVE
Description Electronic control, electronically modulated converter clutch
Gear Ratios 1st 2.84, 2nd 1.57, 3rd 1.00, 4th 0.69, Reverse 2.21, Effective Final, Drive Ratio 3.91, Overall Top Gear 2.694
Front: MacPherson struts, asymmetrical lower control arms, coil springs and link-type stabilizer bar
Rear: Trailing arms, twist beam axle with integral tubular stabilizer bar, Watt’s linkage,
coil springs, gas-charged shock absorbers and link-type stabilizer bar
Front brakes size and type: 10.94 x 1.1 inch vented disc with single piston sliding caliper and ABS
Rear brakes size and type: 10.62 x 0.47 inch solid disc with single piston sliding caliper and ABS
Tires & wheels
Wheels type and material: 15-spoke, chrome-clad cast-aluminum, size 17 x 7
Tires size and type: P205/50HR17 93H BSW all-season performance extra load
The 2006 face-lift is also visible in the interior. Novelties include new seat trim and fabrics, a new instrument panel with Satin Silver finish and larger, more visible graphics, new flush shutoff air vents and a Chrysler Signature analog clock. Also new for 2006 model are the radio, which is mounted higher in the center stack, and the passenger grab handle that has been added to the right side of the instrument panel to make it easier for passengers to get in and out of the vehicle. Specially for the GT model, front cup holders get bright accents.
The previous seat-mounted armrests and front passenger seat storage bin get replaced by a new center console with a sliding armrest and covered storage space for the 2006 model. This console includes a cell-phone battery-fed power outlet and two fold-out cup holders for passengers in the back seat. The sound system includes a Boston Acoustics unit with six speakers and a 368-watt amplifier and MP3 play capability.
New comfort equipment features for the Chrysler PT Cruiser Convertible for 2006 include an available six-way power adjustable driver seat with manual lumbar adjuster,
two-tone leather-trimmed, vinyl door trim bolsters, speed-sensitive power locks, power front windows with one-touch down feature, power exterior mirrors, air conditioning, leather-wrapped steering wheel with satin silver spokes, silver shift knob and bright pedals.
- Advanced multi-stage driver and front passenger air bags and driver-side inflatable knee blocker, which detects passenger seat occupant to determine on/off status of air bag
- Redesigned ignition key with integral fob and Sentry Key vehicle immobilizer
- Height-adjustable three-point seat belts with pretensioners, constant force retractors and traveling inboard buckles, front; three-point, rear three-point
- Security alarm system
- Electronic Vehicle Information Center (EVIC) with reconfigurable display in cluster includes compass, outside temperature, audio information, average fuel economy, distance to empty and elapsed time
- Enhanced electrical features including power speed-sensitive locks and power accessory delay
- HomeLink universal garage door opener
- Supplemental side air bags
TopSpeed artists tuning recommendation
We bring to your attention a tuning proposal for the early PT Cruiser Convertible. We didn’t choose the 2006 model because we think it’s not pretty enough for tuning. As you can see, our artists preferred a two color body. The upper part is painted in black in order the diminish the over-high feeling this car normally gives. Also, since we don’t really like that central safety arch, we think it should also be painted in black, not to draw attention. Same dark color for the front grid and lower spoiler will produce a nice contrast. Similar treatment for the front lights, that got a darker tint. The black painting from the grid should be continued on the front bumper to make it look as made from one piece. As far as aerodynamics are concerned, we borrowed a front spoiler from the Chrysler 300 C SRT -8 and made some adjustments to it, so it would fit the overall design. Also for aerodynamic improvement we lowered the side skirts and applied air exhaust holes on the sides of the bonnet. Cruiser’s stance got even more dramatic by fitting our wheels of choice, 20” ATP Truck Nera. And finally there should be added “TopSpeed” logos on both sides, just because girls love them. Enjoy the ride!