2010-01-01

Cruisin' for bruisin'

Behold.

This wonder of modern automotive technology, commonly known as the Chrysler PT Cruiser, has been my means of transportation for the past two weeks, while traveling.

Actually, there were three of them. One, the specimen shown in the picture, in Virginia, and then two others in Raleigh area, one red, and one cream-colored.

The red one met an untimely retirement when a deer ran into its driver side while I was driving home from dinner the night of my arrival in RDU.

The deer ran smack into the side of the car and dented the trailing end of the left front fender and the entire length of the driver door. Not four hours after picking it up at the rental agency, I dropped it off for a cream-colored replacement, which I have been driving since.

The PT is underpowered and too softly-sprung for its weight, making the handling very unsettling. The car leans a lot to the side in turns and dives violently on stops. It probably would squat on acceleration, but the engine is so anemic that at least this is not an issue.

Steering is approximate at best. You basically point the car "kinda sorta that way" and keep correcting until desired direction is achieved.

Once you get used to all of the wallowing and the lack of power, the rest is actually not too bad. Visibility is decent, and mirrors can be adjusted to eliminate blind spots. The rear window wiper was a feature on all three, so I suspect it came standard, and I am glad I had it, what with all the rain and sleet of the East coast winter.

Interior is roomy, and all the controls are visible and easy to reach from the driver seat.

Fuel-efficiency is definitely not the best. Given the car's driveability, I am not driving it anywhere close to aggressively, and yet I am well into the second tank of gas after just five days of driving, mostly on highways.

The looks, well, that is an acquired taste. I tend to like it for its quirkiness, but definitely would not put it on the list of top ten best-looking cars.

Anyways, here it is, the PT Cruiser. May god have mercy on its soul.