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Chrysler PT Cruiser 2.2 CRD

2003-10-24 13:34

Wilmer Muller

According to DaimlerChrysler SA the PT Cruiser 2.2 CRD is the first Chrysler-branded product to showcase the engineering advantages of the DaimlerChrysler merger.

This diesel unit is sourced from the DaimlerChrysler family of engines but engineered specifically for the Cruiser.

But first a bit of background on the PT itself. (By the way PT stands for "Personal Transportation".)

Chrysler has a habit of showing stunning retro-designed concept cars at motor shows and then actually producing it - the PT Cruiser is one of them.

It was originally shown at the 1998 Detroit Motor Show as the Pronto Cruiser and a year later the production version was launched.

Chrysler is very proud of its retro MPV and says unlike other retro vehicles like the MINI and the New Beetle, the PT has a broader appeal. It is also more practical and therefore suits different kind of lifestyles. Even Cher has bough three PTs when it went on sale in 1999 in the US!

In South Africa DC claims that the PT made great strides in making the Chrysler brand representative of the South African population.

Guy Franken, marketing manager for Chrysler and Jeep at DCSA, told us that this vehicle firmly remains South Africa's "second most aspirational car" in the professional black female segment. (The BMW 3 Series takes the first place.)

According to Franken they expect that the new 2.2 CRD will account for about 50% of PT Cruiser sales in South Africa.

The Cruiser 2.2 CRD makes use of common-rail technology including direct injection. This four-cylinder unit produces 89kW of power at 4 200r/min while torque is a useful 300Nm available between 1 600 and 2 600r/min.

Chrysler claims a top speed of 183km/h and says that it will go from 0-100km/h in about 12 seconds.

This diesel engine compliments the PTs cruising abilities very well. The torque provides a seamless power transfer to the road and thanks to the 300Nm of torque acceleration and overtaking is quite good.

There is plenty low down urge and a punchy mid range making the PT not only a swift mover in normal city driving conditions but also a real cruiser for longer distances. It is easy to understand why the word "Cruiser" is part of its name.

Driving pleasure

The car's diesel guise gives a new dimension to its driving pleasure.

It is the kind of car which will be perfect if you have driving blues and just want to drive around for the hell of it without any pressure for time or destination.

The PT is also an easy car to drive. All controls are easy to operate and thanks to its MPV styling you have the pleasure of a higher driving position. Gear shifting is smooth and precise.

The retro style statement continues in the car's interior design and although it easily seats five persons offering more than enough space its cabin layout is quite cosy.

Unlike other retro styled cars the PT is still a practical vehicle. It offers more than enough boot space and Chrysler says there is 32 different seating positions.

There is also a long list of standard safety features which include ABS brakes, traction control and four airbags.

Its pricing is also close to that of its 2-litre petrol sibling, making the 2.2 CRD the more attractive option in the PT Cruiser range especially if you look at its fuel economy which is 6.9-litres for every 100km.

This is a versatile vehicle and its new diesel engine ads to this versatility.

Although it seems a bit pricey, at R229 000 when compared to some of its competitors, you will get a car with a very distinctive design. It isn't also as dull as some of its rivals and in general it is a great cruiser.

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