PT Cruiser vs Chevy Cobalt

Discounting the fact that the Cobalt is red, somehow…

We’re got a buyer for our Jeep Wrangler and we’re looking at 2 used cars and could use some Doper opinions.

One is a 2006 Chevy Cobalt LS Sedan 4D. 35K miles. Priced $9982. Carfax give this as a rental previously. It has an accident history but I can’t figure out if Carfax will tell me the specifics. Carfax estimate on the warranty is 9 months remaining.

The other is a 2007 PT Cruiser Touring Sport Wagon 3D. 19K miles. Priced $12750. Carfax says this was a commerical owner previously and it has no negative history. Carfax estimate on the warranty is 24 months remaining.

Cars have never been my thing, by any stretch. I simply don’t know enough to ask questions. I’m hoping some of our doper gear-heads can advise.

I don’t have any info or opinion on the Cobalt.

Several of my customers have PT Cruisers. I would not recommend it to anyone.

Why, then? And what do you do?

A rental car with an accident history makes me cringe. That’s a little scary.

Have you tried Click “Used Cars” then “Appraise a Car” to get a pretty decent idea of what you should be paying.

And, just an opinion, but the PT Cruiser is more hideous than Rosie O’Donnell attempting to mount a fistulated cow.

The hardtop PT Cruiser looks too much like a clown car. Every time I see one, I half expect a dozen guys with zoot suits and Tommy guns to pile out. The convertible looks much more like a “real” car.

I bought a 2002 PT Cruiser new, still drive it, and have had nothing but maintenance work done on it. I drive pretty hard, yet nothing breaks down. And damn, it’s amazing what can fit in it, with the back seat down (or removed). Best car I ever owned.

OTOH, I’ve driven an '06, and don’t care for some of the “improvements” they made.

Never been in a Cobalt, but I’ve had a couple of PT Cruiser rentals lately. Utter pieces of crap IMO. Cheap, poorly laid out controls and bad interior fits. If I recall, the window buttons are on the center console, not the doors, which flies in the face of common practice. The 4-banger engine is weak and uninspiring, and I just don’t trust Chrysler transmissions. I’d suggest you rent one for a weekend and then see if you still feel the same way afterwards.

Both of those cars look like ugly heaps to me, and I’ve ridden in a PT cruiser and I can tell you the inside is cheap looking and unwelcoming. Ugh, utter trash.

Why waste your money on one of these two lame cars if you’re buying used? Check out some older Volvos, Hondas or Toyotas.

I rented a (brand-new) Cobalt when I was between cars after an accident in February, didn’t care for it at all. Compared to my old '05 Civic and my new '07 Civic replacement, the Cobalt felt clunky. Nice enough interior and a more powerful engine, but sloppy handling on the highway, and a less comfortable ride all around.

No experience with Cruisers.

I’m confused. A three-door Cruiser?

I bought a 2003 Cruiser in August, and I bought it because it was perfect for my specific hauling needs. I’m with panache45. The interior space is very flexible. (The fold-flat front passenger seat it what sold me.)

I test-drove a couple of automatics and felt they were sluggish. I’m very happy with my 5-speed manual.

While it is a comfortable road car (and I rode in the back seat for several hours), the cargo space with the back seat upright is not generous, and mostly vertical. I don’t think it’s as spacious as the trunk in the 2001 Saturn SL2 I traded for the Cruiser.

Yes, the window controls are on the center dash console, but they were on the center shifter console on the Saturn (which is where they are on BMWs, too), and that confused people every bit as much as the window buttons on the Cruiser.

Chrysler just announced that they were dropping the Cruiser. Would this effect the availability of parts or service in the future? At any rate, it can’t be a good thing.

My old man works for Chrysler here. And as much i love there cars the pt cruiser looks nice but its a pain in the ass to drive. full of blind spots.

Have you taken both cars for a drive? Which do you enjoy driving more?


Last I read, they were just dropping the convertible.

You do realize that a PT Cruiser is just a Dodge Neon with too much air pumped into it, don’t you?

My bad. I heard it on the radio and either misheard it or they misread it.

ETA. I think they are discontinuing the wrong one.

In case GaryT doesn’t come back into this thread. I’ll answer your question. GaryT is one of the boards two resident auto mechanics.

For around that price you can get a brand new Honda Fit. If a dealer is offering super-low financing, a New car can often be a better buy.

Double post eliminated

Thanks, Harmonix. Wasn’t sure when I’d get back. As to why I wouldn’t recommend one, their only positive remarkable trait I see is their looks. Certain repairs are noticeably more difficult (= more expensive) than average. High repair costs may well be justified for a Jaguar or Porsche or Saab, which offer features and capabilities that most cars don’t, but I can’t see putting up with those costs for car that’s no better (and arguably worse) than ordinary.

Don’t know about the PT, but a coworker and rented a Cobalt for a day in Texas last month. I didn’t drive it, but I did notice that comfortable settings for the front seats left about 2" of leg room in the back. You might want to check that if you expect to travel with passengers in the rear often.