I recently got up behind a Smart car in traffic the other day, and I realized something: Smart has managed to do what very few other brands can boast about. They’ve successfully redesigned a car that sells primarily based on its style.
Now, you might think this is a bit of an unusual point, because you probably don’t think the Smart Fortwo is a very stylish car.
In fact, you probably think it looks like a shopping cart with alloy wheels. But hear me out, here, because I think one of the biggest challenges automakers face is redesigning stylish cars. And I think the good folks over at Smart deserve some credit for doing it right.
That was the asking price for a 2008 Chrysler PT Cruiser down at my local Chrysler dealer back in June 2008. Throw in a $1500 rebate or the “Refuel America” $2.99 per gallon guarantee into the equation, and you may have ended-up with a pre-tax, tag, title price right around $10,300.
Not bad. Not bad at all.
Then again, was it? There are a lot of long-term factors to consider when approaching any of the less popular new cars that are in their last years of production. Not all will be a good deal. But you may be surprised. Join me now as we journey down the PT-shaped rabbit hole.
My Mom is in need of a new car. The problem is her trade in: It is a 2002 PT Cruiser with a serious overheating problem ($1700+ quote at two reputable repair places) Now here is the problem. Do I keep my dang mouth shut when we go to the dealership and do the deal? I have a spare car that she is driving until it cools off and the overheating problem will not be noticeable at trade in.
I would never sell the car to a guy off the street without disclosing a major problem. Even to a car dealership I think I feel guilty in not disclosing it. We are not going to be financing, and will be paying cash for the car. So it is not like they can unwind the deal if they discover the problem.
Having ethical dilemma about screwing over a car dealership who exist solely to try and take as much money as they can from you in every conceivable way is weird.
Bonus question. These are the three cars we are considering Hyundai Elantra Touring, VW Jetta Wagon and Ford Focus Wagon. Any recommendations of the three or reasons to avoid them?
The last-ever PT Cruiser rolled off the line last week, decked out in the “Couture Edition” trim shown above. After 11 years on the market, familiarity has bred its fair share of contempt for the old PT, but the old Neon-based hatch certainly had its uses. For one thing, by classifying the compact-based Cruiser as a truck, Chrysler was able to keep the CAFE wolves at bay. It also gave rise to at least 15 different “Special Editions,” from the Dream Cruiser series to the Street Cruiser Pacific Coast Highway Edition (not to mention the $38k “Brazilian Edition“. The PT Cruiser Convertible in “amble mode” was, according to one Robert Farago, “Hakuna Matata in-car-nate.” Hell, in merry old England, the PT Cruiser is nothing short of a cultural exchange icon. In short, it may not be the greatest car any longer, and it probably should have died with some dignity a while ago, but the PT Cruiser was undeniably one of the more influential cars of the 2000s. Having shuffled off this mortal coil, it certainly deserves a moment of remembrance.
Brazil’s Chrysler is launching a special edition called the Decade Edition. Love the little retro wagon? Well come on down to Brazil, where for the cool little sum of $69,990 Brazilian reais (at 1.8 reais to the dollar, around USD$38,000) you can get your fix!
According to Brazil’s best known car rag, Quatro Rodas, for that tiny wee of money you’ll get a special logo glued on to the back lift gate with the saying, “Decade Edition 2000-2010”, not to mention a certificate of authenticity. Wait, there’s more! (Read More…)
Today’s review of the Fiat Bravo is more than just a unique look at a European-market vehicle that will never be sold in the United States: it’s an(other) early look at the future of Chrysler. Sergio Marchionne has called the C and D segments “critical” for US-market success, and the C-Evo platform that lies beneath the Fiat Bravo tested today, will form the basis for planned 2012 replacements to the Caliber and PT Cruiser and possibly the re-launched Sebring and Avenger (reportedly in stretched form). Indeed, the Lancia-trimmed version, known as the Delta, was shown at the Detroit Auto Show in Chrysler-brand drag, apparently to prove how easy these rebadges will be. As cynical as this might seem, Mr Bronfer’s relatively positive review leaves little doubt that Fiat’s got more to offer the C and D segments than the aging, neglected Mitsubishi platform that currently underpins Chrysler’s offerings in these classes. In that sense, this is some of the most positive news we’ve heard about Chrysler’s future in a while.
Are you a lonely American, stuck in Merry Old England for the holidays and looking for a slice of Wal-Mart shopping lot nostalgia amid the plum pudding and “Fathers Christmas”? Look no further than the UK Cruisers’ Charity Christmas Party. Who knew there were enough “owners and admirers of PT Cruisers” in Old Blighty to start a club?