This little convertible has some muscle. Out of all the similarities to the SRT-4 I recently tested I think the exhaust note is the sweetest. Actually the subtler tone of the PT's exhaust is more to my liking than the snarling SRT-4. With the top down and amazing weather in Chicago right now, the car is a blast to drive.
The autostick however I find a bit clumsy and annoying. It shifts side to side instead of up and down, like most autosticks I test. But it isn't the orientation that's the problem. Each gear requires a healthy push, especially when downshifting. So I've been sticking to the regular automatic mode and that's athletic enough with the car's 220 horsepower.
Sometimes I get questions about what I mean when describing a car's faults. Often I'll say "The gauges are hard to read." Our test PT Cruiser with it's dark silver gauges, like the SRT-4's, are exceptionally hard to read and here's a picture of what I mean. This is in the late afternoon on an overcast day with the top up. Can you see the left side of the gauges? Neither could I. While I like the silver color it is a bear to read in day or night.
Read my first day's thoughts.