Parkers overall rating: 2.5 out of 5 2.5

Initially there was only a single engine, a 140bhp 2.0-litre petrol. Performance was adequate, getting from 0-60 mph in 9.6 seconds and onto a top speed of 118mph. It has an average fuel consumption figure of 33mpg, although this figure rapidly worsens when the car is driven hard. The 113bhp 2.2-litre CRD was introduced in February 2002 but although it pulls well, it's no sprinter.

Economy is better - at 41mpg, but the 0-60mph time falls to 12 seconds. In late 2004 the 2.0-litre was replaced with a 143bhp 2.4-litre, which although didn't bring a significant hike in power, is smoother. However, it still lags behind rivals in terms of refinement, useable mid-range power and fuel economy. In 2006 the 2.2-litre CRD was upgraded to 148bhp and is by far the best engine to go for in the range with improved in-gear pace and useful fuel economy of 42mpg.

The PT Cruiser is an easy car to drive, but the wide turning circle makes manoeuvring in town more difficult than it should be. The long-stalked gearlever gives a fluent change, but it's too easy to select reverse, when you really want first. Another gripe is the imprecise steering which lacks feel and the brakes are a little spongy while there's noticeable body roll when cornering.

The ride is generally okay, but over uneven roads it can feel rough.