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Chrysler PT Cruiser - 2.2 CRD and Caravan

Christian Chapman reviewed on a Chrysler PT Cruiser - 2.2 CRD (89 Kw/121 bhp year: january 2003 - december 2005) and a Caravan of (laden) 1000 kg.

Recently took on a Coachman Amara 380/2 1999 model (Kimberly) and found the two well matched.
We had the hot water tank and the cassette toilet full, minimal extras (loaded up clothes, food and dogs in the car). Only some food in the fridge and a standard microwave as any decent load.
It towed beautifully along Britain's motorways, happily keeping up to speed (at times suddenly realising we were speeding). The usual effects of large wash from HGVs, but worked well. Average 26.2mpg which is more than I expected.

There are a couple of concerns over towing with the PT Cruiser
1) The manufacturer gives a limit of 1000kgs which is well below what you would expect. After a little research I believe this is down to maximum train weight limit and points to the braking limits. The PT Cruiser is a heavy car and possibly they never intended for it to be braking for two. Saying that we've not had issues, but we've never had to brake hard.
2) Reversing up, particularly up a gradient, the PT Cruiser is very poor. We tend to push our Van into position, as any real use and the clutch can be smelt. I would consider a van mover, but the extra weight severely limits payload.

All in all though for a lightweight van this is an excellent car, at times you forget the van's there.
If there is just the two of you and you already have a PT Cruiser, rather than upgrade the car to try out caravanning, find a lightweight van and try that instead. I would not consider getting a PT Cruiser to tow with, if I was looking to tow though.

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