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Chevy HHR - form over function, but not by much

  • Sep 18, 2009
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I'll admit, the HHR is a decent looking car.  I was not embarrassed at all to end up in one on a recent trip to the car rental counter.  The rental fleet special was the base LS with 155hp, but it was fairly adequate for a car that looks big, but really isn't.  The chopped top hot rod look gave the impression of sitting low which I like.  It puts you a little more connected to the car.  Just look at race cars drivers, they sit high up.  If you feel like you need the high-rise feel of a SUV, look elsewhere.  Even though the HHR looks kind of SUV-ish, it's not.  On Chevy's website, it's clearly classified as a car...not even a crossover.

The only similar vehicle I can compare the HHR to that I've driven is the PT Cruiser.  The two are very similar.  The HHR loses in the visibility category though as the narrow windows compromises the view of the outside world whereas the PT has a very large greenhouse.  The HHR does have the advantage in the looks department though.  While the PT has a bit of a cuteness too it, the HHR is a little more aggressive.  The interior material quality is not bad for a sub-$20K car although the more popular alternatives such as the RAV4 and CRV have it beat. 

Of all the similar cars in it's class, I do think the HHR is the most visually appealing.  It's different, but not so different as to be quirky ugly.  I like that it sits low to the ground instead of pretending to be some poser off roader.  For handling purposes, the lower the better.  It's easier to maneuver out the way than to roll over on your side.

Would I ever buy/own a HHR?  Probably not, but I can see how it deserves buyers.  If GM manages to fix it's image, they should definitely keep the HHR as part of it's line-up.  It's much better than garbage like the Aveo. 

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September 18, 2009
I was forced into a PT Loser when I rented a car in Seattle. I kept seeing HHRs on the road and wondered which car would have been better. Sounds like I should have gone with the HHR, although it does kind of look like a hearse...
September 18, 2009
Haha! I like that term..."PT Loser"...I wrote a review on a PT Loser too. Check it out. I've driven worse before. The HHR is a little more fun if you can call it that...but a little less practical.
About the reviewer
Chris Low ()
Member Since: Jan 8, 2009
Last Login: Oct 1, 2010 06:57 PM UTC
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