The Chevrolet HHR is a car-based retro-wagon that celebrates its Chevy heritage with styling inspired by the iconic 1949 Suburban. HHR stands for Heritage High Roof, a reference to the early high-roofed Suburbans and panel wagons that inspired its design.
Based on the same platform as the Chevrolet Cobalt, the HHR was first launched as a 2006 model. The HHR is similar in concept to the Chrysler PT Cruiser.
We found the Chevy HHR fun to drive. It isn't a sports car, but it's nimble and we were pleased with its acceleration. The HHR feels more responsive than its horsepower, torque, and transmission ratio numbers suggest. Plus, it gets decent fuel economy.
The HHR Panel Van features smooth, windowless side panels and side cargo doors with no handles. The cargo doors open via an instrument panel button. While it's plainer inside and provides seating for only two, the Panel best exemplifies the early Suburban heritage.
The HHR SS is the most fun to drive of the HHR models, launching quickly off the line and offering sharp handling. On an autocross circuit, we found the SS model handled like a sports car.
The HHR interior isn't as functional as we'd like, however, and the base cloth fabric left us wishing we'd ordered the optional leather.
The 2010 Chevy HHR comes in two body styles, the four-door Utility configuration with windows and back seats and the Panel truck with no side rear windows and no back seat. The Utility is available in LS, LT, and SS trim levels, and the Panel in LS and LT.
The standard engine is a 2.2-liter four-cylinder, rated at 155 horsepower and 150 pound-feet of torque. A 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine is optional, and included as standard with the 2LT trim; it's rated at 172 horsepower and 167 pound-feet of torque and delivers crisp, responsive performance. The SS version has a 2.0-liter turbocharged four-cylinder engine that makes 260 horsepower (250 with the automatic transmission) and 260 pound-feet of torque (222 with the automatic) and cranks out seriously invigorating performance. Each engine is available with a five-speed manual or an optional four-speed automatic transmission.
The changes for 2010 are limited to three new exterior colors and a revision to the Cashmere interior color scheme.