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Who owns or has owned an HHR? by Fiero_Adam
Started on: 04-03-2011 08:49 PM
Replies: 18
Last post by: rogergarrison on 04-05-2011 06:22 PM
Fiero_Adam
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Report this Post04-03-2011 08:49 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero_AdamSend a Private Message to Fiero_AdamDirect Link to This Post
I'm considering getting one of these. They do look a bit funky, but they are kinda cool in their own way. Right now I have a 2001 S10 pickup with the auto/2.2L combo. Anyone that has owned one of these knows how gutless they are. Anyway, I think it's time for something new, as I have owned this for almost 5 years. I just want something that can carry more people if needed, and still be able to haul stuff. Also want decent gas mileage. The HHR seems to be a good fit.

So, any experiences with the HHR would be appreciated. Good or bad. I'm wanting the 2.4L engine and an LT model. The SS would be awesome to have, but I can't afford that. I'm wanting to keep it under $8000 if possible.
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joshua riedl
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Report this Post04-03-2011 09:00 PM Click Here to See the Profile for joshua riedlSend a Private Message to joshua riedlDirect Link to This Post
I have one. It's a good daily driver and surprises people everytime I tell them something will fit. I put a 50" plasma with box in it. Recently I put a 60" vanity in it, 34" tall. Fit good. Gets 33mpg. I can't really complain although Like you mentioned the style is questionable. I bought it new with extended waranty for $15,000 and I don't regret it.
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madcurl
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Report this Post04-03-2011 09:17 PM Click Here to See the Profile for madcurlClick Here to Email madcurlSend a Private Message to madcurlDirect Link to This Post
PM Songman. I believe he's still enjoying his car.
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WhiteDevil88
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Report this Post04-03-2011 09:32 PM Click Here to See the Profile for WhiteDevil88Click Here to Email WhiteDevil88Send a Private Message to WhiteDevil88Direct Link to This Post
Styling is love or hate, just like the PT Cruiser. The utility is what seals the deal. Those two tall wagons (designed by the same guy around the same basic idea) can swallow astounding amounts of cargo. I will tell you that you could pick up a turbo PT GT for $6000-7000 all day everyday. You don't get as much technology and the mileage isn't great (20mpg average) but it is proved to be very reliable for us We own two, a sedan and a convertible, with combined 130k miles. A couple of tie rods and a new battery is the most maintenance the car has required apart from standard wear items like brakes and tires. Again styling is a love it or hate it thing. I happen to really like the look of a properly lowered and raked PT with 17"-18" wheels. I like the HHR as well, but when I tried one on, the top of the windshield was even lower then the PT, and I felt like I had to stoop my neck in order to see out. it wouldn't be a problem for you, unless you got a bit taller in the past 10 years. But I could imagine that getting old for .me, and combined with it being the panel truck, it seemed very tunnel like, and a bit clostrophobic.

Check one out. If you are interested there is a guy on ptcrew.com who is selling a nice GT 5 speed that has an upgraded turbo that has run 1/4 in under 14.0 for $6000. It has been babied and fitted with some solid performance aftermarket upgrades, and has avoided being covered with fake Chrome like many PT Cruisers. If you wind up getting an HHR, I am sure that you will be happy with the utility and reliability and utility of it. But if you want some POWER, check out a PT GT 5 speed.
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skuzzbomer
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Report this Post04-03-2011 10:21 PM Click Here to See the Profile for skuzzbomerSend a Private Message to skuzzbomerDirect Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by WhiteDevil88:

PT GT ...
and the mileage isn't great (20mpg average)


Really? I drove a base model vert for a few weeks and never broke 22mpg. Barely enough power to keep up with traffic in a town where every other guy has a V8 truck. Also, didn't like cheap gas.

Never driven a turbo model but the base seems way too squirrely for me to be considered for a personal car on my end. (Didn't help that I have to get the ghetto-lean thing going to see out the windshield. I got in with the top down and was looking clear over the frame. I'm only 6' tall but have short legs so that makes for awkward situations in some cars).

Never driven an HHR but I have considered an SS model (around here, they go for about $11-14k used with low mileage)... still don't lke that FWD thing, though.
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pHoOl
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Report this Post04-03-2011 11:19 PM Click Here to See the Profile for pHoOlClick Here to visit pHoOl's HomePageClick Here to Email pHoOlSend a Private Message to pHoOlDirect Link to This Post
The wife and I put 1600 miles on a rental in a week going to Yellowstone.

I'm not a huge fan of the styling, that said, if I owned one, I would think it would grow on me.

Utility wise, can't be beat... we stuffed quite a bit in it, and it was a comfortable ride. Mileage was pretty good too. The 2.2 with an auto was pretty gutless getting on the xway, but the fact we were traveling through Wyoming's nothingness for a lot of the trip, it wasnt too bad.
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TK
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Report this Post04-03-2011 11:42 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TKSend a Private Message to TKDirect Link to This Post
I have an SS which is the LS model with the 2.0L turbo and suspension.

The 1LT's with the 2.4L are quite nice and 30 mpg is very doable if you don't go nuts. My SS will do it easy. The 2.2L is adequate if you aren't going to hot-rod it and will do mid-30 mpg or better.

The 2LT's come with the 2.4L and a little stiffer suspension and more features. The 177hp for the 2.4L drags it around very well. I was going to get a 2LT until I stumbled on the SS.

As people have said, the space inside is great. You can fold the seats down and stuff an 8ft ladder in there. I am still shocked what fits.

The downsides are:

1. Low windshield. I am 6'4" and have to lean down to see many traffic lights. I have just learned to stop back from the intersection about 3 ft.

2. The rear-view mirror is one huge blind spot.

3. If you are tall, your head hits the sunroof. I got mine without it.

4. 5 spd shifter in the non-SS is back and down more so for long arm people it might be a bit of a hassle. They moved it forward in the SS.

I love mine. Even if I ignore the SS power, the functionality and gas mileage is great. If the deal is good on the 2.2L get it, but the 2.4L does feel stronger.

Terry
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tbone42
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Report this Post04-03-2011 11:44 PM Click Here to See the Profile for tbone42Send a Private Message to tbone42Direct Link to This Post
I have a friend who owned one that always complained about the blind spots. Something to consider.
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spark1
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Report this Post04-03-2011 11:53 PM Click Here to See the Profile for spark1Send a Private Message to spark1Direct Link to This Post
I think starlightcoupe has one and likes it. Isn't this the last year it will be made?

We rented one a while back and it was fun to drive but the styling affects interior room so the front seemed kinda narrow. We were nearly touching elbows most of the time it seemed. Also bumped my head getting in once and I'm not very tall.
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WhiteDevil88
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Report this Post04-04-2011 12:01 AM Click Here to See the Profile for WhiteDevil88Click Here to Email WhiteDevil88Send a Private Message to WhiteDevil88Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by skuzzbomer:


Really? I drove a base model vert for a few weeks and never broke 22mpg. Barely enough power to keep up with traffic in a town where every other guy has a V8 truck. Also, didn't like cheap gas.

Never driven a turbo model but the base seems way too squirrely for me to be considered for a personal car on my end. (Didn't help that I have to get the ghetto-lean thing going to see out the windshield. I got in with the top down and was looking clear over the frame. I'm only 6' tall but have short legs so that makes for awkward situations in some cars).

Never driven an HHR but I have considered an SS model (around here, they go for about $11-14k used with low mileage)... still don't lke that FWD thing, though.


The funny thing about the turbo models is that they do get about the same mileage as the non turbo. The power, on the other hand, is more then sufficient to leave those V8 pickups in your dust. The base model rental mobile is a dismal place, and the suspension is more tuned to fleet sales then performance. Our GTs are a blast to drive, especially the Stage 1 equipped convertible. They are a bit stiff on bad roads, and it takes a little time to get used to the higher center of gravity. It's no Fiero, but it is a lot more useful when you take it to Lowes.
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ezramore
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Report this Post04-04-2011 09:30 AM Click Here to See the Profile for ezramoreSend a Private Message to ezramoreDirect Link to This Post
Dont own one but I do rent a lot of cars. Had to add it to my do not rent list with hertz as i am pretty tall and the low windshield takes the fun out of driving it. Did have good cargo space and descent gas milage for an SUV. The couple i rented down in south Texas did not handle cross winds very well at speed. It was a rental so the higher modles might be better.
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Report this Post04-04-2011 09:48 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 82-T/A [At Work]Send a Private Message to 82-T/A [At Work]Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by Fiero_Adam:

I'm considering getting one of these. They do look a bit funky, but they are kinda cool in their own way. Right now I have a 2001 S10 pickup with the auto/2.2L combo. Anyone that has owned one of these knows how gutless they are. Anyway, I think it's time for something new, as I have owned this for almost 5 years. I just want something that can carry more people if needed, and still be able to haul stuff. Also want decent gas mileage. The HHR seems to be a good fit.

So, any experiences with the HHR would be appreciated. Good or bad. I'm wanting the 2.4L engine and an LT model. The SS would be awesome to have, but I can't afford that. I'm wanting to keep it under $8000 if possible.



My neighbor has one, the panel one where the rear doors aren't actually doors, but closed-off panels. He likes it, it gives him plenty of room to put all of his stuff in it. He's into model helicopters now, and he can fit all his crap in there. It also gets decent fuel economy being that it's RWD and a 4 cyl. He's got the one that has the same engine as what was in my Solstice (the VVT 2.4). The fuel economy he gets is around 28-29 highway, and 17-18 in the city.

For $8,000, you could probably get a very decent Explorer. If you wanted to get something that would be in between an HHR and a pickup, you could probably get a Sport-Trac... like a ~2005 model. They come with 4.0 DOHC V6s that are decent, have lots of amenities, RWD, you can get them with 4x4 if you want, and also have a pick-up bed for stuff you wouldn't want to put inside. Prices of used cars have gone up a lot, but the Exploders are a decent buy right now. I bought one myself (an Explorer Sport, not a sport-trac).

My last car (Solstice) had the 2.4 VVT motor... I liked it, but it was gutless down-low. I could get my Solstice (modified) into the high 14s no problem, but I really had to wind out the gears. In stop-and-go traffic, it really didn't have any power down-low... it sucked. I found the gearing and driveability in Chrysler's version of the motor (also a 2.4 VVT) to be much quicker in stop-light traffic. That is with our 2008 Jeep Patriot. We also get well over 30 miles to the gallon on the highway, and I've never seen the mileage drop below 20, even when doing ALL city driving. We usually average about 24 mpg. The best we've gotten was 35 on the highway. The Patriot is about the same interior space as the HHR, but it's higher to the ground. I think the resale value might be a bit higher too...

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jaskispyder
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Report this Post04-04-2011 09:51 AM Click Here to See the Profile for jaskispyderSend a Private Message to jaskispyderDirect Link to This Post
HHR is FWD
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css9450
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Report this Post04-04-2011 10:03 AM Click Here to See the Profile for css9450Click Here to Email css9450Send a Private Message to css9450Direct Link to This Post
There's also a pretty decent HHR forum if you're interested:

http://chevyhhr.net/forums/index.php

I have a Cobalt, which shares many of the same mechanical bits as the HHR although its built in Ohio and not Mexico like the HHR. Judging from what I see on the HHR forum, their owners share some of the same complaints as Cobalt owners - some of the suspension parts wear out and rattle, like swaybar endlinks and bushings, mostly. Replacement with quality Moog parts cures the problem.

I like the HHR forum. Its much more "adult" than the Cobalt forum; IE, there aren't 30 threads going simultaneously about how to install projector headlights, peel off the badges and paint the wheels while they're still mounted on the car.
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Report this Post04-04-2011 10:16 AM Click Here to See the Profile for 82-T/A [At Work]Send a Private Message to 82-T/A [At Work]Direct Link to This Post
 
quote
Originally posted by jaskispyder:

HHR is FWD



Wasn't sure if this was in response to me... but I'm aware of it. When I said it had the same powertrain as the Solstice, I was talking about the motor.
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rogergarrison
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Report this Post04-04-2011 01:51 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonDirect Link to This Post
I had my first opportunity to work on one a few weeks ago. Like said, like a PT, its a love or hate thing. Im sure there very versatile, my best friend has one he really likes for work or his home construction projects. The only thing Ill say is I dont want to hear anyone who owns an HHR say PTs are really cheap built inside. Talk about no flash or style. My dads 66 VW bug was fancier. I didnt drive it around for a test drive.
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Report this Post04-04-2011 02:45 PM Click Here to See the Profile for TommyRockerClick Here to Email TommyRockerSend a Private Message to TommyRockerDirect Link to This Post
I wouldn't mind an SS Panel
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Fiero_Adam
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Report this Post04-05-2011 01:20 PM Click Here to See the Profile for Fiero_AdamSend a Private Message to Fiero_AdamDirect Link to This Post
It does seem like it will be difficult to find one in my price range for what I want. I did find an 08 LT with 50K miles for $8600, which seems to be a pretty good deal. It's red, which isn't a deal breaker, but I'd rather have black or charcoal. It's also 150 miles away. There's a few more around or under 8000, but they're the LS model and have higher miles.
I'm not very tall, so the low windshield shouldn't be a problem. The 2.2 would be okay, as I'm not looking for a fast car, obviously. It's rated at more horsepower than my S10, and the HHR is a little lighter. It would be an improvement anyway. But if the 2.4 is rated for the same mpg and has higher horsepower, I might as well try to get one of those. I need to test drive one before I get too ahead of myself. We have 1 gm dealer here, but they don't have one. They keep mainly pickups and old lady cars.

I have looked at some PTs, and they are more affordable, but I don't like the look of them as much. I know they're similar. Maybe it's because I see so many of them here. The GT model does look better, though. Other vehicles are not out of the equation either.
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rogergarrison
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Report this Post04-05-2011 06:22 PM Click Here to See the Profile for rogergarrisonClick Here to Email rogergarrisonSend a Private Message to rogergarrisonDirect Link to This Post
WOW their expensive used, especially with 50,000 miles. My buddys 03 or 04 PT is loaded with everything except a sunroof, had 12,000 miles and paid $5500.
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