Chevrolet HHR Research & Reviews

Overview & Reviews

Average Score

4.53/5 Average
765 Total Reviews
Model Overview:

The Chevrolet HHR was something of a late arrival to the compact wagon scene. Its name stood for "Heritage High Roof," referring to its tall retro-wagon styling, which Chevrolet claims was inspired by the '49 Suburban. Everything else about the vehicle, however, was decidedly modern.

Though compact in size, the Chevy HHR featured clever interior packaging solutions, including a split-folding rear seat, a fold-flat front passenger seat and a cargo area floor (with built-in grocery bag hooks) that allowed it to accommodate bulky and/or long cargo items. For shoppers searching for a used versatile compact wagon that's also stylish, the HHR certainly merits consideration.

Most Recent Chevrolet HHR
The Chevrolet HHR was a compact four-door wagon produced from 2006-'11. It shared its front-wheel-drive architecture -- and thus many of its driving characteristics -- with Chevrolet's Cobalt compact sedan.

In testing, our editors commented favorably about the HHR's smooth and quiet ride, ample cargo space, attractive interior, excellent visibility and versatile sound system. The cabin boasted nicely detailed gauges, tight construction and substantial-feeling controls. There was, however, no shortage of hard plastics on hand that sullied the overall ambience. The HHR's tall ceiling provided headroom aplenty, but the narrow body limited comfort for adults riding in the backseat. Other downsides included weak brakes, underwhelming handling dynamics and a lack of refinement from the 2.4-liter engine.

Four trim levels were offered: LS, 1LT, 2LT and a high-performance SS version produced from 2008-'10. A two-seat panel van version that came in LS, LT and SS trims was available every year but 2006.

The base engine was a 2.2-liter four-cylinder that initially produced 143 horsepower, but was bumped to 149 for 2007 and to 155 for 2010. Available on the LT was a 2.4-liter four-cylinder that produced either 172 hp or 175 depending on the year (it actually went back and forth). The SS featured a turbocharged 2.0-liter four-cylinder good for 260 hp, along with stronger brakes and an enhanced suspension that together made it quite fun to drive. Front-wheel drive and a five-speed manual were standard with all, but a four-speed automatic was optional.

Besides the minor horsepower bumps, changes to the HHR were limited to standard features. Most notably, this included stability control for 2008 as well as antilock brakes and side curtain airbags the following year.

User Reviews:

Showing 1 through 10 of 765.00
  • Don't buy this car - 2008 Chevrolet HHR
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    I have a 2008 Chevy hhr 2lt with the 2.4 engine. For two years I have been deal with a major brake problem the master cylinder and power brake booster has been replaced and to this day the break paddle goes to the floor. It's has been to the dealer and to brake max and they can't even fix the problem all they do is bleed the system. And you can forget it out. don't even think about doing emergency stop because the brake pedal just goes to the floor it's kind of scary when you're doing 65 miles an hour down the freeway.

  • HHR Hell - 2008 Chevrolet HHR
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    This is the worst car I have ever purchased. It is rickety, tinny, bumpy ANDDD part of an ignition recall. My daughter at college, Arizona freeway 75 mph, loses all power, no power steering. this happens 6 times! avoiding death or serious injury from vehicles on the freeway. Had it to 4 garages before we knew about recall and no one could diagnose the problem. Had ignition fixed, and now this morning, same. 75mph, Semi swerves to miss crushing her. I call GM, they say sorry, not enough people have called/complained or died to help us. Car dealerships won't take it as a trade in because of all the complaints. DO NOT BUY THIS CAR

  • I love my car and you will too! - 2010 Chevrolet HHR
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    Don't be fooled by all the negative reviews about the HHR, I would say this has a lot to do with voluntary response. A few people had such a terrible time with this car that they felt compelled to respond. This doesn't happen often when people have a positive reaction to something (go figure). My HHR was the first new-ish car I had ever purchased. I got an excellent deal at the dealership a silver 2010 Chevy HHR LT 2.4L with 35k miles for $11,500 in Dec of 2012. I got the 1 year 100k warranty along with it. After driving in a 1988 Chevy Celebrity for two years it was like a dream. During my first few months there was a recall for my power steering motor and I just took it over to the dealership and had it fixed in a couple hours. Easy-peasy. I'll talk about the negatives first to get them out of the way. Firstly, it does have very big blindspots. I did have to purchase those additional circular mirrors you put in the corner of your side-view mirrors for some additional help merging and parking. The view out of the front is very square and small, not like a normal 4-door sedan where the windshield is rather large. Something you have to get used to and is not for everyone. Again, I'm very small so the small windshield doesn't bother me. The one feature I always wished it had was a USB for my IPhone. It would be cool to be able to charge my phone AND play my music simultaneously but honestly the auxiliary port has been a perfectly good substitute. I would say considering the kind of gas mileage most 4cyl are getting today (2012-2014 models) the HHR does leave something to be desired in MPG. Right now I get 22/30 and I think the new Chevy Cruise gets up to 36 freeway or something like that. In terms of engine performance it is only a 4cyl 2.4L so the acceleration leaves something to be desired. No wonder. Other than that it has been smooth sailing, my favorite part about this car is that it is easy to keep maintenance up at home like a lot of Chevys. I changed my own brake pads, changed my own oil (after the warranty expired) etc, during the summer and during the winter just took it in if necessary. I even put new rotors on at 50k and it was a snap. Being a very small lady this says something. Parts are very cheap for this guy. Also keep in mind I've put A LOT of miles on this bad boy. I've had it for three years and I just hit 85k (yikes) and it still runs like a dream. Otherwise I made many long trips with this car, even took it to Florida and back a couple times. Space-wise I LOVE it. I have been moving once a year for the past 5 years and with this car I could comfortably pack all of my furniture and make one MAYBE two trips, no UHaul needed. I was also always the one driving a group road trips because my car was the most comfortable for 4 or 5 people. Winter driving: I was basically Santa driving his flying sleigh through the snow. Enough said. I really can't think of anything I genuinely didn't like about this car. I feel like most of the people who complain about performance didn't properly maintain their car so boo-hoo on them. At 85k, with proper maintinence, I can't even tell if my car is on sometimes it runs so quietly. I haven't even had to bother getting a tune-up because I have the 100k spark plugs etc. My brother owns a 2008 HHR and his still runs excellent at 130k. Of course he has had to replace his suspension which was expected but it was only 650 bucks. The only weird thing about the 08' is that the window buttons are on the center console. No idea why but mine is normal so who cares. Long story short, if you are trying to decide whether to get this or a normal sedan, get the HHR. It has so much utility and is just overall just a great little easy-keeper car. I have every intention of driving this car until it can't run anymore.

  • Surprising little car - 2007 Chevrolet HHR
    By -

  • Worst car ever! - 2009 Chevrolet HHR
    By -

    This car has been a complete disappointment and frustration to me since day one.... I bought it used from a reputable dealer with approx. 53,000 miles. It had clean Carfax. I am a seasoned driver and drive very carefully. My car has never been involved in any accidents, floods, or serious storms as long as I have been its owner. In the 3 years I have owned it, I have had to replace the ignition cylinder (because my car wouldn't turn off), the fuse block, the BCM, the control arm- twice, the power steering motor, and the front passenger window motor. I had to have the entire electrical system re-wired. Both before and after replacing all the wiring, the "service airbag" icon and message have remained on constantly. Frequently, the front passenger seatbelt locks-up inside the car wall near the door, making it impossible for anyone to pull it out and fasten it to sit in the front passenger seat. I have had to replace the brakes- 3 times. I have had to purchase 5 tires in the past 3 months because it keeps coming out of alignment. I spent almost $1500 3 days ago replacing my shocks & struts, welding a crack in my exhaust, once again fixing the control arm, repairing an oil leak, and replacing spark plugs and seals ruined by the oil leak. Yesterday as I was driving to work, the "service ESC" light and "reduced traction" message appeared and never turned off. Today, the check engine icon and a "reduced power" message came on, while the car sputtered, lurching forward and then almost dying, then lurching, then nearly dying, in a never ending cycle. I am upside down by nearly $7000 as literally all of my savings and that of my loved ones has gone into the neverending, constant stream of repairs. It won't stop. Every time I turn around something new- serious and expensive- is wrong. It is the worst car I have ever owned in my life. I would not recommend this car to my worst enemy, and I don't feel safe driving it. I would junk it the first chance I have, but it's the only car I have, and I'll be paying for it for another 2 1/2 years- IF it makes it that long. Just the WORST!!

  • Almost time to say goodbye - 2007 Chevrolet HHR
    By -

    Five years of ownership and all she really cost me was shocks and struts and front wheel bearings. Plus front brakes. The ride of this vehicle has never been acceptable to me..seems to me that my 1997 chevy blazer rode better, and that is after struts and shocks. 164k as I write this, not once has it ever failed to start. It handles ok until you attempt tight corners.....not good. Too much body roll and it feels like you will rip the tires from the wheels so slow down like you're in a truck. But the fuel mileage is consistent between 28 and 30 mpg. But where this vehicle really shines is it's ability to haul stuff.....lots of stuff. I tried once to get a sheet of drywall in there but that is where I stepped over the line....I had a lawnmower in there once. I would not buy another one though and I would recommend you purchase one if all you intend to do is drive to school or work and stay off of back roads. I did replace a head light and a brake light also. I've never had a problem with the ignition tumbler but I think that is because there is only one key and a remote start on the key ring.

  • After 5 years I still regret buying this thing. - 2010 Chevrolet HHR
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    Problem #1 HHR would show the no seat belt light for passenger when no one was sitting there. Dealer claimed cell phones caused it to malfunction Problem #2 The car would like autobrake rapidly causing the car to slowdown, and shake. It was very scary when it happened. The "ESC" or something was cutting on. Would have to pull over and restart the car. Dealer claimed they never heard of the problem but I found on line forums where others had this issue. Problem #3 Recall, after recall, after recall Problem #4 The door handle is made of cheap plastic and broke. Dealer wanted like $400 to fix it. Found a replacement on Amazon for $50 and put it in my self Problem #5 Rotor and brakes when out. I think Problem #2 cause this. Cost me $530 to fix. Other issues.

  • Car was designed to fail after warranty runs out. - 2010 Chevrolet HHR
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    I will state the car never stranded me but once save the recalled ignition seizing up. ALL recalls effected my vehicle, the ignition one was amazing on how long it took the dealership to replace, I kept getting notices in the mail and each time I called they either were not approved to do the recall, out of parts or some other reason why they couldn't get it in. It finally took me saying its going to get dropped off tonight whether your ready or not! Because my cars ignition will not turn. Remind you this is 6 months after I initially called and each time was told they would call me when they can get it in. Now going into that you would think they would have offered a rental....no. They had it for a week while I drove a family members car, after a week I finally had enough called back and they said they still cant get the part in...I demanded a rental...they said ok with some hesitation. 2 minutes later they call back and miraculously they found the part and I could pick it up in 30 mins. Fast forward 3 months...now my power steering intermittently starts cutting out. I search online and see there is recall for that...not wanting to go through the same deal I just went through I just dealt with it. Fast forward again, I see another recall for the air bag, this was an issue I brought up during the warranty that the light would intermittently turn on that it needs service...they looked at it twice...no shipshape. There was another issue with the door that kept it from closing some plastic pc that they charged me 350.00 after the warranty was up. It broke yet again so I took it to a mom and pop garage... 18 bucks to replace....so much for good service. Car only has 94,000 miles on it I change the oil often and run mobile 1 synthetic. And I have 2 rear doors which I barely ever used that no children were getting in and out of slamming it but they wont stay shut unless I rig them to stay closed. This week my car randomly acts like its stuck in 3rd gear and will not take off from a stop occasionally, even stalling once, once up to 35mph or higher it acted fine. Check engine light also illuminated he next day so I RELUCTANLY schedule them to take a look at it and see whats wrong with the trany and fix the recalls...thank god I made the powertrain warranty of 100k only being at 94k Wrong because the previous owner bought the car in 2009 the 5 year is up, I bought in Nov 2010 btw. with 20k miles., that the powertrain would not cover it...so I say fine whats wrong with it? Well they cant tell without dropping the tranny, that's out of the question, they charged me 350.00 to replace pc of plastic I can only imagine what that would run me just to check the problem. Long story short I have a car that I owe money on still that may very well be shot, that I cant afford to fix. Not to mention they may try to charge me 98.00 to run a diagnostic...good luck with that btw. My only hope is I can role the negative equity with a trade to the Ford dealer across the street with nothing down, because I for damn sure will not deal with this Chevy dealer again. Or likey any other Chevy dealer for that matter.

  • The HHR that couldn't - 2008 Chevrolet HHR
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    When the car hit 100.000 miles it stated to be an on going money pit new transmission new starter...door locks would not work engine blew up nothing but problems don't buy one!

  • Stylish Ride - 2010 Chevrolet HHR
    By -

    Early HHRs had many teething problems some of them serious. My 2010 model has been trouble free. The car went in for two recall items: ignition switch and power steering, even though I was not experiencing any problems. Neither visit cost me anything. My mileage isn't great - about 22mpg (80% street). I don't use ethanol. A drop of ethanol has about 85% the energy of a drop of gasoline. Not to mention some water content. The car is plenty peppy for me. The A pillars are very thick take a little getting used to, but the interior is very comfortable. Entry/exit is very easy unlike some cars with a low roofline. I also like the useful cargo area and A/C. There is a little compartment in the middle of the dashboard - very handy. I do my own oil changes and the HHR is the best car for this. The new type oil filter is so neat, no mess. Owners of earlier models have reported transmission problems at around 40K+ miles. I only have 33K miles no problems yet. So far I'm very happy.

Chevrolet HHR Reviews By Year:
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