Tuesday, September 21, 2010
A newcomer to the growing compact wagon scene is the Chevrolet HHR.
For shoppers searching for a versatile compact wagon that's also stylish, the HHR certainly merits consideration.
Current Chevrolet HHR
The Chevrolet HHR is a compact four-door wagon that shares its front-wheel-drive architecture -- and thus many of its driving characteristics -- with the Chevrolet Cobalt. Four trim levels are offered: LS, 1LT, 2LT and SS. A passenger version is available in all trims, and the two-seat panel van version comes in LS and LT trims.
The athletic SS comes with a turbocharged 260-hp 2.0-liter engine, a sport-tuned suspension, 18-inch wheels and special exterior and interior accents. All Chevrolet HHRs have antilock brakes, stability control and side curtain airbags as standard.
The Chevy HHR is available only with front-wheel drive, while several competitors offer all-wheel drive for enhanced foul-weather capability.
Used Chevrolet HHR Models
The HHR's sophomore year brought a little more power (the 2.2-liter four went from 143 to 149 hp while the 2.4-liter unit went from 172 to 175 hp. More standard features came on line for all HHR trims for '09, including antilock brakes, stability control and side curtain airbags.
The 2011 Chevrolet HHR ranks 4 out of 7 Affordable Compact Wagons. Combining modern versatility with old-school styling, Chevy’s HHR is available as either a comfortable five-passenger wagon, or a versatile panel van. With the HHR SS model, Chevrolet used to have a cure for buyers who wanted performance, but for 2011 that model is discontinued. Designed primarily for hauling cargo, the HHR Panel ditches the Chevrolet HHR’s rear windows and seats. While the HHR has its appeal, you should look at other compact five-door wagons. The Hyundai Elantra Touring offers more space than even the HHR Panel and starts out at about $2,700 less than the Chevrolet HHR. Likewise, the Toyota Matrix offers slightly more cargo space compared to the standard HHR and has a base price almost $2,000 cheaper. Buyers interested in the Chevrolet HHR Panel should also take a look at the Ford Transit Connect. Also designed as a utility vehicle, the Transit Connect gets worse highway gas mileage (it’s EPA-rated at 25 mpg compared to the HHR Panel’s 32 mpg), but makes up for it with a whopping 72.6 cubic feet more cargo space than the Chevrolet HHR Panel.