2007 Chevrolet HHR Expert Review

You'll Like The 2007 Chevrolet HHR If...

If you like your retro style backed with substance, the functional, comfortable and eager HHR will satisfy you beyond its intriguing looks.

You May Not Like The 2007 Chevrolet HHR If...

While the HHR is indeed versatile, it's still based on a small-car platform. So if you've got big stuff to haul - or just a lot of stuff - you might need a larger vehicle.

What's New

The 2.2-liter and 2.4-liter engines see a slight bump in horsepower, and ebony is added to the short interior color list.

Interior Features

Unlike the retro-on-retro PT Cruiser, the Chevy HHR features thoroughly modern interior styling. Tasteful chrome rings and accents combine with pleasing buttons and knobs in a contemporary interior that looks and feels like nothing from the automaker's past. While there's at least as much plastic as you'd expect, it's artfully crafted style is less intrusive than in many of the cars in its price range. The HHR also treats its occupants to notably comfortable seats. Versatility is definitely one of the car's strong suits, with features like a front passenger seat that folds down to accommodate longer items and a cargo floor that hides a shallow storage bin and also lifts to create a two-tier load area.

Exterior Features

Featuring a retro design heavily inspired by Chevy's own 1949 Suburban, the HHR plays the stylized delivery wagon to the PT Cruiser's boulevard prowler. This bodes well for the HHR, considering the proven appeal of the utilitarian Scion xB. Up front, a towering hood is fronted by a big chrome grille. Working toward the rear, flared fenders, rounded corners and circular taillights work in concert to strengthen the HHR's link with the past. As was the case when the PT Cruiser was first introduced, it's easy to imagine the HHR to be a much bigger vehicle from its pictures.

Driving Impressions

One of the best things you can say about a vehicle is that it handles like a smaller car and rides like a bigger one. Such is the case with the HHR. With its raised seating position and truck-like attitude, you might not expect the HHR to handle like the small car it really is. It's just as surprising out on the highway, where it's smooth for its size and notably quiet. Even when outfitted with the base engine and four-speed automatic transmission, the HHR still feels adequately motivated, although throttle response is a bit slow and the electrically-assisted power steering feels vague and somewhat disconnected.

Pricing Notes

The 2006 Chevrolet HHR LS has a Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) of $16,390, while the LT trim starts at $17,410. As the competition is plentiful, be sure to shop and compare using Fair Purchase Prices, which reflect current real-world selling prices. In terms of resale value, we expect the Chevy HHR to hold its value slightly better than the aging PT Cruiser, but not as well as some of its Japanese competitors, such as the Scion xB and Toyota Matrix.

Notable Equipment

The HHR LS wagon includes a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, AM/FM/CD sound system with auxiliary input jack, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, 16-inch covered steel wheels, trip computer and front airbags. The LT1 trim adds an MP3/CD player, eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar support, 16-inch alloy wheels and satin chrome exterior accents. The LT2 trim adds the 2.4-liter engine, FE3 Sport suspension, 17-inch wheels, 260-watt Pioneer sound system, fog lights and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob.

Notable Options

Features that will take you beyond base sticker price include a more powerful 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, four-speed automatic transmission, leather seating, heated front seats, power driver's seat, stiffer suspension, power moonroof, 260-watt sound system with subwoofer, in-dash six-disc changer, MP3 compatibility, XM Satellite Radio, remote start (standard with automatic transmission), 16- or 17-inch wheels and OnStar. Optional safety equipment includes two-row side-curtain airbags, four-wheel anti-lock disc brakes (ABS) and traction control.

Favorite Features

Remote Start
HHRs equipped with automatic transmissions include a remote start feature that lets you start heating or cooling the cabin before you even set foot outside your home.

Audio Input Jack
A front-mounted auxiliary input jack makes it easy to connect any MP3 player or other audio source to the HHR's sound system.

Under the Hood

While more aggressive drivers will be best served by the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to the five-speed manual transmission, none of the HHR's powertrain combinations felt the least bit anemic. Both the 2.2-liter and 2.4-liter engines are louder than one might expect, especially at full throttle. Vibration and harshness, however, are well in line with other small four-cylinder engines from Ford, Chrysler and Hyundai.

2.2-liter in-line 4
149 horsepower @ 6000 rpm
152 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 (manual), 23/30 (automatic)

2.4-liter in-line 4
175 horsepower @ 6200 rpm
165 lb.-ft. of torque @ 5000 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 (manual), 23/30 (automatic)

Editors' Notes

While some dismiss the HHR as little more than a PT Cruiser clone, in truth the two vehicles appeal to very different audiences. Where the PT seems to pull in Baby Boomers and Gen X males, the HHR speaks to today's young drivers; kids who like to customize their cars with extreme paint jobs and sound systems requiring a small atomic plant to power them. By itself, the HHR is a slick piece of work, a practical wagon version of the Cobalt sedan disguised as a hip retro mini Suburban. Though smaller than it appears in pictures, the HHR is nevertheless a versatile and fun-to-drive vehicle as equally suited to small families as it is to hip singles.

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Owner Reviews

4.19

126 Reviews

48% 31% 16% 4% 2%

Owner reviews are verified by our team and cannot be altered or removed.

Orange is to stand out but car is decent vehicle for my family.

The fuel injector is going out and it is costly to repair BC there are 4 and no way to tell which is the bad one. The parts are expensive for any repairs needed even upkeep is expensive. It has no power compared to other vehicles I have driven. But it is reliable has so far last over a year for our family of 5 and has been through close to probably 70,000 miles if not more in that time. Having 3 young children the back seat is a tight squeeze for all the car seats. And due to me being so short it is difficult for me to get comfortable in it. The seats are hard leather and could be a bit softer for those long trips to visit family. But I do love the bass speaker in the back of the car we are a music family we love having loud music with loud bass and the system in the car is great for that. The radio even being an 07 could be a bit more high tech rather than a regular basic CD player/aux combo. But overall sound system is great.

- Felicity K

Spacious reliable 2007 Chevrolet hhr.

I really like my hhr. I have bought it when it had 70, 000 miles on it and I had no problems until I reached 140, 000 miles. I had to get the breaks completely redone after that but haven't had any other problems. My only complaint is that I can not change the headlights on my own. Because of the model of the car, the whole front of the car has to be taken apart to put the headlights in. The interior is very spacious and comfortable. It has a very large trunk with extra storage space under the floor. The tank holds 15 gallons which means I can go farther between filling up then when I did with my Saturn and it has good gas mileage.

- Ashley T

Funky family car: my Chevy HHR is a bright orange color with a unique style.

I received my car through my mother who the prior owner. I love the car because of the unique style of the vehicle, and how it is able to endure the rough, bumpy streets of Philadelphia. The car is decent on gas. I have had the vehicle in my possession going on a year now, and only had to get major repairs done once on the rotors and brakes. I also had to get the oil changed twice. The car has an manual transmission which I like, but may need to be repaired soon. Also the standard radio that came in the car has not held up very well. Overall I am pleased with my 2007 Chevy HHR, it's a dependable car with a unique look.

- A W