2010 Chevrolet HHR Expert Review

You'll Like The 2010 Chevrolet HHR If...

If you like your retro style backed with substance, the functional, comfortable and eager 2010 Chevrolet HHR will satisfy you beyond its intriguing looks.

You May Not Like The 2010 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

Three new paint colors are added to the HHR's exterior color choices as is a new rear view camera option (late introduction).

Interior Features

Unlike the retro-on-retro PT Cruiser, the 2010 Chevrolet 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, its artfully crafted style is much less objectionable 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. Panel models feature rear cargo doors that do not have handles but open via a dash-mounted button.

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. Moving 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, from its pictures it's easy to imagine the HHR to be a much bigger vehicle.

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 2010 Chevrolet 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. Performance fans will love the 260-horsepower SS trim, which offers a much stiffer suspension, a short throw five-speed manual shifter, larger wheels and improved steering response.

Pricing Notes

The 2010 Chevrolet HHR LS Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price (MSRP) starts just over $19,400, and a nicely equipped LT tops out at just over $26,000. The SS models start around $27,000. With plentiful competition be sure to shop and compare using Fair Purchase Prices, which reflect current real-world selling prices. Similarly styled and priced competitors include the Kia Soul, Scion xB and Honda Element. In terms of resale value, we expect the Chevy HHR to hold only average resale value, and not as strong 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/MP3/CD sound system with auxiliary input jack and satellite radio, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, 16-inch wheel covers, trip computer, OnStar front and side curtain airbags, traction control, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and StabiliTrak stability control. The 1LT trim adds an, eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar support, 16-inch alloy wheels and satin chrome exterior accents. The 2LT trim adds the 2.4-liter engine, FE3 Sport suspension, ChromeTech 17-inch wheels, 260-watt Pioneer sound system, fog lights and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The SS trim adds a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, unique front face with mesh grille, sport seats, A-pillar boost gauge, short throw shifter, a rear spoiler and 18-inch wheels.

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 with standard remote start, leather seating, rear backup camera, USB-port, power moonroof, 260-watt sound system with subwoofer, in-dash six-disc changer, MP3 compatibility, Bluetooth and 16- or 17-inch wheels.

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 either the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to the five-speed manual transmission, or the potent 2.0-liter turbo in the SS trims, none of the HHR's powertrain combinations feel the least bit anemic. Both the 2.2-liter and 2.4-liter engines are now E85 Flex Fuel compatible. They are also 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

155 horsepower @ 6100 rpm

150 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 (manual), 22/30 (automatic), 16/23 (E85, manual), 16/22 (E85, automatic)

2.4-liter in-line 4

172 horsepower @ 5800 rpm

167 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 (gasoline), 16/22 (E85, manual), 15/21 (E85, automatic)

2.0-liter in-line 4 Turbocharged

260 horsepower @ 5300 rpm (manual)

260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2000 rpm

250 horsepower @ 5500 rpm (automatic)

222 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1650 rpm

EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 (manual), 19/29 (automatic)

Editors' Notes

While some dismiss the 2010 Chevrolet 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 who like to customize their cars with extreme paint jobs and near-deafening sound systems. By itself, this slick piece of work serves as a practical wagon version of the Cobalt sedan disguised as a retro mini Suburban. There's even a cool Panel version with windowless side panels and side cargo doors. 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.

Road Test Video Reviews

2010 Chevrolet HHR Owner Reviews

117 Reviews
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The Chevrolet is an exceptional vehicle that anyone would be proud of!

I love my Chevy hhr. It is a very reliable vehicle to drive. It gets good gas mileage, approximately 25 mpg. It is a smooth ride. The HHR is stylish as well. The seats are comfortable to sit in and has adequate leg room. I like that my HHR easily fits in my garage. It is big enough that I would feel protected in a car accident, unlike would be the case in a really small car. The Chevy HHR has the normal features of what you need in a vehicle. It has a good air conditioning unit and heater. It has electric windows and electric seats. It also has air bags for the driver and passenger. However, there is a button you can push to turn off the passenger airbag. The HHR has a factory stereo that has good clear sound, with the option of having onstar. I like the paint job as it is a shiny metallic dark blue. The HHR has good acceleration without having a bumpy start. It has great brakes which work really well. It has four doors and seats 4 people comfortably. It is a hatchback which makes it very easy to go grocery shopping. It is quite roomy and if more room is needed, the back seat can fold down. The HHR has a good engine; however, the battery is tricky to get to. There is a fuse panel on top, but it is doable. In summary, the HHR is a really good dependable car. Anyone would be very pleased with owning one.

- Jessica G

Fun and sporty car does well in winter weather

I got my used 2010 HHR in 2015. It was previously a rental car. I love the unique look of the HHR - sporty and fun. It's quite roomy inside and comfortable. I like the convenience of the hatchback; I hauled cleaning supplies including a vacuum cleaner, mop bucket, and mops and brooms with no problem. I like the way that it handles in the ice and snow; it's low and wide body does really well in winter weather. I've had to change the headlights on several occasions, and they are hard to get to. My boyfriend stated he had to turn the tire and pull the wheel-well to the side in order to reach up to get to the bulbs. He has also stated that it is the easiest car to change the oil on. I've had a few annoying parts go out such as the inside door handle breaking off which we were able to order a replacement and put in by watching a how-to video. The lever that opens the hatchback recently went out. Changed the fuse but that didn't fix it. Read that we will have to order a replacement part for that, too. All in all, I really enjoy my HHR.

- Cynthia S

Great car, great gas mileage, little room.

My hhr has lasted for several years, with minimal maintenance. It is actually much roomier than expected on the inside, as long as you do not have kids in backwards facing car seats. That is a nightmare to fit into the backseat. Once my son was out of a booster, he found the back seat much more comfortable. You are not going to get 3 grown people in the back, but 3 kids fit fine, again if they are not all in car seats. If you have car seats you will get two, max, in the back. You may be able to shove a child in between them. My husband is 6' and drives the car fine, as long as the seat is all the way back. It does offer a nice recline on the passenger seat for long car rides. The seats are comfortable enough for daily use, but once you are in the car for more than about an hour, you realize what a lack of padding really is. This particular make also had several recalls, and some issues that were a recall on the same brand, that were fixed thanks to my warranty. It gets great gas mileage and has a decent back to store things in.

- Melissa W

Battery is in the back by the spare tire.

No major problems. Bought 1 set of tires, 1 battery, and have done oil changes, and replaced the 3 windshield wipers. That is it. Very comfortable, easy to drive, good on gas, just this month the a/c stopped working. Love the size of the car, the hatch door in back is great especially when shopping and loading. Both back seats fold down giving lots of room. The back has a shelf you can put in and hide things in the trunk area. After 7 years finally replaced the battery. I did not know it was in the trunk by the spare tire!

- Wendy D

Why I love my HHR ! Small on the outside, big on the inside.

The reason that I love my HHR so much is because it is extremely reliable. No matter how many miles I add onto it, she just keeps on going! The HHR also is a lot roomier than meets the eye. With the back row of seat being foldable, as well as one at a time, is a life saver! The original sound system and speakers has lasts almost 10 years with no issue and I listen to my music loud! All around fantastic car that is small on the outside and roomie on the inside. 10/10 would advise anyone to get one for themselves.

- Ashley W

An SUV shape with a sedan feel.

Most of my problems have been wear and tear. Although when those wear and tear issues have arisen, they have seemed bigger than they should be. I have also had to have expensive front end work done that the mechanic said he had seen in lots of HHRs. I did have a recall for a part that I was able to get serviced for free. Wiring for the sound system is in rough shape as only the front speakers have worked during the time I have had the vehicle.

- Justin L

The Chevrolet HHR is a gas-guzzling money-pit. Consider any other car. This car will break your bank.

I like having a car that runs. This car is too low to the ground, terrible on gas, is seemingly built out of coke cans... hail and debris easily leave dents all over the body. I have had to have the ignition replaced twice due to being stuck running with the key in it. I have had to have it fixed after snow getting jammed behind the tires. It really is the worst car I've ever owned. I suspect this is why they stopped making them in 2011.

- Sheri B

The HHR is mainly all electric.

it is a good car for travel very comfortable and roomy. They do have tire problems and you have a problem finding tires for the cause of the size and lug holes. Inter is nice and the air condition works good, The only thing that I really see bad about the car is everything is ran off of a fuse and not fluids: like the power steering ,the brain book, the fans, and most everything under the hood I'm use to the old fashion cars.

- Sabrina M


I bought the car with 40,000 miles 2 years ago and now I have 100,000 . I had a problem with the power steering, but that was on a recall. The car is very dependable with no major issues so far. I am 6 feet and would prefer more leg room and head room. Great gas mileage. Hard to get a wide and generous view in windshield because of the front mirror placement. Other than those things, I like this little car.

- Lorraine J

This is the most reliable car I've ever owned not a single problem!

I love my car! I've only had it for about a month and I couldn't love it anymore! There's plenty of space it's, wonderful on gas, the ac is always cold when I want and always hot when I want. It has a lot of fun little features that most cars don't have and for being so small there's so much space! Is definitely recommend this car to anyone who's looking for a reliable everyday car! Not a single issue!

- Phoebe P

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