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Chevrolet HHR

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Comments

  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Honda NSX and later the S2000 use electric steering. Dates back to 1993 as the first all electric assist.

    The HHR rear seats fold down flat. This is a good feature. One used first in the Honda Odyssey. This will be a good selling point for the HHR. GM seems to have total package the car well.

    Have fun with your HHRs

    Loren
  • nargnarg Posts: 113
    We did it. We were able to negotiate an HHR 2LT Magestic Amethest Metalic with sunroof, 17" wheels, XM, leather, etc, for $1000 below MSRP. Original was $24,200 we got it for $23,200. Even got an extended warranty of 6 year 90K mile for 1/2 their asking price at $1300. Extremely pleased at the attitude and service of the sales team. It took a little work, but I was able to convince them that I would buy one, maybe not today (which they hate) but I will buy one, even if it took 6 months. That got 'em fired up about talking price. I figure GM'll make a bunch of these eventually, and they'll be very low price and used that as a negotiating tool.

    The only missing part, litterally, is the running boards. They are really missing because the transport forgot to get them off the truck when the delivered the HHR. So they are reshipping them to the dealer, should have them in 3 days. A little weird looking without them, but we couldn't wait, had to drive it home tonight :)

    Speaking of looks, boy did we get a lot of looks from people on the street while driving this thing around. Lot's of wow's and neat car comments too. It's much more of a head turner than we expected. But, then again, it turned our head in the showroom, hence one reason we bought it. I still really love the drive by wire feel, didn't think I would but it makes the drive very light and easy. Can't wait to try it out on a long highway drive. This thing is also so much smaller than it appears. We traded in a 99 Malibu for this. It's a foot shorter than the Malibu, and really showed that when we pulled it into the garage. :surprise: But on the street it's as big a life.

    I hope the battery is good in it, because we show off the remote starting feature to everyone we show it to. Still can't believe that's an option for a $20K vehicle. It's very exciting to have such a fun and cool vehicle at a price we can afford. It ain't a perfect vehicle by any measurement, but it's definately fun and great to drive. We broke in the vehicle like we do all new vehicle's we've ever bought by driving it to a local Sonic (drive-in resturaunt, midwest style) and had dinner. Our 5 year old christened the seats with a couple of tater-tots, of course. Cleaned up easily from the leather surfaces (maybe I don't hate leather as much as I thought.) It was neat just sitting in this SUV watching the traffic go by.

    One other thing, a guy left a message in this forum earlier that the rear view mirror was to obstructive. The mirror has a double jointed bracket, so it could be move up vertically which was a needed for me. I'm 5'10" and it was very much in my line of sight too. After almost kissing the roof with it moved up, I could see just fine. My wife preffered that setup too. It seems GM usually installs these too low requiring they be adjusted. I recalled having to do this to my full size Silverado when I purachased it too. The view out of the HHR is very good, and it appears to have very small blind spots compared to other cars, at least for me.

    Anyway, four thumbs up from me and my wife (she's going to be the primary driver.)
  • bporter1bporter1 Posts: 229
    Congratulations on buying the HHR. I just have a couple of questions if you don't mind. First, did you get a stick or the auto? Second, the question we all want to know, does the 2.4L require premium gas? Sounds like you have a great car, good luck with it.
  • nargnarg Posts: 113
    bporter1,

    Got the auto. Not sure if that was the best to get, but we are getting older so prefer the ease of drive with an auto. 10 years ago, I'd probably have thought harder on the standard. Haven't had a chance to drive one, but understand from others that it's really nice with that 4 banger. The vehicle seems to be the right size for a standard to be fun and usefull.

    Manual suggests premium is best, but not required. I think another post earlier in this forum put the verbatim wording. Lower will work but provide less power and maybe have engine pinging. I'm thinking we'll burn medium grade most of the time (89 oct), but that may change in time. I might post my observations at a later date with various grades of gas.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    I read a review recently, should have written down the site, that said the brakes were excellent. That is great news to me, I was a little worried. I know what poor brakes feel like (1988 Pontiac Lemans-Daewoo).
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Most automotive companies build in Mexico. Chrysler doesn't want it to get out that there (over-rated) hemi V8 engine is built there. Yes I would prefer to do business with Canada, or China for that matter.
  • f111df111d Posts: 114
    I remember a former co-work had a Pontiac wagon back in the 80's and I remember it had electric assist brakes and steering. It was back when GM let the owners R & D.
    It kept blowing fuses.
    Wish I could remember the what year it was?

    Paul
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Since this vehicle is becoming available, we'll be moving this discussion to its permanent home on the Wagons board. If you are subscribed to this discussion or have it bookmarked, nothing will change for you. If not, now's a good time to do so. You can always find it using the search tools at the left.

    MODERATOR

    Need help navigating? [email protected] - or send a private message by clicking on my name.

    Share your vehicle reviews

  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    That may have been TRW's electric assist, but not 100% electric motor assist.
    Oh well, it doesn't matter. Cadillac had the first electric starter - now that was
    really something!!! Would hate to have to hand crank a Northstar engine ;-)

    HHR is the most interesting rendition of the Cobalt so far. What would a little
    truck look like? An HHR mini truck may be something. The El Camino, I thought
    was a popular car, but I am sure I am wrong as they dropped the line. I vote for
    an HHR mini truck. Something mainly for show and sporting around in.

    Loren
  • Narg,

    Congratulations on the purchase. I want to get up close to one but I cannot stand the bothersome sales people. I just bought a car last week so I am not in the market for a new one anytime soon.

    "Got the auto. Not sure if that was the best to get, but we are getting older so prefer the ease of drive with an auto."

    What does that mean and how old are you? IMHO, sticks are not only more fun to drive, but because of their interactive nature, they keep you more attentive to the road. I know it's too late now, but I am on a personal campaign to see more manual transmissions out on the road :D

    Final question: what made you decide to go with the extended warranty? I could understand if it was a used car and I realize you will probably keep your car for at least five to six years (if not longer), but I have never seen the benefit since they don't cover parts that have normal wear and tear.

    Thanks
  • nargnarg Posts: 113
    rlowrence, The "older" comment, I guess I was just trying to think of something and that's the only thing that poped into my mind at the time. I'm actually in my middle ages, busy raising a fiesty little girl. Taming her and a stick at the same time seems too much. is that a good excuse? I'm sure I'd think of another few if I had the time. Or, autos was all they had in stock... Lazy might be a good one too, (*shrug*) I think more manual trans would be a good thing if the dealers would carry them. They really don't do that much anymore. One thing I found interesting is that the rated MPG for the stick in the 2.2 liter is lower than the auto. Very odd.

    I've unfortunately had to utilize every extended warranty on a vehicle I've ever purchased. Which was for 4 vehicles of different makes. My sister had to use her's on her current Toyota (they're better? B.S. sorry Toyota fans, I don't see that one.) I hope I never have to on this one, but I do like the knowledge that I can at least have it covered while I'm paying it off, and maybe a little after. I did opt for a 72 month loan from my credit union at 5% but will most likely get it paid off sooner. When I was a first time buyer (long long long long time ago, just kidding) good cars were $100/month on 4 or 5 years. And, I could fix most anything myself. Newer cars/trucks are not quite as easy and cheap to fix. Even from 3rd party parts and assistance. Plus, it is my wife's car, and she could not be without it for the days it would take me to repair anything major rather than the shorter time usually resulted from a GM shop of trained hands.

    I have found one item that has bothered me. The radio seems to have a really weak tuner in it. We live in the middle of suburb central so all stations should be very strong. But while moving around town, some of the local stations do seem to fade a bit. Very disconcerning. We did opt for XM, so it may really not be an issue in the long run. Maybe it's a ploy to get you to go XM??? hmmmmmm, makes you wonder doesn't it? That Pioneer amp can really thump! Not quite as clean as I would have liked but it does have power in the low end. Highs are nice too, but the mid just seems to be lacking. Even with various adjustments to the equalizer, it's still not as defined as I would have expected from Pioneer or Delco. We were still quite blown away with the Delco system in the old Malibu we traded in for the HHR. I'd say the Pioneer system is better, but not as much as I expected. Maybe I'm being to judgemental on that one though.

    (late edit to an earlier post: "as big a life" should be "as big as life")
  • bumpybumpy Posts: 4,435
    "Something mainly for show and sporting around in."

    There is the Chevy Tornado sold in Mexico, based on the previous Opel Astra. The new Astra shares a platform with the Cobalt and HHR.

    http://www.portalautomotriz.com/autos/pruebas/gm/tornado_2004/caracteristicas.php
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Hey, that Tornado looks interesting. Now visualize an HHR nose and retro tail gate, and ya got one cool little truck that could sell for say $14,ooo unlike the SSR, which is pretty pricey.

    Loren
  • Hey GM!!! lots of Americans are looking for something like this. A runabout pick up that gets 25+ mpg. Lets get on the ball here!! and sell some in the states.I love the thing. Price it at $14,995 w/ auto, and start taking orders.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    On a page back I wrought about my Chevy dealer experience with a saleman claiming the HHR was nothing more than an SSR. I had to walkout after that one.

    They do have a similarity though.
  • billmchalebillmchale Posts: 107
    Would that you were correct Buzzard... but the trend has been towards smaller trucks over the last 10 years or so. Its why Ford won't update the Ranger and why all the other compacts have been made over as mid-sized trucks. That being said, if gasoline stays in the mid $2 to $3 range then perhaps that could change.

    --
    Bill
  • vanman1vanman1 Posts: 1,397
    You won't see $2 gas ever again. More lilely to see $4 gas in a few years IMO.
  • ANYONE THAT READS INTO THIS AND ACTUALLY BELIEVES THAT THEY CAN PUT 87 OCTANE IN THE 2.4 WILL GET EXACTLY WHAT THEY DESERVE. A BROKEN VALVETRAIN.

    SINCE, WHEN DOES CAR MANUFACTURES GIVE YOU AN OPTION OF USING REGULAR UNLEADED OR PREMIUM? I'LL TELL YOU, NEVER!

    IF IT'S IN THE OWNERS MANUAL THEN YOU BETTER USE IT, YOU WILL BE TALKING TILL YOUR BLUE IN THE FACE TO THE SERVICE DEPARTMENT AND ALL THEY ARE GOING TO WHIP OUT IS THE OWNERS MANUAL WHICH SAYS IF YOU GOT PING ADD THE HIGH OCTANE WHICH IS NOW UPWARDS OF $2.60 A GALLON.

    IF ANYONE ELSE STILL HAS DOUBTS, GO TO PISTONSLAP.COM. YOU WILL FIND A WHOLE WEBSITE DEDICATED TO CHEVY'S ISSUES WITH OLD AND NEW ENGINES THAT PING AND KNOCK. GM WAS SMART ENOUGH TO ADD THIS LITTLE TIDBIT IN THE HHR OWNERS MANUAL SO THAT YOU'LL LOOSE THE BATTLE WAY BEFORE IT EVEN STARTS.
  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Congratulations on your new purchase!

    But, you amazed me:

    Manual suggests premium is best, but not required. .... Lower will work but provide less power and maybe have engine pinging. I'm thinking we'll burn medium grade most of the time (89 oct), but that may change in time. I might post my observations at a later date with various grades of gas.

    Uh - you spent close to $25K for a new, high performance vechicle (the 2.4 is definitely high performance) and want to save 10 cents a gallon on premium? About $120 per year? I used to drop K&N air filters into my cars, chase horsepower with aftermarket exhausts, and now you have one of the slickest high performance engines out there and begrudge it premium fuel?

    Gosh, your priorities are wrong. Stop feeding your 5 year old tater-tots and put the money in the gas tank!
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    On a page back I wrought about my Chevy dealer experience with a saleman claiming the HHR was nothing more than an SSR. I had to walkout after that one.

    They do have a similarity though.

    -----------------end quote------------------

    When ya need a good laugh, you can always go around the different dealerships
    and listen the bull that the salespeople have to say. It is so funny! Some do not
    know if the car is FWD or RWD, they almost never know the HP, or anything else
    for that matter. Had a lady tell me an Escape was so much more safer than a
    Tribute. As about the HP on a car and they will tell you anything that sounds good.
    The HHR and SSR twins, is a good one :) Most of the salespeople come from
    another car dealership in the area. When they can not answer questions on the car
    they use the excuse of it being their first week selling this line on cars. Maybe they
    should do some research on the car line-up before asking if you need any help. Seems
    they need the help. When you finally find the right salesperson, I make it a point to hold on the that calling card. - Loren
  • I have a grandfather whome was a former mechanic for G.M. And my uncle was a former designer for g.m. who worked on souch things as the early 90s blazer and s10. My father also works at a dodge plant. I personally Have a camaro thats built. I wanted a car in the pt cruiser hhr segment. ( :lemon: I passed on toyota and there scion GARBAGE :lemon: ). I test drove the HHR with its quote unquote largest powerful motor at 143 horse power it was so under powered its not funny. I was a whipping boy on the e way. I couldnt get it up to speed and had a hard time keeping it up to speed. the interior felt like CHEAP GARBAGE. But what do you expect from G.M. I worked for QEK Global the people who handle there test fleets and almost every carI worked with was full of flaws with cheap garbage interiors :lemon: . Now for $20675.00
    Now I recently had the luck to get my hands on a 2006 GT cruiser which goes on sale in September. :lemon: If you buy an HHR YOU EITHER WORK FOR GM OR DONT HAVE THE EXTRA 5000 for a real car and when i see you on the road im gonna laugh in your face. FACE! I was in shock. The pt Cruisers design has been updated with Some Styling Cues from the rest of the Chrysler line up, the interior has also been refined. The Material in the PT Cruiser is just higher quality material. Not to mention STABILITY CONTROL, STANDARD ANTILOCK BRAKES, AUTO STICK FEATURE OR A VERY NICE 5 SPEED (which I drove) OH DID I MENTION IT HAS 230 HORSEPOWER. :P Were gonna call it the GT Drueler Because any one who has one will make people in an HHR Druel. SEE you. If this is what G.m. is turning to Im selling my camaro and getting a dodge charger and preying G.M. goes under. If Chrysler did this I would feel the same way. Oh welll
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Wonder why the 2.4 requires premium gas? It is not a turbo.
    I have a 2.4 in my PT which is 150HP and 165# torque and
    it runs on regular. The GT takes premium for it's turbo, but
    the other turbo, which is 180HP takes regular gas. If you use
    regular in the 2.4 won't the computer change the spark advance
    and you won't have any ping. That has to be wrong about there
    being pinging. The modern day cars should not do that. It should
    just readjust everything to accomodate the less octane, one would
    think. In the case of turbos, it has to be only the recommended
    octane. If it says recommended high octane, I wouldn't want to be
    putting anything else in there.

    The gentleman talking about his new purchase, has bought a car
    which must have some $10K in extra stuff, so money must be no
    object, just buy the extra octane gas, I would think. That said, it
    makes no difference to me - to each his own.

    Loren
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    I still have mixed thoughts on this subject. With vehicles with computer controlled detenation (all vehicles for years now), a mix of gas is either leaned out or richened by the amount of air mixed with the fuel according to its needs. I have read to many conflicting reports, not by neccessarily on forums, but by people who test cars for a living. They generally say all you hurt is performance. I am really not sure.
  • Sorry you bought the wrong 2.4 liter. There is a REAL turbo charged one comming in Sept, at 230 horsepower. The one I drove was the first sample vehicle sent to a local dealership. The new pt cruiser doesnt require premium. Also has any one read Car and driver lately. Did any one notice the reviews of the Chevy cobalt... Oh yah it came in last place because it was an under pwoered lacking joke. What did the Neon come in at 3rd because the seats were uncomfortable. WHat did they say about it. It handled better and was just down right faster and more capable than any car in its class including th much more expensive Acura. ALSO I READ THE PT CRUISER COPIED THE CHEVY SUBURBAN. GET CLUE. THe PT Cruiser was based on the 1934 chrysler airflow. :D Now the HHR was based off the 1949 chevy suburban.... HMMMM I think Chevy copied that too I guess. People need to get there research togethor.... Oh well
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    The ElCamino was a pretty popular car at one time. I believe they first came out in 1958 or 1959. They stopped producing them when they were downsizing models. It was built until 1987, and shared its chassis with the Monte Carlo, Grand Prix, and Cutlass models, which were all discontinued in that size. All had V8 engine options.

    GM's Holden division makes a similar car/truck to the Tornado called the UTE, but it has several engine choices including HO V8's, and it is sharper looking in my opinion.

    http://www.holden.com.au/www-holden/action/vehicleentry?vehicleid=15
  • as for any one defending the chevy hhr READ THIS . http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosconsumer/0508/10/F01-275803.htm

    Im not the only person who thinks chevy needs to keep trying
  • I don't know why, but there is a definite difference. My wife's first 2 tanks were 87 octane(before I told her about the 91 requirement), and although we experienced no pinging, the third tank of 93 octane made a HUGE difference in the pickup that the HHR has. This is something to keep in mind as well: the dealers for the most part are not aware that the 2.4 requires 91octane, so the vehicle that you are test driving or taking home, has most likely been filled with the cheap stuff. Run the tank down, and fill it with 93 once to dillute any 87 left over. Then from there on go with at least 91. You WILL feel a difference.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    Wait a minute there " joestatix ' I own a PT but I do realize I am posting in an HHR forum. They certainly do not have to defend preferring to buy an HHR and talk about the HHR. While I could point out that the base PT I have has more torque than the top line HHR, it doesn't mean their engine is not a good one. Some people prefer GM products.

    My impression is that they did copy a lot of the things that are on the PT. And I do not mind a friendly debate as to this or that feature being better or worse, or if they copied this or that. But do remember this is not your turf, so a little give has to go along with take while being a guest.

    The HHR has a good fold down flat seat in the back. The look is also a bit towards a different era or style. The PT is more like the 1930 cars, and yes the Chryslers, or even say a '39 Ford whiskey runner car. The HHR is styled more off their heritage.

    I happen to prefer the overall package of the original = PT Cruiser. This does not mean everyone and their bother or sister has to own a PT. There is plenty of room on the road for HHR, which has its own following. I do not like the looks inside or out of the new PT for 2006, though performance and sound deadening is up. I like the 2005.

    Loren
  • Im sorry If I offended you Loren but look at the facts GENERAL MOTORS LOST IT. They were once a good company but now they down right baltently hired the designer of the PT cruiser because they ARE going out of business and in a flailing attempt made a half assed attempt at a car. I am merely showing the way to a better car the blinded masses if you dont believe me. Then your one of the people in the slow lane doing 55 so prepare to get drilled off the road. Besides when you drive the two compare the two open minded. And then have a car impress you that much you would know.. and you wouldnt lookl back

    :cry: theres a wah for you
  • charlotte7charlotte7 Posts: 144
    You know what, Joe? If I wanted real performance, I wouldn't mess around with a PT Cruiser (or honestly, an HHR for that matter, either). The market segment the Cruiser and the HHR are designed for is not the muscle car enthusiast. I am a muscle car enthusiast (I have a '77 Special Edition Trans Am with a vastly-improved-from-the-original Pontiac 400 in it and I used to drive a '95 Z-28 Camaro) and the features I like about the HHR are not based on the rip-roaring engine or the incredibly tight suspension.

    If I wanted real performance, I'd buy a new Mustang GT, or the hideous-looking new GTO. In either case, the 300+ horsepower they have would blow away any PT Cruiser on the market. There. I think we've covered that topic.

    Can we go back to friendly discussion about the HHR in the HHR's own forum now?
  • The Pt Cruiser will be my gas saving car that still hauls [non-permissible content removed] and I can drive in winter . My primary driver right now is an 1969 camaro z28 with a built 302
  • gogophers1gogophers1 Posts: 218
    Some people prefer GM products.

    Or perhaps some people prefer the styling and driving dynamics of the H over the PT - as unbelievable as it may seem to those exhibiting strong brand loyalty on the other side of the fence. For most shoppers, this isn't a Chrysler vs. GM debate. I, like most here, could care less about the nameplate on my car.

    Joestatix: I'm sorry friend, but you really need to have someone proofread your messages before posting them. They're virtually incomprehensible. And you're not winning any converts to Chrysler's cause with that type of unintelligible, biased rant.
  • nargnarg Posts: 113
    I'm going to reply to a lot of messages here, so hold on...

    I love the small truck idea being pushed around here. Thumbs up on the idea. And the SSR is a very low production special vehicle used more for PR for GM than anything else. Chevy might really do good with a super low cost small truck. It's trucks like that that got Toyota and Nissan (Dotson) into the American market when gas first started it's frantic uphill climb 30~40 years ago. I see a hugh market for such a vehicle. I don't know why the auto makers don't (first time drivers, college kids, low income family's, people that need a simple 2nd vehicle, etc etc)

    micweb, Thanks for your thoughtful and well articulated input. Um, don't give up your day job. And to everyone else about the octane rating for the 2.4 liter. In laymans terms... Higher octane is always required for engines that have a higher compression ratio. The reason is that the higher compression requires more power to overcome the inertia required to send the engine around for another rotation when all the energy is spent doing the compression. That is the cause of the "ping" as the lower power produced by lower octane doesn't quite give all the umph needed to do the job smoothly. Does it hurt a well made engine? Not really. Not unless you mistreat that engine with rough over rpm revs and too much torque requirements, which would lower the reliability of any engine in any situation anyway. Lower octane will obviously result in lower power for any engine, especially a high compression engine. The only result I'm concerned about is the very likely possibility of lower gas milage due to the loss of power, which I've seen many times in other engines. If I can get decent milage out of 89 or 90 octane, and little or no ping, it will not hurt anything. You can research that one all you want, you'll not find anything definative that won't be discounted by another "opinion" of equal obsurdity. We all know you can find ANYthing on the web, good or not, about any subject. I've found equal good reviews of the HHR and bad reviews of the HHR. But, none of the bad reviews had any real data to back them up. They were bad only due to an opinion, not reason. Sick to see such poor objective lacking reporting, especially by normally good sources.

    Weatherman3, caps off dude, learn to use the forums please, especially if you think you have something important to say or no one will bother reading. Piston slaps of the current gm engines and some of the current fords are caused by incorrect specifications on building the engines. Basically the OEM messed up. Fuel changes can have an effect, but is not the answer to the problem. I have piston slaps in my 5.3 liter full size PU. Big deal, I bet I still get 500K miles out of that engine, and as usual I bet it lasts longer than the rest of the truck.

    joestatix, you obviously don't belong in this forum. You probably can't own the car you really want (let me guess, overpriced Lexus?) and you so far have provided little input to any real objective conversations here. And Chrysler themselves admitted using the 49 Suburban in their design queues for the PT. Get over it. (we eagerly await your witty return...)

    Poncho, computer controlled timing and ignition does do some, but not all of the work to keep an engine running well. There's a lot of programming behind that computer, some of which you can control with aftermarket devices if you so fell the need. Another thing about pinging, years ago when real mechanics would tune engines by hand, they always attempted to get a slight ping out of them. This way they knew they had them tuned to the exact position for detonation to occur at the peak power producing timing. Everyone believes pinging is bad, when it's not really that bad in all cases. Some cases sure, but can be rather annoying if nothing else. I own one of these nice little wagons, and plan to give it some real world tests. Those test will be based on much knowledge from myself and many people who know much more about mechanics and cars than I do. I'll let everyone here know what I find out.

    The HHR is not for everyone, yet too many believe they are jilted by GM for some unkown reason that Chevy even attempted to sell this to the general public. Heaven forbid anyone build another 4 door sedan, lest it be rediculed by other's who own something similar looking. If it's not your vehicle, so be it. I personally find it darn cute, as does my wife, and she is the primary driver of our little fun machine. So, her opinion of it counts much more than mine. We'll continue to enjoy it, and drive it, and fill it with gas, and watch the heads turn our direction (which are a lot right now.) Thanks to everyone for your opinions.

    m1miata, I've had a lot of sales people hate me because when I go to buy a car/truck, I almost always know much more about it than they do. I love seeing their faces when I start in with questions they wouldn't even begin to know the answer for. I had the sales manager at the dealership I bought the HHR at almost in a rage because I knew the invoice amount (which of course was gathered from our favorite web site... :) edmunds.com) The salesman was even in awe that I came to buy with that knowledge in hand. Asking more than once how I knew that. Most people fear car sales folk, I find them fun to intimidate. Occasionally I find one worth his weight, but far and few between. The salesman here on this deal finally realized he was a little outgunned and just sided with me enough to get the sale done and get the credit for selling the first one of these in our area. I was happy, he was happy, and my wife is very happy. Mission accomplished :)

    I'm off to the store... Don't need to buy anything, just gotta have a good reason to go drive more.
  • Hi, several hour reader, first time writer here....The interior of the chevy HHR and Equinox both look like my grandson's Fisher Price/Little Tikes plastic toys. I have driven the HHR and appreciate all the comments you have posted. I was ready to give up my luxury, fun to drive Jeep Grand Cherokee V-8 for the novelty of the HHR, but I already get 20 miles to a gallon and can pass about anything on the road. I can also tow a camper, drive through 3 feet of snow and carry all the peat moss my garden can hold. You've all been very helpful!
  • nargnarg Posts: 113
    nmeiring, you should own one before jumping to conclusions. I find the look rugged and durable. The grade of plastic in those two GM products are equal to if not better than similar models from all manufactures. GM just decided not to "polish" it's finish. FIne with me, and most other owners of similar vehicles. For a different perspective, go look at 5 year old vehicles with so called better looking plastic, and 5 year old fords, GM or Dodges that have that "cheap" plastic. That polished plastic too often takes a beating to where it looks very bad, where as the rougher looking plastic is still quite durable looking and nicer. To each his own. I like what I own.

    I'm quite pleased with the fit and finish of the HHR we just bought. Very much better than GM has done in the past. Keep in mind this is a 20K vehicle, not a 40K Cherokee. No it won't have wood in the dash or smooth finished plastic. And no, it won't be able to pull a trailer with any gusto.

    Personally, I'd keep your Cherokee for a work horse, and the get the HHR for the show horse. I have family that raise horses, and the show variety are never worth much off the starting gate for power. But they look really nice. Though my 2.4 in the HHR is quite nice for what it is. I did test drive one from 0 to 60 and it appeared under 9 seconds from a very raw attempt at timing. Can't complain at all.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    I think the HHR Truck, which like the VW truck, would mainly be used as a car, would sell. If the front was exactly like the HHR, GM would have cost savings, and some people may find it to their liking to own a pair of HHRs in the two styles. Keep the cost of the specialty truck down say to one thousand less than the HHR, or the same price and have the largest engine as standard in the truck. I think an HHR-T would sell.

    When the Monte Carlo goes RWD, I think it is 2009 model year, maybe the return of the El Camino is in the cards. Well maybe. My dream was a new Corvair as a mid-engine car. The nightmare was seeing Ralph Nadar driving one :)

    Loren
  • "I think more manual trans would be a good thing if the dealers would carry them."

    Yes, my sentiments exactly. I guess it is one of those chicken and egg things. Are few manuals offered because people really don't want them or have dealers and the automakers conspired the other way to offer more higher margin cars on lots (read cars with automatic transmissions)? Sadly I think it's the latter. What's worse is that fewer and fewer young people know how to drive a stick shift due to the proliferation of automatics.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    If you read the forums on the HHR I think you would be surprised on how inaccurate you are about the HHR, and peoples opinions after experiencing it. The HHR is not intended to be a race car, at least not at this point. The 2.2 L engine is not the biggest engine. The PT updates are barely visiable and don't make it as easy on the eye as an HHR. Have you read any magazine, newspaper reviews on the HHR? Almost everyone is positive and puts the HHR ahead of the PT Cruiser overall. Sounds like you really haven't a clue what an automobile should be.

    "If this is what G.m. is turning to Im selling my camaro and getting a dodge charger and preying G.M. goes under. If Chrysler did this I would feel the same way. Oh welll"

    They are turning out some great cars, and quality rating to boot. I doubt that you have a Camero. Have you seen the Charger. If so do you really want to be seen driving in that horribly designed car. Why would you pray that an automobile manufacture goes under based on a car you don't like, especially an American car company that employs over 100,000 workers. What a disaster that would do to this countries economy if that would happen, not to mention the companies that do business with it. Let me guess, you just turned 18.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    I have read this one before and it isn't really that bad. The Edmunds article was probably the worse one. The HHR is not designed to be a race car, at least not at this point. I am sure the 2.2 L will be more than enough because I don't race with traffic or rarely am in a hurry of everyone else.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    It's engine is higher compression. Like an earlier post said, its only another $120 or so more a year for the higher octane and peace of mind.
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Getting a little off the subject and onto your 5.3 L engine in your Silverado. That so called piston slap is caused by a carbon build-up. The new line of Chevy V8's where designed with extremely tight valve piston clearance. After a while unfortunately carbon builds up on the head, but this like you say will not effect it's longevity. There are products that you can use to clean this up if you so desire.
  • billmchalebillmchale Posts: 107
    1. Narg, I am afraid that your explination about octane and engine ping missed the boat. Yes higher octane is required for higher compression engines, but not because there is any more oomph in higher octane gas. Rather the higher octane is more resistant to dieseling (essentially ignition caused by compression rather than spark). The ignition of some of the gasoline before the spark can potentially cause damage to the cylinders.

    2. Joestatix, you obviously are a troll and are not worth our time (Anyone who would sell one car because they didn't like another car a manufacturer came out with is clearly not trying to make a rational argument). I don't think anyone who really knows cars take the reviews by the Lienerts all that seriously. Lets see, they talk about the enthusiast would pick yet they are looking at the cars equipped with automatics? They don't even discuss how well either car handles.

    In general, each car represents a particular interpretation of the same theme (retro styled wagon). Each has its strong and weak points and each will appeal to different people for different reasons.
  • Narg - that's quite a lengthy and detailed explanation of octane rating vs. power. It is also 100% wrong. All pump gas has the same energy per gallon. The octane rating is the ability of the gas to resist pre-detonation. The higher the octane rating, the more the gas/air mixture can be compressed before it will detonate on its own. So yes, a higher-compression engine will require a higher octane rating. Modern ECU-controlled engines have a knock sensor that retards timing when pre-detonation is detected to prevent damage, so it will feel like higher-octane gas gives more power/acceleration, etc. because the ECU lets the higher-octane gas run at more aggressive ignition timing. But otherwise gas is gas. See http://www.uvi.edu/Physics/SCI3xxWeb/Energy/GasolineFAQ.html for a more in-depth explanation.

    Are you sure car sales people don't hate you because you talk a load of bollocks?
  • Kirstie_HKirstie_H Posts: 11,077
    Let's dial back the hostility and stop with the personal comments, or posts will start disappearing and some members may lose their posting privileges in this discussion. Thanks.

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  • micwebmicweb Posts: 1,617
    Thanks for the link to the Detroit News article. If you read past the "personal comments and conclusions" they have good and bad things to say about each vehicle. I do think it is very hard to fairly compare a 20K HHR to a 24K GT PT Cruiser. Let's face it, a 230 horsepower turbo is going to make even the upscale 2.4 engine in the HHR feel anemic. Also, a lot of the interior touches the DetNews reviewer liked are unique to the GT trim level. I have read a different article that placed the HHR first, with more comparable trim lines.

    The one thing I hate hearing, though, in any of these articles, is that the base model PT is cheaper than the base model HHR. The base model PT is not only stripped of a lot of power equipment that comes on the base model HHR, it is also stripped of aircon, and I hate to see professional reviewers falling pray to a "come on" like making aircon optional in this day and age.

    Another issue on pricing, is that the upgrade from the LS to the LT1 model HHR is not a big jump in $$, unlike the jump from the base PT to a Touring PT.

    We are going to have to see how these cars land on the lots, what the pricing is, and whether "value pricing" works. Right now, I think we are just lucky to have two compact wagons to choose from.

    Consider the alternative - I was looking at a Ford Focus Wagon last week. It was $20k list with a very plain interior and few options. Whereas the PT is cheaper than that and fun to boot. The HHR gives it a run for the money, and has a bigger trunk. Why fight which one is better? They are both better than Scion xA's and Ford Focus wagons, in my book. It's good to have choices!
  • nargnarg Posts: 113
    The pure definition of "Octane" is: Any of various isomeric paraffin hydrocarbons with the formula C8H18, found in petroleum and used as a fuel and solvent. Which simply results in the amount of heat produced during combustion which in a compressed atmosphere and will result in power output (heat, pressure, etc etc). And, higher amounts will also result in higher heat and compression needed to start that combustion near the top of the compression cycle. Of course hotter combustion results in faster burn rates too. But from your reply, I seem to read you agree with my end reasoning and result anyway. My explanation was very rudimentary, not indepth or explanitory. Sorry I didn't get into enough for those who know the difference, but didn't think it needed for the discussion at this point.

    And for the other reply on dieseling, I didn't get into that because it didn't apply to the point I was making. The dieseling is basically from the result of the gas burning incorrectly and causing the piston to litterally be "hit" by power at the wrong time. A result of the point made by ergopower.

    Bottom line: Not a major concern to the longevity of a well made engine. But can result in loss of power and loss of fuel economy. Both of which I plan to measure, though unscientifically, after the engine is fully broke in (and burning 91 as per manual states.)
  • nargnarg Posts: 113
    "as for any one defending the chevy hhr READ THIS . http://www.detnews.com/2005/autosconsumer/0508/10/F01-275803.htm"

    Thanks joestatix, that was a good article. If only it were factual. My HHR has both traction control, which the article said was not available, has standard antilocks in the 2LT model which it also missed. And, my HHR has 23/30 on fuel enconomy, not the 20/25 as stated by the failed article. And they don't even state the turning radius other than it's bad compared to the PT... BZZZT wrong... HHR is 33.8 ft, the PT 36.7. I've also seen the "chrome" the article talks about in the PT cabin, um, it's painted plastic, not chrome. And we get turned heads where-ever we go, I guess they're comatose in Detroit on new cars, which they see all the time so I guess that makes sense. Can't believe everything you read can you?

    Any more? I'm having fun disproving these articles. It's amazing how many so called journalists are actually just wanna be's. Please send more.
  • nargnarg Posts: 113
    "That so called piston slap is caused by a carbon build-up. The new line of Chevy V8's where designed with extremely tight valve piston clearance. After a while unfortunately carbon builds up on the head, but this like you say will not effect it's longevity. There are products that you can use to clean this up if you so desire. "

    Poncho167, tried all types of those products, and even had the dealer do their engine flushing routine. It still has a slight tick or ping under power. I conversed a lot with ryanbab in the Silverado forum on this and we think it was the bad engine bearing tollerance during the 99 through 01 models that Chevy had as "improved" in late '01 versions. Oh well.
  • m1miatam1miata Posts: 4,556
    When will the true readings for gas mileage start to occur? I am thinking perhaps in the range of 3,000 on the odometer before the gas mileage improves. Is that about right. Any people out there have some miles on the road, and have taken an in town, and highway mix, and a freeway reading yet? The base PT seems to get 20 to 29 1/2 miles per gallon depending on speed and hill climbing. My guess is that the HHR is going to get around a 25 MPG overall as well. Seem like when pushed around 80MPH or going over mountains, it does like to drink more. Yeah, all cars do, but the weight of these cars and aero dynamics make for a wide range of mileage, I think.

    As for pricing of the HHR against the competition, it all depends on what kind of equipment you prefer to have. The base PT with air, bought with discounts will be less. Bought with the same equipment many people prefer to have, Chevy in the HHR model
    on whatever discount plans they have, I would imagine it may be equal of cost less. I do agree that some step ups in the PT model can make it more costly. Just depends on what your needs are.

    As for turbo charging, it is not something I would want in a car. And some PTs are running pretty hot. It is a small engine compartment. Chevy went with more HP and I guess a higher compression ratio judging by the use of higher octane gas. With a stick, it may make the HHR a tick fast in the zero to sixty times. The torque however is three pounds less, when compared to the base 2.4 in the PT. I got the stick. Will assume that the stick with the HHR 2.2 or 2.4 should be spunky enough. If I push it off the line, I get wheel spin / FWD torque steer. Not a big fan of FWD, but most little cars some that way. Chevy may be wise to not put the turbo in the HHR. Or maybe they will have to for more sales. It is a big thing with some people. Has anyone seen the Cobalt turbo yet?

    Loren
  • poncho167poncho167 Posts: 1,178
    Read a short blotter today at Hemmings motor news that there is an HHR being tested with a turbo intercooled 2.2 L engine that has been clocked at 184.135 mph, though this is a modified non-production version. A similar Cobalt (though supercharged) has already set records at 243.127 mph.

    m1miata, the production Cobalt goes with the supercharger instead of the less reliable turbo. I think I have seen a couple of them on the road, though it is hard to distinguish from the regular coupe.
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