Changes You'd Like To See in the Chevrolet HHR

PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
edited September 2014 in Chevrolet
Have an idea on how to make future models of the HHR even better? This is the place to post your ideas!


  • paopao Member Posts: 1,867
    give me a turbo...use the same engine in the Solstice GXP.......
  • PF_FlyerPF_Flyer Member Posts: 9,372
    Seem like more power is a common request :P

    We like it to GO!
  • pontiacgtppontiacgtp Member Posts: 15
    I would really like to see a 5/6 speed automatic or CVT tranny to replace the outdated 4 speed.
  • ttwebttweb Member Posts: 17
    I have a 36" inseam. I can handle the legroom in the PT Cruiser but not in the HHR. I would love to own a Manual transmission HHR.
    Anyone know if the seat can be moved back some?
  • dschleicherdschleicher Member Posts: 2
  • djm2djm2 Member Posts: 712
    I would like to see a 6 speed automatic transmission with a more powerfull engine. Before I purchased my 2007 Toyota Camry, I took the "top of the line" HHR out on a test drive. It did not have enough power to get into highway traffic safely. I was VERY disappointed with the performance of the vehicle. From an appearance point of view, this vehicle should have twin exhausts on it's rear, and maybe a little sound from the exhaust system. (Something to go along with it's image!) In addition, I would like to see more comfortable seats.
    Chevrolet has a "money maker" with this vehicle, if they change a few things. A diesel engine might be a good option!
    Best regards. ---- Dwayne :shades: ;):)
  • donthegreekdonthegreek Member Posts: 127
    My car was in the body shop so i got an 07 HHR for a rental...Lots to like...but it needs the following:

    200-220 hpr or a diesel would be nice
    Interior is to cheap and plastic...
    AWD would be awesome...
  • smogdungsmogdung Member Posts: 349
    Go over to the 07 Camry forum if you want to hear some real horror stories!
  • gottalinkgottalink Member Posts: 1
    I bought the first HHR that came into the dealership I worked in. It has been a good, and stable vehicle. Mine is an LS with the automatic 2.2 Litre. Power is adequate, fuel economy is outstanding (32 + mpg on trips). It is no hot rod, but it has a hundred mile per hour stereo ( the Pioneer), and cruise. I'm not a greeny weeny, but I appreciate not spending too much on fuel. I think a six speed automatic might be the best improvement, if it can be made as dependable as the current 4 speed.The extra gears might make speeds up hill easier, less reving, quieter downshifts.
    Power seats might be a good option too. I like the idea of the panel delivery too.
  • smogdungsmogdung Member Posts: 349
    Hey gottalink, I've ave about 26 MPG over the 1.5 years I've had the 2.4L automatic....what would you say you've averaged with the 2.2L auto since you first bought it?
  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    "I would like to see a 6 speed automatic transmission with a more powerfull engine. Before I purchased my 2007 Toyota Camry, I took the "top of the line" HHR out on a test drive. It did not have enough power to get into highway traffic safely. I was VERY disappointed with the performance of the vehicle. From an appearance point of view, this vehicle should have twin exhausts on it's rear, and maybe a little sound from the exhaust system. (Something to go along with it's image!) In addition, I would like to see more comfortable seats."

    Sorry, I have driven many different cars during my lifetime including several HHR's and this vehicle even with the standard 2.2 L engine has more than enough power. If fact my 1988 Pontiac Lemans(Daewoo) with its 74 hp was more than enough on the freeway. I usually out accelerated other drivers from the toll both into the main lane. Merging a vehicle into traffic for a good driver isn't about how fast your car well accelerate, its about being aware of the traffic and picking the right time and spot to get in. The HHR's quickness is no different than most any car with similar equipt engines. As far as plastic goes this vehicle has top quality plastic and really don't you think plastic comments are way over-rated. Who goes into their vehicle and runs their hands or face on plastic? Not meaning to be harsh but I don't think you are comparing apples to apples. Love the seats.

    It's been a rumor since the fall of 2006 that the HHR will get a more powerful engine for those speed freaks, and it was approved a couple months ago. Later this year the HHR will get a 260 HP 2.0 L Turbo Charged engine.
  • donthegreekdonthegreek Member Posts: 127
    QUOTE "As far as plastic goes this vehicle has top quality plastic and really don't you think plastic comments are way over-rated. Who goes into their vehicle and runs their hands or face on plastic? Not meaning to be harsh but I don't think you are comparing apples to apples."

    Sorry, But when i rented an HHR back a month ago, i was disapointed at the low rent quality of the plastic. The extra glove box/storage center on the top of the dash being a good example..the lid on this fit very poorly because of the cheap plastic and the whole top area of the dash was also cheap. I expect better of GM. It dosen't have to be Audi quality, but it sure needs to be much better.It was a major turnoff for each his own as they say.

    As for the engines, when i have to have the gas petal floored to get up some of the hills in my area,and it barely can get to the posted speed limit...sorry it needs 200 hpr or more. The upcoming 260 hpr sounds nice.
    Also the current larger engine requires premium gas i'm told!!?!? Whats up with that?

    Again just MY opinion. Thats why GM is struggling...Underpowered engines and cheap plastic.
    I still would like to buy one, but i'm waiting to see what improvements they make.
  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    "As for the engines, when i have to have the gas petal floored to get up some of the hills in my area,and it barely can get to the posted speed limit...sorry it needs 200 hpr or more."

    It's an economy 4-cylinder compact car. People who need more or have large hills to worry about usually get cars with 6-cylinder engines. This vehicle like the PT Cruiser was only meant to have a 4 banger. Even though the original 1939 Heritage High Roof model for which it received its styling from had an 8-cylinder, that doesn't mean that this one should go the same route. That vehicle was much larger. There have been a few people who have customized these HHR's with 8-cylinder engines so that is not out-of-the-question.
  • donnmandonnman Member Posts: 2
    My suggestions are in regard to comfort. First I hate that the locks are of the stick variety and located right where I rest my arm with the window open.

    Another issue I hate is the location of the auto window buttons....Put them back on the door where they should be.

    I saw mention earlier of radiator problems. Well let me join the list of having to have this replaced. The dealership also told me that is wasnt covered under warranty as it "appeared" to be damage caused by a rock. GM definitly has a design flaw here as the radiator is completely exposed to this type of damage.
  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    The window controls are shared with the PT Cruiser and a couple other cars. I would prefer the door as well but some people say they have gotten used to it.

    I would think that there should be a screen guard out for that radiator by now. At the very least it should be offered as an option.
  • caliberchiccaliberchic Member Posts: 402
    I had a PT for a rental car and could not get use to the center counsel mounted window buttons!
  • johntaiyujohntaiyu Member Posts: 2
    telescoping steering wheel so that I don't have to trade leg room for arm stretch.....raise the middle armrests about 4 inches....and air deflecters in the rear to keep the dust off the back hatch....
  • mclennan1mclennan1 Member Posts: 1
    I've only had my 2007 HHR for a month but I have one suggestion. I find when backing I have almost no visability behind the car. I would like to have sometype of backing assist device added to the car. The type that beep when you are near something or maybe the camera type devices they are advertising.

    Does the lack of visabily and blind spots bother anyone else?
  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    With these types of vehicles and vans, its best to get used to using the side mirrors.
  • hotssrhotssr Member Posts: 1
  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    I bet they probably will not offer it in a panel version at least initially. I think they should offer a back seat as an option in the panel as well.
  • weighmasterweighmaster Member Posts: 8
    I would like to see 4 wheel disk brakes, better cup holder placement... and thats about it.
  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    The SS model coming out will have 4-wheel disk brakes.
  • turboshadowturboshadow Member Posts: 338
    I had a PT for a rental car and could not get use to the center counsel mounted window buttons!

    Never had a Dodge Shadow, eh? ;)
  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    I would prefer the door mounted switches as well, but the centered mounted ones wouldn't deter me from buying the car. Maybe I would leave the windows up more often?
  • jdmcompjdmcomp Member Posts: 1
    For one thing, Chevy could restore the manual option with the 2.4 engine in the 1LT. The pricing schedule of Chev is designed to restrict choices so that the customer will pay more to get certain options which appear to be simply disabled in the lower prices models.
  • donthegreekdonthegreek Member Posts: 127
    Its confirmed,, out in 2009.
  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    I saw that also. I didn't get any info. on the interior. Is it the same with no back seat option?
  • donthegreekdonthegreek Member Posts: 127
    From what i've read so far, no back seat.

  • scortchscortch Member Posts: 41
    More power. Very poor engine power even with the 2.4L. I had to run 92 octane fuel to get somewhat decent performance. I had the 2LT with pretty much everything on it. Still sucked.

    Totally redesign the poorly designed interior. It's cheap for a reason.

    The outside looks great but, that is the only thing I like about the HHR. I was always getting compliments on the looks.

    The all plastic interior just reeks of cheap.

    The seats are small and I feel like I am in the movie theater sitting next to someone in the passenger seat. It's great if you want to cuddle up to your woman or something but, sucks otherwise.

    Console? What console? That piece of junk they put on the dash? please

    My knee was always hurting due to the center area design. It was cramped up against the center area and the curved part pressed into the knee area.

    Arm rest? Oh, the things that sit way too low to be of any use? It needs to be raised up.

    Cup holders. Oh man, what a bad design. If you have anything larger than a small drink, it hits the side of the seat and tilts and they are hard to get to. Move the emergency brake to the floor at least.

    Back seat room is too small.

    Lower the seats or something. It sucks having to lean forward into the steering wheel to see when the red light changes.

    Move the window controls back to the door where they belong. If nothing else, at least move them up further.

    Door locks are in a bad position. When I have the window down and my arm resting on the window, the lock pokes my arm. It being small, it hurts like heck too.

    Do something about the rear airflow. The back door area gets extremely dirty really fast.

    Massive blindspot in the rear. Backing up is a pain and when moving into the right lane can be a hassle mkaing sure you are far enough ahead.

    Worst mistake I ever made in buying a car. I loved the look and the drive was ok, if it wasn't so uncomfortable. Just way too many things wrong with the poor interior design. The person that designed the interior should be fired.

    I moved up to an Impala and MUCH happier. Even the Malibu was a much better car. My Pontiac Vibe was even better, even though it had the same center arm rest height issue and engine performance problems. That was it though.

    I have never been more dissapointed in a car than I was the HHR. The outside was really great, only to be so let down by the interior.
  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    I disagree with almost everything you say, but that is your opinion. The 2.2 L engine has more than enough power for this car/van for normal driving, and the 2.4 L a has a little more go. Compare the 0-60 times with most any car out there and you will see this is normal for a 4-cylinder vehicle. The designer of the vehicle was the same guy who did the PT Cruiser though I don't know if he was involved with the interior.
  • scortchscortch Member Posts: 41
    Isn't all of this people's opinions? Every person's changes they would like to see is an opinion. :)

    It's all the stuff I didn't like and what led me to get rid of it finally. Of course some people are going to disagree and some agree. They asked, I posted ;)
  • lacolaco Member Posts: 28
    Yes its all personal opinion.
    Mine is, I'm pretty satisified with the 2.2, but I also have the five speed manual transmission, which is more efficient in getting what power there is to the drive wheels. Mileage, I consistantly get 35mpg highway, 28mpg or so city, so it does well in that catagory, but then I also don't drive it hard.

    Visability, yes there are blind spots, but getting the mirrors adjusted properly goes a long way to help that.

    My only interior issue, is, I wish there was more storage inside, compartments accessable to the driver. I really miss center console storage, but it is a small car, and something has to give.
  • fredstein1fredstein1 Member Posts: 1
    I have noticed several HHR's with dented tailgates, i saw a used one at the dealer and it was dented right above the license plate, the same dent I have seen on several other HHR's, I put my thumb on the metal and it caved in with a "pop" sound, like a coke can and it left a new dent!! Have any of you noticed this with your HHR? It stopped me dead in my tracks from buying the HHR.
  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    It sounds like a design flaw. If that was the only thing holding me back from purchase I would live with the small ding or would be careful with that area when washing. You can get those suction cup dent/ding pullers at stores for as little as $10 now.
  • talker20talker20 Member Posts: 7
    I found an 08 with doors and a seat but the back windows were panel. I bought an 08 LT1 but should have looked at the panel closer, I'm a new owner as of2/25/08, Cardinal Red w/Chrome package. :)
  • jm40jm40 Member Posts: 6
    i'd like to see the front end changed to look more "macho" like a truck. more edgy on the front,,, basically so the front end will match the rest of the vehicle.
  • acmechacmech Member Posts: 2
    I have an 06 LT2 with all the bells and whistles. Needs bigger brake rotors and calipers. Rotors warp fairly quickly.
    I'm 6'4'' and have to sit on the front of the seat for head room. Wife had to have a moon roof. We bought a new FJ Cruiser and I got stuck with the "No head room HHR". Sucks to be me.
    Seriously, I love the car, great power, handles smoothly, sound system is good and it's fairly inexpensive.
    I think I'll trade it for a loaded Tundra. That should fix the brake problem!
  • droldsdrolds Member Posts: 4
    Hello everyone, does anyone use a HHR panel van for a business? Are you pleased with the cargo space? I am a building services contractor and my 05' Chevrolet Express with the 4.8 is killing me on gas, I am thinking about adding an HHR and using the full size only when necessary like when I have a large carpet cleaning job or a floor refinishing when I need to load with larger pieces of equipment, but for the everyday grind I'm thinking the HHR can handle a vacuum or two, a tool box, and a box of misc items I may need. Thanks for any input. Mike
  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    Yes, that is the situation with those roofs. I once had to sit in the back of a Lincoln Towncar and my head was brushing the roof and I am only 6' tall.

    I assume you have the seat height adjustment all the way down. It sounds to me like you should switch vehicles with your wife.

    If you do decide to get rid of it why not support an American company and buy a Silverado/Sierra. They are a better truck than a Toyota with better looks, mileage, resale value, built better for work, nicer interiors and road manners, and not as many recalls.
  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    I have seen a few companies using them recently and the panel looks like it would be fine for basic hauling. If your dealer is nearby why not go over there and take some measurements of the cargo area. The website probably has the cubic feet listed for the model but its always nice to see it first hand.
  • rose4hhrrose4hhr Member Posts: 4
    The plastic interior would generally bother me, but actually most cars have them these days...evidently, it is the texturing that bothers you...I'm guessing? :confuse:
    The power up hill is an issue. I think GM developed them for "flatlanders", but they are flattening out most of the mountainous areas these days, so... :sick:
    The point of the HHR is economy, not luxury...but there are variations within it, and you may have rented a "base" model LS, not a LT or higher.
    GM does need to consider that we don't want to spend $5 a gallon for gas, so keep it in mind if they want to sell the vehicle....and for all its flaws, we really like our HHR's! ;)
  • sparklandsparkland Member Posts: 120
    I definitely would move the battery compartment back under the hood where it belongs.
    A mechanic guy at my work, owns an HHR -- his battery went dead and he tried to jump it. First, he had to find it. Under the passenger seat and then he jumped it a blew the fuses. Consequently the key was in the ignition but he could not remove it,. design flaw.

    What were those engineers thinking when they made that move with the battery?

  • poncho167poncho167 Member Posts: 1,178
    Kind of odd don't you think that someone doesn't know where the battery is especially when he's a mechanic. There are dozens of cars on the market with rear seat batteries. Some of the reasons for the change is better vehicle weight balance, less whether related fatigue if living in the cold belt, and more room under the hood for all those accessories.

    One of the first things a new car/truck/motorcycle owner is supposed to do is read the owners manual. There is a wealth of information in there to explain quite of few things.
  • sparklandsparkland Member Posts: 120
    My point was not to challenge the competency of the driver. It was to get the battery moved back into the engine compartment where it is easily accessible and not have the key locked in the ignition when the power goes out.

    Thanks, Brad
  • novanova Member Posts: 135
    I heard that for 2009 they are moving the window controls to the door and there will be 3 cup holders on the automatic transmission models. Have not heard if there will be a 6 speed auto added
  • rdesantisrdesantis Member Posts: 30
    I enjoy my H. and a proud GM Guy, I would like to see the following changes:
    1)A rear gate window that pops open or rolls down (like the old station wagons used to have).
    2) Redesign the dash board so that we can get some leg room. my suggestion, 60/40 front bench seat (with manuverable arm rest) install a column tranmission shifter. move the radio up, and put the window switches on the driver door and where ever else the have to go. I used to have a '93 Olds Cierra, sheesh the leg room I had in that thing. And that was not a full sized car. i used to strech out on Highway trips when the cruise was on! (oh well).
    3) I have sun roof on my unit. My head rubs the head liner on numerous occasions and i drive slouched even with the seat hight adjustor all the way at its lowest. i like to sit up when i drive! Heritage High Roof is the name of the beast, c'mon Chevrolet!
  • droldsdrolds Member Posts: 4
    Hey Guys,

    I'd like to hear from business owners who own the Panel HHR, I still need to go to the dealership and do some measuring to see if my equipment will fit in the thing. I currently own a express cargo with the "access" package, best damn cargo van I have ever owned except the fuel is killing me, tested last week and was getting 12 MPG in town, rarely drive the car on the highway and when I do I get 14 MPG. thanks all. I know, I know, I need to visit the dealership but don't ya' just hate those places :(
  • rdesantisrdesantis Member Posts: 30
    I know that the H does not have as much cargo room as the Express (i too used to rent Chev Express' for work-what a great ride and easy driver they are eh!?) but, if you cannot load all your equipment into the H, have you considered an enclosed utilty Trailer? I have a 4x8 2000 lbs capacity utility trailer and i have towed a full load of stone (2000 lbs) beleive me or not it is true. Now, I only did that out of necesssity and cruised down the road a 40km an hour, but my little H did the job. Something to think about. I am not sure what line of work you are in, but the H is rated with a 1000lbs towing capacity. And when you don't need the trailer unhook and you still have an economical little work horse.
  • teajay2teajay2 Member Posts: 1
    It's the same as the station wagon just remove the storage compartment behind the front seats and install the rear seats from a s/w . Check with a junkyards on line. I did this when I had a Willys Panel truck.
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