I started shopping for a roomy vehicle that i could afford and could afford to run. I didn't have the need for speed or a handling package since most of the work the car would be doing would be on the interstate. With the HHR I feel I hit the transportation jackpot. I regularly fit a string bass, 2 amps, several guitars, a sax or 2 and three humans inside fairly comfortably. Over the life of the car so far, I am AVERAGING 29.9 mph. Fully loaded on the hiway I've never done worse than 33.5 mph. Splitting the gas 3 ways at todays gas prices, that works out to about 2 cents/mile. The HHR is quiet, comfortable and very reliable. Easy to drive, a great turning radius and very easy to park.
Easy to use cruise control, liftgate instead of a door, HUGE underfloor storage compartment in back, infinitely configurable, great visibility, larger than standard side doors making in/outloading that much easier, extra storage compartment in dash easier to reach than glove box. Superior mpg.
Better sound system, 5 speed auto, something other than Firestone tires, although the set that came on the car weren't bad, just a bit noisier than they should have been. The speedometer cluster has a 2% error that I need to figure into my mpg calculations and Chevy has refused to fix it.