2008 Chevrolet HHR Review | Edmunds.com
 

2008 Chevrolet HHR

   
 
Chevrolet HHR Features and Specs

Features & Specs

  • Engine 2.2 L Inline 4-cylinder
  • Drivetrain Front Wheel Drive
  • Transmission 5-speed Manual
  • Horse Power 149 hp @ 5600 rpm
  • Fuel Economy 21/30 mpg
  • Bluetooth No
  • Navigation No
  • Heated Seats No
 

Review of the 2008 Chevrolet HHR

  • Recent improvements and updates have made the 2008 Chevrolet HHR a respectable choice for a small wagon.

  • Safety
  • Pros

    Smooth and quiet ride, plenty of cargo space, attractive cabin, excellent outward visibility.

  • Cons

    Lackluster handling and braking, unrefined engines, some low-grade interior plastics.

  • What's New for 2008

    The 2008 Chevrolet HHR receives minor feature updates this year. OnStar is standard across the lineup and stability control has been…

 
What Others Are Saying

Customer Reviews

  Average Consumer Rating (128 total reviews)


Mislead

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet HHR LT 4dr Wagon (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

I owned a VW Passat wagon. I was getting 26-28 MPG on the highway. A friend told me about the HHR and that I would receive better gas mileage. I traded for the HHR and got between 24 and 26 MPG. Very disappointing to say the least! Also the space in the back with the seat down is probably around 12 cubic feet smaller than the Passat. Another great disappointment. The interior uses a lot of cheap plastics and the window switches are on the center console. I have owned the car for 2 years and I still have to look for the switches every time I go to use them.




Some issues

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet HHR LT 4dr Wagon (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

I have a few problems with this car.First of all the rotors are always getting warped.I have replaced them several times and still happens again.The right rear passenger window motor has gone out.None of the tire pressure gauges work any longer.The rear seat has gotten cramped since the kids have grown up some.But the gas mileage is great though no doubt.I have 147,000 miles and have had no engine problems.I have noticed if I pull up to a light and I am first I have to lean forward to see the light.




Get what you pay for

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Vehicle: 2008 Chevrolet HHR LS 4dr Wagon (2.2L 4cyl 5M)

We bought this car after our first child was born. We bought it used with 25K miles on it and save a bunch of money than buying it new. It was great at first, but then all sorts of issues started popping up. The rotors have needed replaced 3 different times due to grinding. The CD player stopped working for some reason, but the dealership replaced it for free. The drivers side lock always sticks and I've gotten locked out of my car before with my children in the car because the key fobs also are cheaply made and don't work properly. The newest issue is that the Passlock feature is malfunctioning due to a microchip error in the ignition!!! Trading in for something else.



 
 
 
Gas Mileage

EPA-Rated MPG

  • 21
  • cty
/
  • 30
  • highway
Calculate Yearly Fuel Costs
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Full 2008 Chevrolet HHR Review

What's New for 2008

The 2008 Chevrolet HHR receives minor feature updates this year. OnStar is standard across the lineup and stability control has been added as an option. Debuting later in the model year will be the HHR SS with a 260-horsepower turbocharged engine.

Introduction

Introduced two years ago, the Chevrolet HHR is a modern take on the expressive, big-fendered American vehicles of the late 1940s. Chevrolet says the HHR moniker refers to Heritage High Roof, and the model's overall styling was inspired by the 1949 Chevy Suburban. Most prospective buyers wouldn't know a '49 Suburban if it ran them over, but they will likely be drawn to the HHR's mix of classic-car styling, everyday practicality, mainstream mechanicals and affordable sticker price.

Like the Chrysler PT Cruiser, Dodge Caliber, Pontiac Vibe and redesigned Scion xB, Chevy's sporty HHR offers a tall passenger compartment and lots of usable room. For example, the HHR is 4 inches shorter than the compact Chevy Cobalt, yet offers almost 6 extra inches of rear legroom. And at nearly 24 cubic feet with the rear seat up, the HHR offers one of the best luggage capacities in its class.

Where the HHR suffers is in overall performance and refinement. Its base engine struggles to sufficiently motivate the 3,100-pound vehicle, and the HHR doesn't feel as responsive as its lighter and less powerful rivals when accelerating or cornering. On the plus side, it does have a smooth and quiet ride, with a softly tuned suspension that handily soaks up bumps and surface irregularities.

Overall, the 2008 Chevrolet HHR delivers practical and roomy transportation with retro styling that's distinctive and appealing. But given that competitors like the Mazda 3 offer better performance and handling while the Scion xB is more up-to-date in terms of image and features, it's a good idea to check out all your options first before deciding on the HHR. That is, unless you want to wait for the 260-hp SS Turbocharged model expected later this year with high-performance suspension tuning, 18-inch wheels and various other goodies to sweeten the deal on this otherwise utilitarian retro-flavored wagon.

Body Styles, Trim Levels, and Options

The compact, front-wheel-drive 2008 Chevrolet HHR is available as a regular four-door wagon or a two-seat Panel variant with solid and handle-less rear doors. The regular wagon comes in two main trim levels: LS and LT. The LS includes 16-inch steel wheels, air-conditioning with cabin filtration, cruise control, keyless entry, a fold-flat front passenger seat, a 60/40-split-folding rear seat, full power accessories and a six-speaker CD stereo with an auxiliary audio jack.

The uplevel LT trim is actually available in two packages: standard 1LT and enhanced 2LT. The 1LT includes upgraded 16-inch wheels, an eight-way power driver seat and an enhanced MP3-compatible stereo. The sportier top-level 2LT adds a sport-tuned suspension, 17-inch alloy wheels, foglamps, exterior chrome accents, color-keyed running boards, a leather-wrapped steering wheel with audio controls and a premium audio speaker system with subwoofer.

Major options for the LT include remote vehicle starting (included with the automatic transmission), leather seating with heated front seats, in-dash CD changer, satellite radio and a sunroof. The HHR Panel van comes similarly equipped in the same trim levels but has solid rear cargo panel doors (they open via remote release), cargo floor storage compartments and a rear 40-amp power point for electronic equipment.

Powertrains and Performance

Base LS and midlevel 1LT HHRs come equipped with a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine rated at 149 hp and 152 pound-feet of torque. Optional on the 1LT and standard on the top-level 2LT model is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder generating 175 horses and 167 lb-ft of torque. Both are backed by a standard five-speed manual transmission, with a four-speed automatic optional. The engines are somewhat noisy, and due to the HHR's heft, neither provides an abundance of thrust down low. However, the larger 2.4-liter delivers more spirited performance once engine rpm and road speed spool up. The EPA gives the 2008 Chevy HHR with the 2.4-liter engine and automatic a fuel economy estimate of 22 mpg city and 28 mpg highway.

Safety

GM's OnStar emergency communications system is now standard on all 2008 Chevrolet HHRs. A basic front disc/rear drum brake setup is included across the lineup; ABS is standard on the 2LT and optional on the LS and 1LT as part of the Enhanced Safety Package, which also includes side curtain airbags. Front seat-mounted side airbags are not available. Traction control is included with ABS when ordered with an automatic transmission, and is standard on all 2LT vehicles, as is this year's new addition of stability control.

In National Highway Transportation Safety Administration testing, the HHR earned a highest possible five-star rating for occupant protection in both front and side-impact crash tests.

Interior Design and Special Features

Attractive and functional, the 2008 Chevrolet HHR's cabin has handsome bright-ringed gauges, easy-to-use audio systems and impressive outward visibility for the regular wagon models. Less happily, the window buttons are awkwardly mounted behind the shifter, and some of the interior plastics are of mediocre quality. The standard cloth buckets are not as comfortable as we'd like, but the optional leather seats are better cushioned and more supportive. Legroom is ample front and rear owing to the HHR's voluminous layout, and the front passenger seat and rear seats fold easily to provide a flat load surface trimmed in easily cleaned plastic. Maximum cargo capacity is among the class leaders at 63 cubic feet.

Driving Impressions

The Chevy HHR's strength is a smooth and quiet ride, and it's really in its element pointed straight down the highway. When the road gets curvy, it's best to maintain an easygoing pace, as the suspension and steering just can't keep up with overly aggressive driving. Body motions are not well controlled, and the electric-assisted steering is slow to respond and numb in feel. Braking is another weak area, as the HHR exhibits a loss of straight-line stability during maximum braking.

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