I bought my HHR in 2008. It really does get 30-32 MPG highway. It is very versatile and easy to drive. You get a lot of nice features for your money. I drive 400-500 miles per week so I spend a lot of time in mine.
I like the tinted windows, on-star, great leg room (front and back seating). We are tall people with long legs. I can whip a u-turn in a tight spot with ease, and it is a nice little wagon for small loads, trips to the garden store or such.
Get rid of the shifter for the automatic! Very poorly located cup holders! It the useless shifter was on the column the cup holders could be located forward. The arm rests are dismal, cheesy, at the wrong height and uncomfortable at best, and they armrests make it awkward to latch the safety belts.
Purchased at the height of the Gas problem in 08-It is a spunky little car and fun to drive but mileage is average 26 or so. So far have had front brakes, steering motor and column replaced. Now having issue with front suspension noise. Have the 17 inch Alloy wheels look good but ride rough on this little car. Too many mechanical issues for me am concerned about reliability longer term.
I needed something reliable, got good gas mileage, and could carry a bunch of stuff. My 2008 HHR does all that! I average ~26 to ~27 MPG and have been amazed at all the stuff I can carry in the back with the seats folded down. Extra storage UNDER the floor is nice also when you want to keep handtools hidden. I could use a little more leg room for my left leg when driving though [the wheel well kinda sticks up there] and the center window controls take some getting used to. Heat/A/C work wonderfully and sound system is nice also. Lots of headroom is nice and yeah, that cargo capacity =)
Cargo Capacity & Gas Mileage! You can comfortably fit four... five if you must. XM radio has also become a "necessity" for long trips.
Needs a better center console for cup holders, map storage, etc. Need a better spot to put your left foot while driving. If you have long legs, it can seem a little cramped.
2008 Chevrolet HHR SS 4dr Wagon (2.0L 4cyl Turbo 5M)
Bought new. Very FUN car. At about 12k developed a major electrical problem that took months to resolve. Car would DIE at random, at speed! Almost got me killed twice on I-95. I'm angry at the horrible customer service I received at count em 3 different dealers before the problem got fixed...more so than the problem itself. Now that problem is resolved, and I've got confidence in it again, I'm very happy with it.
performance, looks, mileage, practicality Did I mention that this car is FUN to drive!
Power Seat adjustments moved to FRONT of the seat. Interior is cheesy cheap.
This car is scary to drive in the snow. There's a lot of sliding, even when driving at slow rates of speed. I've had to put heavy items in the back, as if I were driving a pickup truck. The windows are difficult to see out of, because they are so small; in order to see traffic signals and there are a lot of blind spots, because of the design of the front windows. I also had the rattling and shaking with the sway bar when I would brake. If I had to do it over again....I'd look a little harder...