Any experiences with HHR's ?

Messages
242
Location
USA
Looking into a 2007 Chevy HHR with the 2.2L ... always liked the styling but haven't driven one yet, anybody own one/drive one that has any complaints/likes?
 

01rangerxl

Site Donor 2021
Messages
10,322
Location
Birmingham, AL
It's going to be a lot like owning a Cobalt. 2.2 is great overall. Super easy oil change, probably the easiest ever. The air filter is a little bit of a pain though if I remember right. Interior door handles break like crazy, but are still readily available from GM as a handle kit. The throttle body and pedal position sensor can go bad, but neither is a super-major-bad issue. EPS can have problems. I believe these are part of one of the EPS recalls. They are part of the ignition switch recall. A well kept HHR is fine, a lot of people just tore them up because they were a cheap crossover kind of thing and ended up on buy here pay here lots frequently. eljefino has one and doesn't post many projects related to it, so I assume it's reliable for him.
 
Messages
36,531
Location
ME
I have an 07 and yeah I broke the interior door handle. $50 for shiny plastic! The visibility is terrible. With the "slat" windows my pupils dilate and the dumb chrome gauge surrounds catch reflections and bug me somehow. The rear luggage space is actually pretty small once you account for all the plastic junk taking up room. IMO it's sabotaged to coax you into buying a more profitable Tahoe. I mostly like the throttle by wire, though giving it a tiny goose to move up in traffic usually overshoots, wasting gas and brake. I like the quick shifts with the engine cutting power and/or rev matching. 4-2 downshifts normally feel harsh in other cars but this just goes at it nicely. I get the 31 MPG the trip computer claims, maybe 33 on long trips. The headlights haven't yellowed yet, still clear. Fighting a brake judder/ "warp" / rattly steering intermediate shaft. Weird (to me) having a dry engine/ trans underneath with no leaks anywhere. Burns no oil. Top off the antifreeze a couple times a year though. shrug Rear springs had to be done for state inspection, they broke right at the end inside the rubber "protective" covering. $35 a pair though, can't complain. In my search for snow tire rims in the oddball 5x110 pattern, I got used SAAB rims. I chucked the center caps but it's still cast into the aluminum if one looks closely. I just peeled off the plastic cladding on the rear doors. Rust was peeking out from behind. I wirebrushed the rust off and it didn't go through-- maybe that zinc dip they brag about is good for something. Was able to get the double sided sticky tape off the paint-- you can barely see it and the car looks good without them. In fact the newer models dumped the silly things.
 

Nick1994

$50 Site Donor
Messages
13,446
Location
Phoenix, AZ
I drove an 07' once. It rattled and I hated the instrument cluster, the tach was in a dumb spot The dash was warped from the heat and looked like the waves of the ocean. The A/C vents were broken as well and it was pretty gutless, not the slowest thing I've driven but it could have done better. Visibility was poor as well.
 
Messages
1,981
Location
Greatest Earth on Show, UT
I had one as a rental once. It was horrible and I tried to switch it out for something else but they didn't have anything else they could give me. Drove like dung, handled like dung, interior was cheap as dung, engine was underpowered, visibility is poor, and it is ugly as all get out. No thanks. I would rather walk.
 
Messages
7,485
Location
S California
Originally Posted By: NMBurb02
I had one as a rental once. It was horrible and I tried to switch it out for something else but they didn't have anything else they could give me. Drove like dung, handled like dung, interior was cheap as dung, engine was underpowered, visibility is poor, and it is ugly as all get out. No thanks. I would rather walk.
For BITOG you don't need to sugar coat your response. If you don't like the HHR just tell us.
 
Messages
36,531
Location
ME
Originally Posted By: Chris142
is this the car that you must remove the bumper to change a headlight?
IIRC I did the driver's side and went in through the plastic fender liner. IOW I did it from behind.
 
Messages
2,120
Location
Tinton Falls NJ
Originally Posted By: NMBurb02
I had one as a rental once. It was horrible and I tried to switch it out for something else but they didn't have anything else they could give me. Drove like dung, handled like dung, interior was cheap as dung, engine was underpowered, visibility is poor, and it is ugly as all get out. No thanks. I would rather walk.
I also had one as a rental. It had an exhaust tone that made me want to scream, it wasn't loud just an odd tone, the battery died, and visibility wasn't good. Terrible car IMHO.
 

jsfalls

Thread starter
Messages
242
Location
USA
Hmm, any other suggestions for a good daily driver in the $5k - $8k range? (This HHR has 86k miles on it for $5995...) Mainly looking to get out of my Neon, the 3-speed transmission drives me nuts and makes the car get kind of cruddy gas mileage on the highway and in town... not to mention getting on the highway it's screaming in 2nd to pick up some speed... lol
 
Messages
159
Location
Colorado
Now on my second. I like the little "trucklets". They have a good ride and handle well. Mine have a quiet cabin and the exhaust note is among the quietest I have heard, both the 2.2 and 2.4. They do have some defects but can be fixed with a little patience. I owned a PT Cruiser purchased new but much prefer the little HHR.
 
Messages
9,799
Location
Ontario, Canada
Originally Posted By: jsfalls
Hmm, any other suggestions for a good daily driver in the $5k - $8k range? (This HHR has 86k miles on it for $5995...) Mainly looking to get out of my Neon, the 3-speed transmission drives me nuts and makes the car get kind of cruddy gas mileage on the highway and in town... not to mention getting on the highway it's screaming in 2nd to pick up some speed... lol
If you need cargo space and some utility, the Focus wagon is hard to beat in that price range. I find I use the roof racks fairly often too. Ours is "loaded" and isn't too bad of an econo penalty box with padded arm rests, tilt and telescope steering wheel, height adjustable seat cushion and leather heated seats. We have the sunroof too which I use more than I thought I would. I find the motor and mtx quite nice too for what it is. Good ratios to hustle it around town and the motor is quiet enough at near 3k at 70mph or so. If I didn't need a wagon, I would've probably kept my 95 Neon if it hadn't been on its side at the track. I got decent mileage with the 3spd in my SOHC just coasting in N when I could, but I'm on 55mph roads 95% of the time.
 
Messages
8,598
Location
Florida
This is one of those cars with those fatally flawed ignition keys and lock cylinders. Be sure it has been replaced, and that the replacement parts are current. Check the front suspension. Front control arm bushings usually don't last.
 
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