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2006 Chevrolet HHR

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2006 Chevrolet HHR Review

Owns a commanding presence that makes heads turn.

Reviewed by Automotive on

Overview

The 2006 Chevrolet HHR is a stylish retro station wagon similar to Chrysler’s PT Cruiser. ""HHR"" is short for Heritage High Roof. Just like the PT Cruiser, it exhibits a taller stance that stands out amongst other vehicles. However, with its boxier design lines, it also resembles a delivery truck. The design comes from the 1949 Chevy Suburban, which is widely considered among the first utility vehicles ever manufactured. Some of its design can also be credited to General Motors’ current SSR roadster pickup. It's also built on Chevrolet Cobalt sedan’s chassis.

The Range

Body Styles: station wagon, panel van
Engines: 2.2-liter four-cylinder, 2.4-liter four-cylinder, 2.0-liter four-cylinder
Transmissions: five-speed manual, four-speed automatic
Models: Chevrolet HHR LS, Chevrolet HHR LT

What's New

The 2006 Chevrolet HHR is a new entry into the market.

Exterior

The 2006 Chevrolet HHR is a four-door compact wagon that is built with a high roof and a grill prominently showcasing Chevrolet’s bowtie logo. The one-piece hood is a definite throwback to the 1949 Suburban. Deep drawn flared fenders tuck into the vehicle’s rocker panels, similar to the SSR roadster pickup. It has flared tail lamps, a rear touch-pad liftgate, and single-cavity headlamps that give off a jeweled lighting effect. Another noticeable characteristic is that the back windows are flush with the side. Both 16- and 17-inch wheels are offered, along with two suspension options. The exterior trim is vibrant chrome. The 2LT model also comes with fog lamps and a standout exhaust tip.

Interior

The 2006 Chevrolet HHR can accommodate five occupants. The high roof provides plenty of headroom, offering everyone room to breathe. The instrument cluster has a retro setup and look. Darker tones are used for the interior’s upper trim sections. It is available with three trim levels: the LS, the 1LT, and the 2LT. Standard with the LS model is air-conditioning, remote keyless entry, a six-speaker CD stereo and portable music input jack, 16-inch wheels, power windows and locks, and cruise control. Other available options for the LS models include XM Satellite Radio, GM’s OnStar communication system, Pioneer audio system with subwoofers, and remote car starters that can be installed on models with automatic transmission. The LT models are divided into two groups. The 1LT features an eight-way power driver seat, an updated stereo that is MP3-compatible, and alloy wheels. The 2LT is the enhanced package and comes with firmer suspension, a leather wrapped gearshift and steering wheel, 17-inch wheels, seven-speaker Pioneer audio, extra chrome trim, and fog lamps. Both LT groups offer optional heated leather seats. One selling point is that the interior is reconfigurable to accommodate tasks from moving boxes and groceries to surfboards, music gear, and bicycles. The front passenger seat folds completely flat, and the center armrest can be pushed back to the seatback frame. Rear seats are also split 60/40 and can be folded completely flat for additional space.

Performance & Handling

The 2006 Chevrolet HHR handles easily. It is not a very fast car despite the 2.4-liter engine. No races will be won but acceleration is perfectly acceptable when it comes to passing and merging. It is noticeably noisy whenever it is revved. Low-end torque is lackluster, but it does present a rather quiet and smooth ride, even in urban settings. Occupants may feel some bumps and road imperfections, but the ride is not uncomfortable. Avoid pushing it too hard; a relaxed driving style is recommended for a safer, more comfortable ride. The suspension and steering can be somewhat shoddy if the car is driven too aggressively around twists and turns. A slight pull to the left may be felt if brakes are slammed. It has two available engines. A four-cylinder, Ecotec, 2.2-liter engine with 145 horsepower (hp) and 155 lb-ft of torque comes standard with the LS and 1LT models. Standard in the 2LT, optional for the 1LT model, is a 2.4-liter four-cylinder with 171 hp and 162 lb-ft of torque. Both engines work with either a four-speed automatic transmission or a Getrag five-speed manual gearbox.

Safety

The 2006 Chevrolet HHR comes standard with front disk and rear drum breaks. Four-wheel anti-lock control is standard for the 2LT model and optional on other models. Automatic transmission includes traction control and Anti-lock Braking Systems (ABS). No stability control is offered. Front and rear passenger side airbags for head protection are optional.

EPA Fuel Economy

Chevrolet HHR: 20/28 mpg city/highway

You'll Like

  • Smooth and quiet ride
  • Comfortable chair-style seats
  • Plenty of cargo space
  • Attractive interior that is reconfigurable
  • Excellent roadway visibility

You Won't Like

  • Weak brakes
  • Sloppy handling
  • Out-of-reach window buttons
  • Engine’s lack of low-end pull and refinement
  • Noisy upon acceleration

Sum Up

Owns a commanding presence that makes heads turn.

If You Like This Vehicle

  • Chrysler PT Cruiser
  • Honda Element
  • Hyundai Tucson
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