ChevroletHHR

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Base model shown as 2011 LS
2011 Chevrolet HHR LS
MSRP RANGE
$19,375
Lowest
$18,720
Highest
$19,720
BASE MODEL SNAPSHOT
155
HORSEPOWER
150
TORQUE
FWD
DRIVETRAIN
5
WARRANTIES
22
CITY
32
HWY
5
PASSENGERS
4
DOORS

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Top Features of Base Model

  • Spacious cabin
  • Relaxed ride on the highway
  • Unique styling
  • Eager to get moving
Description

As always, the strengths of the Chevrolet HHR include its large cabin, its unique design, its good standard fuel economy, and its relaxed ride. The cabin material quality and actual driving handling could be better, however.

Even more than a decade after its introduction, this station wagon continues to be a good choice when buying used. This is true if you love a retro style in your cars. It's important to not totally ignore the fact that there are cheaper cars that handle the road better, but you should keep the Chevy in mind for in-city hauling on a budget.

What Is New on the 2011 Model?

For 2011, Chevy dropped the SS trim models from 2007, 2008, 2009, and 2010 but didn't change its station wagon much regarding options. Minor changes include the addition of the Black Granite Metallic and Mocha Steel Metallic colors. You'll also get MY LINK, which includes access to a USB port and Bluetooth function.

Varied Function

Drivers who like to attack the road will enjoy the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine's pairing with the five-speed manual transmission, but the base unit is just as strong on the road. For 2011, both choices work with E85 Flex Fuel for improved engine efficiency and performance. They're also both a bit louder than we'd like, but it's not much worse than you'd expect from a tiny four-cylinder.

Even the sporty 2LT trim can feel a little soft from behind the wheel, but not without reason; Chevy used a softer suspension instead of one that can handle corners at top speed. After all, it's a station wagon meant to carry gear rather than people.

With that in mind, the help from the electric-assist steering doesn't feel like enough. Also, the tires' stopping distance paired with the braking package isn't very impressive.

Because both of the engines start to sound angry when pushing the throttle, it's best to look for the 2.4-liter power plant instead. It's a more adaptable engine that doesn't need to work as hard as the base engine. You also won't lose fuel economy if you prefer to get the automatic.

What Kinds of Safety Features Are Available with This Auto?

At the base trim, a Chevy HHR comes with side-curtain air bags and anti-lock brakes as well as stability and traction control. In safety testing, the wagon has received perfect five-star ratings in most categories, except for side impacts; here, it received a score of "Acceptable."

Relaxed, Spacious Ride

Chevrolet deserves praise for its spacious passenger cabin, despite their choice of materials. The base cloth seats will keep you comfortable enough for the day, but the optional leather upgrade offers more support while you're driving.

The dashboard and control layout are both simple, and you won't struggle with your outward view. If you can find it, the optional rearview camera system gives the Panel vans extra security in the parking lots. In fact, we'd call it vital, considering there's no way to see out the back without it.

As far as space goes, you'll get 58 cubic feet after folding down the split rear seats and the front passenger seat. With the Panel van, you'll get 63 cubic feet. The main issue is the use of cheap materials that can't hide their quality.

Unique Styling

The Chevrolet HHR takes strong design inspiration from the automaker's own 1949 Suburban, which featured a distinct style thanks to its boxy frame. At the front, there's a large chrome grille that leads the towering hood. In the back, soft corners, flared fenders, and round taillights all work together to link the station wagon to its history.

All things considered, it is easy to think of this Chevy as a much bigger vehicle than it is. Indeed, it's large enough to handle your in-city hauling needs, but you'll want something bigger if you have a good amount of stuff to haul.

What Is the Seating Capacity for This Auto?

You can seat up to five people in the base trim, but the Panel HHR drops the seating capacity down to two people. That's because it's meant for commercial use where you haul cargo rather than people around the city.

Eager to Drive

One of the biggest compliments one can give a car is that it rides like it's big but drives like it's small. The Chevrolet HHR certainly offers this in its final year of production.

The station wagon has a truck-like attitude thanks to raised seating, so it might be hard to imagine that it can handle itself like a sedan. It's just as surprising when you reach highway speeds where the HHR stays quiet.

Even if you stick with the four-speed automatic and the base engine, the wagon has plenty to offer. The response on the throttle could be quicker, and it's hard to get feedback from the tires through the power steering. That said, if you prefer to drive with your foot on the gas pedal, you'll be better off with the engine upgrade starting at the 2LT level.

Target Market

If you are a driver who loves a retro design that takes its cues from the 1940s and houses a fully functional and comfortable ride without compromising substance, you'll enjoy the eager 2011 Chevrolet HHR. It comes with more than just an eye-catching style; it's quite capable on the highway and for hauling city cargo around the neighborhood.

Though it's a wagon, the HHR is still based on the small unibody car design, which means that there's such a thing as having too much cargo to haul. If this is you, you'll need something more substantial. It's not an off-roader, and will it not work well for carrying around the equipment necessary to take long-distance road trips with a full family in tow.

The HHR Panel model is for business owners hauling cargo in the windowless compartment, though you will have to keep it in the city since the vehicle isn't designed with rocky trails or driving for very long distances in mind. It also comes with cargo floor storage areas as well as a power point to connect equipment. This gives you on-the-go convenience.

Conclusion

Though some may think that there isn't much innovation to the 2011 Chevrolet HHR, the truth is that it offers a little something for every city dweller. While its competitors pulled in older drivers, this Chevy station wagon appealed to younger drivers who enjoy adding unique sound systems and paint jobs to their cars.

Although the retro station wagon is smaller than it looks in pictures, it's fun to drive, and it works in all kinds of city-driving situations. The Chevrolet HHR is as functional for business owners as it is for small families on weekend trips and hip singles cruising around town.

Pros and Cons of the 2011 Chevrolet HHR

Pros

  • Lots of function
  • Spacious trunk and cabin
  • Good price for those on a budget
  • Great overall value

Cons

  • Distinctive but outdated styling
  • Automatic transmission with only four gears
  • Low-quality materials in the cabin
Model History

The 2006 Chevy HHR made its debut at the 2005 Los Angeles Auto Show. Its design took inspiration from the automaker's own 1940s pickups, which featured big square fender flares among other unique styling accents.

The following year, the model came in four trim choices: the LS, the LT, the 2LT, and the Special Edition. The LT trim also had a Panel van option, which became available across the board a year later.

Assembled in Mexico, the Chevrolet HHR ended production in May 2011.

Specs & Key Features of the 2011 Chevrolet HHR

Specifications

Body Style
4 Door
Engine
ECOTEC 2.2L Variable Valve Timing DOHC 4-cylinder SFI (E85) includes (E85) FlexFuel (gas ethanol) capability, uses gasoline or E85 fuel (155 hp [115.6 kW] @ 6100 rpm, 150 lb-ft of torque [202.5 N-m] @ 4800 rpm)
Horsepower
155 - 172 hp
Transmission
5-speed manual
Passenger Doors
4
Passenger Seating
5
Drivetrain
Front Wheel Drive
City MPG
22
Hwy MPG
32

Key Features

  • Air Conditioning
  • Audio
  • CD Player
  • Cruise Control
  • Remote Keyless Entry

More Features

  • Engine, ECOTEC 2.2L Variable Valve Timing DOHC 4-cylinder SFI (E85) includes (E85) FlexFuel (gas ethanol) capability, uses gasoline or E85 fuel (155 hp [115.6 kW] @ 6100 rpm, 150 lb-ft of torque [202.5 N-m] @ 4800 rpm)
  • Transmission, 5-speed manual
  • Front wheel drive
  • Battery rundown protection
  • GVWR, 4240 lbs. (1923 kg)
  • Suspension, Touring
  • Steering, electric power, speed-sensitive
  • Brakes, 4-wheel antilock, front disc/rear drum
  • Wheels, 16" (40.6 cm) steel with full bolt-on wheel covers
  • Tires, P215/55R16, all-season, blackwall
  • Tire sealant and inflator kit in place of spare tire
  • Glass, deep-tint second row doors, quarter windows and rear
  • Mirrors, outside power-adjustable, Black
  • Wipers, front intermittent, speed-sensitive
  • Wiper, rear
  • Audio system, AM/FM stereo with CD player and MP3 playback, seek-and-scan, digital clock, auto-tone control, Radio Data System (RDS), automatic volume, TheftLock, auxiliary input jack and 36 cross-band presets
  • Audio system feature, 6-speaker system
  • XM Radio is standard on nearly all 2011 GM models and includes 3 months of trial service. Get over 170 channels, including: commercial-free music, sports, news, talk, entertainment, comedy, family and kids' channels, and much more. With XM's incredible range of programming, everything worth listening to is on XM (Requires a subscription sold separately by XM after the first 90 days. Available only in the 48 contiguous United States and District of Columbia. Visit gm.xmradio.com for details.)
  • Seats, front bucket includes 60/40 split-folding rear seat
  • Seat adjuster, driver 6-way manual (fore/aft, height and recline) and 4-way manual front passenger (fore/aft and recline)
  • Cloth seat trim
  • Seat, front passenger flat-folding seatback
  • Console, floor with rear and 3 front cup holders
  • Steering wheel, urethane with mounted Driver Information Center and cruise controls
  • Steering column, tilt
  • Instrumentation with speedometer, fuel gauge, tachometer and Driver Information Center with outside temperature, warning messages and programmable menu features
  • Windows, power, include driver Express-Down
  • Door locks, power
  • Remote Keyless Entry
  • Cruise control
  • Theft-deterrent system, vehicle, PASS-Key III+
  • Air conditioning, with air filtration
  • Defogger, rear-window electric
  • Power outlets, 2 auxiliary, 1 front and 1 rear
  • Mirror, inside rearview manual day/night
  • Glovebox, auxiliary
  • Map pocket, driver seatback
  • Traction control, all-speed, full function
  • StabiliTrak, electronic stability control system
  • Daytime Running Lamps
  • Air bags, dual-stage, frontal, driver and front passenger with infant only suppression (Always use safety belts and the correct child restraints for your child's age and size. Even in vehicles equipped with air bags and the Passenger Sensing System, children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate infant, child or booster seat. Never place a rear-facing infant restraint in the front seat of any vehicle equipped with an active frontal air bag. See the Owner's Manual and child safety seat instructions for more safety information.)
  • Air bags, head curtain side-impact, front and rear outboard seating positions (Head curtain side air bags are designed to help reduce the risk of head and neck injuries to front and rear seat outboard occupants on the near side of certain side-impact collisions. Always use safety belts and the correct child restraints for your child's age and size, even in vehicles equipped with air bags. Children are safer when properly secured in a rear seat in the appropriate infant, child or booster seat. See the Owner's Manual and child safety seat instructions for more safety information.)
  • OnStar, 6 months of Directions and Connections plan includes Automatic Crash Response, Emergency Services, Crisis Assist, Stolen Vehicle Assistance, Remote Door Unlock, Turn-by-Turn Navigation with Destination Download (requires navigation radio) and OnStar eNav (where available), OnStar Vehicle Diagnostics, Roadside Assistance, Remote Horn and Lights, and Hands Free Calling. (Not available with a ship-to of Puerto Rico or the Virgin Islands. Visit onstar.com for details and system limitations.)
  • Automatic Crash Response (Deleted when (UE0) OnStar delete is ordered.)
  • Stolen Vehicle Assistance (Deleted when (UE0) OnStar delete is ordered.)
  • OnStar Turn-by-Turn Navigation (Deleted when (UE0) OnStar delete is ordered.)
  • Door locks, rear child security
  • LATCH system (Lower Anchors and Top tethers for CHildren), for child safety seats
  • Tire Pressure Monitoring System

Warranty Options for the 2011 Chevrolet HHR (5)

Basic

3years

36,000miles

Drivetrain

5years

100,000miles

Corrosion

3years

36,000miles

Rust-Through

6years

100,000miles

Roadside Assistance

5years

100,000miles

Available Trims for the 2011 Chevrolet HHR (4)

LS
MSRP Starting at
$18,720
Panel LS
MSRP Starting at
$19,030
LT w/1LT
MSRP Starting at
$19,720
LT w/2LT
MSRP Starting at
$19,720

Safety Ratings for the 2011 Chevrolet HHR

2011 Chevrolet HHR LS

US NHTSA Crash Test Results

Results shown are for the 2011 Chevrolet HHR LS:

N/A
Overall Rating
N/A
Overall Frontal Barrier Crash Rating
N/A
Driver
N/A
Passenger
N/A
Overall Side Crash Rating
N/A
Side Barrier Rating
N/A
Side Barrier Rating Driver
N/A
Side Barrier Rating Passenger Rear Seat
N/A
Side Pole Rating Driver Front Seat
N/A
Combined Side Rating Front Seat
N/A
Combined Side Rating Rear Seat
4/5
Rollover Rating

Dynamic Test Result

No Tip

Risk of Rollover

14.3%

Rollover Note

Dynamic (moving) test results (Tip or No Tip) and measured rollover-related properties determine vehicle's risk of rollover in single vehicle crash and its rollover rating. The Rollover Resistance Rating utilizes a "fishhook" maneuver which is a series of abrupt turns at varying speeds to see how "top-heavy" a vehicle is.

Note

Male: Average sized adult male dummy in 35-MPH crash into fixed barrier. Rating is evaluation of injury to head, neck, chest, legs. Female: Small-sized adult female dummy in 35-mph crash into fixed barrier. Rating is evaluation of injury to head, neck, chest, legs.