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2010 Chevrolet HHR

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2010 Chevrolet HHR Review

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While some dismiss the 2010 Chevrolet HHR as little more than a PT Cruiser clone, in truth the two vehicles appeal to very different audiences. Where the PT seems to pull in Baby Boomers and Gen X males, the HHR speaks to today's young drivers who like to customize their cars with extreme paint jobs and near-deafening sound systems. By itself, this slick piece of work serves as a practical wagon version of the Cobalt sedan disguised as a retro mini Suburban. There's even a cool Panel version with windowless side panels and side cargo doors. Though smaller than it appears in pictures, the HHR is nevertheless a versatile and fun-to-drive vehicle as equally suited to small families as it is to hip singles.

You'll Like This Car If...

If you like your retro style backed with substance, the functional, comfortable and eager 2010 Chevrolet HHR will satisfy you beyond its intriguing looks.

You May Not Like This Car If...

While the HHR is indeed versatile, it's still based on a small-car platform. So, if you've got big stuff to haul – or just a lot of stuff – you might need a larger vehicle.

What's New for 2010

Three new paint colors are added to the HHR's exterior color choices as is a new rear view camera option (late introduction).

Driving the HHR
Driving Impressions

One of the best things you can say about a vehicle is that it handles like a smaller car and rides like a bigger one. Such is the case with...

... the 2010 Chevrolet HHR. With its raised seating position and truck-like attitude, you might not expect the HHR to handle like the small car it really is. It's just as surprising out on the highway, where it's smooth for its size and notably quiet. Even when outfitted with the base engine and four-speed automatic transmission, the HHR still feels adequately motivated, although throttle response is a bit slow and the electrically-assisted power steering feels vague and somewhat disconnected. Performance fans will love the 260-horsepower SS trim, which offers a much stiffer suspension, a short throw five-speed manual shifter, larger wheels and improved steering response.

Remote Start
HHRs equipped with automatic transmissions include a remote start feature that lets you start heating or cooling the cabin before you even set foot outside your home.

Audio Input Jack
A front-mounted auxiliary input jack makes it easy to connect any MP3 player or other audio source to the HHR's sound system.

2010 Chevrolet HHR Details
Interior

Unlike the retro-on-retro PT Cruiser, the 2010 Chevrolet HHR features thoroughly modern interior styling. Tasteful chrome rings and accents combine with pleasing buttons and knobs in a contemporary interior that looks and feels like nothing from the automaker's past. While there's at least as much plastic as you'd expect, its artfully crafted style is much less objectionable than in many of the cars in its price range. The HHR also treats its occupants to notably comfortable seats. Versatility is definitely one of the car's strong suits, with features like a front passenger seat that folds down to accommodate longer items and a cargo floor that hides a shallow storage bin and also lifts to create a two-tier load area. Panel models feature rear cargo doors that do not have handles but open via a dash-mounted button.

Exterior
2010 Chevrolet HHR photo

Featuring a retro design heavily inspired by Chevy's own 1949 Suburban, the HHR plays the stylized delivery wagon to the PT Cruiser's boulevard prowler. This bodes well for the HHR, considering the proven appeal of the utilitarian Scion xB. Up front, a towering hood is fronted by a big chrome grille. Moving toward the rear, flared fenders, rounded corners and circular taillights work in concert to strengthen the HHR's link with the past. As was the case when the PT Cruiser was first introduced, from its pictures it's easy to imagine the HHR to be a much bigger vehicle.

Notable Equipment
Standard Equipment

The HHR LS wagon includes a 2.2-liter four-cylinder engine, five-speed manual transmission, air conditioning, AM/FM/MP3/CD sound system with auxiliary input jack and satellite radio, power windows/locks/mirrors, remote keyless entry, cruise control, 16-inch wheel covers, trip computer, OnStar front and side curtain airbags, traction control, anti-lock brakes (ABS) and StabiliTrak stability control. The 1LT trim adds an, eight-way power driver's seat with lumbar support, 16-inch alloy wheels and satin chrome exterior accents. The 2LT trim adds the 2.4-liter engine, FE3 Sport suspension, ChromeTech 17-inch wheels, 260-watt Pioneer sound system, fog lights and a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob. The SS trim adds a turbocharged 2.0-liter engine, unique front face with mesh grille, sport seats, A-pillar boost gauge, short throw shifter, a rear spoiler and 18-inch wheels.

Optional Equipment

Features that will take you beyond base sticker price include a more powerful 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine, four-speed automatic transmission with standard remote start, leather seating, rear backup camera, USB-port, power moonroof, 260-watt sound system with subwoofer, in-dash six-disc changer, MP3 compatibility, Bluetooth and 16- or 17-inch wheels.

Under the Hood

While more aggressive drivers will be best served by either the 2.4-liter four-cylinder engine mated to the five-speed manual transmission, or the potent 2.0-liter turbo in the SS trims, none of the HHR's powertrain combinations feel the least bit anemic. Both the 2.2-liter and 2.4-liter engines are now E85 Flex Fuel compatible. They are also louder than one might expect, especially at full throttle. Vibration and harshness, however, are well in line with other small four-cylinder engines from Ford, Chrysler and Hyundai.

2.2-liter in-line 4
155 horsepower @ 6100 rpm
150 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4800 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/32 (manual), 22/30 (automatic), 16/23 (E85, manual), 16/22 (E85, automatic)

2.4-liter in-line 4
172 horsepower @ 5800 rpm
167 lb.-ft. of torque @ 4500 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 22/30 (gasoline), 16/22 (E85, manual), 15/21 (E85, automatic)

2.0-liter in-line 4 Turbocharged
260 horsepower @ 5300 rpm (manual)
260 lb.-ft. of torque @ 2000 rpm
250 horsepower @ 5500 rpm (automatic)
222 lb.-ft. of torque @ 1650 rpm
EPA city/highway fuel economy: 21/29 (manual), 19/29 (automatic)

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2010 Chevrolet HHR Consumer Reviews

Overall Rating
8.2
Out of 10

Based on 827 Ratings for the 2006 - 2011 models.

Review this car
  • Value
    8.5/10
    Quality
    8.3/10
  • Reliability
    8.8/10
    Performance
    8.4/10
  • Comfort
    8.5/10
    Styling
    8.6/10

Great Cars - Both my 2nd and 1st ones

By on Thursday, April 14, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 43,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "Good value, reliable, good MPG"

Cons: "wide A pillar obstructs view"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Both my HHRs have been very reliable and trouble free. Very few vehicles out there with combination of good fuel economy and performance and hauling /easy load ability at low price.I have only spent for oil changes in 43,000 on this 2011. My son is still driving the 2008 with no problems. Also the only thing I could find with leather strg wheel, auto lights and bluetooth that was reasonably priced."

Chevy HHR, high potential but major disappointment

By on Friday, March 25, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 137,000

10 5.0
overall rating 5 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
5/10
Value
6/10
Reliability
5/10
Quality
4/10
Performance
5/10
Styling
3/10
Comfort
5/10

Pros: "Unique body design and lots of cargo space"

Cons: "Poor quality materials and unreliability"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 3

"The Chevy HHR was my answer to a small truck. The hard liner on the backside of the seats made hauling around items a breeze. Unfortunately, the ease of folding the seats down and hauling, was overshadowed by many problems. Firstly, at around 95,00 miles, all speakers failed. The insulation in the doors was not adequate enough to keep the speakers from incurring water damage. Then around 100,000 the thermostat went. Easy fix, but the thermostat housing was very hard to get to access and ended up needing to be replaced as well. Furthermore, at 120,000 the head gasket failed. Expensive fix that required me to pay in the range of 1,500 dollars. Aditionally, the headlight replacement required you to access the headlight assembly from the underside of the wheel well. A very irritating and difficult process to say the least. Then around the same time, the shock absorbers needed replaced. And now at 135,000 the engine needs a complete replacement and is not worth re-machining the original unit. I babied this car, oil changed every 3,000 miles, constant monitoring of fluids, but it still failed; very disappointed in this vehicle. I would not recommend Chevy to any other person based on my nonprofessional and personal opinion. There just isn't the quality in a chevy that used to be there."

3 people out of 3 found this review helpful

A great reliable car

By on Thursday, March 03, 2016

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 137,500

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
10/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
10/10
Performance
10/10
Styling
10/10
Comfort
10/10

Pros: "A kick to drive! Does not disappoint."

Cons: "It's not red."

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"I purchased this car because I was familiar with the HHR. We had purchased an HHR LS for our daughter in 2007, and we just really like the car and enjoyed driving it. I purchased the LT because it has more power, and I wanted the hood rack along with the chrome package. The car looks cool, averages 28-29 MPG. Does not cost a fortune to fill up with gas. It goes to the dealer every 6,000 miles for oil change and tire rotation. It has been a very reliable car. Right before the warranty expired I had transmission problems, and it was replaced. I have replaced the tires and the brakes. This car is considered a wagon/SUV, so there is a lot of space to haul."

liked the design and gas mileage but it fell apart

By on Wednesday, December 02, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

10 6.0
overall rating 6 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
6/10
Value
4/10
Reliability
4/10
Quality
5/10
Performance
7/10
Styling
7/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "good size for my needs with light hauling and dogs"

Cons: "Only made it to 63k before tranny went bad"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 2

"Bought it used with 50k and drove it until 63k. Solenoid went bad and had to replace before E-check. Sway bar went bad twice and caused front end clunking. Finally, around 63k the transmission went. Estimate to rebuild was $2200"

10 people out of 20 found this review helpful

Unique body style. Gets looks wherever I go.

By on Saturday, October 24, 2015

I own this car - My approximate mileage is 63,000

10 10.0
overall rating 10 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
10/10
Value
9/10
Reliability
10/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
9/10
Comfort
9/10

Pros: "Unique style"

Cons: "Small interior for large adults with winter coats"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 10

"Bought in December 2011, low miles used. It has outlasted 2 girlfriends & in nearly 4 years now at 63,000 miles I have put 1 set of front brakes on it & replaced the original tires as winter is approaching. Basic maintence has only been oil changes & tire rotations. That's it! It averaged 29-30 mpg in our hilly area primarily rural driving, the heated leather seats are great in the cold mornings. Not a race car but plenty of power when u need it. Easily maintaining 75 up a 6% grade, with 4 people & luggage. This is a good 2nd car as its small, good on gas, & can haul a lot with the rear seats folded down. Very easy to drive & maneuver. All said & done, it's an economy car, reliable, that will do what's asked of it & have a unique style & look. Have seen some exceed 300,000 miles. That says a lot. Mine has the moon roof too. I love that."

10 people out of 14 found this review helpful

Well worth the purchase

By on Sunday, August 16, 2015

I don't own this car

10 9.0
overall rating 9 of 10rating details

Reviewer Ratings

Overall Rating
9/10
Value
Not Rated
Reliability
9/10
Quality
9/10
Performance
9/10
Styling
8/10
Comfort
8/10

Pros: "Dependable"

Cons: "Where the cup holders are"

Likely to recommend this car? (1-10): 8

"When my husband and I bought this car 3 years ago, right away I felt very safe. The car is great on gas milage, the heat and a/c are great, where we live the winters can be tough but this car melts the snow very quickly. We have had many compliments on it (seeing it's red). Overall it's a good car. Would definitely look into this car if your car shopping."

20 people out of 28 found this review helpful

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