San Francisco: The
most distinctive car Chevy makes is probably the Corvette. But if you’re
looking for something more practical and a lot less expensive, but still
fun, try the HHR. And with OnStar you receive a portfolio of useful and
In its second year on
the market, the retro-styled little wagon already boasts some
improvements. Chevy boosted power in the standard 2.2-liter four and the
premium level 2.4-liter, to 149 and 175 horsepower, respectively. My
Sunburst Orange Metallic tester had the bigger engine, and it felt like
more than enough for driving enjoyment. The car does a fine job in the
daily commute in town, including schlepping oversized musical
instruments on its flat floor when the second row seats are dropped.
Lower the front passenger seat and you can slide an 8-foot ladder inside
on a rainy day.
For testing purposes, I
pressed the little OnStar button. This in-car, satellite-linked, safety
and concierge service has been around for years, but you may have
thought it was only for Cadillac’s and Buick’s. Not any more.
OnStar can unlock your
car remotely. If you are in a crash they automatically call you - and if
there’s no answer, they dispatch medical help. You can call if you need
medical attention. OnStar helps locate your car if it’s stolen. Its
staff can direct you to restaurants, public places, and entertainment
The latest OnStar
development is called Turn-by-Turn Navigation. You can request
directions to a location and OnStar configures it and then downloads the
navigation to your car. So - without a screen, a voice guides you
through to your destination. With your eyes on the road, you‘re safer,
and you never have to look at a map (or refold it). And in my little HHR
it was just a $695 option, versus around $2,000 for a full-boat
I tried the
Turn-by-Turn navigation, and it works great. A pleasant-voiced woman
guided me through. Once the downloaded directions started, I chuckled at
the mispronunciation of words like Chabot (they said “chabbit,” not “shabow”).
I also initially requested a street in a new housing development and
OnStar didn’t have it yet - they update every six months.
If you think the HHR is
GM’s version of Chrysler’s PT Cruiser, you’re only partly right. The
designer of the PT Cruiser, now a GM employee, actually penned it, but
it is larger and not really that similar. The upright windshield is
slit-like, and the front window pillars are quite stumpy. The round
details inside and out feel a bit like the 1950’s, but materials and
equipment are of this century.
HHRs come with a good
assortment of standard features, even though the base price of the LS
model is less than $17,000. Every HHR comes with air conditioning,
cruise control, remote keyless entry and power windows, locks and
mirrors. The standard six-speaker stereo system comes with a handy iPod
jack. You can step up to a booming 260-watt seven-speaker system with
the LT packages, 1LT or 2LT.
The 1LT package adds
power seats, an MP3 player for the audio system, and 16-inch alloy
wheels (the LS’s wheels are steel, but they’re still 16s). The $1,800
2LT package includes the bigger engine, a sport suspension, and 17-inch
alloys. You also get antilock brakes, fog lamps, a bright exhaust tip,
chrome trim, a leather-wrapped steering wheel and shift knob, and the
aforementioned upgraded Pioneer sound system with a subwoofer.
Feel free to add more
things, like an automatic transmission (a five-speed manual is
standard), power sunroof, and super shiny polished wheels. On my orange
test car, these rims really increased the eye-popping potential.
The HHR with the
standard engine rates a combined highway/city fuel economy of 25 miles
per gallon with the stick, 24 with the automatic. The 2.4-liter
powerplant is 24 mpg with the stick and 22 mpg with the autobox. I got
19.9 miles per gallon, according to the handy trip computer.
The EPA also rates
frontal and side crashes, and the HHR received a top score of five
stars. From an environmental standpoint, the HHR picks up a 6 for Air
Pollution and a 7 for Greenhouse Gases - way better than average.
charges and my option list, the final sticker price of my HHR was
$23,534, not cheap anymore, but this one was a full option model.
Although some interior
plastics looked and felt cheap, the design was beautiful and the car was
definitely comfortable. On one impulse drive through curving,
tree-covered backcountry, the sport suspension did its job and the
electric power steering felt quick and natural.
You may chuckle at the
HHR’s slightly cartoon like quality, but the car does everything you
need without drinking overly from the fuel supply and provides more
comfort and entertainment than you might expect. By Steve
Schaefer © AutoWire.Net - San Francisco
Chevrolet Home Page
content provided by Tony Leopardo © AutoWire.Net
Column Name: The Turn-by-Turn navigation works great
Topic: The 2007 Chevrolet HHR with OnStar
Word Count: 876
Photo Caption: The 2007 Chevrolet HHR with OnStar
Photo Credits: Chevrolet HHR & OnStar Internet Media
Series #: 2007 -
the Microsoft Word version here:
2007 Chevrolet HHR
Download the Original Image File here:
2007 Chevrolet HHR