2008 Chevrolet HHR

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2008 Chevrolet HHR Review

Note: This review was created when the 2008 Chevrolet HHR was new.

The HHR offers a smooth ride, distinctive retro look and practical cargo and passenger capacities, but it trails its competitors in acceleration and sporty handling.

Pros & Cons

  • High fuel economy relative to competition
  • Versatile cargo and seating space
  • Vintage exterior styling
  • Smooth ride
  • Weak engine choices for such a hefty vehicle
  • Annoying interior design quirks
  • Sub-par steering and braking performance

Research & Ratings

Currently, the Chevrolet HHR has a score of 7.5 out of 10, which is based on our evaluation of 56 pieces of research and data.




Critics' Rating: 7.4
Performance: 6.5
Interior: 7.4
Safety: 9.8
J.D. Power Ratings Logo

2008 Chevrolet HHR Overview

With an old-school look, smooth ride and versatile cabin, the 2008 Chevy HHR is a fresh take on the retro trend started by the Chrysler PT Cruiser. But according to our analysis, the HHR's positive attributes do not compensate for its shoddy performance. Car and Driver says it drives just as retro as it looks. "The shifter catches as it moves through the pattern. The steering is rubbery and very sensitive to road camber; it wants to fall off the road crown." It's chiefly the HHR's substandard performance that anchors its overall ranking.

The four-door HHR comes in several trims -- LS, 1LT, 2LT and Special Edition -- with a choice of two four-cylinder engines. A two-seat Panel version with rear cargo doors is targeted mostly at delivery companies. For 2008, the HHR's only notable change is an increase in horsepower for its two engines. OnStar is now standard across the lineup and stability control has been added as an option. Chevy also introduced HHR SS with a 260-horsepower turbocharged engine. If you're shopping for an affordable compact wagon, consider the Scion xB.

  • "Overall, the HHR is a pretty neat piece, less cute than a Chrysler PT Cruiser and way more refined than a Scion xB. The retro look is cool, but the retro values of practicality and utility are even cooler." -- Automobile Magazine
  • "The external flair and internal practicality make this a car likely to appeal to young dudes cruising for thrills, families bored with bland, conventional wagons, and even boomers who need a set of wheels for the beach house." -- U.S. News
  • "Around town the test vehicle seemed a good friend, able to hold people and cargo gracefully, able to slide into tight parking spots easily because of its trim size and tight turning circle, and good at generating smiles and approving looks from other motorists." -- USA Today
  • "A smooth-riding wagonette, the HHR (for Heritage High Roof) is an example of retro design that both looks good and works well in utilitarian terms: the boxy shape makes it roomy inside." -- Car and Driver
  • "It is a nostalgic hauler for people who want something different, and who appreciate the classic looks of the 1949 Chevy Suburban." -- New Car Test Drive

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