2006 Chevrolet HHR

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$15,325

starting MSRP

2006 Chevrolet HHR

Key specs

Base trim shown

Overview

The good:

  • Retro-look styling
  • Wagon versatility
  • Ride comfort
  • Maneuverability
  • Construction quality
  • Automatic-transmission operation

The bad:

  • Lack of grab handles
  • Impaired rear visibility
  • Thick windshield pillars
  • Low-mounted central controls
  • Seat comfort in center rear seat
  • ABS not standard

2 trims

Starting msrp listed lowest to highest price

  • LS

    $15,325

  • LT

    $16,325

Wondering which trim is right for you?

Our 2006 Chevrolet HHR trim comparison will help you decide.

Notable features

  • New for 2006
  • High roof enhances headroom
  • Choice of two engines
  • Manual or automatic
  • Available side-curtain airbags

2006 Chevrolet HHR review: Our expert's take

By

The verdict:

Versus the competiton:

Old is new again, particularly in the world of auto design, where Chevrolet’s HHR looks like a 1949 Suburban, albeit one sent into the next century via time machine.

HHR stands for Heritage High Roof, and this retro-styled trucklet is Chevy’s equivalent of the PT Cruiser. The HHR shares its basic chassis platform and engine with the Chevy Cobalt.

The HHR, with a base price of $16,325, is attractively priced. All HHR models include standard features such as air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, power outside mirrors, cruise control and remote keyless entry. The LT, with a larger, 2.4-liter engine, starts at $18,060. Standard equipment includes the FE3 sport suspension, 17-inch painted aluminum wheels, anti-lock brakes, fog lamps, chrome exhaust tip, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, the 260-watt Pioneer sound system with subwoofer and chrome exterior trim. That’s the model I drove.

The HHR is technically a truck but it drives like a sedan because it is built with many of the front-wheel-drive Cobalt components. Chevy positioned the HHR as an alternative to compact SUVs because of its fold-flat rear seat, but the cargo space is a little smaller than most compact SUVs.

The split-folding rear seat is easy to put down, and the back of the seat is covered in hard plastic for better durability. The LT’s front passenger seat also folds flat to add length for long items. The cargo space is pretty square, but not much taller than a small station wagon’s.

The optional 2.4-liter engine has 175 horsepower and 165 pound-feet of torque. When mated to the automatic transmission, this engine gives moderate but not exciting acceleration. The engine felt less lively when passing at highway speeds. Noise and vibration are nicely controlled. Fuel economy is rated at 23 miles per gallon in the city and 30 on the highway.

The heavily optioned test vehicle had a comfortable but not overly spacious interior. Rear legroom is fairly tight. Two-tone leather seats and a two-tone dash were bright without being gaudy. Like the PT Cruiser, the HHR has power window controls mounted on the center console rather than on the doors. The buttons were down low and partially blocked by the shift lever. The knob that controls the brightness of the instrument lighting is not only unmarked but is located on the center console.

A center console with front and rear cup holders sits between the front bucket seats.

The instrument pod contains a speedometer flanked by a very tiny tachometer. The center stack contains GM’s newly designed audio system. This unit looks good and works well. One nice feature is that the station presets can be any combination of AM, FM or XM stations. The test car was equipped with the optional XM satellite radio. The sound system has an input jack for an iPod or other MP3 player.

The HHR’s suspension is designed for a comfortable ride and leisurely handling, so drivers won’t be tempted to treat it like a sports sedan. Sixteen-inch wheels are standard and 17s are optional. The LT, with the FE3 sport touring suspension, still has a very soft ride, and that is a drawback when it comes to handling fast corners. I would prefer a firmer suspension for more responsive handling.

The HHR has interesting styling, but it would be more useful if it were about 20 percent larger.

Price

The base price of the LT test car was $16,325. Options included automatic transmission, OnStar, 2.4-liter engine, side-curtain airbags, satellite radio, Pioneer audio system, heated front seats and power sunroof. The sticker price was $23,755.

Warranty

Three years or 36,000 miles.

Consumer reviews

Rating breakdown (out of 5):
  • Comfort 4.1
  • Interior design 3.7
  • Performance 3.9
  • Value for the money 4.1
  • Exterior styling 4.3
  • Reliability 4.2

Most recent consumer reviews

3.9

Reliable and economical

I would be comfortable recommending this car to a friend. It is economical to operate and comfortable to drive and ride in. I have enjoyed the time that I have owned it.

1.7

worse deal I have ever had

this vehicle has and probably had many issues and I was promised it had no mechanical issues when the sales person was feeding me his line of straight BS! Dont really blame this type of vehicle but has been messed up from the day I pulled it from the car lot.518 Auto off Military Hwy.Norfolk va

4.0

It's been a good car.

I bought a 2006 Chevy HHR with 58,000 miles on it. I am regular with oil changes but admittedly neglect other scheduled maintenance. I would estimate over 5 years I have put $5000 in repairs into it. Overhead camshaft solenoid, blower fan for air conditioner, rotors twice, but that could be b/c it needed struts and therefore bad transfer of forces on the front end. I feel like in my mind it's "fair" on reliability but because I"m hard on my car it's not fair to penalize it so I upgrade it to good. I want to keep driving it so I am replacing struts now after a transmission fluid flush so that says something, I guess. It's poorly lit inside and the window buttons never made sense. There is a significant blind spot also but I am proud to have owned this quirky kind of car.

See all 73 consumer reviews

Warranty

New car and Certified Pre-Owned programs by Chevrolet
New car program benefits
Bumper-to-bumper
36 months/36,000 miles
Corrosion
72 months/100,000 miles
Powertrain
36 months/36,000 miles
Roadside assistance
36 months/36,000 miles
Certified Pre-Owned program benefits
Maximum age/mileage
5 model years or newer/up to 75,000 miles
Basic warranty terms
12 months/12,000 miles bumper-to-bumper original warranty, then may continue to 6 years/100,000 miles limited (depending on variables)
Powertrain
6 years/100,000 miles
Dealer certification required
172-point inspection
Roadside assistance
Yes
View all cpo program details

Have questions about warranties or CPO programs?

Compare the competitors

2005

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2004

Saturn Vue

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2006

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See all 2006 Chevrolet HHR articles