The most useful car I've owned
March 8, 2018
The HHR is like a Harry Potter car, it seems bigger on the inside than on the outside. With some nice Michelin tires, it rides pretty smooth. Putting the seats down I have hauled large piles of 8' lumber and the car didn't skip a beat; the suspension must be more heavy duty than the Cobalt it shares a lot with, fully loaded with lumber it still doesn't perceptibly lower it's stance. I wish it were large enough for a 4' wide sheet of plywood, but it's not. I have hauled a washing machine with no problem. The seats are good sized and comfortable, I'm over 6', so I had to push the seat all the way back and all the way down, and in order to see out of the low front window I have to swing the visor to the side, but it's not too small for me. The interior is utilitarian, but durable. There isn't a Bluetooth connection, so if you want that you will need an aftermarket radio, or use the aux port to plug in directly. The base engine is zippy from the take-off but my commute takes me over several mountains and this requires lowering the shifter into the "I" position, doing that gives it plenty of power over the hills, but less gas mileage. The brakes are weak, I replaced the front rotors with performance drilled and slotted versions and that brings it into the acceptable range. The flex fuel sounds like a good idea, but when I've used it the car runs rough, with substantially less gas mileage and performance, and at the worst it caused the intake and exhaust camshaft sensors (solenoid) to quit working and need replaced. I'm up to 145k miles with no issues other than maintenance and those two sensors. There isn't as much available aftermarket as far as customization as there is with the PT Cruiser, but it starts off with a nice retro feel. Overall it's a great little retro SUV/wagon/car/truck, SWCT?