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pinchvalve
pinchvalve SuperDork
12/9/10 1:37 p.m.

For some odd reason, the rental company had a Chevy HHR available. I liked the idea of being able to put my sister's dog in the back (Bull Mastif) so I grabbed it. Big mistake. I am only 5' 10", but I could not see out of this sh*tbox.

Out the front, you have a little slit, mostly blocked by the roof and the rear view mirror. Anytime you are waiting for a light or turning to the right, have to practically stick your head on the dash to see anything. My back and neck were hurting after an hour.

And forget turning left, the A-pillar was so thick, it blocked most of your view.

This is the first car I ever pulled over in on the highway to look underneath. Traveling over a mile of evenly spaced expansion joints created such a racket under the car, I was convinced that something broke loose.

HHR - Holy Headaches Robin!

DukeOfUndersteer
DukeOfUndersteer SuperDork
12/9/10 1:42 p.m.

HHR - ha ha, really?

Otto_Maddox
Otto_Maddox HalfDork
12/9/10 1:46 p.m.

My Coast Guard friend says the Coasties refer to them as Homo Hot Rods (not that I approve of that kind of talk or anything).

mndsm
mndsm Dork
12/9/10 1:48 p.m.

A co worker of mine just bought one to replace her 2g neon. She's trying to argue with me that "It's an SUV and it'll be safer for when I have a family".... Um NO. It's a cobalt (And I'm already not a fan of j-bodies) with a mildly amusing body on it. And it's not even AWD so your hopes of snow dominance in the wild prairies of New Prague MN are defeated by a low ride height, and the single worst set of chinese knockoff tires that GM could buy. Oh, and it was a fleet lease return and you paid too much. Have fun!

Zomby woof
Zomby woof Dork
12/9/10 2:21 p.m.

Oh, great, the " I rented a HHR" thread.

FYI, the Cobalt is not a J body.

slefain
slefain SuperDork
12/9/10 2:22 p.m.

I hustled our HHR company car around Road Atlanta for three laps. It was as amusing as it was dangerous. I'd never own one, but it was fun to beat one.

Oh a related tangent, I am getting the same city gas mileage out of my dad's 99 Ranger that I did with the rental Cobalt I had.

1slowcrx
1slowcrx HalfDork
12/9/10 2:58 p.m.
The poster formally known as 96DXCivic wrote: Oh a related tangent, I am getting the same city gas mileage out of my dad's 99 Ranger that I did with the rental Cobalt I had.

Now that's just said... Something to be said about appropriately sizing engines for the car.

mndsm
mndsm Dork
12/9/10 2:59 p.m.

Yeah, I know the Cobalt isn't a j-body, I just tend towards rash generalizations of cars I don't particularly care for, and the Cobalt ranks pretty high on my list, along with its forefather the Cavalier.

Cotton
Cotton Dork
12/9/10 3:06 p.m.

I'd like to drive the 260hp version.......visibility be damned.

integraguy
integraguy Dork
12/9/10 3:27 p.m.

This is one of those cars where Consumer Reports has it "spot on" as far as being difficult to see out of and has floppy/almost dangerous suspension settings.

That said, I've toyed with the idea of getting one of these....almost for the same reasons as pointed out here:

can carry a large dog, and is almost like a smaller, more useful/useable SUV.

HOWEVER, go to Edmunds and read about all the folks who regret buying one of these. (Does HHR mean horrible, horrible, 'reck?) Assembly quality seems to be the biggest complaint after about 1 year of ownership.

Streetwiseguy
Streetwiseguy HalfDork
12/9/10 3:41 p.m.

Those big thick pillars are there to protect you in the inevitable occasion where you pull out in front of a truck you couldn't see because of the big thick pillars that are there to protect you.

ultraclyde
ultraclyde Reader
12/9/10 3:59 p.m.

Cotton - I had some guy try to "run" his HHR SS against my 05 mustang on the way home from work. From what I saw, you probably aren't missing out on much......

aircooled
aircooled SuperDork
12/9/10 4:31 p.m.

I am highly suspicious the Vibe has even worse visibility issues (never driven one).

Look at the size of that C pillar! (or is it a D pillar) But, you might say, note how large the rear window is. But wait, what is all that black stuff on it? Well of course that's 25%(!!) of the window that is just pretending to be a window but is in fact just fake window. The rear side visibility on these things must be horrendous.

Cotton
Cotton Dork
12/9/10 4:34 p.m.
ultraclyde wrote: Cotton - I had some guy try to "run" his HHR SS against my 05 mustang on the way home from work. From what I saw, you probably aren't missing out on much......

He probably couldn't drive. They should be pretty quick, but it may be hard to put the power down being FWD.

I have an 03 Mach 1 (305HP) and an 09 Solstice GXP Coupe (260HP). Stock they were mid 13s and pretty even. I have not ran them since the Mach got intake/exhaust and the Solstice got the GMPP tune though.

Pumpkin Escobar
Pumpkin Escobar SuperDork
12/9/10 5:20 p.m.

All I can add is that a friend had to drive his sisters HHR while his car was in for repairs (that she caused the need for). He actually said that compared to his TDI, he liked the HHR better. Now he is not a car guy whatsoever, so perhaps his commentary is skewed, but he said it had better "feel" than his Jetta and he liked the additional cargo space.

WilberM3
WilberM3 HalfDork
12/9/10 5:31 p.m.
Cotton wrote: I'd like to drive the 260hp version.......visibility be damned.

yea i actually liked the HHR i rented insofar as i thought it handled pretty well, and i even like the look now (mostly the SS look). of course you really cant see a damn thing out of it. but i too would like to drive an SS, especially one with the brambal brakes.

jrw1621
jrw1621 SuperDork
12/9/10 5:37 p.m.

My, how timely. I just spent the past 3 days with an Enterprise HHR while my Ford Escape with 17k miles was having the trans removed.
I found the HHR terribly uncomfortable and agreeably hard to see out of. My biggest complaint is the fact that the B-pillar impedes too much and actually touches my shoulder while I drive.
The day I picked up the car, it was all they had. Sure enough, I return the car today and sitting on the lot are two new Jetta Sedans. That would have been interesting.

tuna55
tuna55 Dork
12/9/10 6:39 p.m.

The same people that would advocate driving cross country with a 30+ year old worn out whatever with no dampers even installed and no parts for anything even within the same country say that driving a brand new HHR is dangerous. You guys are weird.

Visibility wasn't great, but I thought it was fine to drive and it seemed to handle just fine for driving around town. No issues here.

alex
alex SuperDork
12/9/10 6:46 p.m.

If I could get an SS Panel, I'd probably buy it tomorrow. It'd make one hell of a bread truck - literally, in my case. But for some reason, I love the Panels and hate the window'd versions. And of course I'd have to have the SS...

So, would it be easier to turn a Panel into an SS, or vice versa? I'm thinking that with all the computer gadgetry going on in the thing, I'd be better off with an SS and a front-ended Panel.

mtn
mtn SuperDork
12/9/10 6:53 p.m.

I hate big A pillars. That is all.

Big ego
Big ego SuperDork
12/9/10 7:02 p.m.
aircooled wrote: I am highly suspicious the Vibe has even worse visibility issues (never driven one). Look at the size of that C pillar! (or is it a D pillar) But, you might say, note how large the rear window is. But wait, what is all that black stuff on it? Well of course that's 25%(!!) of the window that is just pretending to be a window but is in fact just fake window. The rear side visibility on these things must be horrendous.

I rented one once, I don't remember visibility being an issue. Now the red color illuminated dash and center stack was painful to look at during the night... ugh.

I never drove an HHR, but had a pt cruiser rental car. I liked the concept but hated the execution.

WilberM3
WilberM3 HalfDork
12/9/10 7:56 p.m.
alex wrote: If I could get an SS Panel, I'd probably buy it tomorrow. It'd make one hell of a bread truck - literally, in my case. But for some reason, I love the Panels and hate the window'd versions. And of course I'd have to have the SS... So, would it be easier to turn a Panel into an SS, or vice versa? I'm thinking that with all the computer gadgetry going on in the thing, I'd be better off with an SS and a front-ended Panel.

i think they were available for 09 in a panel SS

CarKid1989
CarKid1989 Dork
12/9/10 8:06 p.m.

i think maybe everyone is looking at this the wrong way. Its in my eyes a cavlier wagon. Its just another applience car. Its not a cars guy/girl car just another car for the avgerage american

Either way, i would DD one in heartbeat.

alex
alex SuperDork
12/9/10 8:07 p.m.
WilberM3 wrote: i think they were available for 09 in a panel SS

I think that was a SEMA one-off.

But if you're right, ohhh baby...

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