american_driver

Edmunds first test HHR SS

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http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drive...photopanel..1.*

The 2008 Chevrolet HHR SS does not want to kill you.

This cannot be said of all its competitors. We don't want to name names here, so let's just say that the HHR SS has really only one direct competitor, the Dodge Caliber SRT-4. This competitor acts like a drug-addled co-driver who grabs the steering wheel and saws wildly if you dare to use more than a feather's touch of throttle.

What the hell are we talking about? Why our old buddy torque steer, of course — that troublesome houseguest of powerful front-drive cars.

But the HHR SS badly wants to be your friend. And despite a few rough edges, it's a pretty genial companion.

Power to the (Less Old) People

With a turbocharged 2.0-liter pumping a healthy 260 horsepower and 260 pound-feet of torque into its bones, the 2008 Chevrolet HHR SS promised to be a fair amount more raucous than it turned out to be.

Certainly there are moments at full whack when the steering starts thinking about its independence. And you will feel some unwanted reticence through the little wagon's little steering wheel. But that's it.

It's a good thing, too, because the engineers at GM's Performance Division who tinkered with this PT Cruiser clone didn't intend for the HHR SS to be an all-out tuner car. They'll save that for the next Cobalt SS, which will also be powered by this same 2.0-liter turbo. In contrast, Chevrolet expects that the average HHR SS buyer will be in his 40s, pretty much like the buyers of the Chrysler PT Cruiser.

And unlike SRT-4 or the Mazdaspeed Mazda3 (another competitor, Chevy says), the HHR is available with an automatic transmission. In fact, the company says it expects 70 percent of SS buyers to opt for the slushbox instead of the Saab-supplied five-speed manual.

Once you combine all this with quasi-retro styling and a dramatically larger cargo hold than these competitors, you quickly realize the HHR SS is a pretty unique proposition. That its standard 18-inch wheels are available only in a glinting high polish must mean something as well.

Driven

The downside to the SS's relative docility is that it doesn't feel as fast as the 285-hp Caliber, which explodes with that characteristic turbo rush shortly before trying to steer you clear off the road. Chevrolet estimates that the 3,280-pound (with manual transmission) SS will get to 60 mph in 6.3 seconds. If we can achieve this number when we strap our test gear to the car, it will only be a tenth of a second off the Caliber's pace. And, according to Chevy, the HHR SS will only be a couple of tenths behind the SRT-4 through the quarter-mile — 14.8 seconds vs. the 14.6 seconds we got from the Dodge.

The HHR SS's standard traction and stability control system has four settings: everything on (the default mode); traction control off; traction and stability control off; and competitive driving mode.

The competitive driving mode is accessed by two stabs at the traction control button on the center stack, and it backs off the threshold at which the stability control intervenes and also initiates a launch control program. At a stop with the clutch and gas pedals fully depressed, the engine revs to 4,100 rpm and holds steady. Release the clutch and the system allows some wheelspin, yet retards the engine spark to prevent overpowering the front tires. All you need to do to make speed is keep your right foot planted.

The system works pretty well, although it isn't foolproof. Dump the clutch too quickly and the engine bogs for a second. Ease off the pedal too gingerly and the cabin will fill with vaporized clutch lining. The system can't tell how grippy the pavement is either, so 4,100 rpm is the compromise because it covers as many situations as possible.

The SS also incorporates what racers call no-lift shift, as in don't lift off the gas while shifting. If you can retrain your right leg to stay planted, the system works smoothly. The turbo never gets a chance to rest, so there's no waiting for the power to come back on in your new, taller gear. Chevy reckons this system saves a bit of time on each shift — something on the order of a couple flaps of a hummingbird's wings, we imagine.

Driving Around Corners

Chevy makes a big deal of the HHR SS's somewhat unlikely pedigree as a veteran of the Nürburgring Nordschleife, noting that the trucklet holds the class record around the tortured north loop (8:43.52 minutes). The idea that there's really a defined class into which the HHR SS fits is, um, tenuous. But the SS's development on that most famous of test tracks does indicate Chevy's lofty goals.

We drove the HHR SS on one of the road courses at the compound of the Bob Bondurant School of High Performance Driving at Firebird International Raceway in Arizona and, well, the thing handles pretty nicely. This is still a tall front-driver that carries 59 percent of its weight over the front axle, so it's no Formula Ford. But given these caveats and the pedestrian nature of its strut-type front suspension and torsion-beam rear axle, the thing is really capable around the track. The development team added bigger antiroll bars front and rear and stiffer springs and shocks all around, and the SS is more willing to rotate into the corners than the vast majority of front-drive cars. It's also genuinely fun.

Driving around town or even on snaking mountain roads, the HHR feels handy enough and seems to ride well. But despite the bigger bars, the car still rolls a fair amount in corners. And the HHR's pseudo-SUV high seating position exaggerates this impression.

Steering and Other Matters of Significance

The HHR SS's steering ratio is 14.8:1, much quicker than the standard HHR and quicker than the SRT-4, too. And commanded through the smaller-than-standard steering wheel, the SS feels lively, although GM's electric-boosted unit still feels artificial and not entirely progressive.

The shift linkage for the five-speed manual transmission has also gotten a taste of the performance pie. Its throws are shorter than the standard unit and the shift lever has been moved forward and upward on the center console. It's not the slickest shifter, but the throws are very short and its synchros are up to quick shifting. The tachometer, which looks smaller than some Panerai wristwatches we've seen, is not easily read.

The SS's four-wheel disc brakes are pretty reasonable, but a Brembo brake package will be offered as an option sometime in the spring of 2008, which brings larger front rotors and calipers.

Living the Dream

Chevy has dressed up the inside a bit with two-tone interior trim, including a startling black-and-bright-red combination. The seats, while more supportive than the standard units, are no match for the sweet Recaros that were originally offered on the old Cobalt SS Supercharged. We want those back, bad.

There's no hiding the HHR's proletarian origins, especially in interior materials that are a little cheap-looking. Then there's the wind and the road noise. And could somebody please mount a grab handle into this thing?

We're not sure who is going to buy the 2008 Chevrolet HHR SS. It's not likely to be us. We'd trade the Chevy's big cargo hold and cushier ride for the locked-down, precision feel and high-quality interior of the Mazdaspeed 3 any day.

At a starting price of $22,995 including destination, the SS is reasonably priced. Apparently Dodge thought that was a reasonable price for a turbocharged hot hatch, too, since the SRT-4 starts at exactly the same number of dollars. The Mazdaspeed 3 is cheaper by less than $100. Yet, somehow despite their similarities in price, power and configuration, these are three vastly different animals.

Edmunds attended a manufacturer-sponsored event, to which selected members of the press were invited, to facilitate this report.

Edited by american_driver
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A half assed, $h!ty review from a $h!ty, half assed publication.

The more things change; the more they stay the same.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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That is a terrible review. What this industry needs is a group of critics who critique reviews such as this for fallacies. This one gets an F.

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A typical Edmunds, not silent and terribly deadly fart in an elevator or a huge dump on the turkey in a connoseuirs' banquet.

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Or the HHR SS is a 'been there, done that' product that doesn't really bring much to the table?

The PT has had a turbo for years, the Mazda 3MS is vastly superior and, at the end of the day, this is a 'putting lipstick on a pig'.

Who's clamoring for this product? Why have development $ gone into it, rather than the Cobalt (or, god-forbid, the Camaro)?

How come when Edmunds has nice things today, they don't suck quite so bad?

While I'm no Edmunds fan, I just don't see the purpose of this vehicle, nor can I stomach the blind defense of the indefensible here. The HHR is a mediocre product, whether you guys want to hear it or not, it's painfully true. I'm driving a 750mi. example right now--it's a slow, space inefficient, 21MPG, cheaply manufactured middle of the road product---at best. The PT was at least original--the HHR is a copy of a copy.

GM needs to avoid product like this going forward if they are going to have a chance to survive.

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Well, if you read owner reviews of the HHR on Edmunds, you see that they love the HHR's blend of utility, style, comfort, economy and affordability.

The HHR may show signs of being inspired by the PT Cruiser (which is itself a good idea let down by Chrysler quality and neglect), but it is no copy. It is a vast improvement over the Chrysler product. And the MazdaSpeed3 cannot match the HHR SS for roominess, yet the HHR SS is extremely close to the Mazda in performance, if not better in a lot of categories.

The HHR is far and away better executed than its would-be domestic "competitor", it really has no match for its blend of attributes. And it continues to find its niche in the market.

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Well, if you read owner reviews of the HHR on Edmunds, you see that they love the HHR's blend of utility, style, comfort, economy and affordability.

The HHR may show signs of being inspired by the PT Cruiser (which is itself a good idea let down by Chrysler quality and neglect), but it is no copy. It is a vast improvement over the Chrysler product. And the MazdaSpeed3 cannot match the HHR SS for roominess, yet the HHR SS is extremely close to the Mazda in performance, if not better in a lot of categories.

The HHR is far and away better executed than its would-be domestic "competitor", it really has no match for its blend of attributes. And it continues to find its niche in the market.

First, of course an owner who just plunked down his/her hard earned cash is going to have nicer things to say...

Second, I'd like you to outline exactly how the HHR is a 'vast' improvement on the PT? It's a moderately more modern platform and...that's it.

Third, the 3, and virtually every other hatchback on the market is 95% as useful and most are simply better product--I've got a baby seat in mine right now that barely fits in the back facing forward! Forget about using the front seat at all if you have an infant-mode safety seat facing backwards...just like every other hatch on the market!

In essence, for the sake of some questionable style and a few cubic feet of cargo room, I've got to accept poor sightlines, rear drum brakes (nonSS), crappy interior quality and poor MPG?

Plus, the Mazda will smoke this thing in most, if not all perfomance categories.

No thanks.

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...exactly. The HHR is still miles ahead of the Caliber SRT-4.

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People can come back any time and update their owner reviews, so its not just new owners posting reviews.

enzel, how would you know if a vehicle has rear discs or drums unless you looked? You wouldn't. What difference does that make?

And on fuel economy, how will the excellent 2.0L Ecotec turbo match up to the Mazda engine? I'd be willing to bet they'll be very close.

The MazdaSpeed6 is already off the market, haha. How long with the Speed3 last? I see the same two on the lot at the local dealer week after week.

The HHR SS is a well-engineered package... it will mostly appeal to American-car fans (my kind of people), but the performance should also win over some stubborn import humpers, if they have open minds.

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People can come back any time and update their owner reviews, so its not just new owners posting reviews.

enzel, how would you know if a vehicle has rear discs or drums unless you looked? You wouldn't. What difference does that make?

And on fuel economy, how will the excellent 2.0L Ecotec turbo match up to the Mazda engine? I'd be willing to bet they'll be very close.

The MazdaSpeed6 is already off the market, haha. How long with the Speed3 last? I see the same two on the lot at the local dealer week after week.

The HHR SS is a well-engineered package... it will mostly appeal to American-car fans (my kind of people), but the performance should also win over some stubborn import humpers, if they have open minds.

Basic Human Psych 101- There's an overwhelming need to justify decsions...especially when its' the second most expensive one you make....I don't want to hear from owners who are compelled to post--they're either going to be real positive or negative, as that's what pushes people to post in the first place.

Brakes---another example of GM cost-cutting---and my 750mi. HHR has mushy brakes and doesn't have decent feel or particularly stellar stopping distances...and I'm not driving it at full load, like a Panel Van version might.

MPG doesn't matter in the most popular version? Please. Many consumers have this point at or near the top of theb list. Most wouldn't consider buying the SS version.

THe MS6 is not part of this discussion, but I'll bring up some products that should be: the Rabbit, 3, Spectra 5, Matrix, Astra, Vibe--all of which have either a killer USP or two, or are just flat-out a better overall product for 95% of users...and generally possess one or more qualities the HHR lacks--

"import humper"'s are now 50%+ of the retail market. Time for GM to compete in this segment, legitimately.

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Taken as a whole the HHR SS (couldn't they have just named it "Sport")? is a big step ahead from the normal model.

Still, while the review from the outset has a negative overtone, it's just compltely without reason. Facts are facts and compared with the MazdaSpeed3 it doesn't turn as sharply, the steering is not as crisp and natural, its suspension isn't as good, and it doesn't handle as well. It's not OMG T3H BIAS!!11 either...it's common sense. The Mazda has a more advanced suspension, isn't stuck with electric steering, has a lower center a gravity, and so on. MazdaSpeed3 simply had a better, more advanced vehicle to start with. Chevy had a less advanced vehicle.

Ocn, you seem to be grabbing at straws. The MazdaSpeed6 is coming back with the next generation..it's not uncommon for trim levels to start to disappear shortly before a model is redesigned...look at the Vibe for example.

As for the PT bashing, the PT, despite being older, has come out ahead in comparison tests, and has been noted for having a better interior with more personality (although I hate the seats, far too narrow for me).

Overall I'd say that that the HRR SS is pretty good...it's probably not as hardcore as the SRT4 or the 3, which will attract some buyers. The SRT4 is a monster for those who want one, and the 3 is the sharpest and most dedicated sport hatch.

edmunds review is unnecessarily harsh yes, but at the same time valid points, both good and bad, are brought up.

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For Edmunds the review wasn't that bad, yeah it has torque-steer which can be somewhat amusing, to be honest. Also it has extra room the Mazda doesn't have and looks pertty cool. I'd say it is a hit. (all things considered)

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I would prefer the GTI 5-door over the Mazda. The HHR SS doesn't really fit in with the Mazda3, it is a more versatile vehicle leaning toward cargo capacity. What Chevrolet has done is bring a unique list of attributes to the market in a way only they can. I like the HHR in general, the SS is just icing on the cake.

enzl... how will you know what owners think if they don't testify somewhere? That's why Edmunds has an average of owner ratings posted. Yes, motivated ppl will post, but that's the same for all models rated... you look at how the vehicle averages compared to others it competes with... others you are considering. The Edmunds owner ratings are just one tool when comparing vehicles. A lot of stuff I read in the reviews seems ridiculous and funny, but overall, I like reading the reviews.

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Here is Car and Driver Review. Much balanced, shows how Juvenile crapmunds is about some of their opinions and views about cars.

We had a Twilight Zone sort of distorted-reality moment on our recent drive of Chevrolet's new HHR SS when one of the engineers on the project compared the retro trucklet to the Mazdaspeed 3. Who would have ever thought we'd be comparing an HHR with that angry little hatch? Pricing for the SS will start right around the Mazdaspeed 3's $22,935 base, and dimensionally, the match-up makes sense—the Mazda is less than an inch longer, the HHR 4.8 inches taller (HHR does, after all, stand for Heritage High Roof), but it still seems a little like dropping a kitten in a terrarium with a scorpion.

Don't be misled, though, because in the all-important power-to-weight-ratio battle, the HHR proves it's got a little venom on-tap. The last Mazdaspeed 3 we tested weighed in at 3202 pounds, while the HHR SS weighs an estimated 3300. While the Mazdaspeed packs 263 ponies from its turbocharged 2.3-liter, the SS's turbocharged four—the same as found in the Pontiac Solstice GXP, Saturn Sky Red Line, and upcoming Cobalt SS—manages 260 horsepower from its two liters, yielding 12.7 pounds per horsepower, which is within nipping distance of the Mazda's 12.2.

It may be Cute, but it can get a little bit nasty

For those who are still skeptical, consider that the HHR SS also includes some pretty nifty performance tuning tricks, like launch control. With the standard Stabilitrak stability control in Competitive Mode, the engine is limited to 4100 rpm until the tires hook up. In cars with the manual transmission, flooring the accelerator with the clutch depressed holds the engine at 4100 rpm. Miscreants who need more freedom to smoke their front tires will be happy to hear that, with stability control fully off, redline-wrenching parking-brake burnouts are still a possibility. Torque steer, a virtual guarantee when plumbing 260 pound-feet of torque through the front wheels, is wonderfully minimized; we noticed just the tiniest whiff in the lower gears. The second bit of surprising high-performance programming in the HHR SS is the no-lift shift feature, which allows the driver to keep the throttle pinned during shifts and holds the engine just below redline, therefore keeping boost up and eliminating turbo lag. With the throttle on the floor, the unrelenting turbo whoosh from beneath the HHR's shapely hood is accompanied by a pleasingly violent pop from the exhaust pipe during shifts.

Both the launch control and the no-lift shifting are rather hard-core for such a mild-mannered bread van, but then again, so are the performance figures. Chevy says 60 mph will arrive in just 6.3 seconds and the quarter-mile in 14.8 at 99 mph, numbers that would have trailed the field in our most recent hot-hatch comparo by only the smallest of margins. Just as important, the company claims 0.86 g on the skidpad, a scant 0.01 g behind the 'Speed 3.

Numbers are one thing—tie enough bottle rockets to a can of rotten tuna fish and it'll go fast. Feel is something much harder to accomplish, and we are pleased to report that the fun of the HHR SS driving experience goes well beyond engaging launch control and tromping on the gas pedal.

Now available from Chevrolet: A Rewarding Compact Performance

On the 1.6-mile road course at the Bondurant driving school's Phoenix facility, the SS proved stable and competent. It's not the on-the-rocks stiff, furious little machine that the 'Speed 3 is, but body motion is well controlled and the steering is responsive, although not as direct and communicative as that in the Mazda. Braking, as well, is on par with the class, with strong binders hauling the SS down plenty quick, although the pedal turns mushy at the bottom of its travel. Optional Brembos will be bundled with a limited-slip differential and improve the immediacy of the bite, but the non-committal finish remains. Think a step below the Volkswagen GTI in firmness and connectedness.

Past complaints about the HHR have mentioned the shifter for the five-speed manual and its awkward positioning, but that has been remedied in the SS. The window switches, which previously resided at the base of the center stack and in front of the shifter, have migrated to the driver's door armrest. This allowed Chevy to move the shifter forward by 1.5 inches and up by 2.0 so that it falls naturally to hand. Shift action has been improved as well, with a reduction of one full inch in side-to-side travel across the pattern, resulting in an unexpectedly precise unit that, while not as short as, say, a Honda S2000, allows better control than that Mazda the Chevy folks keep talking about.

How many Mazdaspeed 3, GTI, or Dodge Caliber SRT4 intenders will be cross-shopping the decidedly cuter (perhaps too much so?) HHR SS, we can't say. But those who will open their minds to the retro box will find it to be more relaxed, yet still quite confident. Customers for whom the Mazda and Volkswagen are a bit too tightly-wound may find the potent HHR SS to be precisely their pick. Besides, the HHR SS will earn cool points by the full-size truckload by being the only hot hatch available as a windowless panel truck soon after its launch.

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Here is Car and Driver Review. Much balanced, shows how Juvenile crapmunds is about some of their opinions and views about cars.

We had a Twilight Zone sort of distorted-reality moment on our recent drive of Chevrolet's new HHR SS when one of the engineers on the project compared the retro trucklet to the Mazdaspeed 3. Who would have ever thought we'd be comparing an HHR with that angry little hatch? Pricing for the SS will start right around the Mazdaspeed 3's $22,935 base, and dimensionally, the match-up makes sense—the Mazda is less than an inch longer, the HHR 4.8 inches taller (HHR does, after all, stand for Heritage High Roof), but it still seems a little like dropping a kitten in a terrarium with a scorpion.

Don't be misled, though, because in the all-important power-to-weight-ratio battle, the HHR proves it's got a little venom on-tap. The last Mazdaspeed 3 we tested weighed in at 3202 pounds, while the HHR SS weighs an estimated 3300. While the Mazdaspeed packs 263 ponies from its turbocharged 2.3-liter, the SS's turbocharged four—the same as found in the Pontiac Solstice GXP, Saturn Sky Red Line, and upcoming Cobalt SS—manages 260 horsepower from its two liters, yielding 12.7 pounds per horsepower, which is within nipping distance of the Mazda's 12.2.

It may be Cute, but it can get a little bit nasty

For those who are still skeptical, consider that the HHR SS also includes some pretty nifty performance tuning tricks, like launch control. With the standard Stabilitrak stability control in Competitive Mode, the engine is limited to 4100 rpm until the tires hook up. In cars with the manual transmission, flooring the accelerator with the clutch depressed holds the engine at 4100 rpm. Miscreants who need more freedom to smoke their front tires will be happy to hear that, with stability control fully off, redline-wrenching parking-brake burnouts are still a possibility. Torque steer, a virtual guarantee when plumbing 260 pound-feet of torque through the front wheels, is wonderfully minimized; we noticed just the tiniest whiff in the lower gears. The second bit of surprising high-performance programming in the HHR SS is the no-lift shift feature, which allows the driver to keep the throttle pinned during shifts and holds the engine just below redline, therefore keeping boost up and eliminating turbo lag. With the throttle on the floor, the unrelenting turbo whoosh from beneath the HHR's shapely hood is accompanied by a pleasingly violent pop from the exhaust pipe during shifts.

Both the launch control and the no-lift shifting are rather hard-core for such a mild-mannered bread van, but then again, so are the performance figures. Chevy says 60 mph will arrive in just 6.3 seconds and the quarter-mile in 14.8 at 99 mph, numbers that would have trailed the field in our most recent hot-hatch comparo by only the smallest of margins. Just as important, the company claims 0.86 g on the skidpad, a scant 0.01 g behind the 'Speed 3.

Numbers are one thing—tie enough bottle rockets to a can of rotten tuna fish and it'll go fast. Feel is something much harder to accomplish, and we are pleased to report that the fun of the HHR SS driving experience goes well beyond engaging launch control and tromping on the gas pedal.

Now available from Chevrolet: A Rewarding Compact Performance

On the 1.6-mile road course at the Bondurant driving school's Phoenix facility, the SS proved stable and competent. It's not the on-the-rocks stiff, furious little machine that the 'Speed 3 is, but body motion is well controlled and the steering is responsive, although not as direct and communicative as that in the Mazda. Braking, as well, is on par with the class, with strong binders hauling the SS down plenty quick, although the pedal turns mushy at the bottom of its travel. Optional Brembos will be bundled with a limited-slip differential and improve the immediacy of the bite, but the non-committal finish remains. Think a step below the Volkswagen GTI in firmness and connectedness.

Past complaints about the HHR have mentioned the shifter for the five-speed manual and its awkward positioning, but that has been remedied in the SS. The window switches, which previously resided at the base of the center stack and in front of the shifter, have migrated to the driver's door armrest. This allowed Chevy to move the shifter forward by 1.5 inches and up by 2.0 so that it falls naturally to hand. Shift action has been improved as well, with a reduction of one full inch in side-to-side travel across the pattern, resulting in an unexpectedly precise unit that, while not as short as, say, a Honda S2000, allows better control than that Mazda the Chevy folks keep talking about.

How many Mazdaspeed 3, GTI, or Dodge Caliber SRT4 intenders will be cross-shopping the decidedly cuter (perhaps too much so?) HHR SS, we can't say. But those who will open their minds to the retro box will find it to be more relaxed, yet still quite confident. Customers for whom the Mazda and Volkswagen are a bit too tightly-wound may find the potent HHR SS to be precisely their pick. Besides, the HHR SS will earn cool points by the full-size truckload by being the only hot hatch available as a windowless panel truck soon after its launch.

See, I'm no fan of C&D or Edmunds (They can all burn for what I care)

But the tone of the C&D article is actually technical and informative... At least if they had a bitch, they justified it with something other than lazy friggin' punch lines. You know, like the tired ones being thrown around here by certain members about the car being a rip-off, or of an older clientele (Too bad no one ever notices that one in a Scion or Element review).

The article from Edmunds is about as professional as something that a drunk trailer park dweller might write about a theatre performance.

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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See, I'm no fan of C&D or Edmunds (They can all burn for what I care)

But the tone of the C&D article is actually technical and informative... At least if they had a bitch, they justified it with something other than lazy friggin' punch lines. You know, like the tired ones being thrown around here by certain members about the car being a rip-off, or of an older clientele (Too bad no one ever notices that one in a Scion or Element review).

The article from Edmunds is about as professional as something that a drunk trailer park dweller might write about a theatre performance.

There are plenty of 'unprofessionals' raving about how great the new 'bu is....are they drunken Double-widers as well?

The Element & xB are frequently described as not having hit their socioeconomic target. Is the AARP at letter writing campaign level yet?

And, lastly, the HHR is a rip-off of the PT...from the poached designer on down, it reeks of what was broken in the GM product development process---hopefully, it's been fixed.

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wow, such venom. sounds like reg in drag or something.

ion redline i drove was a fun car. no doubt this one will be so much more even.

HHR SS much cooler than the caliber SRT. at least you won't need to wear arm pads and you'll have real cargo space.

Mazdaspeed has no real cargo area.

the HHR is merely a cobalt wagon. compared to say, a focus wagon, a much better way to package a compact wagon.

my brother in law is looking for a business vehicle. An HHR SS might be the ticket for him to carry a ladder and tools and have a neat image in the process (although i will push them to a FLex I think).

as for the mpg, 21 is about what these highly charged compacts get. the mazdaspeed gets no better. the old svt focus got about that.

And if you read real world mileage from users who own Honda Elements you find they barely get more than 20, despite much less power. The HHR SS has 100 horse on the new Vibe GT.

When you consider how affordable the HHR is, I think its alright.

FOr the compact class I would get a GTI anyways, not a MAzdaspeed. Another reason why the euro focus is a waste. Picky buyers would still get the GTI.

Edited by regfootball
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Here is Car and Driver Review. Much balanced, shows how Juvenile crapmunds is about some of their opinions and views about cars.

Daniel Pund was Car and Driver before he went "to help launch a new magazine that is said to blend cars, bimbos, and male lifestyle (MPH)," Csere. "Coming from the company that puts out the National Enquirer, this crossbreeding of subjects certainly promises to be unique if nothing else. Both Frank and Dan depart on the best of terms, and we wish them luck, for they shall surely need it."

Daniel Pund, Executive Editor MPH

Picked at random from a pool of over a hundred out-of-work journalists, Dan's role at the magazine is more symbolic than, well, necessary. His inability to type might seem like a major setback, but in Dan's case, it's actually a blessing in disguise. His stories, while ostensibly about cars, often turn into long-winded right-wing rants on such touchy subjects as gun control, abortion, and the overregulation of the FDA. His presence is tolerated mostly because of the incriminating information he has on the rest of the staff.

As you can see, it doesn't seem like it went too well... so he went to Edmunds, back to Senior Editor. By the way, he's the one that wrote that overwhelmingly positive Malibu review.

http://www.edmunds.com/insideline/do/Drive...rticleId=123277

Edited by empowah
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Btw, the review isn't "dripping in negativity", IMO, or at least not at the HHR.

They made fun of the SRT-4, but overall they were positive overall on the SS.

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There are plenty of 'unprofessionals' raving about how great the new 'bu is....are they drunken Double-widers as well?

Nope. They're fine, upstanding, professional journalists.

(I've always admitted my bias; and it is intentional)

Edited by FUTURE_OF_GM
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All the big media outlets... Motor Trend, Car&Driver, Autoweek, are giving the HHR SS very positive reviews. Starting at $22,995, this is a unique vehicle in the market, and I think it will do fine. I want one.
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All the big media outlets... Motor Trend, Car&Driver, Autoweek, are giving the HHR SS very positive reviews. Starting at $22,995, this is a unique vehicle in the market, and I think it will do fine. I want one.

Why is the press crucified as 'anti-GM' when reviews are negative, yet we run right back to them when they offer a glimmer of hope?

Sorry, the hhr SS is, at best, a mediocre product with a great engine that still hasn't found its way into a car that is truly worthy of it.

Prediction: this car will languish on lots, awaiting its inclusion in the big rebates already available on the hhr itself....real enthusiasts will avoid this car and HHR fans will balk at the MSRP

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Why is the press crucified as 'anti-GM' when reviews are negative, yet we run right back to them when they offer a glimmer of hope?

Sorry, the hhr SS is, at best, a mediocre product with a great engine that still hasn't found its way into a car that is truly worthy of it.

It's not when the reviews are negative. It's when the reviews are negative unfairly <C&D, Malibu, Lows: No cruise control cancel; even though there is one> or that USA Today article where it sounds like the reviewer purposefully abused the car. I don't think anyone here has complained that the Malibu hasn't come in first due to media bias and even with 2nd or 3rd place finishes, most of the Malibu reviews have been fair. Those reviews are fine.

Isn't this the same engine that is in the Solstice GXP, Sky Red-Line, and upcoming Cobalt SS that runs with Nissan GT-Rs around Nürgburgring?

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