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hyperv6

Drove an HHR SS Last Weekend

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I got the chance to drive a HHR SS last weekend and I must say even with FWD it was very impressive.

First off the Turbo Enginer that has 260 HP with only 2 liters has little turbo lag and is a blast to drive. The no lift shift works as advertised and keep the boot up. The engine is smooth and quiet.

The torque steer is present but nowhere like you would expect and is well controled. It did not want to dive to the ditch but it sill has a little wonder due to the front tires fighting for control as the traction control does not kick in too soon.

Brakes were very good and these were not even the Brembo option.

The interior looks good color wise but is still a little cheap feeling in some areas. It is still acceptable and as good or bettert than many other cars in this price range.

The car is quiet and the only real noise is the sun roof deflector that it much louder than most other cars. The slant of the roof I think plays a big factor here.

Hnadleing and right are great. It soaks up the bumps well and is tossable like a Mini. I did not push it to the limits but in some spirited driving I found it to be a blast to drive.

The shifter is the best FWD shifter I have used from GM. It is still a little tight but is a big improvment over the past GM shifters.

I have been looking at getting a G8 truck or Camaro next year but if cas continues to climb I may have to revisit this vehicle. It is not the already fine run of the mill HHR. This thing can haul all I want to haul ands still give mix driving of near 25 MPG. The drive train in this shoulf be a blast in a Cobalt SS with less weight.

The styling upgrades has also get the HHR notice at lights. I saw many people checking it out. Styling is a love hate deal but more and more are accepting it.

With dealer discounts and my GM card points I may be able to buy a fully loaded one of these for at or just under $20K. THis vehicle is a bargin and the past few years sales will bear this out. I have spoken to 7 present owners and all have had trouble free miles and love their vehicle.

If anyone needs a usable vehicle that is practical, get good gas mileage but still fun to drive the HHR SS is a bargin and should be looked at.

I now have 3 GM vehicles to look at in 09 and now have to decide what one I will get as my daily driver. At this point with high gas prices low purchase price and the HHR utility the SS has made a stong case.

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I too drove one a couple of weekends ago. My wife wants an HHR for around town, and out of the blue asked me to come to the Chevy dealer and drive one. They Had the Sunburst Orange SS auto on the lot so we took it out. Honestly-that is one HELL of a car! The ride was great, build quality was excellent, and it was quick! This is honestly the first FWD vehicle I have ever fallen in love with. We will be buying one when the lease on the Commander is up.

I drove it back to back with a 2LT and the ride and braking difference is night and day. The SS is more confident in all aspects of the drive. Only complaint: no heated seats option. The sport seats were great though. Much better than standard seats.

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I too drove a Sunbust Orange SS and too noted it and the standard HHR are two totally different vehicles.

My two complaints are lack of heated seats but see that if they are not leather they are not offered. Also I would like to have a dash mounted rear hatch release.

But for the money and increase of the better MPG this car is a steal.

I too am very anti FWD but could live with this car very easily.

I will still check out the G8 truck but the HHR SS has won me over.

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I like the HHR SS but get the G8 ST! Those will be sweet.

I like the G8 very much but I have to be realistic.

One gas prices are not going to go down and if they do they will not remain down fore long. With the V6 only going to get around 18 MPG city this is a sore spot. I will have to see the final fuel mileage. I am just looking for something I can drive to work and go to Lowes while still getting near 25 MPG. I am doing 20 MPG with a Sonoma now and would like to improve on that.

Two The G8 ST is a 2 seater and I have one 2 Seater in the family now so it would leave us one car we all can ride in. This Also has hindered my justification for a Solstice or Sky. More than two people in the family and 3 vehicles with only one able to transport the family is a pain at times.

Three I plan to replace the wifes GTP Comp G with a G8 when the time comes. Or it could be a Camaro later. Gas mileage is not an issue with her drive.

Four I get the G8 ST when they pick my name I sent in for the contest. Hey I got a 1 in 10,000 chance and that is better than the Ohio Lottery.

I love the G8 ST and it fits most of all my needs but one and that is the lack of being able to carry more than 2 people. That over rides gas prices and everything else I could even throw the MPG out if needed but the 2 seat thing is a problem.

My old GMC Sprint SP was a bucket seat with Sturp shifter and only two seats. that is good when you still in Collage. With Kids it is not so cool. Even my Sonoma will carry three in the Jump seat.

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Yeah I really liked the one I drove, except for the interior color, I didn't care for the black and red. The all-black would be better. It seems that since the first round of deliveries to local dealers, though, they've disappeared from the lots, with no replacements. Seems odd.
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I have also noticed the SS's disappear from the lots and not returning. I wonder if the axles and half shafts could be the reason.

All I know is I saw a Silver SS on e-bay the other day, and it was really good looking with the grey interior.

I would love to see GM take a hint from the Dodge boys and offer each SS model in a heritage color from the glory days of the SS nameplate: Hugger Orange, Butternut Yellow, Ermine white,Lemans Blue, Frost Green, Daytona Yellow, Rally Green, Cortez Silver...All of these in limited numbers with a special stripe package. You think they would sell??

And a butternut Yellow with black stripes (maybe put the SS stripes down at the base of the doors??) would be really cool with some re-pop 18" old school rally wheels and beauty rings!

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The HHR SS is a great engine looking for a better home.

In the year this thing has been out, our Chevy store has fielded exactly 2 phonecalls inquring about availablility and sold 2 total.

It's another answer to a question noone asked---like the XUV or retro-hardtop 'vert pickup (SSR).

The HHR is a decent drive---better than the Cobalt it's based on (which brings up a whole bunch of other questions)---but I'd rather see an improved Cobalt with a DI 2.0/6 sp combo as it's base engine than an HHR SS.

Edited by enzl
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Interesting. I've personally taken at least two or three customers who have inquired about this vehicle, but nobody is stocking them. Sometimes it is difficult to get through to thick management that you can't sell what you don't have. Recently, I managed to convince a man with a '01 PT Cruiser to take a HHR LS only because nobody had the SS for him to drive. I'll never know if he would have stepped up the extra few grand for the SS.

I'm having the same problem with the SS Cobalt. I've been working an internet customer for a YEAR (he wants the sedan which is not out yet) and now that he can order one, I will have to send him to another dealer to drive one. :hissyfit:

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Interesting. I've personally taken at least two or three customers who have inquired about this vehicle, but nobody is stocking them. Sometimes it is difficult to get through to thick management that you can't sell what you don't have. Recently, I managed to convince a man with a '01 PT Cruiser to take a HHR LS only because nobody had the SS for him to drive. I'll never know if he would have stepped up the extra few grand for the SS.

I'm having the same problem with the SS Cobalt. I've been working an internet customer for a YEAR (he wants the sedan which is not out yet) and now that he can order one, I will have to send him to another dealer to drive one. :hissyfit:

You're right...it's a chicken/egg argument...as I said, we've sold 2, but had more in stock...I believe we swapped or outright sold the other HHR SS inventory to other dealers, so somebody is selling them. I'm not sure that GM is really emphasizing the HHR SS in marketing---and I can't remember seeing an ad for one outside of the auto rags. (and the same applies to the Cobalt SS---except that we've sold all of the units we had in stock ourselves)

To me, that 2.0 with DI and a 6 sp (man/auto) would boost the Cobalt immeasurably. Best in class Fuel Economy, simplification of manufacturing by eliminating the 2.2 vs. 2.4 choice & a chance to leapfrog the competition seem like compelling reasons to me...but what do I know?

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The HHR SS is a great engine looking for a better home.

In the year this thing has been out, our Chevy store has fielded exactly 2 phonecalls inquring about availablility and sold 2 total.

It's another answer to a question noone asked---like the XUV or retro-hardtop 'vert pickup (SSR).

The HHR is a decent drive---better than the Cobalt it's based on (which brings up a whole bunch of other questions)---but I'd rather see an improved Cobalt with a DI 2.0/6 sp combo as it's base engine than an HHR SS.

HHR has the cargo and passenger space and friendly seating positions the cobalt lacks. you can justify the turbo upgrade price for more than just the engine. the cobalt is a small small car that has no benefit in packaging like the HHR has. The HHR SS and cobalt SS are both lookers on the outside.

i bemoan the lack of leather, heated seats, and an armrest. at these prices i expect that.

and these things would sell x2 if they had sync.

on my test drive.....i agreed with a lot of what hyperv had to say.

but here is some detail

the engine is smooth and not really boomy or noisy. it is not liquid glass smooth like any 6, but its not really behind any competitors 4. folks, for GM to produce a 4 with such a desirable performance in its cheaper models is amazing and new. the turbo did not spool up without lag, compared to the saab i drove recently, but its not a brutish engine either so its very easy to drive easy or stomp on it and have it go. no qualms about the motor.

the clutch was a tad heavy but fairly easy to get used to.

the shifter was the deal breaker for me. I missed several shifts, even while being obsessive about not missing them. its notchy and not buttery. The 5-4 downshift is a shift that should be like butter. Yet i was rebuffed several times. the shifter knob could stand to be more stylish than a saab leftover IMHO. its placement was right in your hand and yes indeed those throws are short! my they are.

i liked the sport seat but g0d damn, can i please get an armrest? fukn ay. must be the same assholes that left it off the asstra. fire the dip$h!s who do this, please.

rear seats are perfection for two adults.

i had heard complaints about visibility outside the vehicle on other sites but i think i acclimated to it fairly well. i thought considering the small windshield, the view was semi-panoramic. LOVED the LARGE sunroof....perfect size on this vehicle. ONe thing to note GM does not often at all get, the HHR had nice large mirrors. Even the Lambdas have puny mirrors so this is a huge plus.

I liked the rest of the dash and controls.....the cupholder locations, the shifter and parking brake, the radio and the dashtop storage bin. the dash bin i use a lot on the 500 and it becomes a neccessity when you get used to it. Plastics are chevy like.....but i didnt feel it overbearing due to the silver seat accents lightening up the interior. I want the red accents anyways. Power window swtiches are back where God intended them to be, on the door.

DId i mention this little trucklet is HOT LOOKING? Just about wet my pants when he pulled it out, it was all black and gleaming.

one thought. why cant chevy take a current gen 9-3 and just build the HHR on that? turbo and all? guess i want a sportcombi with leg room in the back, huh.

the steering was darned good with just a bit of numbness but not bad. I did like the steering wheel. Good size and nice to grip. The ride had some initial harshness that i did not like but i need to tell myself, duh, this is a performance vehicle. A little too much interior cabin noise, but again same thing. the engine sound is very nice, i don't mind that.

i think chevy could stand to drop the price about 2k across the board on this.

This is a very sweet little ride. I could enjoy this, but where is my fircking armrest dammit? and heated seats too please.

The 09 gets bluetooth and usb, right?

Edited by regfootball
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Well IF all goes as planned I hope to have a 08 HHR SS in the garage Friday.

I don't know where anyone can say they are not selling as I have had a heck of a time finding a loaded one in red with the Ebony and red interior. They either are not loaded or one of thew odd colors. Most dealer do not have any and if they do they may have one or two at best.

The dealer my dealer is wanting to trade for is holding us up. I have already lost one as they sold it before we could get this. I am going 388 miles to get this one.

I was looking for the 09 but the price for the 08 was $6,500 off sticker with my GM car money. The only option I will lack is the roof rails and I did not want them any way.

The HHR SS is not the perfect car but none are at the price I am paying. But it is a useful vehicle that is a blast to drive. It will get good mileage and not cost me an arm and a leg to drive as a daily driver.

I was never really interested in a HHR or buying a FWD car but after one test drive I was interested and with the price I was sold.

I am trying to get an auto as the wife does not drive stick. THis one does get the arm rest with the performance seat. Also the parts are available and it is eady to add to the manual seat. The HHR web site list the part numbers and needed parts to make the edition.

I was going to wait the the USB, Bluetootth, and perfomance dash. But I was willing to skip per this price was good. Now if I only can get the dang car. The dealer is to call at 9 AM to say what they want in trade and a driver is to leave to pick it up asap.

Also I saw the 09 is getting a back up camera for what it is worth.

Well wish me luck as this is the 3rd HHR I have tried to get in two weeks and I hope the third time is a charm.

FYI I hope we will get back into RWD when we dump the wifes GTP and either go to a G8 or Camaro.

One more sleepless night. I hope! If not I will just order a 09 once the incentives hit them.

If I do get this I will give a long term review on how it holds up and my mileage and such.

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Oh I do have one big gripe on this vehicle.

The dash sucks. It looks nice but it only has the DIC, speedo, tach, temp and fuel.

The speedo go in 20 MPH jumps and is somewhat small. The tach is even worse as it is smaller.

The one area this thing needs some major work is the dash panel and just imporve the tach and speedo if anything.

The perfromance dash for 09 has some extra things like Oil temps, g meter and other toys but it looks like a fuzz buster on the dash and you lose your storage unit on the dash.

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At least it has a Temp Gauge... A luxury that ironically only 2/3 of our cars have...

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Well IF all goes as planned I hope to have a 08 HHR SS in the garage Friday.

I don't know where anyone can say they are not selling as I have had a heck of a time finding a loaded one in red with the Ebony and red interior. They either are not loaded or one of thew odd colors. Most dealer do not have any and if they do they may have one or two at best.

The dealer my dealer is wanting to trade for is holding us up. I have already lost one as they sold it before we could get this. I am going 388 miles to get this one.

I was looking for the 09 but the price for the 08 was $6,500 off sticker with my GM car money. The only option I will lack is the roof rails and I did not want them any way.

The HHR SS is not the perfect car but none are at the price I am paying. But it is a useful vehicle that is a blast to drive. It will get good mileage and not cost me an arm and a leg to drive as a daily driver.

I was never really interested in a HHR or buying a FWD car but after one test drive I was interested and with the price I was sold.

I am trying to get an auto as the wife does not drive stick. THis one does get the arm rest with the performance seat. Also the parts are available and it is eady to add to the manual seat. The HHR web site list the part numbers and needed parts to make the edition.

I was going to wait the the USB, Bluetootth, and perfomance dash. But I was willing to skip per this price was good. Now if I only can get the dang car. The dealer is to call at 9 AM to say what they want in trade and a driver is to leave to pick it up asap.

Also I saw the 09 is getting a back up camera for what it is worth.

Well wish me luck as this is the 3rd HHR I have tried to get in two weeks and I hope the third time is a charm.

FYI I hope we will get back into RWD when we dump the wifes GTP and either go to a G8 or Camaro.

One more sleepless night. I hope! If not I will just order a 09 once the incentives hit them.

If I do get this I will give a long term review on how it holds up and my mileage and such.

good luck. red would be the color i want too. the info for me on the armrest is comforting. i also like you see the value in the big rebates. a lot of car for the money at that price.

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At least it has a Temp Gauge... A luxury that ironically only 2/3 of our cars have...

My grip is nopt so much the lack of gauges but the size and they way they are numbered.

The one test drive I went on I dropped it into second gear at about 10 MPH and hammered it. I looked down as I threw it into third and noticed I was over 80 MPh The truth was I was over 95 MPH as it is numbered 20-40-60-80-100-120-140 MPH. So what normally looks like your just over 80 MPH is really 96 MPH.

I know I will get used to it but they should have been spending less time on making the dash fancy and make it so it is easy to read at a glance. The tack is small but at least is numbered in 1000 RPM jumps.

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good luck. red would be the color i want too. the info for me on the armrest is comforting. i also like you see the value in the big rebates. a lot of car for the money at that price.

Thanks!

He found a all black interior I may go for if this one will not come through.

The rebates or 3.9% rate help. Also if you don't use a GM card you are missing a free $1000 off. We pay off the card monthly so this is free money.

Buying an 08 is not a bad deal as it did get the window buttons moved before the othert HHR's Those were the worst idea.

I will see if I can find the post and put it on here for the arm rest.

I think as people find out about the HHR SS this year it will take off. Few know about it as it was never really promoted [Go Figure GM would do that].

Well I will hopefuly know something in about 3 hours!

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Good luck Hyper!

This is one of just three FWD cars that make me smile, especially the panel version. The HHR is a great product for so many people and GM needs to promote it much,much, more.

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Man this is the hardest car I ever had to buy.

To get the colors and option I want has been a pain. The dealer in Jersey won't release the one he has as he think he might have a buyer and now I am 500 miles out in the heart of the south.

I am waiting to hear if the salesman can make a trade and bring it in.

I can find some black ones loaded but all other colors are not too easy to come by loaded.

At this point I am willing to get the roof rack I did not want just to get everything else I want.

Too bad I don't drink, I could use a shot of JD right now.

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Well I may go to a black HHR. I can get one of these with no issue and it is availalble.

I love black when it is clean and I know better than to buy my third black car when I said after my first it was my last black car but I think I may take the plunge.

All the red 08's auto's are spoken for in a 500 mile area.

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Well I scored a black with ebony and red interiorin a loaded 08 HHR SS tonight. I get to pick it up Friday.

I will do a post on life with it after I put some miles on it.

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