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The O.C.

2006 Chevrolet HHR LT 2.4L

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I have an '06 HHR LT for the week here in Phoenix (3.000 miles on it) and I'm VERY impressed!

The HHR is a fine ride and a nice example of how GM can do something right when they want to.

This rental car is a fully-loaded HHR with the 2.4L, leather, moonroof, 17-inch wheels.

Highs: Mostly (explained later) smooth and refined powertrain. Good ride-and-handling compromise. Quality feel on the road. Very usable interior roominess.

Lows: VERY annoying engine/tranny whine upon any measurable acceleration. Electric steering, while improved, is still too vague and loosey-goosey. Interior fit-and-finish of plastic panels on the interior is very poor.

Overall: A nice effort by GM and a solid product.

The powertrain on this vehicle was very impressive. However, it is realatively sluggish and doesn't provide enough power....even though this IS the 2.4L version. The refinement, smoothness, and overall demeanor of the engine and transmission really almost makes up for the lack of power. You don't mind driving this car with your foot to the floor. This is NO thrashy four-banger.

However, there was a VERY annoying engine/transmission/alternator whine on this car that was apparent and disturbing when the car was driven hot. First thing in the morning in Phoenix, with temps about 95 degrees, the engine was whisper quiet. As the day progresses, and we hit 105, 110, and even 115 degrees, this whine occurs and is prevelent the entire rest of the day.

The interior quality was a mixed bag. Seats are comfortable and the driving position is spot-on. I didn't even mind all the hard plastic inside this HHR as the texture, graining, and color coordination seemed really nice in this price of vehicle. The fit, however, was another thing....and follows the inexcusable examples of the Cobalts I've seen and been in too. Simply put, none of the plastic trim matches up on the dash or console. MAJOR fits are good....such as glovebox fit in the dash....door panels meet up with the dash very well....and so forth...it's the minor fits that really stand out as poor.

On the other hand, the interior gauge cluster execution is really nicely-done, attractive, and useful (as the tach isn't as important on this auto-equipped version.) The leather was of a good quality...and the seat-mounted armrests were comfortable.

It's a great little car that handles well and has a very refined way about going down the road.....way more so, strangely enough, than the Cobalts I've had as rental cars.

The interior fit-and-finish needs refining and someone needs to figure out where that powertrain whine is coming from....but other than those two major things, GM has done a nice job with the HHR and I'd enjoy getting into another one sometime.

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Did you mind the high beltline? After a few minutes in one, I felt claustrophobic. It'd really benefit from a panoramic roof... ditto the H3, too.

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I have one and mine doesn't whine. I have heard of problems with noisy AC compressors, so that could be the whine. The fit and finish on mine is excelent, even people who usually think that GM cars have poor fit and finish are impressed.

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Is it possible the whining could've be caused by the air compressor working overtime in the hot weather?

That could be it....as someone else mentioned that was a problem with HHRs. In any event, it needs fixing. Other than that, powertrain refinement was excellent.

Regarding the high beltline that, I think Empowah asked about.....you know it was never a problem for me. My HHR had a moonroof....which helps lighten up the interior....and the interior was beige, which is a light color in and of itself. I think those things helped to make it feel decently airy.

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That could be it....as someone else mentioned that was a problem with HHRs.  In any event, it needs fixing.  Other than that, powertrain refinement was excellent.

Pondering it some more, I would think that would be it. One is asking alot out of a tiny engine that's taxed with driving as well as cooling a rather large, heavily-glazed cabin on a scorching day. My question then becomes - did the a/c ever leave you wanting for more? Did it keep you comfortable?

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Pondering it some more, I would think that would be it. One is asking alot out of a tiny engine that's taxed with driving as well as cooling a rather large, heavily-glazed cabin on a scorching day. My question then becomes - did the a/c ever leave you wanting for more? Did it keep you comfortable?

Oh sure it kept me definitely chilled.

But that's no excuse for a VERY annoying whine that no other car I've ever driven in Phoenix or Las Vegas heat has exhibited.

And, btw....it's not exactly a "tiny" engine that's being taxed. It's a large 4cyl, 2.4L, with approximately 170hp....

I'm sure if GM knows about the problem, they'll fix the compressor/AC whine.

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The colorado's 4 cylinder is up to 2.9 liters and makes the Mustang v8 only 58% larger.  <_<

165324[/snapback]

Capn's order of emotions...

:rotflmao: ... :lol: ... :blink: ... :o ... :unsure: ... :( ... :angry: ... :cussing: ...

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The HHR I drove to the gas station definetly felt a little sluggish, but of course that's coming from someone who drives a GTO every day. It probably would have felt competent if I was still driving the Alero.

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