Here’s What The Chevy HHR Got Right

When it comes to picking a used car to buy, a Chevy HHR probably doesn’t cross your mind. They aren’t terribly attractive, and they mostly look like a boxy PT Cruiser, but Chevy might have actually gotten something right with the HHR.

The HHR matches the same retro-styling of the PT Cruiser, but it started production in 2005 and stopped only six years later, even though it takes after some station wagons from the 1950s and 1960s. At the time of its release, you could expect to pay around $20,000 brand new, or even upwards of $27,000 for a fully-optioned model. The price of the car made it an affordable option for families looking to buy a brand new car, but pricing isn’t the only thing that the HHR has going for it.

You can buy an HHR today on the used car market for less than $10,000 in good condition, and it isn’t the worst used car you can buy if you’re not looking for much. This odd little vehicle actually offers some decent gas mileage, which is one of it’s redeeming qualities.

A brand new Chevrolet HHR

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The HHR doesn’t offer power but…

The Chevy HHR doesn’t have any noticeable performance numbers, and it doesn’t offer much in the way in power. Overall the car has an average driving experience and acceleration, but that might actually work to the car’s benefit.

The HHR would be a good car for a daily commuter, or if you travel often and intend on putting mile after mile on your odometer. Essentially, you can wrack up the mileage on this car without worrying too much about if it’s going to wreck the car’s deprecation because the car was already pretty cheap to begin with.

Because they aren’t fast, they are good for cruising around in heavy traffic or being stuck in the five o’clock afterword crowd. You probably aren’t hitting highway speeds stuck between red lights and other cars to enjoy having a more powerful engine, but you can appreciate the car’s gas mileage that it does have.

On the highway, the HHR models average up to 32mpg on the highway and just about 22mpg in normal city driving. That’s not as impressive as newer hybrids and sedans, but it is good gas mileage at a decent price.

2006 Blue Chevrolet HHR
2006 Chevy HHR

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The Chevy HHR has one thing going for it: it’s practical. It might not be the most attractive car on the market, and it’s definitely not the best performing car on the market, but it does offer practicality at a low price. The HHR has a deceptive amount of cargo space, which you could assume from the long, boxy wagon-like back end of the car.

Because the cars are no longer in production, chances are you are only able to find an old used one with high mileage or a little bit of cosmetic damage. Either way, this can actually be a saving grace when it comes to a daily car. Driving a car every day can lead to a lot of wear and tear. Fender benders, UV exposure from the sun, and adding endless miles to the mechanical components isn’t something you might want to risk every day with your nicer, more expensive to repair cars, but you can feel comfortable in doing that with the HHR.