With inspired styling and tremendous flexibility, Chevy’s unique HHR was a hit during its first year on the market. For 2007, the HHR evolves to offer more horsepower and new color choices for more agile cruising in style. HHR’s combination of bold design, uncompromising versatility, top safety record and personalization options has made it a popular choice in the market. More than 41,000 units were sold in the first five months on the market in 2005.

This popular small utility enters the 2007 model year with the recognition as one of KBB’s “Top 10 Coolest Cars Under $18,000.” The HHR also was voted the “most accessory-friendly” SUV by Specialty Equipment Market Association (SEMA). Indeed, HHR is one of the industry’s most personalized vehicles, with approximately 60 percent of customers equipping their vehicle with one or more of the unique accessories available through Chevrolet Accessories.

Buyers of the ’07 HHR will appreciate its safety system, which has earned critical acclaim. Since its launch, HHR has received five-star crash ratings – the highest rating awarded by the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s (NHTSA) New Car Assessment Program. The five-star ratings were awarded for the driver and right-front passenger in a frontal crash, as well as five-star side-impact crash ratings for front seat and rear seat passengers (when equipped with side air bags). The HHR also was the highest-rated SUV for the 2006 model year in NHTSA rollover testing.

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New for ’07

For 2007, HHR offers increased power for both its 2.2L and 2.4L Ecotec engines, as well as new exterior and interior color choices. The 2.2L engine is rated at 149 horsepower (111 kW) and 152 lb.-ft. of torque (210 Nm)*; output for the 2.4L engine is rated at 175 horses (130 kW) and 165 lb.-ft. of torque (228 Nm)*.

The new exterior colors include Imperial Blue and Golden Teal Metallic (Daytona Blue is no longer available). Ebony has been added as an interior color for ’07.

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The HHR features an open interior that provides the spaciousness and cargo capacity of an SUV. It has easy-to-maneuver dimensions and room for just about any lifestyle interest. The rear seats fold flat, providing 57.7 cubic feet (1,634 L) of storage space without having to remove a seat. With the rear seats up, the straight roofline and rear liftgate maximize cargo capacity, offering 25.2 cubic feet (638 L). Reconfigurable and convenient storage compartments accommodate everything from groceries to surfboards.

Well-equipped LS and LT models

HHR comes well equipped from the factory in two models: LS and LT. The LT also comes in two packages – 1LT and 2LT. All HHR models include standard features such as air conditioning, power windows, power door locks, power outside mirrors, cruise control and remote keyless entry.

All HHR sound systems, including the standard six-speaker AM/FM/CD stereo, feature an auxiliary channel and front-mounted auxiliary input jack, so that an iPod or other audio source can be played through the vehicle audio system. A powerful, seven-speaker, Pioneer 260-watt amplified premium audio system with subwoofer is standard on the 2LT model and available with other trims.

Additional product highlights include:

  • Driver information center with oil life monitor
  • Adjustable cargo configurations
  • Available power sunroof with express open and close feature
  • OnStar available
  • XM Satellite Radio available
  • Estimated 30 mpg highway for both the 2.2L and 2.4L engines
  • 16.2-gallon fuel tank provides more than 450 miles’ cruising range
  • Segment-largest 16-inch standard wheels and 17-inch wheel options
  • Factory-installed remote start is standard with automatic transmission

The 1LT model also includes a standard MP3 player, eight-way power seat including power lumbar, 16-inch cast aluminum wheels and a satin chrome exterior appearance package. Bright chrome exterior trim and a bright exhaust tip are available. ABS is available and traction control is included when the vehicle is equipped with ABS and automatic transmission.

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HHR 2LT comes with the larger 2.4L Ecotec engine, FE3 sport suspension and 17-inch painted aluminum wheels. Additional standard features include ABS, fog lamps, bright exhaust tip, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, the 260-watt Pioneer sound system with subwoofer and bright chrome exterior trim. Heated leather seats (with two heating levels) are available on both LT packages.

Other details shared among HHR models include a sporty three-spoke steering wheel and chrome accents on the instrument panel.

Unmistakable HHR style

HHR is a four-door vehicle with a rear touchpad liftgate. Its high roof evokes the look of the innovative 1949 Chevy Suburban, while other exterior cues carry unmistakably Chevy elements, such as the bold bowtie grille badge and round taillamps, which are reminiscent of earlier Corvettes.

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The HHR features deep-draw, flared fenders that tuck in at the rockers for a solid, firmly-planted stance. A one-piece, stamped metal hood is reminiscent of the ’49 Suburban’s heritage and is evidence of precise assembly quality. More quality touches are found in the single-cavity headlamp design, which incorporates jeweled lighting effects, as well as a flared, twin round-taillamp design in the rear. Stamped door and window appearances with a one-piece wraparound molding contribute to the clean, detailed design. The HHR’s rear window is flush with the body side.

Like the rest of the vehicle, the HHR’s interior combines the reassuring high visibility and cargo flexibility of an SUV with the comfort, appointments, driving ease and ergonomics of an upscale sedan. The vehicle’s high roofline provides increased headroom and creates an open, airy environment.

The HHR’s interior evokes a feeling of roominess. Detailed, jewel-like instrument displays and chrome accents contribute to the interior style. Interior color combinations feature darker colors on upper sections of the interior and lighter colors for lower sections. Quality also is conveyed in the tailored seats, which provide firmer support, sculpture and plenty of comfort for long drives. The 60/40-split folding rear seat offers generous and comfortable seating for three, along with comfortable legroom.

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HHR also has standard air conditioning, providing comfortable levels of airflow, cooling capability and reduced cool-down time. The system is designed to provide efficient side-window defogging and enhanced rear-window defogging.

Complementing the HHR’s comfortable and expressive interior is a highly adaptable cargo system, which maximizes storage capability with a host of clever and useful configuration options, including:

  • Auxiliary glove box with flip-up cover is located at the top center of the instrument panel for convenient storage of MP3s, cell phones, sunglasses and other smaller items
  • The front passenger seat folds fully flat, extending the total load length from the liftgate to the instrument panel – allowing 8-foot items, such as a ladder, to be carried with the liftgate closed.
  • The center armrest of the front seats is integrated into the seat back frame, so it is out of the way when pivoted into a stowed position; a characteristic of trucks and SUVs.
  • The rear seats have a 60/40-split, which fold to form a continuous flat load surface in conjunction with the folded front passenger seat. The 60-percent folding side was thoughtfully positioned on the passenger side, enabling wider objects to be positioned diagonally and carried more securely in the vehicle.
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The cargo area in the rear also is thoughtfully designed:

  • It provides a continuous flat load floor when the rear seats are folded down.
  • The primary load floor can become a shelf when raised and mounted approximately 1 foot higher – the shelf can be mounted level or at a 45-degree angle to provide quick access to the cargo beneath it when the liftgate is opened.
  • A 5-inch-deep recessed bin below the load floor can conceal 2.8 cubic feet (79.6 L); the spare tire is located beneath the bin.
  • Two storage bins (0.5 cubic foot / 12.9 L total) are found forward of the load floor, nestled behind the rear seat, and plastic bag holders are conveniently located under the cargo shelf.
  • It comes with a carpeted cargo mat.
  • The rear liftgate is activated via touchpad, for ease of opening.

Ecotec-based powertrains

HHR relies on the renowned Ecotec family of technologically sophisticated inline four-cylinder engines, which balances usable power with fuel and emissions efficiency. The standard engine for LS and 1LT models is the 2.2L Ecotec engine, which is rated at 149 horsepower (111 kW) and 152 lb.-ft. of torque (210 Nm).*

The 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder is available on the 1LT and standard on the 2LT. It is rated at 175 horsepower (130 kW) and 165 lb.-ft. of torque (228 Nm).* Both the 2.2L and the 2.4L engine have distinct performance and hardware differences, but share a basic structure and construction that includes:

  • Dual overhead camshafts (DOHC) and four valves per cylinder
  • Twin counter-rotating balance shafts for operational smoothness
  • Electronic throttle control
  • Low-friction, roller-finger follower valvetrain with hydraulic lash adjusters
  • Low-maintenance chain-drive for the camshafts
  • Direct-mount accessories, which reduce or eliminate traditional sources of noise and vibration
  • Full-circle transmission mount to reduce noise and vibration
  • GM Oil Life System, which can reduce the frequency for oil changes
  • Innovative cast-in oil filter housing, which eliminates the need to crawl under the vehicle to perform oil changes and eliminates throwaway oil filter cans that retain used oil
  • Catalytic converter located close to exhaust manifold to speed catalyst “light off,” reducing hydrocarbon emissions
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HHR’s Ecotec engines also benefit from features designed to reduce noise and vibration. The pistons, for example, have a polymer coating and skirt design that reduces noise during cold starts, while a new, two-layer acoustic engine cover is tuned to reduce noise. NVH is also reduced with a new automatic tensioner that maintains optimal tension on the timing chain.

Transmissions include a standard F23 five-speed manual transmission or an available Hydra-Matic 4T45 electronically controlled four-speed automatic, which are available with both engines. The F23 five-speed manual transmission delivers smoothness and durability, with all gears – including reverse – featuring synchronization.

The available 4T45 is a smooth-shifting, highly durable automatic transmission. Like the F23 manual transmission, there are calibration differences to optimize the performance of 2.2L-equipped models and 2.4L-equippped models. All models, regardless of engine or transmission, are designed for flat towing.

Chassis and suspension details

HHR is built on a robust, global small-car architecture. This lower-dominant structure is designed with strength in the lower portions of the chassis, contributing to an overall feeling of rigidity, effectively minimizing superior noise and vibration characteristics. The use of premium materials, such as Quiet Steel laminated panels in the plenum area, further enhances the vehicle’s overall quietness.

Extensive use of high-strength steel and ultra-high-strength steel in key structural components, including the rocker panels and cross-vehicle reinforcing beam, bolsters the vehicle’s rigid feel while providing additional side-impact support. The cockpit “safety cage” provides load-carrying protection and, along with laser-welded blanks used in the door frames, front doors and rear doors, contributes to the HHR’s NVH characteristics and build quality.

HHR uses a MacPherson strut front suspension design, along with a semi-independent, torsion beam rear suspension and five-lug wheels. Two suspension systems are available: FE1 suspension standard on LS and 1LT, with an FE3 suspension standard on the 2LT model. The FE1 suspension is tuned for a softer ride and includes 16-inch wheels, while the FE3 provides sportier handling traits and offers standard 17-inch wheels and monotube shocks, which enhance ride and handling. Forged aluminum high-polished 17-inch wheels are available.

All models are equipped with rack-and-pinion steering with electric power steering (EPS) – a speed-sensitive, variable-effort system that is tuned to match the performance characteristics of two separate suspension settings. EPS eliminates the use of an engine-driven power steering pump, as well as the corresponding fluid reservoir and plumbing, reducing both fuel consumption and the potential source of an environmental contaminant.

Brakes consist of large front discs and rear drums, with ABS and traction control standard on 2LT models (traction control available only with automatic transmission) and available on LS and 1LT models.

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HHR is designed to protect occupants in the event of a crash – a design that helped garner a five-star crash safety rating for both frontal crashes (driver and right-front passenger) and side crashes (front- and outboard rear-seat passengers, when equipped with side air bags) from the National Highway Traffic Safety Administration’s New Car Assessment Program tests. Standard safety features include dual-stage frontal air bags with GM’s Passenger Sensing System. This system works with the front passenger seat and differentiates between adults – 5 th percentile females and larger – and small children or child seats to adjust air bag deployment.

Additionally, HHR has front safety belt pretensioners, rear-seat center lap-shoulder safety belts and the LATCH child seat retention system. Head curtain side-impact air bags for front- and rear-seat outboard occupants are available.

OnStar-equipped HHR models feature OnStar dual-mode (analog-digital) equipment. OnStar’s digital equipment also includes enhanced hands-free voice recognition capabilities including more intuitive continuous digit dialing and improved voice recognition accuracy. OnStar is the leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information services in the United States and Canada . Using the GPS satellite network and wireless technology, OnStar features core safety services and OnStar Hands-Free Calling that allows drivers to make and receive voice-activated phone calls using an externally mounted antenna for greater reception.

The OnStar service standard on the 2007 HHR includes the General Motors Advanced Automatic Crash Notification (AACN) system, making crash data available to the participating 911 centers to help them dispatch the appropriate live-saving personnel and equipment to crash scenes faster.

Andrew Coman
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