NEW FOR 2008:
– SS Turbocharged model added
– Available StabiliTrak electronic stability control
– HHR Panel option available on all five-passenger models
– New 16-inch wheels
– Standard tire pressure monitoring system and OnStar
– Exterior colours: Cardinal Red Metallic, Techno Gray Metallic, Victory Red and Blue Flash Metallic
For 2008, the Chevrolet HHR gets some upgrades, including a new 260-hp turbocharged SS version.
The HHR comes in two trim lines, the LS and LT; both of them are available as a conventional five-passenger vehicle, dubbed "Utility", or in Panel configuration, with solid metal rear panels and a full cargo area instead of a rear seat. The base engine is a 2.2-litre four-cylinder; optional on the LT is a 2.4-litre four-cylinder. Both use a five-speed manual transmission or available four-speed automatic.
The HHR SS uses a turbocharged and intercooled 2.0-litre four-cylinder that makes 260 hp with the five-speed manual transmission, and 235 hp with the available automatic.
Features on the LS models include 16-inch steel wheels, air conditioning, power locks with keyless entry, automatic headlamps, power mirrors, moulded body-colour running boards, variable intermittent wipers, rear washer/wiper, cruise control, floor mats, auto-dimming rearview mirror, tilt wheel, power windows, fold-flat front passenger seat, CD stereo and OnStar. The Utility features a 60/40 folding rear seat, while the Panel includes a rubberized cargo area and locking under-floor storage compartments.
The LT adds 16-inch painted steel wheels, eight-way power driver’s seat and CD/MP3 stereo.
Based on the Chevrolet Cobalt platform, the HHR’s styling is meant to invoke the 1949 Suburban; the name stands for "Heritage High Roof". The smaller engine can work hard to move this trucklet around, and the 2.4-litre is the better choice, especially when mated to the five-speed. The interior is exceptionally well-done, with good fit-and-finish and high-quality materials, and even the base model features air conditioning and power accessories.
The HHR Panel is a funky little hauler, with the look of an old-fashioned sedan delivery thanks to its lack of rear windows and exterior door handles. The rear doors open via buttons on the dash or with the inside door handles, making it easy to load from the sides or rear. The metal sides keep fragile cargo away from the sun and hidden from prying eyes, and make a great billboard for companies; while it doesn’t have the capacity or payload of a full-size van, the panel is unbeatable for small-item deliveries, especially with its low price.