Canada's Online Auto Magazine

January 2, 2005

2006 Chevrolet HHR
The PT Cruiser has competition!

Detroit, Michigan - Chevrolet will unveil a compact, retro-styled tall wagon on Wednesday January 5th at the 2005 L.A. auto show. The 2006 Chevrolet HHR will go on sale in the second half of 2005.

Combining styling elements of the 1949 Chevy pickup and the 2004 SSR retro pickup, the four-door HHR is built on the new Cobalt small car platform and is 144 mm (5.7 in.) longer and 25 mm (1.0 in.) wider than a Chrysler PT Cruiser, the only other retro wagon on the market.

2006 Chevy HHR
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"The HHR is what you want it to be, whether you're hauling band equipment around the country or hauling your friends across town," said Lori Queen, GM vehicle line executive for small cars.

The front-wheel-drive HHR will be offered with two 'Ecotec' twin cam, 16 valve four cylinder engines equipped with counter rotating balance shafts: a 140 horsepower 2.2 litre powerplant, and a 170 horsepower 2.4 litre unit. Getrag 5-speed manual and Hydra-Matic 4-speed automatic transmissions will be available with both engines. A remote starter will come standard with the automatic transmission. Four-wheel-drive is not offered.

Like the Cobalt, the HHR uses a MacPherson strut front suspension design, and a semi-independent, torsion beam rear suspension. Base models will have 16-inch tires and wheels and a softer sprung suspension while uplevel models will offer 17-inch tires and wheels and sportier suspension tuning. Front disc/rear drum brakes are standard on all models and ABS and traction control are optional on base models and standard on uplevel models. Traction control is available only with the automatic transmission.

Speed-sensitive variable-effort rack and pinion electric power steering is standard. The HHR's cargo area is designed for multi-purpose use:
2006 Chevy HHR
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  • The front passenger seat folds fully flat. The rear seats have a 60/40-split, which fold to form a flat load surface in conjunction with the folded front passenger seat. The 60-percent side was positioned on the passenger side, enabling wider objects to be placed there.

  • With the rear seatbacks folded down, the HHR has 1787 litres (63.1 cu. ft.) of cargo space, slightly less than a PT Cruiser.

  • The load floor can become a shelf when raised and mounted approximately 2 feet 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.

  • The floor conceals a 5-inch-deep bin; the spare tire is located beneath the bin.

  • Two large storage bins are found forward of the load floor, nested behind the rear seat, and plastic bag holders are located on the rear compartment bin.

  • The centre 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.
To be available in LS and LT trim levels, HHRs include standard air conditioning, power windows and door locks, six-speaker CD stereo, and remote keyless entry. Options will include a Pioneer stereo with subwoofer, large power sunroof, leather seats, power driver's seat, and MP3 player. In addition to dual front airbags, the HHR will offer optional head curtain side airbags, and OnStar with Advanced Automatic Crash Notification.

Pricing will be announced at a later date.

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