2007 Chevrolet HHR Interior
Reviewers generally see the 2007 Chevrolet HHR's five-seat interior as versatile and roomy. Automobile Magazine calls it "a puzzle box of reconfigurable space," and Edmunds delights in the fact that the HHR "swallows my entire family with ease, something a Cadillac STS couldn't do yesterday."
But reviewers are mixed regarding the HHR's interior quality. Consumer Guide says unpadded plastic "dominates dashboard and door panels, but nothing looks cheap." U.S. News reviewer Rick Newman is even more critical, noting, "Chevy seems to have contracted for the cheapest plastic on the market for the climate dials and other dashboard controls." But others have a very different opinion, with commenting, "Interior furnishings are high-class, premium and good looking, reflecting GM's new thinking about the insides of a vehicle."
The HHR seats up to five, with two in the front and three in the rear. Both the front passenger seat and 60/40-split rear seat fold to create a flat load floor. All models come standard with cloth seats, though leather is optional on the LT trims. Edmunds finds seat comfort varies depending on the materials, noting, "The cloth seats are merely passable, but the leather chairs have extra contouring and cushioning which makes them much more comfortable."
Reviewers offer both praise and criticism for the front seats. Consumer Guide finds adequate head and leg room "for all but the largest occupants," and MSN says, "The broad front bucket seats provide nice support." However, The Auto Channel reports that the seats "offer little side support," and Edmunds gripes, "The seat feels like a park bench with soft foam padding duct-taped to it."
The rear seat leaves reviewers more impressed, though some find it a bit cramped. Car and Driver praises, "The high, firm, nicely padded rear seat is really good for two, better than the seats in most bigger Chevrolets." The characterizes rear legroom as "surprisingly generous," and BusinessWeek reports, "Rear-seat room is good even for the long of leg." Though the rear bench has room for three, Consumer Guide notes that the "narrow cabin precludes three-abreast adult seating." And New Car Test Drive finds the rear seat more than adequate for children, noting, "We actually carried six 10-year-old boys on a soccer team for 60 miles in the HHR, and they were all happy, even the two who squeezed into the way-back. Adults wouldn't be as happy in the HHR's back seats."
MSN finds that even the base LS trim "has a fair amount of standard equipment for the money." This includes air conditioning; a tilt steering wheel; cruise control; an AM/FM/CD player, and power mirrors, windows and door locks with remote keyless entry.
But certain quirks in the cockpit leave reviewers disgruntled, most notably the positioning of the power window controls. Reviewer after reviewer points out that the switches' placement on the dashboard -- rather than on the driver's door -- makes them difficult to find and operate. "Good luck remembering that when your HHR is sinking in a river and you're trying to get out fast," quips the New Car Test Drive further notes, "Even operating the driver's window, at toll booths for example, requires leaning forward and reaching down.", who also calls the placement "one of the most annoying power-window designs."
Another complaint is the problematic placement of a row of buttons along the bottom of the rear view mirror. On a test drive, thereviewer "accidentally hit the OnStar system's 'Emergency' button while trying to adjust the mirror, summoning a call from a worried OnStar staffer."
Stereo and Entertainment
Reviewers love the HHR's Pioneer premium seven-speaker sound system -- complete with 260-watt amplifier and rear subwoofer -- which is standard on the 2LT and optional on the other trims. Edmunds says: "Quality factory sound systems are increasingly important in this price range, thanks to cars like the Ford Focus, Scion xA and xB, and Mini Cooper. This Pioneer system is proof that GM understands this, as it sounds great and has virtually every feature a buyer could want." However, the reviewer also complains about the "less-than-optimal" speaker placement, noting that "we expect this system would sound even better had designers put more thought into speaker placement. The door speakers are all mounted at floor level -- never the makings of a great soundstage."
Reviewers also appreciate the front-mounted auxiliary input jack, which makes it easy to connect an MP3 player to the sound system. It comes standard on all trims.
Reviewers generally agree that the HHR's versatile cargo space is one of its greatest strengths. With the rear seat folded, the HHR boasts 57.7 cubic feet of cargo space and the front-seat-only Panel model features 62.7 cubic feet. "Short of assembling a Craftsman house, it's hard to imagine a task the HHR's configurable cargo area couldn't tackle," marvels BusinessWeek.
Even with all seats in use, Edmunds finds, "One advantage Chevrolet's HHR has over its peers is a deeper cargo bay. The family's double stroller slid right in behind the rear seats with no wrestling." Folding the rear seats forward opens up a flat load floor. The front passenger seat also folds flat, opening up a space that is "long, wide, and tall enough to fit an eight-foot stepladder or a junior-class sprint go-kart," says Automobile Magazine. BusinessWeek further comments on the functionality of the seats: "Ransacking a Pier One after the holidays?" the reviewer asks. "The front passenger seat folds flat to swallow the whole wicker collection; the rear seats split 60/40 too, so a passenger or two still could ride in back."
Loading and unloading is easy too, as Automobile Magazine explains: "The door handles are big, the door openings are wide, the headroom is vast, the seats are broad, and the step-in height is low. All this makes it easy to arrive and depart from every errand on your Saturday-morning list." The Panel model differs in that its side rear doors have no external handles and must be opened by pushing release buttons on the dash. The says the Panel is "cleverly designed to securely haul a broad assortment of stuff." In place of the rear seat are two deep, lockable storage compartments.
The MSN says, "There isn't much interior storage room for small items, with such things as slim door pockets and a small glove box mostly taken up by the owner's manual." New Car Test Drive also complains, "There's no significant storage in any console between the seats; two cupholders and one slot is all." The reviewer also points out, "In the rear, there's one cupholder and small door pockets." Edmunds simply asks, "[W]hat's with the small cupholders in an American car?"lists one of the conventional HHR's nice touches as "[b]ins, bins, bins: atop the dash, behind the rear cargo area. Utility, utility, utility." Reviewers especially like the shallow underfloor storage bins in the rear cargo area, as well as the two-tier loading shelf. However, reviewers are less pleased with small-item storage.