2006 CHEVY HHR: FORM MEETS FUNCTION
Source: GM Media
With distinctive styling, a spacious, easily configurable interior and economical, Ecotec four-cylinder engine-based powertrains, the 2006 Chevy HHR suits any lifestyle.
The HHR’s unique design fuses elements of the 1949 Chevy Suburban – the original utility vehicle – and the SSR roadster. It is built on the same solid platform as the new Chevy Cobalt. An overall length of 176.2 inches (4,475 mm) and a cargo capacity of up to approximately 63.1cubic feet (1,787 L) give the five-passenger HHR easy-to-maneuver dimensions and room for just about any lifestyle interest. Its reconfigurable and convenient storage compartments accommodate everything from groceries to surfboards.
“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 car. “With its unmistakable styling and innovative features, the HHR is further proof that there is a new spirit at Chevrolet.”
HHR rounds out Chevrolet’s small-vehicle strategy that began with the successful Aveo, a vehicle that holds the leadership position in its segment, and continues with the recently introduced Cobalt.
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 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, 260-watt Pioneer enhanced-performance audio system with subwoofer is available.
Additional product highlights include:
- Driver information center
- Adjustable cargo configurations
- Available power sunroof with express close feature
- OnStar available
- XM Satellite Radio available
- 16.2-gallon fuel tank provides long cruising range
- Segment-largest 16-inch standard wheels and 17-inch wheel options
- Remote start (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 and traction control are also available (traction control available only with automatic transmission).
HHR 2LT comes with the larger 2.4L Ecotec engine and includes standard features such as ABS, fog lamps, bright exhaust tip, leather-wrapped steering wheel and shifter, the 260-watt Pioneer sound system with subwoofer, 17-inch aluminum wheels, FE3 sport suspension and a 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 the expressive attributes of the SSR roadster – all unmistakably Chevy traits.
Like the SSR, 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.
The power outside mirrors are integrated into the overall design theme for a more custom appearance, and the available integrated roof rack side rails are designed to blend smoothly into the HHR’s overall appearance. The HHR also incorporates contemporary Chevy styling cues, including a prominent cross-grille bar with a Bowtie logo.
A variety of expressive exterior colors, including Sandstone Metallic, Black, Sunburst Orange II Metallic, Daytona Blue Metallic, Dark Silver Metallic, Sport Red Metallic, Silverstone Metallic and an exclusive Majestic Amethyst Metallic; HHR also offers two available exterior chrome packages. Satin chrome is standard, with bright chrome available on LT models. Both finishes provide additional visual distinction and accent the HHR’s curvaceous body lines.
Room for lots of stuff
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.
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:
The cargo area in the rear also is thoughtfully designed:
- 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.
- 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.
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 143 horsepower (107 kw) and 150 lb.-ft. of torque (203 Nm).*
The 2.4L Ecotec four-cylinder is available on the 1LT and standard on the 2LT. It is rated at 172 horsepower (128 kw) and 162 lb.-ft. of torque (220 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
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-E 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-E 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 the same robust GM global small car architecture as the Cobalt. 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 provide better 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.
HHR is designed to protect occupants in the event of a crash. 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 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 2006 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.
*Preliminary, pending certification. A new voluntary power and torque certification procedure developed by the SAE Engine Test Code committee was approved March 31, 2005 . This procedure (J2723) ensures fair, accurate ratings for horsepower and torque by allowing manufacturers to certify their engines through third-party witness testing. GM was the first auto manufacturer to begin using the procedure and expects to use it for all newly rated engines in the future.