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I'd go for the HHR SS. For a family its the best choice, and with a GM Stage 1 kit you can bump HP to 290 and Torque to over 300+ and still keep the factory warranty. The back seats fold flat and can be useful for moving things if necessary. Chevy did a great job with the HHR SS.
 

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I took your advice and bought an HHR SS last Wednesday. It replaced my Cadillac CTS. I'm impressed with the performance to say the least. And my 18 year old son can't get enough of it, which is unexpected. Unbelievable torque. At highway speeds in 5th gear, you don't need to downshift to pass. Mash down on the accelerator, the turbo boosts to 15psi, you hear a low growl and the power is as solid as a brick. I went on a 180 mile trip last weekend and got 27.5 mpg combined hwy/city, even while heavy footing at times. My daughter fell asleep in the back seat on the way home, so I think that she was okay with it as well.
Congrats on the new ride! The SS looks sharp!
 

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Thanks for the compliments.

I had other reasons besides performance going from a Caddy CTS (V6) to an HHR. My kids race BMX and the Caddy was not very mud friendly when it came to the interior.

I looked at the new Pontiac G8's but like the GXP, it did not fit my particular lifestyle (I love these cars from a performance perspective). In retrospect, neither did the CTS.

The HHR has the "rubbermaid" plastic interior that lends itself well to muddy bike tires and clip shoes. I hated cleaning (or trying to) mud off of the leather interior in the Caddy. The HHR was right for us. And when I found out about the SS, it was a hands down decision for us, since I would still have the performance I enjoyed with the CTS, but with the practicality of the HHR.

These might be some decisions that have to be made when doing a consideration swing between an HHR SS, G8, GXP or other performance vehicle.
 
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