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Made for the City-Suburban Load
2008 Chevrolet HHR SS Turbo wagon

By Warren Brown
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, April 20, 2008; Page G01

We spent an attentive week in the real world driving to work, shopping malls, banks, schools and medical offices. We also did spring cleaning, which meant hauling lots of wastefully purchased stuff to the dump.

"Attentive week" means we gave particular notice to what we were doing while not trying to do anything special, with the exception of remaining keenly aware of how we used the vehicle in question, the 2008 Chevrolet HHR SS Turbo wagon.

· Horsepower is irrelevant in tightly congested traffic. Our turbocharged, 260-horsepower, front-wheel-drive HHR SS moved no faster than the lower-horsepower automobiles trapped with us. Vehicles easily surpassing the HHR SS in cost, status, power and engineering were equally trapped.

· The HHR SS, a stylistic throwback to the 1949 Chevrolet Suburban, is nobody's darling in tight curves, where it must be handled gently and with some forethought. But it does not matter, because there aren't that many roads in the Washington area that allow drivers to safely "take curves" the way it's done in TV commercials and on test tracks.

· The HHR SS excels in its design-intent milieu -- city-suburban schlepping. It's the perfect commuter, big enough to carry five adults. With its rear seats down, forming a nearly flat load floor, the wagon can carry lots of junk, enough to fill 63 cubic feet. (If hauling is all you want to do, you can buy the HHR Panel -- a two-seat urban delivery wagon with good fuel economy.)

· Technology does not change wasteful human behavior. Consider the many drivers of fuel-efficient, gas-electric hybrid Toyota Prius automobiles who routinely exceed speed limits and engage in other behavior that defeats Prius engineering. Do they not know that the Prius saves nothing at highway speeds of 75 mph?

· Unless your job is on a racetrack, zero-to-60-mph times are meaningless, assuming you are not interested in enriching the coffers of local municipalities. For proof, try this in the well-policed communities of either Arlington or Falls Church: Pull up to a red light or "Stop" sign. Rev your engine. Zoom from stop. There is a reasonable certainty you will be stopped by the local constabulary before you get too far, even if no law-enforcement officer sees you, even if no traffic camera nabs you.

The bottom line: What we see in TV commercials and read in zoom-zoom product reviews is mostly fantasy. Some of us might have the wherewithal to buy a super-performance car. But hardly any of us driving in metropolitan America will have the opportunity to exploit its full potential.

That being the case, a four-cylinder wagon with a little get-up-and-go and a lot of personality would serve many of us just fine. If you agree, take a look at the HHR with or without the sporty SS trim.

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/04/17/AR2008041702267.html

 

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What an odd, odd review. By this guy's thinking, he must think any performance or luxury car is useless since any sporty or expensive luxury cars does not get you from point A to B any better than a used car.

Mark
 

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Oooooookaaaayyy..............
 

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I've seen a couple of these in the wild already. They look sharp in person.
 

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I've seen a couple of these in the wild already. They look sharp in person.
Agreed I saw a Black one out and about a few weeks ago and they do look much better in person than in pictures
 

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I'm pleased that he liked the HHR SS as I very much do. My complaint however is about the article itself. It didn't say much about the many features that are available on the HHR that make the nice car that it is. I guess Auto reviewers get a bit jaded from time to time. The article leaves one with the car as appliance impression which is absolutely not correct with respect to the HHR. It is a highly desirable car IMO.
 

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I saw my first HHR SS today, in red. Stood out a lot more than the HHR going the other way. It has a much more hunkered down look, and the shaped bumper to house the intercooler sticks out like a sore thumb.
 

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EVERYONE PLEASE TAKE NOTICE!!!

This is the thinking that the media want's us to believe. "No reason to buy a performance car, that's just fantacy, buy an appliance instead, nobody else can go any faster than you!" Believe it, with all the Global warming, cafe, and hand-wringing in our political system, if we don't stand up, they will all have us driving appliances!


That said, I like the HHR SS. I'm dissappointed that the automatic saps power and the dash material is horrible. Other than that... :clap::drive:
 

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What we see in TV commercials and read in zoom-zoom product reviews is mostly fantasy. Some of us might have the wherewithal to buy a super-performance car. But hardly any of us driving in metropolitan America will have the opportunity to exploit its full potential.
Sucks to be you. (mental picture of rats in a cage)

I can drive my vehicles like I stole them any day of the week. You couldn't pay me enough to live like that.
 

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You've obviously never spent time in DC Metro traffic. :) This guy's review makes perfect sense for the Washington Post.
I visited for about a week staying with someone in Falls Church and luckily I rarely had to drive through traffic...The subway was a much better alternative to getting into town.

It was nice blasting by all the traffic jams as the train went down into the tunnel....much nicer after having just rode the NYC Metro just the day before (first subway ride, and one hell of a ride indeed!!)
 

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Sucks to be you. (mental picture of rats in a cage)

I can drive my vehicles like I stole them any day of the week. You couldn't pay me enough to live like that.
In my area people do that with their cars as well as four wheelers, scooters, dirt bikes, and even horses :D

I don't think it's that hard to have fun driving if you live in some huge metro area. I know a couple in DC that regularly go out caving and driving through the country side and having fun. They may have to drive a while, but they can get out onto the twisty roads and have some fun in an MR2.
 
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