With comments like “HATED IT!” and “I hate driving this car,” it’s easy to see why the 2006 Chevrolet HHR claimed last place on our list of the fuel-efficient SUVs for 2006. Most wouldn’t even consider this five-passenger wagon to be a sport-utility vehicle, but the minions who set EPA classifications apparently disagree – they say it’s a sport-ute.
Two engines are available to power the HHR – a 2.2-liter four-cylinder and a mightier 2.4-liter version, either mated to a five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission. The smaller motor pushes 143 horsepower and 150 lb.-ft. of twist, whereas the screamin’ 2.4-liter puts out a breathtaking 172 horses and 162 lb.-ft. of twig-pulling torque. Fuel economy is rated at 23 mpg city, 30 mpg highway, and 25 mpg combined for all versions except the larger engine and manual transmission combo – it’s expected to achieve 22 mpg in the city.
A base LS HHR starts at about $15,000 and a better-equipped LT starts at just over $16,000.