EDITORS NOTEBOOK: 2008 Chevy HHR SS, Day 1

Automobile Staff
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2008 Chevy Hhr Ss Front View

Read Phil Floraday's comments on driving the 2008 Chevy HHR SS.

I didn't think this 2.0-liter turbo engine felt very strong last night and I presumed the automatic transmission was wasting a lot of power. Then I actually did a little research and found out the HHR SS with an automatic transmission only gets 235 hp and the manual car gets 260 hp. Why in the world is this thing offered with an automatic if the output is reduced so much?

The chassis felt very stable in high-speed turns, but I wanted more punch when I hit the gas, especially over 60 mph. I really enjoyed the 2.0-liter turbo engine in a Sky Redline I drove earlier this year, but this automatic feels very unimpressive. The HHR SS is ready to cruise at autobahn speeds all day, but with this transmission it takes half the day to get to cruising speed. Quirky and impressive are words that come to mind to describe the vehicle as a whole, but pathetic best describes the transmission.

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