2006 Chevrolet HHR
If you can detect a resemblance between the Chevrolet HHR and the similarly ill-styled PT Cruiser, you’ve spotted the work of Bryan Nesbitt. The divisive designer was hired by GM after the success of the Chrysler PT Cruiser; the result was the 2006 Chevrolet Heritage High Roof. This large station wagon was styled after the 1940s Chevrolet Suburban.
The result had flared fenders, a hemispherical grille, and rounded hood and roofline. The high beltline, small windows, thick pillars, and aluminum wheels gave this station wagon a bad attitude. While both of these retro cruisers had a certain appeal—standing out from the crowd at the very least—the infatuation has long passed. It didn’t help that the vertical windshield and thick pillars resulted in a slightly disconcerting drive for new buyers. 3,155lbs being dragged along by a 2.2L four-cylinder with only 143 horsepower resulted in marginal acceleration and a plodding pace (upgrading to the 2.4L produced slightly better results). Unlike the PT Cruiser, the heftier HHR isn’t as distinctive amongst a crowd of SUVs. This “me too” cruiser just didn’t bring the looks or the goods.