The HHR's rather high seating positions and low roofline might feel odd to some when they first sit in this boxy wagon. If you're average-sized or shorter, you might come to like it, but taller drivers will find themselves pushing up against the headliner and wedging themselves a bit. In any case, the pushed-upward driving position is an acquired taste. Unfortunately in back seating is also a bit tight, lacking in both legroom and headroom, and the rear bench seat feels somewhat stiff.
Fold the back seats forward, and the HHR's design makes a lot more sense. There's a nice, neat cargo space capable of swallowing small pieces of furniture or even the largest Costco runs. And the cargo floor is flat. Although we haven't driven the HHR Panel Van, these observations would suggest that its cargo-centric purpose would be right in line with the HHR's strengths.
Interior appointments aren't anything special; there's a lot of drab plastic trim, and upholstery and materials are rental-car anonymous, a reminder of the switchgear and trim GM was using on nearly all its vehicles five or more years ago. On the bright side, the HHR feels tight and refined most of the time, with surprisingly little road or wind noise. Ride quality is one negative though; the HHR can get quite bouncy on some highway surfaces.