The 2008 Chevrolet HHR features some very appealing retro styling that’s also very familiar.
Edmunds calls the Chevrolet HHR "a modern take on the expressive, big-fendered American vehicles of the late 1940s”—specifically, “Chevrolet claims is inspired by the '49 Suburban.” Car and Driver likes its “pleasing exterior curves,” while the Detroit News gives good marks to its “playful retro design inside and out.” However, the News and many other outlets point out that the more recent HHR “looks like such a blatant copy of the well-received, 5-year-old Chrysler PT Cruiser.”
A special HHR SS version made its debut this year, and it gets special design cues to highlight its high-performance drivetrain. Cars.com says "the [Chevrolet] HHR SS is a stylish one from many angles...helping its cause are a number of SS-specific cues, like a black mesh grille that replaces the horizontal silver bars on regular Chevrolet HHR 2008s." Autoblog notes "some changes with the Chevrolet HHR 2008 SS, but the car is still instantly recognizable as a Heritage High Roof," adding that "the wheels fill up the bulbous fenders much nicer with the SS package's 18-inch rims."
The retro styling ends once one is inside, however. Edmunds says the Chevrolet HHR 2008 interior is "attractive and functional...the 2008 Chevrolet HHR's cabin has handsome bright-ringed gauges." Kelley Blue Book reports that "the 2008 Chevrolet HHR features thoroughly modern interior styling...tasteful chrome rings and accents combine with pleasing buttons and knobs in a contemporary interior that looks and feels like nothing from the automaker's past." Automobile divulges "inside [2008 Chevrolet HHR], there are nice, suede-like inserts on the seats."