When it comes to safety, the HHR hardly impresses. Federal crash-test results are five-star for frontal and side impact, but the insurance-supported IIHS rates the HHR just "acceptable" for side impact and a concerning "marginal" in the seat-based rear-impact test.
Standard safety equipment for the 2010 Chevy HHR includes anti-lock front disc/rear drum brakes on LS and LT models, as well as anti-lock four-wheel discs on the SS. Stability control and side curtain airbags are also standard, though front seat side-impact airbags aren't offered. GM's OnStar telematics system is standard across the HHR model lineup as well.
Opinions among reviewers on outward visibility are split. Edmunds applauds the "impressive outward visibility for the regular wagon models," whereas Cars.com finds "something HHR drivers battle that isn't an issue in many other cars is forward visibility. This wagon's unique shape results in a relatively short windshield, which in turn leads to wide windshield pillars—that get in the way when checking for cross traffic or pedestrians." It also points out that "rear- and over-shoulder visibility is good."
The panel-wagon version, which was intended as a work vehicle, has bad rear visibility due to the omission of certain windows.