Let’s figure which of the two weird cars between the Chevrolet HHR and the Chrysler PT Cruiser was better. Both of them were rather a niche.




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PT Cruiser VS HHR
While it is said that of these cars sold like hotcakes and the other turned into a disaster, you have to admit, both of them looked pretty weird for their time and had a rather niche buyer who liked cars that were less ordinary than contemporaries.

The Chrysler PT Cruiser had a decade-old run, from 2001 to 2010 while the Chevrolet HHR started in 2005 and went belly up in 2011. The former sold well while the latter did not add to Chevy"s hall of fame, in sales or standing.

Ever wondered why? Why did one car sell more than the other, considering both were strangely shaped since they came retro-designed. While the PT Cruiser came from the house of Chrysler, which was going through various partnerships like a turntable, the HHR was Chevrolet’s nod to its antecedents.


Let’s figure which of the two weird cars between the Chevrolet HHR and the Chrysler PT Cruiser was better. And why…

The Same Concept & Brains


via CarandDriver
Surprising, isn’t it? Chrysler and the GM-owned Chevy were both Detroit biggies, and at loggerheads from start till now. So how come two of their cars ended up with the same inspiration?

According to Motor Biscuit, the Chrysler PT Cruiser was designed by Bryan Nesbitt, during his stint with Chrysler. The PT Cruiser was a retro ode to the 1930s, with that high-roof very reminiscent of the Chevrolet Advance-Design trucks of the late 40s and 50s, with plenty of details taken from Chrysler’s vehicles of yore.


The PT Cruiser sold 1.35 million examples by the time it wrapped up in 2010, and even at launch, it was met with interest and success. Later, of course, its standing dropped to the very nadir, and now, the PT Cruiser is often dubbed as one of the worst cars Chrysler ever made.

Naturally, Chevrolet was peeved. Chrysler had paid homage to one of their trucks and was making a fortune out of it. So what did Chevrolet do? According to Auto Trader, Chevy hired Bryan Nesbitt, the same guy behind the PT Cruiser, to make a retro high-roof for Chevrolet.

The result was the Chevrolet HHR, with the HHR standing for Heritage High Roof. While many say that the PT Cruiser sold a lot as compared to the Chevrolet HHR, remember that the former sold more than a million in ten years while the latter managed a 526,000+ sale run in six years. A bit behind, sure, but not catastrophic.


Both these cars entered the market to exploit the 2000’s-era retro love, and once that love faded, both these new-gen oldies retired to the nether.

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The Difference & Why It Mattered


via TopSpeed
Other than the obvious difference of both the cars coming from different and strongly competing Detroit stables, the PT Cruiser came first, in 2000. And it managed to exploit the market because of being the first one and being in it longer.

The success of the PT Cruiser inspired Chevy to enter its competitor too but perhaps the market was so small, that there was space for only one. Ultimately by 2010 and 2011, both the car wrapped up, with neither being missed.


While the PT Cruiser came in options of a two-door convertible and a five-door MPV, the Chevrolet HHR came in a 5-door format only, as a panel van, crossover-SUV, and carryall. The PT Cruiser was powered by a range of 1.6-liter to 2.4-liter engines, with a 2.2-liter diesel option as well. Horsepower ranged from 150 to 230, the latter being for the PT Cruiser GT, also called the GT cruiser.

The Chevy HHR meanwhile, was offered in 2.0-liter to 2.4-liter Ecotec engines jetting 155-260 horses. Of course, it was also bigger and heavier than the PT Cruiser, so all that extra power did not make the HHR all that powerful. That said; the HHR went 150mph top speed, over and above the PT Cruiser’s 124mph but driving the HHR at high speed made its bulk all too apparent.


The PT Cruiser made for a nimbler drive, though the HHR made for a more comfortable one. Both looked a bit ugly, to be honest, though many rated the Chevrolet HHR as one of the ugliest but fun to drive cars.

RELATED: 15 Cars That Failed Because They Were Really Ugly


via Autoblog
It all boils down to styling. Many see the PT Cruiser as being a somewhat basic, when it comes to features, and also a bit feminine in its looks. The Chevrolet HHR was loaded with features, also because it came five years after the PT Cruiser and had bold, masculine looks. It was also a little pricier than the PT Cruiser.


via autoevolution


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To be honest, it"s an individual choice. But one look at used car prices shows you a clear winner. While PT Cruisers can be had for $1,500-5,000; Chevrolet HHRs go for $5,000-10,000. The HHR is still holding on, even if it"s by a thread and mayhaps that and that alone make it the better weirder car choice...

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