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Thread: Can't decide between two competing cars...

  1. #1

    Default Can't decide between two competing cars...

    As some of you guys know I am an avid gearhead. I recently purchased a 2010 Chevrolet Cobalt XFE Sedan as an A-B credit establishing car. Now I am researching some vehicles for when I sell this car after one year of ownership so that I have enough credit to get what I want. I plan on purchasing a used performance trim level car, but can't make up my mind between the Chevrolet HHR SS 5spd or the Dodge Caliber SRT-4 6spd... It is kind of a toss up between the two... One of the comparisons that I do for any vehicle is check to see how well they hold up in the unlikely event of a crash, I liked what I saw from both, however I preferred the crash test for the caliber more than the HHR, but they do get excellent crash test ratings... The CSRT-4 has more horsepower and torque (284hp/264tq), and is mated to a six speed gearbox, whereas the HHR SS has less horsepower and torque with an LSD (260hp/260tq) however it is only mated to a five-speed gearbox. I like the looks of the HHR SS better than the CSRT-4, however the CSRT-4 has a much more aggressive stance. It is kind of a toss up between the two... and it would be easier to test drive the CSRT-4 to get a feel for the power, however there are none close to me for sale... So as far as test drives go, I like the HHR SS in terms of power usage... but like I said it all comes down to a test-drive... I will have it figured out by april... I hope... But just looking for feedback mainly.

    Thanks in advance (Note: I didn't find any subforums for transportation, so figured off topic would be my best bet... feel free to move if needed.)

  2. #2


    Id get the HHR. Even though I think it looks hideous .

    The Dodge Caliber was the biggest piece of shit that Dodge has ever made. Even they admit that before their new Dart, they didn't have a car in that segment... essentially in a few years they will deny that they ever manufactured it. Going to be Mechanically Horrible and will fall apart within the next few years.

    That being said I have had terrible Luck with GM products too.

    Get a Subaru.

  3. #3


    Personally I'm a gearhead too... motorcycles, cars... motor + wheels + speed

    well - that aside, I find neither model appealing.
    The question would mostly be why do you "need" a car in that configuration/design? you plan on driving family around? or is it mostly yourself?
    I think both designs (calibre and HHR) are rather "odd" to myself. But if YOU LIKE them - hey get them anyhow

    However when we skip design stuff... simply from a few aspects I would veer towards the HHR.
    Torque & horses... important, but have you taken weight into consideration as well?
    Also how do you drive? My current car has roughly 250 horses... 4-wheel drive, heavily modified hot hatchback. besides this I've got an older SUV that I need mostly to transport stuff and if I have to hitch a trailer for work.
    The small hot hatchback is my daily (fun) car... with it's 3.2l V6 petrol engine and a bit of work, well needless to say it's a fun ride on almost any terrain & situation.
    It's not the most economic ride out there... but I don't care that much.

    Also I personally prefer larger motors (cubic...) instead of purely small motors with insane turbochargers...

    The dodge (again despite design which I find not pleasing) I would NOT take due to it's rather cheaply made interior... I've driven one when they hit the market here just to give it a try... top of the line model.
    And the plastic... damn, it was PLASTICKY all over... I mean not nicely done, felt "cheap" and was already squeaky when you drove a bit more aggressive.
    Also I didn't like the "handling" - it felt somewhat unresponsive.

    I've never driven the HHR - but have not heard too many bad things about it either.

    But honestly for that kind of money you should look around and think outside of the box... drive a few different cars from different manufacturers.
    Test ride some outside of your budget to get a feel for what you'd get if you'd either go with a used but better specified car or what can be improved on yours.

    Also make a list of requirements,... basically see what is important to you and try to figure out which of the cars out there fits your needs best.

  4. #4


    I have a 2013 Chevy Cruze with the 1.8L and it moves pretty good for a 6-speed 4 cyl. you can get it in manual or automatic, and mine gets an average of 35mpg on the highway with the cruise control set to 70. the built in Bluetooth on the steering wheel is nice too along with the dashboard computer. Not to mention the stock stereo system is pretty good too!

  5. #5


    Quote Originally Posted by DeftLeppard View Post
    I have a 2013 Chevy Cruze with the 1.8L and it moves pretty good for a 6-speed 4 cyl. you can get it in manual or automatic, and mine gets an average of 35mpg on the highway with the cruise control set to 70. the built in Bluetooth on the steering wheel is nice too along with the dashboard computer. Not to mention the stock stereo system is pretty good too!
    Uhm 1.8l? yeah... I hope it'll be a cold day in hell before I'll drive anything with less than a 2.8l

  6. #6


    I have test driven alot of cars in that particular segment... those are the two that I like the best... I test drove a cobalt ss turbo but that wasn't something I would be interested in. These two have the practicality that I am interested in... I am leaning towards the HHR SS, but I still am interested in the CSRT-4

  7. #7


    I haven't driven the performance variants of either car, but I have driven the regular variants of each. I actually test-drove both cars when I bought my last car. The HHR was cramped and uncomfortable inside, looks hideous (Mr. Aurkarm figures the HHR stands for Horrible Hideous Ridiculous), and was all-around unpleasant. The Caliber was dog-slow and had an absolutely appalling interior. The HHR is one of the worst products GM put onto the market from the standpoint of market competitiveness. The Caliber was actually worse than the second-generation Neon (which was worlds better than the first-generation Neon and was actually like a real car!).

    The thing I will say is that they, like pretty much all old GMs and Chryslers, will continue to run badly longer than other cars will continue to run at all. I never see Toyotas from the '90s around here, but there are a gillion old GMs, Chryslers, and Fords that look like they shouldn't move under their own power doing 80 on the Lodge. (Yes I realize there's a huge observation bias since I'm in Detroit, but there are plenty of Toyotas and Hondas around here, just none from the '90s it seems). Hell, we have a Town Car with 220,000 miles on it that runs and drives better than my Honda with 131,000 on it.

    In your case, I think your answer is that you'll have to test-drive both and see which one you find to be more comfortable, better driving, and generally better suited to your needs.

  8. #8


    Those cars are cute, but you are a gear head. Get a V8, Mate. =^.^=

  9. #9


    I love my V8's don't get me wrong, but I prefer the fuel economy of the turbo four's... out of boost those yield impressive fuel economy numbers... I like my FWD cars tho I do respect the other models out there tho... I like my muscle, classics, exotics, tuners (save for honda's) stuff like that... I had been considering a 2013 Ford Focus ST... as I loved how well they perform, and handle... but the price tag is quite a ways out of my price range... I have heard nothing but good about the CSRT-4 and the HHR SS as far as reliability and cost to maintain, the HHR has also received an award for low cost of ownership. Either way, I find nothing wrong with these two cars... yes they are products of old chrysler and old GM... but that isn't a bad thing, my cobalt is a product of old GM and it is a well built, sturdy car with great handling and great reliability. (A bit of fun with the 5spd manual as well 155hp/150tq 2.2L LAP Ecotec) I just need something different... and the cobalt is not it.

  10. #10


    Chevy offers the cruze with a 1.4L turbo.

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