HUMMER H2 The Hummer H2 debuted in 2003 as a desire by Hummer and parent company General Motors to offer something a bit more practical than the exotic, designed-for-military-use H1. Few trucks attract as much attention rolling down the highway as the Hummer H2. Its large size and U.S. military Humvee-inspired styling make it stand out like a sweaty heavyweight prizefighter attending a Friday-night knitting class. It's also extremely capable when taken off-road and easy to customize with factory options and dealer accessories. When examined solely in terms of these qualities, the H2 seems like a stellar pick for an SUV.
Unfortunately, it's burdened with some design flaws that make it ill-suited for everyday use. Though smaller than the original Hummer, it's still quite bulky and heavy. This poses a problem on many fronts, from the obvious sap on fuel mileage to the more mundane trickiness of trying to parallel park or drive into a low-slung parking garage entrance. The truck also suffers from a less-than-competitive amount of cargo space, a short list of luxury features and, with the exception of the newest versions, mediocre interior materials.
For the right type of buyer, the Hummer H2's strengths will outweigh its negatives. Those with a true need for Herculean off-road ability in open terrain or for towing a rolling billboard for a small business will find it endearing. For everyone else, our editors believe there are better choices available for a large, luxury-oriented SUV.
Current Hummer H2
Still in its first generation, the H2 unmistakably apes its older bigger brother in terms of styling, though nearly all of its hardware comes from other GM truck products. Underneath the hood of most H2s you'll find a 6.0-liter V8 and a four-speed automatic transmission. For 2008, an even stronger 6.2-liter V8 debuted, bringing 393 horsepower (nearly 70 more than before) to the cause of moving this heavy beast. Power is directed to the truck's meaty tires through a full-time dual-range transfer case. Advanced features include a driver-selectable rear differential locker and a drive-by-wire throttle setup that changes sensitivity when low-range gearing is selected.
Through our Hummer H2 reviews, we've found that this vehicle has few equals when taken off-road. Thanks to nearly 10 inches of ground clearance, 42-degree approach and 38-degree departure angles, generous wheel travel and a protected underbody, it can roll over just about any type of terrain without getting stuck or taking damage. On tight trails, however, the vehicle can be difficult to maneuver as its body is quite wide.
In urban environments, such as densely packed city streets, the H2's size is also a liability. Its tall height also creates large blind spots and prevents it from being parked in some garages. Inside, the H2 offers comfortable seating for five passengers. An additional third-row seat is also available. Compared to other top large luxury SUVs, however, it is more difficult to enter and exit and is lacking in overall cargo room and interior materials quality. Gripes about the mediocre cabin were addressed in '08 when an all-new interior debuted with new seats, a redesigned dash and higher-quality materials and switchgear.
Current Hummer H2 owners do comment negatively about these aspects, but they also tend to say that they are happy with their vehicles overall. They are keen on the security and comfort that the truck provides when driven on poorly maintained roads or rough terrain. They also defend the H2's dismal fuel mileage, noting that it's similar to other large SUVs or 2500-series pickups and more than made up for by the truck's style, capabilities and customization potential.
Apart from 2008 and newer versions, little has changed since the H2's introduction, so potential buyers of a used model can focus mainly on the condition and price of the vehicle rather than the specific year.

In the past, Hummer ownership seemed a lot like inviting 50 Cent to your house to perform at your wife's birthday party -- complete overkill, massively expensive and maybe just a bit silly, but surely a great way to impress the heck out of the neighbors. Now, however, there's the Hummer H3. Within the Hummer triumvirate of SUVs, it's designed to be the "real world" version, less 50 Cent and more your buddy's local alt-rock band.
This isn't to say that the company's engineers stopped their testosterone I.V. drip. The H3's styling still loudly says that it's a card-carrying member of the Hummer guild, and the truck's got more off-road capability than just about every other midsize SUV when the pavement ends.
For everyday urban use, however, the smallest of Hummers still isn't the best choice. Unless you're driving the "Alpha" version which boasts V8 power, the H3 can be painfully slow in certain situations. It's also let down by other traditional Hummer faults such as poor outward visibility and an interior that isn't as voluminous as its exterior styling suggests. If you're keen on the H3's looks and style, or if you plan on plenty of recreational use, the H3 should be a good purchase. Otherwise, our editors feel that the majority of buyers will be better served by other available midsize SUVs.
Current Hummer H3
The Hummer H3 is a midsize SUV that comes standard with a 220-horsepower, 3.5-liter inline five-cylinder engine and four-wheel drive. This inline-5 is the same engine found in General Motors' midsize pickups. While it's adequate for the pickups and general use around town, it is often overwhelmed by this SUV's nearly 2.5 tons of curb weight. In our Hummer H3 road test, we recorded a 0-60-mph time of 11 seconds. Fuel economy isn't all that great either. For 2008, the Alpha version of the H3 debuted, sporting a 300-hp 5.3-liter V8 that provided more respectable performance. With the Alpha, the 0-60 dash was reduced to 8.8 seconds.
More impressive than the powertrain is the vehicle's ability to handle off-road terrain. Allowed to play in the dirt, the smallest Hummer is basically unstoppable. With 9.1 inches of ground clearance, loads of wheel travel, oversized all-terrain tires and standard skid plates, the H3 can pretty much go wherever you want without taking damage. For optimum performance, add the optional Off-Road Suspension Package to get a shorter-geared transfer case for better hill climbing and descending, a locking rear differential, 33-inch off-road tires and firmer suspension tuning.
Inside, the H3 boasts a cockpit design that's more stylish than those of its pickup relatives. Most of the controls are also easy to use. The 60/40-split rear seat can be lowered to increase cargo capacity, though this vehicle's maximum capacity of 56 cubic feet is smaller than that of many other compact and midsize SUVs. Outward visibility is hampered by the gun-slit-style windows and tailgate-mounted spare tire.
Selecting a Hummer H3 is pretty straightforward, as there are only two styles: base and Alpha. Standard equipment highlights on the base H3 include dual-zone air-conditioning, a six-speaker CD stereo, cruise control and power windows, mirrors and locks. The aforementioned off-road package, leather upholstery, power-adjustable and heated front seats, side curtain airbags and an MP3-compatible stereo are optional. The Alpha adds the V8 engine as well as leather seating, upgraded audio, heated seats and more chrome trim, including the wheels.

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