Thursday, July 10, 2008

Hummer H2 - 2009 Reviews


At the L.A. Auto Show in 2004, General Motors first introduced the idea of a smaller HUMMER pickup. It was the H3T Concept. The production version of the concept, the 2009 H3T, is scheduled to be on GM's stand at the 2008 Chicago Auto Show in February.

While the '04 concept featured a standard cab with an integrated the bed (similar to original HUMMER H1 variants), the new H3T is a traditional pickup with a separate crew cab and five-foot bed. There is only one cab/box configuration. The H3T rides on a 134.2-inch wheelbase, some 22 inches longer than the standard H3 SUV. The HUMMER truck is also longer than the crew cab iterations of the Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon mid-size trucks on which the H3s are based. On paper and in person, this is not a small vehicle.

Interior Design

An extra star for not using chrome plastics. The seats are perfection. With all the legroom in the backseat, it's a nice vehicle for passengers as well. The instrument panel lighting is attractive and easy to read.

From the B-pillar forward, as you'd expect, the H3 SUV and T are identical. The rear seat of the H3T is standard pickup fare with a three-person bench that folds up to open up floor space for cargo. Behind the cab, the five-foot box incorporates GM's bed-rail accessory mounting system, as well as a removable tailgate.

Powertrains include the standard 3.7-liter in-line five-cylinder that produces 242 horsepower with either a five-speed manual or an old-school four-speed automatic. The Alpha-level 5.3-liter V-8 with 300 horsepower is optional, and given the new truck's weight (our estimate is 4600-4800 pounds), it's going to need all the power it can get. While we hope for a modern six-speed automatic to go with the V-8, it's looking like the heavy-duty four-speed automatic from the existing H3 Alpha is going to be as good as it gets. The Alpha editions will be rated to tow 5900 lb.

4.10 gears get these 2.5 tons of steel and plastic up and moving. It's not gonna blow anyone's doors off, but it does what it needs to in traffic.

Big discs at each corner slow this thing down in a hurry, and the dynamic rear proportioning should keep the rubber rolling in the back regardless of load. There's no handbrake present, and that doesn't make a whole lot of sense. The vehicle will automatically engage brakes if it rolls backwards for 2 seconds, but a handbrake would have felt more natural.

Bouncy and truckish, but this is a pre-production model, so lets hope it gets smoothed out by the time it reaches showroom floors.

Staying true to the HUMMER image, the H3T should prove to be a capable off-roader. Full-time four-wheel drive is standard, as are functional skid plates and 32-inch tires. Taller 33-inch tires and locking differentials are optional.

Pricing will be announced closer to the H3T's on-sale date, which is expected to be late summer/early fall. If GM follows the pricing conventions they've set with the H2 SUV vs. H2 SUT, expect to see prices around $28,000 for a base H3T to $39,000 for the Alpha models.

Handling: ***
Given the ride height and center of gravity, this thing actually handles pretty well. The massive sway bars in the front and back help cornering a lot and the new steering gearing (16:1, 3 1/8 lock-to-lock) made parking and general driving pretty easy.

Its 50:1 crawl ratio and 4.03 low range lock make downhill grades virtually brake free and let the 4-speed HydraMatic do all the work, keeping 2.5 tons under control. Highway shifting is silky smooth.

The speakers are fine and amplification is decent, but where's the iPod jack? XM is great and all, but c'mon, even Aveo's have an AUX input jack these days. It can't cost that much to implement this, so it just seems like an annoying oversight.

Toys: ***
The nav/entertainment system is nice, but throws a distracting glare into the back window. The pushbutton 4x4 controls are easy to read and conveniently located above the radio. Monochrome reverse vision seems a bit dated, but probably gives a better image in low light situations. The sunroof improves off-road visibility, especially when crawling down steep grades. OnStar and XM are nice doodads as well, at least for the free trial periods.

Value: N/A
Can't really call this one until pricing is announced, but there's bound to be a premium on the Hummer brand.

Probably the most complete vehicle in the Hummer range, the H3T improves on its relatives' best attributes — off-road ability and macho styling — but still suffers from the same problems - 'roid rage styling and enormous dimensions for relatively little storage space. A plain old pickup would be cheaper and more practical. Still, if you must have a Hummer, this is the one to get.

GM's recent investment of $74 million investment in the Shreveport, Louisiana plant makes producing the new H3T possible. Estimates for yearly production hover around 35,000. The plant also produces the H3 SUV, the Chevrolet Colorado, and the GM Canyon mid-size pickups.

1 comment:

PRATIK said...

cool bro u have given detailed information.........