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Car/Truck Review: 2005 Hummer H2 SUT

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MODEL: Hummer H2 SUT
ENGINE:  6.0-liter V8
HORSEPOWER/TORQUE: 325 hp @ 5,200 rpm/365 lb.-ft. @ 4,000 rpm 
TRANSMISSION:  4-speed automatic
WHEELBASE: 122.8 in.
LENGTH x WIDTH x HEIGHT: 203.5 x 81.2 x 78.5 in.
TIRES:  LT315/70R17
TIRES:  LT315/70R17
TIRES:  LT315/70R17
ECONOMY: 11.3 mpg test
TIRES:  LT315/70R17
PRICE:  $58,070

Like it or not, the Hummer H2 is a presence going down the road. Even in SUT (for Sport Utility Truck) form, the huge chrome grille and high ride height set it far apart from anything else you may see coming at you.

New for 2005 is the SUT version. It, like the SUV H2, is borrowed from the H1's military version. But, unlike the H1, the H2's version is far more practical. There's seating for five in comfort, for example, and the 6.0-liter V8 engine is relatively quiet, whereas the military's (and H1's) diesel is unacceptably noisy.

The SUT isn't the world's most practical truck, even if it is unique. It has a relatively short bed (3 feet long by 5 feet wide) and is high off the ground. If you stow gear back there and it shifts to the front of the bed, you can't reach it from the sides or back. Also, you must release the spare tire carrier to lower the tailgate. The tire release is good and easy to use, but it's one more hassle that takes away from the utility of the truck.

This vehicle has in its gene pool the Chevrolet Avalanche. So the rear seat folds flat with the headrests removed. The rear window lowers (powered) and the access panel folds flat, extending the bed. While this is a neat way to get a longer bed out of a shorter one, it isn't a good idea in cold or rainy weather. Also, the floor doesn't fold flat, so if you want so slide a long piece of lumber in, for4 example, it isn't that easy.

Under the hood is a 6.0-liter V8 engine which, in the SUT, is rated at 325 hp and 365 lb-ft of torque, nine and five better than in the SUV, respectively. Power reaches the wheels through a four-speed automatic transmission with a "Hummer"-style shifter. You know it's Hummer-style once you've tried it. Actually, the large handle is easy to grab and does the job well.

Like the H1, there's a huge console with two 12-volt outlets included. Unlike the H1, you can actually talk to your front-seat partner and you don't have to mail the rear seat passengers to communicate with them. This is the huge advantage of the H2 over the H1 - its practicality. The console is necessary because the glove box is too small. There's also a good navigation system in case you get lost. Of course, with the Hummer's versatility, you can just drive cross country until you find a stream, then head downstream. For senior citizens, there are assist handles at all four doors to aid in entering and exit the SUT. In addition, there's a running board that is also a big help since the SUT sits so far off the ground.

The Hummer H2 SUT has full instrumentation with a speedometer, tachometer, fuel level, water temperature, oil pressure, ammeter and oil temperature gauges. All are important. The audio system is standard GM and the HVAC has rear outlets for passengers back there. My wife approved of the heated seats.

In some versions of the Hummer SUT there is an overhead console with three compartments. Our tester had a powered sunroof, so the compartments weren't there. I rarely use them anyway when they are there, so you may want to think about whether you want them or not.

Now the sad news. The Hummer had a bottom line of $58,070, with a base price of $51,995. Options were an "Adventure Series that included: an air suspension package with compressor and air springs; brush guard; rubber floor mats; AM/FM/ 6-disc in-dash CD changer; first aid kit with flashlight; tubular lamp protection; and a crossbar roof rack. The navigation system cost $1,570. The chrome appearance package was another $450, while tubular assist steps (the running boards) were $425. Delivery and set-up were $850.

This is a lot of money just to look cool going down the highway. If you think about it, you can get a fully loaded Chevy Tahoe and have almost everything else except the ability to traverse small streams.

2004 The Auto Page Syndicate