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2008 Hummer H2 Review

2008 Hummer H2 (select to view enlarged photo)
2008 Hummer H2



Model: Hummer H2
Engine: 6.2-liter V8
Horsepower/Torque: 393 hp @ 5700 rpm/415 lb.-ft. @ 4400 rpm
Transmission: 6-speed automatic with manual mode
Wheelbase: 122.8 in.
Length/Width/Height: 203.5 x 81.2 x 79.2 in.
Tires: LT 315/70R17
Cargo volume: 30.7/86.6 cu. ft. (3rd row seat backs up/2nd and 3rd row seat backs down)
Fuel economy: 10.6 mpg test
Fuel capacity: 32.0 gal.
Sticker: $63,640 (includes $900 destination charge and $8,130 in options)

The Bottom Line: The Hummer H2 is an impressive vehicle, in style, size and performance. The price is high, as is the fuel cost. But if you’re looking for a vehicle that will impress people when it’s sitting in your driveway, or if you definitely need a vehicle that has the off-road attributes of the H2, then this is the vehicle for you. However, you can get almost similar capabilities from a lot of other vehicles that won’t hurt your wallet as much.

There’s no doubt that the Hummer H2 is an impressive vehicle. First, it’s iconic Hummer styling jumps out at you from wherever you are. While I’m not a fan of the original Hummer H1, which was based on the HMMV military vehicle, the H2 is my favorite of the brand. Based on the Chevrolet Tahoe platform, it’s a more practical size while maintaining a more civilized presence.

Besides its greater civility, the H2 offers excellent off-road capabilities. It has high road clearance for fording streams, four-wheel drive capability, great power, excellent approach and departure angles that make climbing hills easier, and a presence that shouts “I can do it” at you.

For example, the H2 has a 9,7-inch ground clearance with its 17-inch wheels and tires, it has an approach angle of 39.8 degrees and a departure angle of 37.1 degrees (important if hyou’re ascending or descending steep slopes), and can climb a 60 percent grade or negotiate a 40 percent side slope. It can ford 24 inches of water at 5 mph. These are serious off-road numbers.

There’s no doubt that the H2 is a Hummer. The classic hood shape, the profile of the vehicle, and the chrome-plated seven-slot grille (adapted from Jeep) are all Hummer signatures.

Inside, it’s a different story. Where the original Hummer offered few creature comforts, our H2 tester had deep tan leather seats that cradled the driver and passenger, a dash that made sense with radio and navigation controls that are intuitive, XM radio (find that in an H1), and room for 7-8 passengers, depending on how friendly they are.

Under the hood is a 6.2-liter Vortec V8 from the GM stable that delivers an impressive 393 horsepower, which is more than enough for a vehicle that weighs more than three tons. The transmission is a 6-speed automatic with a manual mode. There are 415 lb.-ft. of torque and the H2 can tow 8000 pounds.

In order to fully appreciate the manual mode you should use the paddle located behind the steering wheel on the left side (the one on the right controls audio volume). But, the steering ratio is high enough that you can’t keep your hands on the wheel in the right position to use the paddle correctly. On our test hillclimb, whenever we wanted to upshift or downshift, the paddle was usually either at the top of where the wheel was located, or at the bottom. So we returned to automatic, which really didn’t detract from the performance that much.

There’s an enormous amount of cargo volume in the rear. With the third row seat backs up, the H2 has 40 cubic feet of capacity. Fold down the 2nd and 3rd row seat backs and that climbs to 86.6 cubic feet. Our original travel plans were to use the H2 to clean out my sister’s house, but we rescheduled and used a different vehicle. The H2 definitely would have offered us the carrying capacity.

What I didn’t like about the H2 was its pitiful fuel economy – 10.6 mpg. This was achieved in a normal driving environment of suburban streets with some Interstates. If we had added a lot more Interstate miles I’m certain economy would have gone up, but not by that much.

One other relatively minor complaint was related to the size. When I drove up to my friendly ATM machine, I couldn’t reach down to push the buttons and get my money out. On my next trip, I had to (sigh) get out of the H2 and actually walk over to get my money.

Second row seating offers excellent leg and headroom. The third row is better than the third row in most SUVs, but it still isn’t as comfortable as the front row, but what did you expect?

Our tester had a bottom line of $63,640, which is a lot if you’re only interested in impressing the neighbors. That included more than $8,100 in options and a hefty $900 destination charge.

Still, the H2 is a great vehicle if you want excellent off-road capabilities, good carrying and towing capacity, civilized interior comfort, and traditional Hummer styling.

2008 The Auto Page Syndicate