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AM Hummer H1 Open-top (2002)

SEE ALSO: Hummer Buyer's Guide

By Matt/Bob Hagin


     Manufacturer's Suggested Retail Price              $ 97,806
     Price As Tested                                    $ 98,691
     Engine Type      (Diesel) OHV 16-valve 6.5 Liter V8 w/SMFI*
     Engine Size                                 397 cid/6500 cc
     Horsepower                                   195 @ 3400 RPM
     Torque (lb-ft)                               430 @ 1800 RPM
     Wheelbase/Width/Length                  130.0"/86.5"/184.5"
     Transmission                           Four-speed automatic
     Curb Weight                                     6863 pounds
     Fuel Capacity         Primary 25.0 / Secondary 17.0 gallons
     Tires  (F/R)                                  37x12.5R17 LT
     Brakes (F/R)                          Disc (ABS)/disc (ABS)
     Drive Train                   Front-engine/four-wheel-drive
     Vehicle Type                       Four-passenger/four-door
     Domestic Content                                        N/A
     Coefficient of Drag (Cd.)                               N/A


     EPA Economy, miles per gallon
        city/highway/average                            13/17/15
     0-60 MPH                                       16.0 seconds
     Maximum payload capacity                       3,486 pounds
     Maximum towing capacity                        7,986 pounds
                 * Sequential multi-port fuel injection

(Matt Hagin says the new Hummer H1 from General Motors is the biggest SUV on the market. His Dad says a little Chevy Tracker SUV might fit in the Hummer H1 glove box.)

BOB - At one time a decade ago, the military HMMVEE was the most televised wheeled vehicle on the tube. It was the "star" of the Desert Storm war with Iraq. This huge, ugly machine appeared as a rocket launcher platform, an ambulance, a personnel carrier and whatever else needed to be done. This kind of exposure guaranteed the success of the civilian version, the HUMMER H1. It's more civilized than its camouflaged stablemate, but not so much that it loses its macho image. And image is what the HUMMER H1 is all about. At a bit over seven feet wide and nearly 16-feet long, it's a hard vehicle to ignore in commuter traffic. It's as aerodynamic as a box car and just about as easy to parallel-park. And at 75 inches, it may not be the tallest on the SUV market, but it's up there somewhere.

MATT - Our HUMMER H1 wasn't the kind of vehicle that lent itself to bringing it home for a week of grocery-shopping or taking to the movies, but it's surprisingly nimble for such a big machine. It has four-wheel drive as well as four-wheel independent suspension and the brake discs are tucked inboard next to the front and rear differentials out of harm's way. The acceleration can best be described as "leisurely" due to its 7000 pounds of weight, but nobody in their right mind is going to drag race a HUMMER H1. The engine is a turbocharged 6.6-liter diesel V8 that only puts out 195 horsepower but the torque is up there at 430 pound-feet at only 1800 rpm. It's strictly a commercial unit with a single cam-in-block system operating pushrods and two valves per cylinder. It's a GM design, but it's build by AM General in it's own engine-building plant. GM owns a large percentage of AM General, has exclusive use of the HUMMER name and does all the promotions for it.

BOB - Unlike its military cohort, the HUMMER H1 only comes in two body styles, the enclosed "wagon " and the Open Top. Both of them have four doors, and that's convenient since this gargantuan machine only seats four people including the driver. Although the engine is cast iron, the body is made out of aluminum. The box-section frame has five cross members and is as sturdy as a bridge. It has an interesting accessory in the form of a central tire inflation system that allows the driver to deflate the tires if it's going through deep sand and then reinflate them when it hits a hard surface road. The Open Top model is more on the order of a sedan with its roof removed since it has four full-sized doors and a tonneau cover that can be snapped into place when it rains.

MATT - AM General only builds the two body styles, but since the HUMMER H1 has become "in" with celebrities and high-profile sports figures, several customizer shops have sprung up to make HUMMER H1s that are faster, more powerful and much more luxurious than when it rolled off the assembly line. And if a buyer really wants to show off, he or she can buy a "stretch" limousine version with all the gauche trimming that go along with that type of vehicle. Owning a HUMMER H1 is a sort of a "clubby" experience and buyers can learn how to drive them on a private 350-acre off-road training area near South Bend, Indiana. Most of the time the "students" are pros like firefighters or salespeople for HUMMER dealers, but every year there's a couple of dozen owners who pony up the tuition fee to learn just how tough their HUMMER H1s are.

BOB - The fuel mileage isn't really all that great for a diesel engine but it had great range since it has a 42-gallon fuel capacity, including a 17-gallon auxiliary unit.

MATT - General Motors is expanding on the HUMMER mystique, Dad, and it's bring out the HUMMER H2 which looks like the big job but it's actually mounted on a Chevy truck chassis. Maybe when the H2 gets into the press pool we can take one out for a week-long full test.

BOB - I'll let you handle that one, Matt. I think our days of four-wheeling around are over for your mother and me.