By on October 24, 2008

On June 23, 2008, GM announced it was hiring Citigroup to help it in a strategic review of the HUMMER brand. After being inflicted with a base H3 for a week, I’d suggest the venerable the General skip to the denouement and sell off the brand to anyone who wants it. By offering vehicles like the base H3, GM demonstrates it is/was unwilling and/or unable to nurture what is/was the most focused brand in its bloated portfolio.

The H3’s primary selling point is– was– its cartoonish appearance. Sporting some muscular, Gubernator-inspired styling, the H3 comes accentuated by poseur-approved chrome grill, fake hood vents, chrome step bars, an exposed spare and massively over-sized fender flares. There’s mucho machismo to be had here. Unfortunately, many of the details are perfect targets for rocks, dirt, boulders and whatever nature offers to thwart even the most timid off-roader. Everywhere it went, the H3 stood out as a poseur in a cheap tux amongst the barebones off-roaders that showed their battle scars with pride.

The H3’s exterior dimensions promise space and convenience nowhere to be found on the inside. The back seat offers the same room as any family sedan; it’s utterly cramped with three adults. The trunk’s even worse. With two huge intrusions on either side, the H3 struggled to hold three suitcases and two duffel bags, a load that would easily fit into any station wagon or large sedan on sale today.

Unique styling cues from the H2′s cabin are nowhere to be found except on the horn. The H3, sadly, is just another GM truck. Bearing a steering wheel and a center stack most Chevrolet owners could operate blindly, the H3 utterly fails to live up to HUMMER’s “Like nothing else” slogan.

That said, the H3 benefits from GM’s other, more recent truck interior re-designs. The leatherette seats are supportive and comfortable. The steering wheel itself is pleasant to grasp, though the observation comes from a recovering Pontiac Grand Prix renter. The center arm-rest is well placed for long rides. And truth be told, it’s difficult to slag the H3 for the rest of the cheap plastics that permeate the interior, since its supposed off-roader mojo lends itself well to cheap, frugal materials.

The H3′s heart is its tragic flaw, its Achilles’ heel. No matter what speed or gear I hit, WOT and all, the result was the same: epic engine thrash and acceleration so gradual it wouldn’t spill your coffee. Worse yet, coming off higher revs, the engine tended to hang, which lead to lurching upshifts courtesy of the confused slushbox. In a vehicle with an MSRP that touches $30k (good luck with that), the lack of refinement is staggering.

To say the peculiar I5 is utterly defeated by the H3’s mass is to unabashedly don the mantle of Captain Obvious. As to why GM chose the I5, I’ll leave the speculation to you. It clearly wasn’t economy. In 128 miles of equally mixed city, highway and off-road driving, the H3 attained an abysmal 9.8 mpg.

If you ever muster the patience required to push the H3 to 80 mph, you’ll need a project management certification to operate the equally overmatched brakes. No seriously. Braking in the H3 required such advanced planning that I found myself checking out the GPS screen to identify upcoming turns.

Looking to ride and handling in the hopes of redemption are futile, even by truck standards. Weighing about 500 lbs. too much, the H3 transmits everything to its owner. Drive down the smoothest of highways and the vibrations will make you think the tires are made of solid rock. It’s Jeep Syndrome to the 10th degree. A combination of mass and crappy brakes makes the H3 prone to bus-like understeer, and hitting four-wheel drifts on bumpy gravel roads was pathetically easy.

On the trails is where the H3 finally appears to be in its element. The H3 with locked differentials is a redoubtable climber. Similarly, it handles boulders, crevasses, mud, dirt and (yeah, I admit it) sidewalks and medians without protest. The gloriously underpowered truck is easy to modulate with the throttle and power-braking. But then, how many H3 owners will risk scuffing-up its make-up by removing it from its pavement? That’s what I thought.

GM tried to make the H3 be all things to all people, and therein lays the problem. The H3 will do anything you ask of it, but none of it well. It’s too hardcore for the road, too pretty for the outback, too cramped for an SUV and too listless for the highway. Worse yet, in the age of the Prius, the H3’s image is decidedly out of date. As an exemplar of how GM can suck the lifeblood from any car brand, the H3 is as good/bad as it gets. As anything else, it’s just plain awful.

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56 Comments on “Review: 2009 HUMMER H3...”


  • avatar
    GS650G

    I’m surprised at the 2 star rating.
    This has got to be the most ridiculous idea to come along since the Cimmeron.

    How does it compare to the Toyota FJ?

    • 0 avatar
      SteveLNew

      I’ve Owned 4 H3′s now and we love them. They turn on a dime and off road very well. He said a staition wagon on sale today… Which tells me this guy has no idea what he is talking about.
      No mention of the Alpha… The V8 version of the H3. Yes the I5 would not be the engine I would have picked to put into it, but that’s what they did. 06 was the 3.5 and 07-10 they changed it to the 3.7 which has about 40 more horses.
      As far as fuel economy… No it’s not great… Some say up to 20 mpg but I’ve never seen that. Usually about 16-17 mixed driving up to 18 on highway.
      It has great truning radious as well. Turns on a dime!!!

  • avatar
    Slare

    Base version uses the I5 because the platform is shared with the Colorado/Canyon pickups.

    From a handling and fuel economy standpoint, you’re basically driving around a Colorado with a full payload.

    Even if gas was still $1 a gallon, I’d have a hard time seeing this thing fly.

  • avatar
    Orangutan

    That’s a Trailblazer in the rear, not a Suburban.

    I’ve been driving an H3 for the past few months (long story, soon to be over) and I agree with a lot of your points. The engine, transmission, and brakes are all overwhelmed by the vehicle’s weight. I am quite pleased by the interior materials, though, and in town the H3 often provides a smooth ride. The highway ride is pretty damned choppy, as you said, and the cargo capacity is absurdly low. The passenger space isn’t quite as important to me as I don’t carry people that often, but I do carry a lot of stuff. The solid rear axle cuts into some of the space available but I don’t believe it needs to be this bad. I overlook or excuse many of its flaws because of what it is (a heavy, square truck) and what it is supposed to be (a niche marque that provides above average off-roading abilities and appeals to those who want to portray themselves as members of certain cultural groups and socioeconomic levels). My best tank thus far, by the way, has been just over 18 mpg with almost all highway driving (at modest, even speeds) though most highway tanks are between 16 and 17 (at less modest, even speeds) My city driving tanks have yielded results between 11 and 13 for the most part. Not exactly numbers to be proud of.

    As GS650G said, the real competitors to the H3 are vehicles like the FJ Cruiser. The Wrangler Unlimited and Nissan Xterra also fit the bill. If Hummer could cut some weight from the H3 while providing it with a decent powertrain at the very least it would stand a much better chance. It could also use improved visibility, fold-flat rear seats, and a lower starting price to put it more in line with the three competitors I just listed.

    The H3 may only merit two stars relative to all other new vehicles (I’d give it slightly more than that), but it should really be compared to like vehicles. We don’t mark down cars for not being able to traverse mud and rocky trails, do we?

  • avatar

    Orangutan :

    Oops! Fixed. Thanks.

  • avatar
    Orangutan

    You’re welcome. What are “read seats”, by the way (as found in the caption to the shot of the driver’s seat)?

  • avatar
    NN

    I drove an I-5 H3 at the GM Experience off-road course in Vegas. Sure, it was only a couple minutes of driving, and we never went more than 10 mph through the course, but it did climb up the walls, etc. like a goat. And I thought the switchgear, center stack, shifter, etc. were the best I’d ever seen from GM.

    The styling is silly & the mileage atrocious, so I’d never buy one. I do think the new H3T looks pretty cool, but will carry the same Hummer stigma, the same crappy 5-cylinder, and not enough innovation. If they put a fuel-efficient diesel in the H3T & the midgate from the Avalanche, then it’d be a better truck. But it would still be a Hummer. So it would still fail.

  • avatar

    The rear seat is actually much more cramped and less comfortable than that in a typical sedan.

    On the reliability front, these started out worse than average, but have recently improved to average in TrueDelta’s surveys.

    The survey size is marginal, though. Additional participants always helpful, for this and other models:

    http://www.truedelta.com/reliability.php

  • avatar

    I hate Hummers. But I do have to say that they make some of the best commercials. Well, they hire the marketing/ad agency that makes them, so I’ll give them that.

  • avatar
    RedStapler

    I can’t resist the temptation to compare this with my Libery CRD.

    Roughly the the same curb weight, cargo room and off road capability but almost twice the fuel economy. My WORST tank ever was 20mpg with city driving on a new engine.

    It seems like GM just got the drive train wrong with an engine always working overtime to move that much mass. Itthe I5 works fine in the pickups but add 1000lbs of Hummer Bling and drivetrain components and its out of its league.

  • avatar
    Ingvar

    One thing that puzzles me with the H2′s and H3′s is, how do they compare with the competition in the terrain? I know they are poseurs vehicles, but the only thing that should matter with trucks like that is, have well do they manage the Rubicon and the likes? Or, perhaps a question of the day would be in place: What would an off-roader drive?

  • avatar
    thetopdog

    It astounds me that somebody somewhere thought Hummer would be a good idea for a brand. The entire purpose of the original Hummer was for people to flaunt their wealth and ‘masculinity.’ It had street cred because it could actually do things other vehicles couldn’t.

    When the H2 came out, I was unsure how it would be received, but people actually bought into the idea that it was an expensive machine with extreme off-road prowess, even though it wasn’t that expensive (at least not when compared to the H1) or that great off-road (again, compared to the H1).

    As soon as they announced the H3, I knew it would be over for Hummer as a brand, because this thing would be neither expensive nor any better than a Wrangler off-road. There are only so many things you can do with a brand based on image and perception of wealth alone.

    GM really thought an entire dealer network was needed for this? The H1 and H2 could have been sold through GMC outlets, and the H3 has no real reason to exist

  • avatar
    NickR

    So does the I-5 suck as an engine or is it just overmatched by the H3′s bloatitude? There is a V8 version of this now, isn’t there? That might at least cure some of it’s ills. Not enough to make it anything more than a ridiculous, stupid vehicle. I used to go bashing around in the backwoods of Manitoba, and the vehicles of choice were old pick ups, Jimmys, Blazers, and Broncos with lift kits. You’d never see one of these tarted up lumps out there.

    BTW…was 9.8 mpg a typo? That’s 440 Six Pack mileage there.

    Add this vehicle to the Hearn dealership story and the sum is why GM is suffering.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    I scratch my head when I hear claims that the H3 is “above average” off-road. If Corvettes, Ferraris and Miatas are in your brew of off-road vehicles, then maybe the H3 IS above average.

    I test drove an H3 on very easy, light off-road stuff and was appalled at its utter helplessness. Admittedly, I am used to a Wrangler Rubicon, which among the hard-core is a barely adequate off-road vehicle in its standard form. However, the H3 is also much much worse than a Jeep Liberty and a Jeep Grand Cherokee.

    A Grand CHerokee with the Quadra Drive will run circles around any Hummer in any configuration.

    “It had street cred because it could actually do things other vehicles couldn’t.”

    Yeah, like haul 2000 pounds of armour and gear, a 50 caliber machine gun, and 5 heavily armed soldiers.

    What does this have to do with purported off-road prowess? Again, even a stock Wrangler Rubicon will run rings around an H1and so will a properly equipped Grand Cherokee.

    H1s (and all Hummers) are massive and heavy and wide and long, which is a terrible off-road liability. The supposed clearance advantages of an H1′s fully-independant suspension are mostly illusory compared to a lifted, solid axle SUV. An H1 does not have as much traction as a Rubicon or a Grand Cherokee with Quadra-drive. An H1 errs on the side of carrying and pulling huge loads, a military necessity but not necessary for civilian off-road use. H1s, as the military uses them, are bulletproof, and need to be.

    There is no civilian use for these things, aside from oil exploration and ski lifts and so on.

  • avatar
    olivehead

    let’s face it: the H3 is primarily for dudes with little dicks, or people with no dicks (i’ve not once seen a female driving one), who don’t want to pay more than $35k for a dick-substitute. i’ve got a friend who’s on his second one in 3 years, and his ex-wife told me he’s got a little dick. ‘nuf said.

  • avatar
    noreserve

    Let’s see, a new 08/09 H3 or a used 06 LR3? Hmmm, no contest. The LR3 is so much more vehicle for the money. It has a proper engine – a 300 HP V8, MUCH better interior, a boatload more room, third-row seats, great switchgear, stereo, etc. I could go on. The gas mileage is at least as good in the LR3 (13/18). I’d take the reliability risk with the LR3, given that most of the stuff has been worked out. Alright, you got me – I own an LR3. I would have never considered an H anything. What I don’t understand is how someone could sanely consider buying a new H3 when there are a lot of great used car deals out there that will leave this one far behind. Oh that miserable engine – that deal breaker.

  • avatar
    Airhen

    I’d never buy one as there are better options out there. As said above, even a Jeep Liberty or Grand Cherokee would be a better choice.

    However I don’t care for the Hummer haters as it seems to me it’s not that they hate it for being just a two star vehicle, but instead because they hate people having more money then they do and/or that they see it as a symbol of man destroying the Earth. That just makes me want to buy one! ;)

  • avatar
    mgrabo

    I got saddled with one of these from Avis (no-charge triple upgrade) in DEC-07 during a business trip to Chicagoland.

    There was 3+” of snow on the ground when I arrived (after hours of delays) and it was still coming down. It didn’t seem like a bad alternative to the Corolla I’d reserved…but it was. I have a beater 01 Ranger (2WD / 3.0L / 5M / 110k mi) and would have preferred to have driven that to the client site FROM New Jersey!

    Narrow. Noisy. Bouncy. So bouncy it was literally dangerous on I-90 – it seemed ready to riccochet into the adjacent lane everytime it hit an expansion joint. I didn’t calculate the mileage, but it was more than 2x the cost to fill up than my regular econobox rentals.

    I actually root for GM to succeed – I even leased a 07 Tahoe to put my money where my mouth is…the H3 insulted me as a product on so many levels it tempered my enthusiasm.

  • avatar
    willbodine

    You couldda had a V8!

  • avatar
    unregular

    what a dinosaur.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    People dont hate Hummers because the people that drive them are rich, or because they are destroying the earth.

    Right now, Jeep Wrangler Unlimited Rubicons are about in the same price range, and so are discounted Grand Cherokees (with a Hemi). And Jeeps are even MORE adept at tearing up the earth.

    People hate Hummers because the vehicle itself and the people who buy them are obvious frauds. They buy these supposed offroad vehicles, yet never take them offroad, where their extraordinary deficiencies – both driver and vehicle – would be readily and immediately exposed.

    Again, there is a couple of killer hills in the local area frequented by the off-road cult:

    - A Grand Cherokee with Quadratrack will surmount them without a whimper, including with three feet of snow. Mind you, these are sadistically difficult hills even for “built jeeps.”

    - A Wrangler Rubicon will easily surmount them dry in two-wheel drive, given enough momentum. It will also easily plow up them in three feet of snow, with the front and rear diffs locked.

    - A Hummer H3 will not surmount either …. ever. In two inches of snow, the H3 lost all traction and began to slip dangerously sideways, halfway up. It will power down and then dig itself helplessly in the dry, stopping just before the top.

    This simply is not a vehicle with serious and credible off-road pretensions. A GMC Canyon or Silverado properly equipped and mildly lifted is every bit its equal, if not its absolute superior.

  • avatar
    fallout11

    …and a total sideshow freak of one at that. Even the venerable Ford Ranger runs rings around the H3 both on and off-road. As if the Colorado/Canyon wasn’t bad enough already without the added bloat and bling.

  • avatar
    JuniorMint

    I almost got into a figth at a gas station thanks to a Hummer H3.

    I was filling up my tiny Gen 1 Scion xB next to three annoying 30-something bluetooth-wearing yuppie types (all men). One of them had just bought an H3, and they were giggling like schoolgirls on meth about all the features.

    I happened to glance over as they opened the rear, and my jaw dropped as I saw how freaking TINY the backseat was. One of them saw my look of horror and said “WHAT?”

    I turned and opened the rear door of my car, which at the time contained a four-seater dining room table, four chairs, and five legal-sized boxes of linens.

    And I learned in such a situation, it is ingrained in the male genetic code to say the line “Mine’s bigger!”

    Fortunately, my fillup finished up at that point, and they still had heaven knows how many gallons left, so I quickly got the hell out of there.

    It’s good to see nothing has changed on the H “WHY would I want this?” 3.

  • avatar
    jerseydevil

    in philadelphia, i’ve never seen any hummer with even road dust on it, much less scrapes and dirt. They are always polished to within an inch of their primped and overchromed selves.

    Much like a overdressed and over cologned instant millionaire, they try to strut their stuff, but it comes off as overripe cumquat in a cheap tux.

  • avatar
    blowfish

    All I can say is think of the good old song by Late Great King of Roc n Roll Elvis Pelvis Presley

    “Its now or never.”

    No need to vait till the morning to be sorry, infact u feel sorry if u had just purchased a H 3 3 mins ago.

  • avatar
    davey49

    Every professional test I’ve seen, the H3 has excellent off road ability. A stock version won its class at the Baja 500 twice. I’m not going to believe internet commenters and YouTube videos to show me how bad HUMMERs are.
    I’ll buy a used H3 someday. I’ll park it next to my Dodge Nitro.

  • avatar
    ihatetrees

    As to why GM chose the I5, I’ll leave the speculation to you.

    CAFE politics? WTF is wrong with GM’s I6? Won’t it fit?

    I’ve been in a couple Trailblazers, and while they’re far from good SUV’s, the powertrain felt smooth and strong.

  • avatar
    BMW325I

    The question is why are Hummers still available to the general public? Should have never left the military.

  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub

    “Brand-congruent, but this style is the automotive equivalent of MC Hammer’s puffy pants.”

    Don’t you dare compare this crap to anything associated with MC Hammer. You just can’t touch that.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    When one considers that the H3 uses a chassis which stared life as a 1982 Chevy S-10 pickup (the same as the current Colorado/Canyon), nothing should be a surprise, other than there are a few people that will still actually buy these things.

  • avatar
    LamborghiniZ

    WHOA WHOA whoa….9.8 MPG? that is ATROCIOUS! I cannot even believe that it managed to be that awful of a vehicle.

    Obviously not having enough power but having abundant weight will cause the engine to strain, exert more energy, and therefore waste more fuel…but that’s still no excuse for a sub 10 mpg rating in MIXED TRAFFIC. That’s the key. If it was only city, then it might make a lick of sense(though still not much), but it’s mixed traffic…good god.

    I can only wonder what the V8 Alpha gets..

  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub

    The V8 probably gets better gas mileage.

  • avatar
    Samir

    but that’s still no excuse for a sub 10 mpg rating in MIXED TRAFFIC.

    Mixed traffic + offroading. Don’t forget that bit. Spinning wheels in dirt takes up gas too. Yes I found the vehicle to be turd on wheels, but I want to be fair.

  • avatar
    Orangutan

    rudiger: Where are you getting that idea? The Colorado/Canyon chassis was developed in concert with Isuzu.

    BMW325I: The H1 is no longer on sale, hence, no HUMVEE is still available via the mass market to the civilian consumer.

    Why the I5? That’s the engine they chose for the Colorado/Canyon, which is the basis for the H3.

  • avatar
    Cyril Sneer

    Posted by Airhen:
    “Hummer haters … hate people having more money then they do and/or that they see it as a symbol of man destroying the Earth.”

    What? WAY off the mark…

    Do you think Hummer haters hate Ferraris, Land Rovers, and other vehicles that cost a mint and drink gas? Not likely…

    Also most Hummer detractors hate the H2 and H3, not the real HUMVEE. You know, the one that’s bigger, much more expensive, and (theoretically) more wasteful on resources (worse than 9.8 mpg?).

    People hate the H2 and H3 because they suck in every way. They exemplify poor taste, trashiness, boorishness. They are good at nothing. They attract the worst of society. They have one and only one reason to exist: posing. And they fail at that too because NO ONE is impressed by someone who buys one.

    They are truly an embarrassment to their owners, drivers, to GM, to the HUMVEE, and to America.

    By the way, I don’t like them.

  • avatar
    ajla

    A person can buy an H3 with a 5-speed manual, cloth seats, muted gray exterior paint, and alloy wheels.

    I would not consider such a HUMMER to be poseur-mobile, and would actually think it to be alot less gaudy than the majority of Z71 Chevys, FJ Cruisers, and Wranglers I see around town.

  • avatar
    Cyril Sneer

    While not as gaudy, it still has no other reason to exist. Why would anyone buy that over anything else on the market if not for the questionable Hummer image?

  • avatar
    Raskolnikov

    Had you driven the V8 version, I suspect this would be a three star review or better.

    These days, yu could probably get one for pennies….seems like a heck of a deal for great off road fun if you’re into that.

  • avatar
    rudiger

    Orangutan: “Where are you getting that idea? The Colorado/Canyon chassis was developed in concert with Isuzu.”While the 2004 Colorado was an improvement over the S10, it was still mediocre in comparison with the competition (even the archaic Ford Ranger). That lends itself quite handily to the dismal ratings and reviews of the H3.

    Maybe if GM had just discontinued the lackluster I5 and made the 5.3L V8 the standard engine, things wouldn’t be so bad for the H3. Reviews on the V8 H3 ‘Alpha’ have been positive (at least with the performance improvement, anyway). It’s worth noting that while there are I5 H3s aplenty on dealer lots, the only slightly more expensive and gas-hungry Alpha seems to in short supply.

  • avatar
    Samir

    Raskolnikov :
    October 25th, 2008 at 9:25 am

    Had you driven the V8 version, I suspect this would be a three star review or better.

    These days, yu could probably get one for pennies….seems like a heck of a deal for great off road fun if you’re into that

    Yes, the engine is the tragic flaw.

    But the rest of it is so bad that if you took it away, another flaw would become the tragic flaw. Take your pick: The on-road behavior, the image it projects, the lack of cargo space, the fact that the roof doesn’t detach, etc.

  • avatar
    cgd

    I’ve never had the slightest desire for any kind of Hummer. They’re a bit showy for my taste. Also, I’m a woman, so the whole compensation for things that might be missing idea doesn’t compel me either.

    On the other hand, it might be fun to drive one for a day and not worry about getting hit by some moron that turns or pulls out in front of me. I could get the same effect from a big pick-up truck that would actually be useful.

  • avatar
    SAAB95JD

    OK, it is hideous, out of step with the times, has a cheap interior and a premium price? Worse, it’s performance is weak and it got ummm 9.8mpg? Is GM kidding? Frankly, I am surprised by the two star review.

  • avatar
    davey49

    Regarding the “image”, If I’m to judge by the online forums Hummer owners are a good bunch of people who like their vehicles and like to go off-roading. Honda and Subaru owners are giant tools who do dangerous things like street racing.
    I’m not sure I’d like the H3 if I drove it, but I do like the styling. Bling and all.
    On FuelEconomy.gov there’s a section for people to put their actual mileage. The average for the 2006 H3 is 16.2 (9 cars) and 17.1 for 2007 (9 cars)

  • avatar
    Michael Ayoub

    Yeah, but that’s not fair. The average Hummer owner is much less likely to visit an online message board about their vehicle than the average Subaru or Honda owner.

  • avatar
    davey49

    The forums for “enthusiast” (or hoon) cars are more populated than most. Just mentioning that I’ve never heard mention of dangerous driving on any forum for any SUV brand.
    Of course there’s always the section of any car forum for people who think that adding a CAI and a cat-back will instantly add 200HP to their car.

  • avatar
    DeanMTL

    My brother has the I5 H3 and I have the 2008 Wrangler Sahara. The Wrangler, too, has an abysmal engine that thrashes and groans and is grossly mismatched. The brakes are OK, and the handling is acceptable, but the interior of the Wrangler is so chintzy, so plasticky and so low-rent it’s unbelievable. Comparatively, my brother’s H3 feels like a Benz.

    The mileage I get in the Wrangler is also about 10-11 mpg mixed city/highway. Overall, both are failures. I hear the TJ is a star – well-built, fast, torquey, and much better mileage. Live and learn.

  • avatar
    unregular

    People hate the H2 and H3 because they suck in every way. They exemplify poor taste, trashiness, boorishness. They are good at nothing. They attract the worst of society. They have one and only one reason to exist: posing.

    very well put. what he said.

  • avatar
    davey49

    DeanMTL- Consumer Reports rates the Wrangler at 17/100 and the H3 at 27/100
    Nissan XTerra 60/100
    LR3 61/100
    4Runner 66/100
    Land Cruiser 69/100

    The same boorish, trashy people who bought Hummers (H1 and H2 especially) will now buy luxury sedans and sedan-coupes (Mercedes, Audi, Lexus, BMW, AstonMartin, Bentley)

  • avatar
    Bridge2far

    The H3 is what it is. Mid size, 5 passenger 4×4 vehicle that is definately noticeable. All this trash talk and class envy is not warranted.

  • avatar
    Carzzi

    The H3’s heart is its tragic flaw, its Achilles’ heel. No matter what speed or gear I hit, WOT and all, the result was the same: epic engine thrash and acceleration so gradual it wouldn’t spill your coffee.
    Here’s the solution: STS rear mount turbo (see more at ststurbo.com). I don’t think they have a kit for the H3 yet… sure have one for the H2 which has received positive reviews from owners; they’ve even reported improved mpg (since the trans doesn’t have to kickdown as often).

  • avatar
    ZoomZoom

    I got stuck behind an H3 the other day, though I didn’t know what year it was. I kept wondering why he/she was driving so slowly while getting on the freeway. Now after the comments above, I realize that he/she COULDN’T go any faster.

  • avatar
    Larry P2

    there is nothing wrong with the H3′s engine – offroad. Actually its engine in the only good thing about it offroad. Any flaws in the engine are more than made up by its excellent transfer case.

    Having said that, the engine/transfer case makes the other huge offroad deficits all the more glaring. The H3 feels and looks like it should do well offroad. But it doesn’t.

    Its like driving a Rubicon with a heavy ten foot high slide-in camper somehow added on. With offroad tires replaced with racing slicks. And towing a small trailer. With only a tiny peephole to to view oncoming trees.

  • avatar
    cheezeweggie

    Exactly the review I expected on this monster. I can already hear the sound of the Hummer factory being shuttered.

  • avatar
    fallout11

    In addition GM has already announced it will be dropping the present failed Canyon/Colorado model in 2010 (the base for the H3), so even under the best of conditions the H3 was a short-lived strap on.

  • avatar
    Mr. Gray

    Can you believe I’ve actally seen quite a few of these monsters on the crowded streets of Seattle? The idea of taking a rugged, practical, millitary vehicle and turning it into a chrome-laden pimp-mobile is in itself ludicrous. It would seem to me that the only reason for owning one of these ridiculous beasts would be to make a statement like “Screw the environment, screw frugality, and screw the rest of society. I’m going to show off how much of a jerk I am.” When did it become cool to waste money and act like a beligerent a-hole? GM, you suck for promoting this attitude.

  • avatar
    SteveLNew

    I’ve Owned 4 H3′s now and we love them. They turn on a dime and off road very well. He said a staition wagon on sale today… Which tells me this guy has no idea what he is talking about.
    No mention of the Alpha… The V8 version of the H3. Yes the I5 would not be the engine I would have picked to put into it, but that’s what they did. 06 was the 3.5 and 07-10 they changed it to the 3.7 which has about 40 more horses. As far as fuel economy… No it’s not great… Some say up to 20 mpg but I’ve never seen that. Usually about 16-17 mixed driving up to 18 on highway. It has great truning radious as well. Turns on a dime!


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