Hummer H3 Gets 3.6 V6, Maybe 4.5 Oil Burner
Remember when Hummers were cool and the people that attacked them were just fringe lunatics? You might also remember how last month, GM moved 2608 examples of the Hummer H3, its most fuel efficient (ahem) Hummer. That's down some 18 percent compared to February '07. The biggest problem with the H3 isn't the mileage though, it's the irritating 5-cylinder engine and craptastic interior. GM has finally moved to address the first of these problems; the H3 will get the 3.6-liter direct injection V6 out of the Cadillac CTS. In the baby Caddy, it makes 300+ horsepower, and it should do the same in the Hummer. There's also some speculation on the ol' interwebs that GM will also give the H3 a 4.5-liter diesel V8 in the next year. Before kvetching that diesel is now well over four bucks a gallon, remember that some people are less concerned about per gallon costs and more interested in the authenticity and feel of a vehicle. "Good fuel economy" is only a lifestyle for Prius buyers. For some people "diesel powered mutant army truck" is all the lifestyle they want– regardless of MPG.
They still sell Hummers downtown, for about $20. Oh, wait...
The H3 is still quite capable of off-roading despite what the naysayers might think. It wins stock classes in desert racing. It wins almost all comparison tests in its class for off-roading. The people who have a problem with the H3 would always have a problem with any high riding heavy, large vehicle. They're not the H3s customers. It's not like anyone who says that the H3 is "craptastic" is going to rush out and buy a Grand Cherokee or an XTerra.
Davey49 I wasn't singling out the Hummer in my analysis. Since the Grand Cherokee adopted IFS in its latest iteration, it suffers from many of the same issues off road. The newest GC, as well as the COmpass and Patriot, have been huge disappointments and have left a feeling of betrayal among the committed off-road bunch. And hey, I was shook to my core when four wheeling in my tock 06 Rubicon with a bunch of skilled Jeepers in ancient CJ5s that were heavily modified. It became very clear that even the Rubicon, which wins hands down virtually all comparison tests in sheer offroad ability, is actually profoundly biased in favor of on-road safety. That being said, it prompted the obvious question of what most people who were buying SUV's hoped to achieve. And I did testdrive a H3 for a few days in December. It was a very disturbing revelation when I discovered just how terrible it was on some favorite hillclimbs that both my Rubicon and my CJ5 can surmount in 2 wheel drive. The H3 lost traction even with the center diff locked less than a fourth of the way up! The truth is that most SUV's are sold under very egregious false pretences: Most of them are good neither in moderate off-roading nor are they particularly worthy as winter drivers.