2009 HUMMER H3
Ever since Henry Ford slapped a truck bed on the back of a Model T back in 1925, America has had a thing for trucks. Every shape and size, we've tried them all. With smaller vehicles dominating the market in 2008, a mid-size truck, rather than a large one, makes a lot sense for those looking for a more nimble hauler. Because of this, the timing is good for Hummer to introduce their 2009 H3T
. The latest truck from the ultimate utilitarian brand has a five-foot-long bed, and strikes a balance between comfort and functionality. It's a fully capable off-road vehicle that can crawl over boulders despite its long wheelbase, but on the highway this truck is docile and efficient, especially in its five-cylinder trim. Taking the front-end and design cues from the H3 SUV
but merging it with hauling prowess, we think the H3T is the most significant and relevant Hummer to appear in the U.S. market.
What's to Like
Many of the features found in the H3 like the navigation system have been carried over into the H3T. The crew cab has room for five, and Hummer is offering over 125 accessories to strap down everything from Kayaks to snowmobiles. A large sunroof keeps the sun on your head or lets you keep a watchful eye on the gear strapped to the roof.
What's Not to Like
Yeah, yeah; we know it's a badass Hummer, but no air vents in the rear leaves the cabin a little stuffy, and the lack of an auxiliary input jack and 110-volt outlet make the truck behind on the times.
DriverSide Driving Impressions
The H3T has adeptly managed to fuse on-road comfort with off-road capability. On the pavement, the H3T handles well – even on massive optional 33-inch tires. Standard all-terrain steel-belted radials have improved braking over the H3's previous performance and the cabin is genuinely luxurious. Wind noise at higher speeds is an issue though and you may find yourself cranking the XM radio up. Veer off-road and none of that really matters anyway. Even with the nearly two-foot longer wheelbase than the H3, the truck maneuvers over boulders almost as well, meaning that remote lake will be yours for the exploring. Underbody skid plates shield your Hummer's important bits from being torn up by rocks, and standard hill start assist is essential to keeping your focus on the road ahead – especially in manual trim.
Engine and Drivetrain
The all-wheel drive H3T is available in two well-performing engine choices. The first is a 3.7-liter five-cylinder producing 239 horsepower and 300 lb-ft of torque. It's mated to a five-speed manual transmission or an optional four-speed automatic. Though it’s the smaller of the two, the engine doesn't falter over rough uphill spots for a moment. The second, a 5.3-liter V-8, can be found in the H3T's Alpha trim and powers you along with 300 horsepower and 320 lb-ft of torque. This larger engine will tow 5,900 pounds with its four-speed auto transmission. The five-cylinder engine can pull 4,400 pounds.
Interesting Vehicle Features and Options
Following Jeep's lead, Hummer is offering more accessories than ever for its new truck, including a bike chock to rein in dirt bikes, a tent allowing you to sleep in the bed and numerous racks for outdoor adventures like biking, snowboarding, kayaking and rafting. The optional rearview camera is located in the rearview mirror, perfect for those who find themselves looking in ten different places when it’s located lower in the instrument panel. Bluetooth is standard on the Alpha trim, as are front power seats with lumbar support.
Key Technology Evaluation
With a Hummer, the technology is all about the drivetrain. The off-road adventure package provides a front locking differential, working in combination with the rear lockers to give the H3T even more pulling power over the rough terrain. You’ll also get a crawl ratio of 69:1 with the five-cylinder and 50.6:1 in the V-8, giving it the ability to ford up to 24 inches of water and climb over 16-inch vertical surfaces. And sand? No problem in this truck.
Green Evaluation/Gas Mileage
Here's where things get a little tricky with any Hummer. The brand has become a bit synonymous with gas-guzzlers, which is why it comes as no surprise that the truck isn't bordering on Mini Cooper
levels of fuel-efficiency. However, for a mid-size truck, it's actually not too bad, with the five-cylinder getting 14 mpg city and 18 mpg highway. The V-8 pushes it with 13 mpg city and 16 mpg highway though, below the V-8 Dodge Dakota's
14 city and 19 highway.
A Closer Look: Vehicle Details
The H3T's interior is a replica of the H3's from the fat, grippy steering wheel to the dual 12-volt outlets in the center console. The rear seats fold flat to provide a convenient platform for storing more gear, and the seats come in standard cloth or optional leather covering.
From the B-pillars forward the H3T is identical to the H3, retaining the same high beltline, vertical windshield and Hummer grille. The wheelbase has been elongated by 22 inches to 134 inches to accommodate the five-foot-long truck bed and second row of seats. Bulbous wheel arches add depth to the side panels and the spare tire underneath the truck has been attached at a specific angle to allow the least amount of off-road interference.
Market Segment and Pricing
These off-road vehicles have a very specific niche that rarely garners it many direct competitors – besides Jeeps – and they are especially lonely in truck form. Starting at $31,495 for the H3T and $36,760 for the H3T Alpha, the closest viable cross-shops are the $25,695 4WD Double Cab Toyota Tacoma
, $26,810 4WD Crew Cab Dodge Dakota
and $23,980 4WD Crew Cab Nissan Frontier
What We Think
Hummer has never consciously set out to create vehicles suited for picking the kids up from school or grabbing groceries – though you could, and many do, in a pinch. The fuel economy and rough and tumble accessories and packages designate this brand to the back roads, where the vehicles truly belong. With its truck bed, seating for five and ability to climb over rocks with the best of them, the H3T delivers the hardcore Hummer message loud and clear.