Hummer introduced its smallest model, the H3, with a five-cylinder engine in 2006, but added the H3 Alpha, a special edition propelled by a 300-horsepower, 5.3-liter V-8, last year. For 2009, a new pickup truck version of the H3, dubbed H3T, debuts. Based on price alone, the H3 competes with the Land Rover LR2, Jeep Grand Cherokee and Lincoln MKX. In terms of offroad chops, it runs with the likes of the Jeep Wrangler, Toyota FJ Cruiser and Nissan Xterra.
What's New for 2009
The Off-Road Adventure package now includes a front locking differential along with the locking rear differential. Then there's the new H3T, which is a crew cab pickup with a 5-foot cargo bed and room for five people.
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The H3 is easily identifiable as a Hummer due in part to its short overhangs, upright windshield and windows, wide track and immense tires. Flat, chiseled surfaces also make the H3 noticeable. The seven-slot grille is flanked by round headlights in square openings.
- Minimum 8.5 inches of ground clearance
- Two-foot water-fording depth
- Standard front tow hooks
- Rear swing gate incorporates fixed glass and a door-mounted full-size spare tire
- Thirty-two-inch all-terrain Goodyear tires or 33-inch Bridgestone tires
- Sixteen-inch wheels are standard and 18-inch chrome rims are optional
- Optional sunroof
The comparatively new H3 never came under the same fire as the larger H2 for its interior design and materials. Its quality is higher to begin with, and the model's lower overall price probably keeps expectations lower. Sporty bucket seats up front and a 60/40-split folding rear bench accommodate up to five occupants.
Interior features include:
- Standard cloth upholstery
- Optional heated leather seats
- Standard remote keyless entry and three 12-volt power outlets
- Optional DVD navigation system
- Optional backup camera
Under the Hood
The H3 is powered by a 3.7-liter inline-five-cylinder engine with dual overhead cams and variable valve timing. It makes 239 hp and 241 pounds-feet of torque. In the H3 Alpha, as important as the V-8's 300 hp is a jump to 320 pounds-feet of torque from the regular engine's 241 pounds-feet.
- Five-speed manual or four-speed automatic transmission
- 4,500-pound towing capacity with inline-five-cylinder
- 6,000-pound towing capacity with V-8
- Standard full-time four-wheel drive
- Underbody skid plates
OnStar comes standard with one year's worth of safety and security service. After that, a monthly fee is required to maintain the service.
Standard safety features include:
The H3T hits dealerships this year and will test the waters to see if there's still a healthy market for Hummers. When the H3 debuted it saw healthy sales, but they've stalled lately as gas prices have risen.
The H3T is longer than the SUV to accommodate its 5-foot bed, so it's positioned above midsize trucks but below full-size ones. It also has Hummer offroad capability, with standard full-time four-wheel drive and 32-inch tires. Front and rear locking differentials and 33-inch tires are optional.
The rear seats fold flat to create a level surface, but we prefer truck seats that fold up, exposing a flat floor. The bed itself has a standard bedliner, a rail system and built-in storage compartments.
The H3T Alpha tops the range with a 300-hp V-8 engine, while the base model gets a 239-hp inline-five-cylinder.
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