My 5-year-old lights up as I pull up in the Hummer H2 SUT. He's as quiet as a mouse (unusual), eyes wide open (round like lollypops), and completely entranced by the monstrosity that now fills our driveway. You see, for this little guy, the idea of riding in a Hummer is comparable to descending our steps on Christmas morning. He can barely muster a response when I ask him what he likes about the car. A few seconds pass, and he whispers ... "everything!"
I effortlessly tighten down the car seats in the rear using the seat belts. But complexity surfaces with the top-tether anchors, which I am only able to uncover by folding down the 60/40-split seat ... oh, and there is only one (in the center position). The same goes for the Latch connector - there's only one, in the center position. So for anyone with more than one child, buy the SUV version as opposed to the SUT, which has top tethers for all three rear seats and the standard two Latch connectors.
Once in the car, my kids beam with joy. I power on the satellite radio, open the massive sunroof and rear midgate window, forgoing the A/C. Driving like this is a blast. My guys seem content with my music selection, and I don't even have to resort to using the rear seat headset jacks - an otherwise wonderful kid item.
Offering carrot sticks doesn't exactly make me a kid magnet in the food department, and I'm certainly not the "cool" mom who passes out Twizzlers to clusters of ecstatic kids at the playground. Driving the Hummer H2 SUT, however, instantly converts me into Miss Mommy Popularity. On an outing downtown, I park next to the sidewalk and am passed by a few school groups. There are so many comments (predictably from boys) that I can't keep track. One elementary-schooler cheers: "Check out that awesome H3," after which his peer chimes in, "It is actually an H2 SUT." Another one vies for attention: "That's the car my dad has!" On the way back home, two more boys energetically wave at us. My kids and I graciously wave back, infected by their contagious excitement.
And is it any wonder? The Hummer looks like no other, completely distinctive in its appearance. I spy these mammoth machines from miles away, trained by my Hummer-enthusiast kindergartner. But not until I get behind the wheel of the H2 do I comprehend just how gigantic it really is, right down to the monster-truck-like tires (which incidentally can maneuver over 16-inch vertical steps). The substantial ground clearance contributes to the joy and challenge of entering/exiting the vehicle for my boys. I marvel at their rock-climbing moves, surprised by the lack of complaints ... after all, it's the Hummer we're talking about.
Any new-car purchase Hummer provides a free one-year subscription to OnStar's Safe and Sound Plan (emergency services, notification of airbag deployment, roadside assistance, stolen-vehicle tracking, accident assist, remote door unlock and remote diagnostics). That is peace of mind that I can get used to. I also uncovered a first-aid kit in the rear cargo area, which includes a flashlight, a tire pressure gauge and a multipurpose tool set, seemingly simple items that make a world of difference in any emergency situation.
Now, to the things that make me go hmmm: The Hummer is so wide, I have to pre-plan where to park (if it weren't for the fold-in/curb-view side mirrors I would definitely be sunk). I can't adjust the rearview mirror while sitting in the driver's seat because my arms are just not long enough. Making a deposit at the bank has me unbuckling, kneeling on the driver's seat and hanging out the window to get to the deposit box ... and feeling very silly. Opening the hood is an adventure. Transporting groceries in the open back of the SUT (because I have no other place for them), makes me wonder what I'm losing along the way, plus I have to hurl the bags into the back if I don't feel like going through the multiple-step process to open the rear gate. Last but not least, I'm best off not wearing any girly clothes (like short skirts) while driving the Hummer, because I would flash everyone around when entering and exiting the vehicle, or when retrieving anything out of the back.
In short, the Hummer is a big, bad driving machine that will go over just about anything. But big and bad means work to you and me. A primp-mobile it surely isn't.
*For more information on the Hummer H2 SUT and its safety features, visit www.cars.com.
LET'S TALK NUMBERS
LATCH Connectors: 1
Seating Capacity (includes driver): 5
IT'S THE LITTLE THINGS THAT COUNT
Storage Compartments (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Fair - Ample
Cargo/Trunk Space (Puny, Fair, Ample, Galore): Ample (but it's not enclosed)
SENSE AND STYLE
Family Friendly (Not Really, Fair, Great, Excellent): Fair - Great
Fun-Factor (None, Some, Good Times, Groove-On): Groove-On