By Cars.com EditorsApril 7, 2022
About the video
We get behind the wheel both on and off road of the all-new, highly-anticipated GMC Hummer EV Pickup. Watch our video to find out more.
In the coming days, you are gonna hear a lot of chatter about the beast behind me.
See that thing is the new 2023 GMC Hummer EV, and you're gonna hear a lot of people online talking about how it's too heavy, or it's too big, or it's too over the top, or it's too excessive, or it's too crazy. And all those people I think, are missing the point of what this thing is. You see, over the next few years, General Motors is going to be introducing a new electric vehicle architecture called Ultium. And it means new batteries. It means new motors. It means new high tech controllers. It means new platforms. And this technology is going to underpin quite a lot of the new General Motors lineup over the next few years. Well, to introduce the new Ultium platform, GM decided, you know what? We're gonna take all the crazy technology, throw it all into one vehicle, and release it to the public and see who might actually want one. And that is what has happened here. This is a technological flagship for General Motors' new electric vehicle architecture. And it is absolutely incredible to drive both on-road and off-road. (upbeat rock music) So, first of all, how can this actually be a Hummer? Didn't the Hummer brand go away over a decade ago? Yes, it did. This is actually a GMC Hummer EV. It's gonna be sold through GMC dealerships, but the whole Hummer motif was very popular in its day. And so they've kind of brought it back in terms of its styling and the interior theme and the general overall look of the vehicle. And it looks very much like a Hummer would look if the brand had continued from when GM actually went into bankruptcy and discontinued the thing. Look at the front end. That is pure Hummer. And not just because it says Hummer across the front. That whole front fascia, all of these are LED lights. And when you plug it to charge it, you'll actually see little progress bars floating past as it charges the vehicle and tells you it's actual status. Now the front of the vehicle obviously has a very aggressive approach angle, which is why you've got so much room on the sides of bumpers. But as you progress down the side, you'll notice something very interesting. Look at what the front and rear wheels are doing. Are they broken? No, they're not broken. Four wheel steering comes on this Edition 1 model, and it is really extraordinary. It takes a vehicle that is basically the size and weight of an HD pickup and turns it into something far more nimble, both on and off-road. The turning circle for this thing is incredibly tight, and that makes it very maneuverable, both out on the street and on the trail. (upbeat rock music) (chuckling) It's just amazing. (laughing) As good as the Hummer EV is on-road, it really is meant to be an off-road machine, however. That four wheel steering in particular is really what makes it shine. I mean, there are some things working against the Hummer EV. It is very wide. It is very heavy, and it is very long. And that combination of things really doesn't make for a great off-road vehicle sometimes. However, in this situation, given all the extra technology that this thing has, whether it's four wheel steering with the crab walkabilities, with a billion different cameras to actually see front, behind, left, right, underneath the vehicle. It's got so much tech to help you go off-road, even an adaptive air suspension, which I won't say smooths out the ride that much, clearly. There's only so much that technology can do, but it does work very well. Faster you go, the more it does actually smooth out. That's good to know. You can really feel the active air suspension working at higher speeds over these desert washes. It does smooth things out, but you do hear this roof a heck of a lot more. It's not quite Raptor level isolation, but it is very good. The nice thing about this vehicle though, is that it does does not need a dust filter for the engine or an air snorkel for the engine, 'cause it does not have an engine. (chuckling) Now, one detriment on this whole width of the vehicle is that sometimes in certain parts of the trail, you're gonna get some Arizona pin stripes as you come across bushes that frankly hang out over the actual trail itself. So if you value your paint job, find somewhere that's got great big, open areas and maybe not cactus that are directly next to the side of the trail. There are two different electronic modes that you can use in your Hummer EV. One is off-road mode, which is a slightly higher speed mode, meant for doing things like faster washes like we're doing now. And it does affect both the front and rear steering. It does change the angle, but the terrain mode is the one that you'd use as a kind of rock crawl mode. Things do slow down a little bit, but you have such greater, finer control. And you can either leave it in D for an ascent like this, which is just fine. It has exceptional grip, even on super loose, sandy surfaces like this, but when you want to descend, put it in L, and that's basically your hill descent control using a combination of both aggressive re-gen and the front friction breaks. It's almost a little too aggressive in my opinion. As soon as you lift off of the throttle with it in L, it really does stop you rather quickly. A little too quickly. In addition to all of the off-road technical content and abilities that the vehicle has in terms of its power train and the four wheel steering, the interior is really also a next level step up. Just in terms of the graphics and the information that they provide for you. Look at these displays. I mean, the graphics and multimedia system were designed by Unreal Engine. Those are the people that make "Fortnite" and a bunch of other video games that people a lot younger and more knowledgeable than myself actually play, but I can recognize cool when I see it. And just the amount of information that it provides to you and the way it provides to you, this is spaceship level stuff. And spaceship's not far off. The whole Edition 1 really has a lunar "Moonshot" theme to it. You'll notice that there's a lot of lunar crater theme, both in the center console, in the gauge cluster. Everywhere you look there's this kind of space situation to it. This "Space Oddity" that I think is kind of neat, especially if you're a sci-fi fan. But just the way all of these graphics look is just extraordinary. This is your pitch and roll angle. Normally, in an off-road vehicle, this is two gauges. One that shows you that way. One that shows you that way. Here, they've combined it into something that wouldn't be out of place if you were controlling a spaceship, relative to its surroundings. This actually shows you your wheel articulation. You see my right rear wheel is actually considerably lower than my left rear wheel. That's because of the way the vehicle is situated off-road right now. This is actually wheel torque, and individual wheels, you can see exactly how much each wheel is getting. Here's your G loads, your lockers. You've got locking differentials front and rear. The front differential is an actual mechanical electronic locking differential. In the rear, because this is a three motor vehicle, it uses software to actually match the two electric motors. So it's kind a virtual electronic locking differential. But hey, you know what? It still works. But the most impressive part still is this rear wheel steering. It makes this thing feel so much more agile than it really has any right to be. It is super wide and it's heavy and you feel it. But when you come up on a bend and you can just swing yourself through it and you feel the back end swing out so easily, it's really astonishing. I can't wait to see four wheel steering like this appearing on more pickups and off-road SUVs. I think it's gonna be a game changer. On the road, there really is no disguising the size and heft of this thing. It is wide. It fills up the entire lane, but it feels really no different than any of the other super large heavy duty trucks that General Motors makes. So it's not all that different in experience than if you were driving a full sized HD pickup. It is loud, however, surprisingly. You always expect electric vehicles to be really quiet and hushed. This is not quiet and hushed. And that's really because these tires are off-road tires. They are very knobby and they are very aggressive and they're great for going off-road. But when you're on smooth Arizona asphalt like this, it still sets up quite a lot of noise. You're not getting any help from these overhead panels either. They are are plastic. They are translucent. They're letting in a good deal of wind noise, and they shake a little bit off-road, and they don't really provide much in the way of either sound or light insulation when you're on road as well. I do really wish that they were opaque. They are tinted and they are some kind of polycarbonate, but if they were opaque, I think it would feel a little bit more secure in here. Otherwise, the sunshine is still beating down on you, even if it's not imparting that much in the way of heat. The interior in here looks really cool, I have to say. They've done quite a job with it in creating a futuristic style of spaceship space, honestly. The only problem is the material quality isn't necessarily representative of the vehicle's price. We know that GM knows how to do a stellar $100,000 vehicle interior. We've seen the latest Escalade. It's fantastic. This looks good, but it doesn't feel great. There's a lot of hard, cheap feeling plastic in various places. One thing about this interior is that it is really quite comfortable. These seats are good sized, they're upholstered in an interesting vinyl, that again, doesn't necessarily feel like a $100,000 car. Same with the odd wet suit material on the doors. It's durable, but I don't know that it necessarily feels all that luxurious. One of the cooler aspects are all these details and buttons. There are no touch panels in here. These icons that you see along here, they're not actually touch panels. The switch bank below them are these textured plastic switches. And they look really cool, but again, they feel kind of cheap. But the thing is, when you push something, say for your seat heaters, you don't push the button for the seat heater. You push the switch below it, which then brings up two possible icons, either a heat or cooling. And then you either touch the heating or the cooling one as needed. So that's kind of neat. As I mentioned before, you'll see a lot of "Moonshot" themed things all the way throughout the vehicle, from the craters and the gauges to whenever you push the special Watts to Freedom mode, you get a special screen on the center console that makes it look like you're launching off the surface of the moon into orbit. The Watts to Freedom mode actually feels like you're launching off the surface of a planet into orbit. (Hummer revving) Because that is one of the most extraordinary acceleration moments I've ever had in an electric vehicle. No vehicle this size should be that quick. GMC says it'll do zero to 60 in about three seconds. And for vehicle that weighs over 9,000 pounds, that is just something that has to be experienced to be believed. Thankfully, it does have large brakes to stop it from those kinds of speeds, but it also has a maximum speed of just 106 miles an hour, which quite frankly, you're never gonna go faster than that in America anyway, in most places. It's not necessarily how fast you can go, but how fast you can get to how fast you can go. That's where the Hummer EV really does impress. Now, if you're more concerned with how far you can go than how fast you can go, the range on this model is, I believe, 329 miles, which is more than the Rivian and is more than the Ford F150 Lightning is supposed to be, but it is still not a whole lot of range for a battery this size. It has over 200 kilowatt hours of battery storage capacity in this thing, a 24 module Ultium battery. That is huge. And for it to only go 329 miles on a charge really is indicative of how efficient the vehicle is, which is to say really not very. It's so heavy and so aerodynamically challenged given its sheer bulk and size, that that's really why you're not getting super stellar range like you would see in, say a Lucid or a Tesla. Visibility out of this thing is mostly good. The problem with it is the styling of all Hummer vehicles has always been that kind of military squat vehicle look. In which case you've got a very squat windshield. It is not very tall at all. So when you're pulling up to stoplights, it's the same problem you might have on a Jeep Wrangler or a Ford Bronco. You're actually ducking and looking underneath the top of the windshield to see the lights above you. But to the sides and to the rear, not so bad. To its favor, it also has 18 different camera views that are available. So you can see to the front and the sides and the back and underneath the vehicle. And you can see underneath the vehicle to the front tires to the rear tires. It's even got a washer for the underbody camera in case you get it muddy or dusty. So you can still see where you're going or what you might be rolling over. It also has the trailering function camera. So you can see the trailer behind you. Or if you plug in some special equipment, you can see in the trailer or even behind the trailer or even make the trailer disappear on your screen. Surprisingly, side winds don't really upset the Hummer EV all that much, despite it being an extremely tall SUV. Its center of gravity is really quite low. That's the big, heavy battery that's in the dual layer module, very low in the vehicle. So in terms of side winds, you're really not being blown around on the highway at all. So yes, it is expensive. It costs over $112,000 new. If you can even find one. The Edition 1 models were sold out over a year ago. So if you do find one in a dealership, it's going to cost you significantly more than sticker price, but future models are going to be less expensive. And yeah, it's heavy, and yeah, it's got an enormous battery, but again, future models of the new Ultium system are going to have lesser batteries. They're gonna have fewer motors. They're going to be less expensive, but they're still going to be extraordinarily capable, both in on-road vehicles and in off-road vehicles. But if you want the ultimate off-road super truck, and you're cool with it not making noise like a Ford Raptor or a Ram TRX, quite honestly, this is the one to have. It can do just so many extraordinary things. And it does them really, really well. If you'd like to learn more about the new 2023 GMC Hummer EV, you can look everything up on cars.com.