What is left to say that we haven't said about the Hummer H3 Alpha? It offers almost everything a wheeler could ask for: A husky V-8 engine, low gearing (4.10:1), superior crawl ratio (50:1), a rear locker, exterior-mounted spare, ample ground clearance, flexy suspension, monotube shocks, real recovery shackles, and plenty of underbody and rocker protection. It also has the benefit of being civilized enough to drive everyday and luxurious enough to impress your wife. If Hummer is listening, a front locker and better tires would be the last things on our list required to reach 'wheeling Zen, but until those changes are made, this outstanding SUV is one of the best factory 4x4s you can buy.
Over the past three years we asked for more power-Hummer added a V-8. We questioned the position of the door switches-Hummer repositioned them. We commented about rear visibility-Hummer added a rearview camera. Hummer is a brand that goes racing to learn about its vehicle durability, listens to its customers, and isn't afraid to make running changes, always striving to give its customer a better product.
For those who don't think Hummers are the real deal, this year's FWOTY should be proof that the H3 deserves respect. As one judge put it, "It jumps, it plows, it creeps, and it saunters. Could be one of the most perfect sport-utes." It is just a blast to drive fast in the desert, does really very well in the rocks, and finally has the power to conquer sand. Still don't believe us? All it will take is a testdrive to convince you. And if you have wanted an H3, but have been making excuses, now is the time. This is the best Hummer to date, and has earned its spot in Four Wheeler history as the 2008 Four Wheeler of the Year.
What's Hot: V-8 power, just-right size, super maneuverable, nearly perfect
What's Not: Limited storage, weak tires, where's the manual/V-8 combo?
Our Take: Our 2008 Four Wheeler of the Year
From the Logbook:
* "Hummer gets it."
* "I'm constantly amazed at how well tuned the suspension is, and how tight the structure is."
* "I didn't think one could make torsion bars and leaf springs work as well as coils, but they've done it here. "
* "This is the one everyone wanted on the trail."
* "Ditch the Duelers!"
* "I want one."