A pack mule in a tuxedo
You may have noticed that we've put a couple of miles on our long-term H2 SUT since the last report. What can we say? This rig is a blast to drive. Since the last report, our Hummer has plied the freeways and deserts of southern California; carried us on a 3,698-mile staff adventure across nine states; and hauled us to Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Ohio. Off-highway, it has slogged through sand, meandered through mud, and sent snow flying. But that's just the tip of the iceberg (figuratively speaking) because the H2 is now assigned to the Four Wheeler Midwest Bureau in northern Illinois, where at the time of this writing a long, brutal winter looms large.
This is probably one of the few vehicles that we've had in our long-term fleet that has spawned such a flood of emotionally charged written debate in its logbook. Everyone who has driven it has penned novel-like observations and opinions. One of the most telling says; "This is the baddest out-of-the-box trail rig that General Motors has ever built." This is so true, and we give major props to GM. When the righteous approach and departure angles of 41.7 and 36.5 degrees (respectively) are combined with the 35-inch tires and the electronic locking rear differential, the result is a spacious, five-passenger vehicle that exhibits performance akin to a much smaller vehicle off-highway. And with a 2,200-pound payload capacity and the 20x34x59-inch bed, you can bring the kitchen sink.
Naturally, we've challenged our H2 SUT, and we've pushed some small things past their design parameters. We had these items repaired when the vehicle was at Bergstrom Hummer in Madison, Wisconsin for scheduled maintenance. The team at Bergstrom left no stone unturned. Even with our reputation, they let us use one of their loaner cars too.
REPORT: 2 of 4
Previous reports: Oct. '05
Base price: $52,205
Price as tested: $60,880
Four-wheel-drive system: Full-time electronic pushbutton two-speed
Miles to date: 23,109
Miles since last report: 16,705
Average mpg : 10.7
Best tank (mpg): 13.5
Worst tank (mpg): 8.5 (unladen), 6.5 (towing)
10,500-mile service: Lube, oil and filter; tire rotation
15,500-mile service: Lube, oil and filter; tire rotation
20,500-mile service: Lube, oil and filter; tire rotation
Problem areas: Cracked plastic fuel filler surround (warranty); squeaking midgate (warranty); defecting C-pillar trim piece (warranty); broken Power Point covers (warranty); slow-closing sunroof (warranty); cracked CV boot (warranty)
WHAT'S HOT, WHAT'S NOT:
Hot: Honest-to-goodness premium wheelability; pimp daddy persona; handy 2nd-generation midgate
Not: Dismal fuel economy; won't-go-away midgate squeak; cheap interior door panel material
* "The H2 is a major ego booster ... it's a rig made for a mid-life crisis."
* "The bed isn't practical. Buy a pickup if you need to haul something."
* "The mpg is just wrong. Gas Guzzler!"
* "It's a shame that most H2 owners will never know how good their rig is off-highway."