It's a shame that most people will never know how off-highway capable their Hummer H2 really is. Most H2s are glued to the pavement, prancing around on 20s with subwoofers thumping. Indignity! The H2 is an outstanding fullsize trail rig. It possesses impressive approach/departure angles, a fantastic electric rear locker, 20-inch water fording capability, and the ability to climb 16-inch rock steps. We know: It looks a tad pretentious, which causes some people to gleefully focus on its weak points. No matter-we're well into our long-term test of our H2 SUT, and we continue to be impressed.
After spending 6 months in Southern California plying both gnarly trail and clogged interstate, we reassigned our H2 SUT to our Midwest Bureau in northern Illinois. It arrived via nine states in nine days on H2our De Force. In the land of combines, cows, and corn, it has endured a frigid, snowy winter sans garage. It has flawlessly performed its duties, even when the temperature fell to minus 12 degrees F. If we had to gripe about something, we'd lament the fact that when cold, the plasticky interior emits a cacophony of squeaks when traveling down the frost-heaved Illinois roads until the interior warms.
We've learned that for standard commuting on snowy surfaces, the standard 4-Hi setting is actually quite adequate, though we occasionally want more power to the front wheels than the all-wheel-drive setting's 40/60 front-to-rear torque split will allow. At these times, we simply engage the 4-Hi Lock setting, which locks the transfer-case differential, thus splitting the torque 50/50 front-to-rear.
Finally, we think it's important to reiterate that the dealer service we've received from Bergstrom Hummer in Madison, Wisconsin, has been impeccable. They're polite, punctual, and perfection-oriented. They also have good coffee.
Report: 3 Of 4
Previous reports: Oct '05, Feb. '06
Base price: $52,205
Price as tested: $60,880
Four-wheel-drive system: Full-time electronic pushbutton two-speed
Miles to date: 26,263
Miles since last report: 3,154
Average mpg (this report): 10.4
Test Best tank (mpg): 13.5
Test Worst tank (mpg): 8.5 (unladen), 6.5 (towing)
25,000-mile service: Lube, oil and filter; tire rotation
Problem areas: Water leakage into passenger floor area-dealer resealed roof marker lights and cleared sunroof drains (warranty).
What's Hot, What's Not:
Hot: "Look at me" styling; pickup truck flexibility; thermonuclear seat heaters; full screen navigation/XM Radio combo; "real" tow points; electric rear locker
Not: "Look at me" styling; interior rattles and squeaks; dismal fuel economy; convoluted rear visibility
* "Best seat heaters ever."
* "Feels like a convertible when the midgate window, sunroof, and side windows are open."
* "Stared at all the time. Can't even pick nose."