A year ago we tested the Hummer H3 and some folks here called it the greatest 4x4 GM ever built, and some of us wished they would just give us back the old K5 Blazer with a small-block V-8. This year Hummer returned to the game with a whopping 22 more cubic inches under the hood and supposedly 20 extra horses. Boy, were we impressed (is sarcasm as obvious in print?). Let's get one thing straight, GM: Your H3 is a great little truck, but your inline five-cylinder tractor motor has less poop than a constipated grandpa at a cheese party. The suspension and approach angles work great on the rocks, but it's almost too loose for hillclimbs. A hopping front end often slowed progress. And though the visibility is better than the FJ (just barely) we could still use about 3 more inches of side window height, even just to fit the super-size meal deal in at the drive-thru. OK, we're exaggerating a bit, but off road we stuffed it places it shouldn't have fit to follow the Wrangler, and though we made it (thank you, rear locker), we relied entirely too much on spotters since there isn't enough window opening to hang our necks out. In fact, if you want to understand what it is like to drive the H3, put on a baseball cap and pull it way down to your eyebrows. Not too bad unless you're the first in line at the red light or about to climb a steep dune and can't see up to the top. It is fun in the high-speed sections off road, but would be better with a real V-8 under the hood. GM, you put one in the Tahoe, so why not in your ultimate 4x4? The interior is nicely detailed (probably the best seats in the test), though we still hate the seat controls, or lack thereof when the door is closed, ouch! Is that stupid seat heater on again? Don't get us wrong, we think this rig is top-notch, but we just know GM can make it much better.
Luxury Package (first-row leather seating surfaces, second-row leather-appointed seating, driver and passenger eight-way power, heated, and lumbar seats, leather-wrapped steering wheel, shift knob, and boot, AM/FM six-disc navigation radio with in-dash changer, seven-speaker Monsoon sound system with amplifier and rear subwoofer, lighted driver and passenger vanity mirrors, Homelink universal transmitter, oversized front and rear carpeted floor mats with matching trim, oversized cargo area carpeted floor mat), Off-Road Suspension Package (LT285/75R16 on-/off-road tires, 4:1 two-speed transfer case, electronically controlled full-locking rear differential, specially tuned shocks), power sunroof, Chrome Appearance Package (chromed exterior door handles and exterior mirror caps). XM satellite radio, trailer hitch, wiring harness, universal garage door opener, black wraparound brushguard