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2006 Hummer H3 Long Term Report

We Find The H3 A Fitting Steed For Another Adventure

Sean P. HolmanPhotographer, Writer

In this installment of "Where has our H3 been?" we find our logbook taking us on yet another Brubaker/Holman Adventure in this year's Trails and Tents Tour. Wanting to explore the backcountry in a vehicle that has a good mix of fuel economy, comfort, and off-highway ability, we decided to grab the most off-road worthy vehicle in the fleet-our Hummer H3.

You can read more about the trip's specifics on page 92. Over the course of the trip, we battled fierce headwinds leaving California, a flat tire in the middle of nowhere, and chased a loaded Sedona Jeep Tour Wrangler LJ down a canyon on our way in to Sedona, Arizona. In all aspects of the trip, the H3 performed to our expectations and scored us a new high in mpg.

One thing we would like to point out is the excellent jack storage location in the rear door, which is wonderful. You don't realize how important this feature is until you are in the backcountry with a cargo area filled to the roof in camping gear and you get a flat tire. Accessing the jack is as easy as opening the rear door, and unlike the horrible bottle jack that broke under our Avalanche during PTOTY, the H3 includes a decent scissor jack. Some engineer should get a special award for this one.

We'd also like to update you about the airbag light from our last report. As you might recall, the airbag light illuminated during spirited desert driving, so when the service light came on, we took our Hummer in to Cerritos Hummer in Cerritos, California, where they diagnosed the problem as a faulty rollover sensor. This was repaired under warranty and we haven't had an issue since.

And lastly, for those who have joined us in criticizing the H3's power, Hummer answered our complaints for 2007 with an improved 3.7L I-5, and just as we went to press, Hummer has confirmed our RPM rumors that the 2008 Alpha model will indeed include a 5.3L V-8-music to our ears.

With one quarter left until we have to part with our little yellow bus, you can be sure we'll be out somewhere wheeling it and enjoying ourselves.

Report: 3 Of 4
Previous report: Dec '06, Mar '07
Base price: $28,935
Price as tested: $37,345
Four-wheel-drive system: Electronic, full-time two-speed

Long-Term Numbers
Miles to date: 15,947
Miles since last report: 6,812
Average mpg (this report): 15.56
Test best tank (mpg): 18.61
Test worst tank (mpg): 13.44

Oil service, inspection, tire rotation
Cost: $111
Problem areas: Rollover sensor (repaired under warranty), exhaust manifold vibration

What's Hot,What's Not
HOT: Off-highway capability, maneuverability, comfortable interior, room for four adults, or two adults and a week's worth of gear
NOT: Power, but you already knew that, needs rear backup camera

Logbook Quotes
* "Comfortable seats, love the seat heaters."
* "Wow, I can access the jack with the cargo area full of gear, someone was thinking!"
* "The H3 is in its element exploring backcountry trails"
* "Needs rear camera for parking maneuvers, I just can't tell where the back is."
* "Hey, took four people to dinner and everyone had enough room."