We picked up this All Terrain Blue Hummer H2 in Motown on October 10, and we lived with it for almost 7 weeks. Now over the years we've spent a lot of time in H2s, but even so, during this test we learned a few new things.
FUEL MILEAGE: We'll delve into this first since the most common question we got during our test was "What kind of mileage do you get?" We got an average of 11.9 mpg in combined city/highway driving. Our best tank was 13.4 and this mpg number was generated on the highway traveling about 70 mph. When we got the H2 in early October, unleaded fuel was still selling for well over $3.00 per gallon and E85 was selling here in the Midwest for about $2.29 per gallon. Since the H2 is FlexFuel capable it was a no-brainer to run E85. Even with the decrease in fuel mileage- we lost about 1.5 mpg on average burning E85- it was still a cost-effective option. However, it didn't last long as unleaded prices dropped to a level near E85 and E85 was no longer cost-effective.
ANGLES AND DANGLES: It's a fine line creating a vehicle that has mandatory frontal crash protection and the things 'wheelers want. The H2 walks that fine line. Look at that smokin' approach angle. It's a stunning 42.8 degrees with the air suspension engaged, 39.8 degrees disengaged. That aluminum skidplate visible on the left is 4mm thick and it protects the undercarriage from the front bumper to the trans. From there a 1-inch-diameter ladder-type skid protects the transmission and catalytic converters. Oh, and there's also a receiver hitch integrated into the front bumper so you can use a receiver-style winch or slide in a standard hitch and "nose-in" trailers.
DEPT. OF INTERIOR: We like the fact that Hummer moved the spare tire to the rear bumper and added another seat to the 3rd row. If you live in a cold climate you'll be happy to know that the 2nd row has heated seats so your kids or buddies won't fight over the front seats. In that vein, another cool feature is the standard remote start. Not only does it allow you to start the vehicle from a distance away, if the temperature is cold it automatically turns on the heater and heated seats. That rocks. Finally, the H2 has some of the best interior lighting in the fullsize luxury segment. Hands down.
FRESH AIR: Our tester was the Luxury model, which has a base price of $71,440. It was loaded with cool luxury features, but it still had a bunch of off-highway-friendly touches like on-board air.
POWER PLAY: The 6.2L engine and 6-speed transmission are a vast improvement over the 6.0L and 4-speed transmission. They do an admirable job of propelling the 6,614 lb. truck. They contribute to the H2's decent 8,200 lb. max trailer tow capacity. The 6.2L engine is fed from a 32-gallon fuel tank so the rig has a righteous cruising range, too. We'd love to install this engine/trans in our project Trailhugger H3. Just thought we'd mention that.
GADGETS AND GIZMOS: As we've already said, the H2 has plenty of luxury items, but one of our favorites was the full screen navigation system that incorporates SiriusXM NavTraffic. This neat service currently covers 80 metro areas and can alert you of traffic problems ahead. It tells you where and how bad the problem is on your route. You can then press an "avoid" button to create a new route if you wish.
BOTTOM LINE: What didn't we like? Well, the blingy 20-inch chrome wheels and the streety 305/60R20 tires top the list. Yuck. We also still find rear visibility a tad challenging, though the backup camera really helps.
Ultimately we used the H2 as a farm truck to haul fencing supplies out into the Back 40, and we used it as a toy to explore some local 4x4-only dirt roads. It hauled us to numerous 4WD shops to photograph installs and it hauled us to Missouri. The H2 is a fantastic highway vehicle that provides the same high level of refinement and ride quality as you'd expect out of any other luxury brand. However, unlike most other luxury SUVs, the H2 has incredible, above average off-highway capability. With the aforementioned approach angle, great departure and rampover angles, an Eaton electric rear locker and a 39.7:1 crawl ratio, it really is at home on the trail. We still think it's the most capable fullsize SUV out there.