2009 Hummer H3T Obstacle CourseThis article was originally published in blog:
What is it about the Hummer that draws your eye and makes you want to find a mud puddle or a bunch of rocks to climb over? Sure, in the back of your mind you might still think “gas guzzler” or “tank” when you think about the Hummer brand, but are those even fair anymore with the new H3T design and layout? Times are a bit rought right now for Hummer sales, can a new offering help boost sales?
2009 Hummer H3T Mid-sized Pickup - after coming down a 60% grade.
The newest Hummer for 2009 is the open short-box Hummer H3T mid-sized (really a ¾-size ) truck and it might change your mind (and sell to boot) and get you thinking “I’ve got to pickup some stuff from the hardware store today and go hunting next weekend. ”
I was invited along with other hacks – err journalists – to the shadows of the Texas Motor Speedway, just north of Fort Worth, last month to put a H3T through it’s paces. They actually built a fair obstacle course on the grounds outside the Speedway and they let us tear through it as it was designed to showcase what makes the H3 a solid off-road vehicle.
It proved that the H3T truck isn’t just a pickup truck with decent off-road capability, but it’s been designed first as a serious off-road vehicle designed with comfort, power and payload in mind. It looks like they hit their mark.
Getting in and Starting Out
Getting into a vehicle is always a different experience for everyone; however there are still categories that it’s all too easy to put folks into. Being in that ever mysterious big-and-tall category myself, I found the H3T to be very comfortable although it is still a H3, so for me it was still a little cramped inside.
Watch for the optional sunroof and the different power seating options as they can rob you of some space, but overall I was able to clearly read the instrument cluster, get easy access to all the bells and whistles and had good visibility overall (a complaint I had on the 2008 Hummer H3 (review >>) in general).
2009 Hummer H3T Mid-sized Pickup - Hill Assist kicks in with the press of the brake pedal.
2009 Hummer H3T Mid-sized Pickup - with rear and optional front-locking differentials
Driving through the course it became clear that the H3 technology is designed to keep you moving and as stuck-free as possible when traversing rough terrain. Among it’s capabilities include being able to cross a two-foot deep stream, climb a 16-inch vertical step, lock both the rear and front differentials when in a traction-reduced environment, scale a 60% grade, hold your position and take off again easily with Hill Assist and several other goodies.
2009 Hummer H3T Mid-sized Pickup - easily tackle vertical steps or rocks
The design of the H3T is worth noting as well. The standard cab has seats for five adults and the bed is a standard five-feet. The bed itself is designed like other new full-size GM pickups, complete with a cargo management system. You can even get a full-line of options through the special Hummer partner program, including a pretty cool Bedslide cargo unit designed specifically for the H3T.
What about the gas mileage?
Ok, this surprised me. The MPG numbers are about the same for other trucks of this type. It's listed at 14/18 city/highway, which isn't terrible if you're actually going to use the vehicle for work or play ... and considering it can go places that other vehicles in this class can't go then you might actually be surprised a bit.
Needless to say, (and as the photos show) the Hummer H3T can definitely fill the bill for a rugged work truck that can double for a fun off-road recreational vehicle with a very useful pickup truck bed to boot. It should be perfectly at home in the mountains, at the slopes, hauling a boat to the lake or just going to the hardware store.
H3T Obstacle Course Photo Album (courtesy of GM)