Hummer H2 in urban attack mode

Hummer H2 in urban attack mode

A lot can be said about the epic Hummer H2 on the rocks and in the desert. But what about inside the city? How the heck can those tiny men and big women owning these things manage on a daily basis? We finally found out, thanks to GM lending us their tank for four days.

There are some exterior details that can only be noticed once you examine the H2 closely. Check out the rubber bonnet straps, the chrome-engraved mirror housing, the plastic side vents and the cheap non-retractable antenna. Interestingly, the lower metal-looking pieces on the front and rear bumpers are actually real metal, ready to crush rocks.

See how much of a standard parking space the H2 eats up. At a shopping mall lot, there was so little space left to open the door that I had to wait until the car parked next to me moved out of the way. Some simple slide-in parking manoeuvres may also require three-point turns. And the tall roof-bars barely clear the ceiling in some underground parking lots.

Our H2 came outfitted with various chrome pieces, including shiny side-steps. We usually abhor side-steps in an off-roader, but in this case, we would’ve suffered injuries trying to clamber onto the H2 without them.

The new higher-quality interior really is a huge improvement over the hilariously-cheap previous design, with much more soft-touch surfaces and better leather than any other GM-brand 4WD, such as the H3 or the Tahoe. However, GM continues to install that fire-extinguisher in the dumbest of locations for GCC-spec vehicles, making front-passenger legroom more cramped than in an Aveo.

Check out the cloth-rubber floor mats, which have raised rubber edges to hold in water and crap. Not that they totally save other areas from getting messy.

The third row is still cramped, but it still fits medium-sized adults in a semi-comfortable position, surprisingly enough. Access to the back, however, is a back-breaking mountain-climb over various obstacles.

Opening the rear tailgate, which now comes with a standard rear-mounted spare tyre, is a real chore that took a while to figure out. You have to first determine how to remove a metal safety-cable, then pull a heavy-duty latch to swing the tyre to the side, and then pull up the heavy tailgate. I can totally see semi-rich owners breaking nails doing this, damaging nearby cars in the process. After all that, the third-row seats stare at you, taking up space since they fold, but don’t disappear into the floor. You have to remove them and leave those heavy seats at home if you want a truly flat cargo area.

In the inside of the cargo area, we noticed this button, which we assume is a cool built-in feature to inflate tyres and beach-balls after a desert workout. We didn’t try it though, as we don’t know where to find the hose-pipe to use it. The H2 is also loaded with other cool features, such as a rear DVD player, navigation, rear-camera and more.

This mini-review about daily life with the Hummer H2 may sound like a whine-fest, but the truth is the H2 should be used sparingly within city limits. It is just too big and compromised for that. We don’t know how many people we pissed off making stupid manoeuvres across four different cities. There is a Hummer club out there whose magazines are mailed to me by GM, and I respect their outdoor activities. It is the rapper-wannabes and safety-freak moms that get on my nerves. Heck, I felt slightly embarrassed jumping out of this tank each time I parked under my apartment, because it looks like I am trying to compensate for shortages elsewhere.

On that note, the H2 is a great long-distance cruiser and a competent-enough desert runner. Even the fuel economy, while still bad, isn’t as awful as we thought, most likely due to the new 6.2-litre engine. It accelerates, brakes and handles better than expected. It was also a relief that barely anyone honked at us on the road, although many did stare at our orange-red extravagance. In fact, three different people asked us whether it is orange or red.

What do you think?



  1. I liked this review

  2. mash, i liked your detailed review of the H2.
    this car is awesome, i feel, as it is like an all rounder. it is powerful, looks cool, good in desert, spacious, etc. but the only problem would be the high maintenance in the long run.
    😀 😀 😀 😆 😆 😆

  3. I’d definately feel humm-barassed to get in or out of that thing at parking lots. And it sounds like people could win medals for opening its tailgate. why couldnt they just make it a split opening system like the patrol? Mash, wheels had also conducted a test drive of the new h2 and they mentioned it had adjustable rear suspension. A thumbs down from me for the H2. BTW, is that colour orange or…. copper [I can see its not red].

  4. Hi Mash…its nice to see people arguing for their favourite vehicles on your site…(that also technically)…let me admit i am one of those guy who owned a nice car…and out of temptation ended by buying a 4wd.. and i in last six months i tried to go offroading once…got stuck in sand..a local guy came and without any effort he unstuck the 4wd without any help…golden rule…most of the time its the problem with driver not vehicle…

    i have two queries…i am not satisfied with one road smoothness of 4wd…at first i thought it was my vehicle that had problem but soon found out that all 4wd users have same complaints..

    Mash what happens if i remove the big tires of my 4wd and try to put the smallest and thinest one that can fit on the rims..will it bring smoothness to ride as i have seen cars have such thin and weak tires still they run so smooth…

    Again more confusing is the fact i have seen that big ugly looking ballon like tires on Landcrusiers and Patrols that go on desert safari’s and even on road…do people put them for show…does it bring on road smoothness… if yes why don’t manufactures put those type of tires on 4×4’s

    Also is it possible that we can replace the stiff schock absorbers on 4×4 with soft ones..will it have any impact on vehicle handling? Waiting for your answer.. a stupid who sold his nice saloon car and fell into 4wd trap?

  5. Author

    Putting smaller tyres will actually make your ride worse. Bigger tyres, like those balloon tyres (assuming they fit) actually make the ride smoother, but such off-road tyres are not good for high-speed road driving, which is why half those guys with speeding Land Cruisers die soon enough. The fundamental suspension design makes truck-based 4WDs ride rougher, and you cannot change that. You can put SLIGHTLY larger tyres (to avoid fitment issues) to improve your comfort, but choices of aftermarket shocks vary too wildly for me to comment on that issue.

    Boris, yes there seems to be some sort of air suspension in the H2. The full review will come later. I have yet to see a complete review in Wheels.

  6. Ha!Ha! Little man driving big car!!!

  7. i love this monster. but very big for deaily use

  8. Seems i have to live with giant for few years…its best not to modify it..who know it will end up worse.

  9. Mash…thanks for your advice and time…

  10. 4wd, don’t be so sad of having an suv. the bad issues that you can find from those SUVs while driving on paved street will definitely improve your ( cars / sport cars) driving skills.
    my first car was a small saloon and stayed with me for 4 years, unfortunately , I got nothing new to improve my driving, but now after buying a very big SUVs, I find driving my brother’s accord is easier than riding a bicycle, i can do a lot more with controlling and handling on any saloon even a Crown Vic or a Caprice…

    and about offroading, you should remember to keep the engine’s revs between 3000-4000rpm to get the best torque and also never stop the vehicle on smooth sandy areas whatever happens.

  11. Hmm..Thanks assassin..anyway since i have spent so much on buying a 4wd i will learn desert driving course and do some offroading … use the 4wd to max before selling…then after 5 yrs maybe buy a camry as vehicle for life…phew…

  12. You dont have to buy a sedan… let alone, one the size of camry. buy cars with short overhangs. Dubai’s car population is increasing at a high rate. cars like tiidas, Kia souls, and other such cars will be more fun [also sensible] to own by that time. Things go out of fashion when there is too much of it. And clearly, sedans are very plentiful here and hence considered out of fashion.

  13. H 4wd guy, im sorry you dont like your 4wd, i love mine, makes me wonder what make and model SUV that you’ve got?? and believe me after driving suvs for over 4 years, had a cross over before i bought a truck based suv, i can never go back to a car, like the feeling of sitting higher up and driving as opposed to sitting on the road, pun intended…

  14. 4wd must have got a truck SUV from the start. crossover SUVs are better for people who like small cars cuz their handling is more car like compared to truck based ones. buy a nissan qashqai. Or maybe sportage if you’re in for 5 year warranty

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