2003 H2 Hummer
This article is from our archives and has not been updated and integrated with our "new" site yet... Even so, it's still awesome - so keep reading!
Published on Wed, Oct 2, 2002
By: The LACar Editorial Staff
ALL NEW 2003 HUMMER H2: GM HAS CIVILIZED THE BEAST
By HARVEY SCHWARTZ All Photos & Â© by Harvey Schwartz
It's been 10-years since
American General, maker of the famous US Army Spec Hummer
lightweight 4X4 vehicle, first brought out a street-legal version H1
because of a growing demand from consumers for maximum off-road capability,
no matter the price. Three years
ago, General Motors entered into an agreement to manufacture a version of the
H1 that would be slightly smaller in size, keep most of its awesome off-road
capability, give a more compliant and comfortable ride, plus treat the passengers
inside to all the conveniences and luxuries offered in premium sport utility
vehicles. GM has done a superb job
of growing the Hummer family of off-road warriors.
I write that the H1 Hummer is a beast - mainly because of its size, weight and girth. GM has added more interior comfort and amenities to today's H1 but it is still huge with a track of 72 inches and overall width of 86.5 inches, while riding on a wheelbase of 130in. It is difficult to park and drive on conventional roads. The Hummer H1 comes with a 6.5liter Turbo Diesel V8 that is noisy and takes up most of the front center space on the inside. Weighing in at whopping 7154lbs. for the four-door wagon, this heavyweight champion makes maneuvering very cumbersome and tricky. But it can go off-road like no other vehicle. With a ground clearance of 16in. there's no stopping the H1. Prices start at $80,000.00.
the H2, expanding the product lineup and making the brand more accessible to
more buyers with a slightly scaled down, more civilized version of the H1 that's
every bit as rugged and every inch a Hummer.
After testing the Hummer H2 on the streets and highways around Los Angeles,
and off-road in the dry
The H2's exterior styling is extremely daring, attention getting, and comes with a standard front tubular grille guard. It's instantly recognizable as belonging to a highly exclusive brand, at the top of its class in off-road performance. The H2's look and feel convey the sense of power, authority and complete control that special consumers seek. "In practical terms, the rugged individualist will be more likely to take the H2 off-road and exploit all capabilities," said Marc Hernandez, H2 marketing director. The successful achiever is more likely to drive it on-road as a symbol of his daring and success.
The H2 is powered by a standard
Vortec 6.0-liter V8, mated to a new HD 4L65-E four-speed automatic overdrive
transmission with best-in-class power and performance.
The Vortec 6000 generates 315 hp/360 lb.ft. of torque.
The 4L65-E provides GM's driver-selectable Tow-Haul mode when the transfer
case is in the Ã…â€™4 Hi' modes. The
H2 also features a standard, powertrain-integrated Borg-Warner 2-speed electrically
controlled full-time 4WD system. It
is capable of further reducing the vehicle's gear ratios by 2.64:1 when necessary,
for highly controlled obstacle climbing.
It provides a 40/60 front-to-rear torque split in 4WD-Ã…â€™Hi Open' or when
the differentials are unlocked, and a 50/50 front-to-rear power split, when
the transfer case differential is locked.
The transfer case electronic control provides 5-mode selections, including
rear axle differential lock, to provide optimum performance under all types
of driving conditions. All 4X4 gear
changes are by push-button actuation with shift-on-the-fly for all 4WD Hi Modes.
The large aluminum and leather-wrapped gear selector is mounted on the
center console for easy access and easy use.
A highly developed Bosch 4-channel ABS/Traction Control System (TCS) provides optimum control on slippery surfaces. In addition, the ABS can detect and adjust its braking capabilities to rough off-road surfaces like gravel and potholes. The TCS also provides new-for-GM capabilities, including the ability to gain traction through a single wheel, if necessary. A new feature, controlled through a separate driver control switch is the TC2 function. This provides for more wheel slip in the traction control mode for sand and desert racing conditions. The steel disc brakes on the H2 are big, 12.8 inches up front and 13 inches in the rear with dual piston calipers at each wheel. Dynamic rear brake proportioning keeps the braking even when you have a load of extra weight in the back or when towing.
The H2 has a 122.8-inch
wheelbase that helps smooth out the ride on freeway cruises; while off-road
it helps prevent pitching in rough terrain.
The H2's 69.4-inch tread width, with wheels truly positioned at the extreme
corners, provides extra stability on-road and helps prevent lateral tipping
off-road. Its extremely short overhangs,
including a 32.6-inch front overhang and 34.6-inch rear overhang, provide high
approach and departure angles, allowing H2 to drive right into a hole and out
again without getting hung up in front or rear.
These approach and departure angles are the highest of any GM full-size
truck. The H2 rides on giant LT315/70R17-inch
all-terrain tires that are wrapped around 17X10-inch cast aluminum wheels.
Driving and parking the H2 was the same experience as when I tested the
new Chevy Suburban. It fits into
all parking spaces and average sized garages.
A fully-welded ladder-type
frame, with a modular, 3-piece design that incorporates a number of hydroformed
components, offers outstanding strength, stiffness and dimensional accuracy.
All body panels are made of 2-sided, galvanized, extra-thick, steel sheet
A standard independent front torsion bar and 5-link coil spring rear suspension provides excellent on-road comfort and control, and a high degree of strength, control and rear-axle articulation off-road. Front and rear stabilizer bars help keep the front and rear of the H2 flat when going into turn's on-road. Its solid rear axle ensures durable surefootedness, particularly in tight off-road situations. A new optional self-leveling rear air spring suspension is tuned to H2's severe off-road requirements. When way off-road and climbing over rocks, the underside is protected with large, thick skid plates, an undershield for the fuel tank, chassis-bolted steel rocker panel protectors, a protective shield for the optional on-board air compressor, and large mud flares for the wheels. The H2 also comes with a full complement of tow hooks for exceptional pulling capabilities-2-thick front stationary tow hooks and 2-extra thick, swiveling tow hooks in the rear.
H2 interior features big and comfortable front bucket seats with standard 8-way
power adjustments for the front seat cushions, and back, plus a standard memory
feature for the driver's seat that allows 2-drivers to select and set their
preferred positions. The instrument
cluster is straight-ahead easy to see and understand.
All buttons, switches and dials are easy to reach, operate, and all are
full-illuminated for safe nighttime traveling.
The front bucket seats and rear 60/40 split bench seat come standard
in cloth with vinyl inserts, while the optional leather seats get heated seat
backs and cushions with three temperature settings, and second row occupants
get heated cushions. The electronically
controlled heating, ventilation and A/C (HVAC) system provides fast warm-ups
and cool-downs and an amazing degree of individualized front-seat comfort.
The standard dual-zone front controls, for example, allow the driver
and front passenger to set individual temperatures with as much as 25-degree
difference. Audio choices include
a selection of premium, high-quality sound systems, and a standard 9-speaker
Bose AM-FM stereo/in-dash six-CD player audio system with separate passenger
controls for second row listening pleasure through standard earphones.
All sound systems provide next-generation audio configurations and include
Radio Data Systems (RDS) technology. A
LED readout 'Driver
H2 safety features include
standard front airbags, 4-way adjustable headrests, arm rests, and comfortable,
seatback-mounted lap-shoulder belts for front passengers; lap and B pillar-mounted
shoulder belts for second row outboard passengers and a lap belt for the center
passenger; a seat-mounted lap-shoulder belt and adjustable headrest for the
optional third-row seat, child-safety locks in the rear doors, Daytime Running
Lamps let other drivers know where you are at all times and weather conditions,
front/rear crush zones, steel side-impact beams in each door, Remote-Keyless-Entry,
and a standard ONSTAR System. OnStar
is the nation's leading provider of in-vehicle safety, security and information
services using the Global Positioning System (GPS) satellite network and wireless
technology. OnStar services include
automatic notification of airbag deployment, stolen vehicle location, remote
door unlock, emergency services dispatch, roadside assistance, remote diagnostics,
route support, convenience services and OnStar Concierge.
Virtual Advisor gives subscribers access to personalized information
in a hands free, voice-activated manner with no screens or displays.
The wide range of civilized
and extra rugged features makes the H2 a full-sized SUV with unprecedented versatility.
It is a Hummer through and true, particularly in terms of capabilities
on rough terrain, but with an air of civility and refinement previously unheard
of in a vehicle with such capabilities.
If you want to own and ride
the new 'king of the Hill' in off-road vehicles, yet also want to maintain your
comfort and other creature features, the all-new 2003 GM Hummer H2 is the one
to test drive.
The only downside to owning
the H2 is the poor fuel mileage because of its high curb weight and tremendous
off-road capability, but the H2's 6.0liter Vortec V8 runs on less expensive
87 octane unleaded fuel.
I had a great time driving
the all-new H2 Hummer on and off-road and so will you.
The H2 is a confidence builder when you're chasing those off-road adventures.
Prices for the H2 Hummer start at only $51,000.00, not bad for the new 'king of the Hill'.