Thursday, September 27, 2007

2008 Hummer H3 Review

Even when the model was first introduced two years ago, it was obvious that the smallest vehicle in Hummer's line-up was woefully underpowered. The 2008 Hummer H3 changes that - sort of. The base model still comes with a 3.7 liter, 242 horsepower five-cylinder in-line Vortec engine that provides 242 pounds/feet of torque. More exciting, however, is the souped up H3 Alpha, which has a 5.3 liter, 295 horsepower V8 engine, offering 317 pounds/feet of torque and 6,000 pounds of towing capacity (3,000 for the base model.) All H3's come standard with four-wheel-drive, traction control, and stability control, and a choice of either an automatic or manual transmission.

Inside the H3, there is little that is different from last year's model. The front seats are still bucket-style, while the back seat is a fairly standard 60/40 split bench, which means total occupancy is five people. While heated leather seats are an optional upgrade, cloth upholstery is standard, except for the steering wheel, which is wrapped in perforated leather. In the Alpha, there are "Alpha" badges on the front head restraints, and over the horn.

Other features of the 2008 Hummer H3 include remote entry, and three power outlets, as well as a basic AM/FM Radio/CD player. Available upgrades include a Monsoon sound system with a six CD changer, and the addition of either OnStar or a DVD-based navigational system.

Standard safety features include side-curtain airbags as well as anti-lock brakes and a tire-pressure monitoring system, as well as an optional rear-view camera, if the GPS system is purchased as well.

Unlike many SUVs, the 2008 Hummer H3 actually handles quite well off-road, and people who participate in off-road activities may want to know that this year's model can cross 16 inches of water at 20 mph, or, if it slows to 5 mph, it can ford water up to 2 feet deep.

Starting MSRPs are $30,080 for the base model H3, and $38,645 for the Alpha.

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