First introduced for the 2003 model year and with little significant change since then, the 2008 Hummer H2 is still king of the road in terms of appearance and off road functionality. Originally based upon the Hummer H1 designed for military use, the H2 is a smaller version but still a large SUV that offers the exceptional ability to go pretty much anywhere and do just about anything with either 5 or 7 passengers depending upon whether or not the optional two passenger third row seat is installed. Yet with all its bulk and brawn, the H2 is an exceptionally comfortable mobile office and very passenger friendly.
Compared to last year's model, the H2 has retained its distinctive tank like design and platform, but the interior has been revised with some premium quality materials that provide a modestly extravagant fit and finish, more comfortable seating and a center console area large enough to securely set up a laptop computer. Safety upgrades include more airbags, including full length side curtain airbags. In addition a two passenger third row seat is available to increase passenger capacity from 5 to 7. There are 3 trim levels available starting with the basic H2 which leads up to H2 Adventure and H2 Luxury versions.
The base model H2 is generously equipped with heated and power operated leather seats, the OnStar navigation system, dual-zone automatic climate control system with rear climate controls and a Bose audio system featuring six-disc CD changer and satellite radio. A remote vehicle starter is also included as are underbody skid plates, 17-inch aluminum wheels with all terrain tires. The H2 Adventure model adds a little more off road utility with a self leveling rear air suspension, a front brush guard and both a tool and first aid kit. The H2 Luxury package is the cream of the crop and includes polished aluminum wheels, unique chrome accents, a brushed aluminum roof rack, side steps, a rearview camera, sunroof, a folding two-passenger third-row seat, a rear-seat DVD entertainment system and a premium MP3-compatible Bose surround-sound audio system. Most of the features found on the H2 Luxury model are available as options for the H2 and H2 Adventure models.
All models are powered by a hefty 6.2 liter V8 engine with all wheel drive propelled by a new 6 speed automatic transmission that delivers 393 horsepower. Fuel economy ratings are sketchy, due to the fact that the weight of the vehicle is in excess of 8500 pounds and the EPA does not test vehicles in this category, nor is the manufacturer forced to release fuel economy ratings. However, in several industry expert test drive, the H2 has been rated at approximately 9.5 MPG on the highway. Many drivers may find the 6.5 foot height of the H2 to tall for some parking garages and too massive to easily maneuver around town.
Aside from the obvious difficulties caused by the large size and poor gas mileage disadvantages of the 2008 Hummer H2, this is one SUV that balances luxury with true off road abilities. That may mean you will never be stuck anywhere long enough to really take advantage and appreciate all that the expansive, feature full cabin has to offer, but it sure is nice you could if you needed to.