In the first decade of the new millennium, the demand for a vehicle that had the off-road performance of the big guys but came in a smaller package gave rise to General Motors’ midsize SUV, the Hummer H3. With its undercarriage fully protected and its 9.7 inches of clearance, the Hummer H3 became a popular vehicle during its production years, from 2005 to 2010.
The first Hummer H3 had 3.5-liter, 220-hp engines that produced 225 lb-ft of torque. Two transmission options were available a five-speed manual and a four-speed automatic version. As the years progressed, the engine grew to a 3.7-liter, 242-hp powerplant that provided 242 lb-ft of torque in the 2007 model. The 2009 version, however, backed the engine’s numbers down to 239 hp and 241 lb-ft of torque.
For those who look for fuel economy, though, they will not find it in the H3. The manual transmission alone gulped a gallon of gas in only 14 city miles 18 on the open road. Automatic versions with larger engines, available during the H3’s latter years, gulped even more gasoline.
Its four-wheel drive system, however, was where the vehicle earned its keep. It could cross 24 inches of water, and its breakover angles allowed the vehicle to climb a 16-inch vertical wall, as well as to handle vertical grades of 60% and 40% on side slopes.
The vehicle came with recovery hooks in the front and the rear. A trailer hitch was optional. Manual transmission H3s so equipped could haul 3000 pounds, while the automatic version could haul a stunning 4500 pounds.
With its anti-lock four-wheel brakes, traction control, and electronic stability control system, the Hummer H3 featured an average set of safety features for its time. The Hummer H3 was, however, the perfect small vehicle for off-road driving. For those who want a high-performance vehicle on the smaller side, pre-owned models are still available.