Posts from ‘Hummer’
We at Consumer Guide often let major anniversaries slip by unnoticed, instead paying undue attention to lesser milestones. In keeping with that fine tradition, we honor the introduction of the poster child for wasteful motoring. And yes — it really has been ten years since you first saw a Hummer H2.
Has a decade really passed since you burst onto the scene?
Dear Mishawaka-built paramilitary machine.
You were conceived as a Humvee, softened for the masses,
but appealed most to guys with mullets and Oakley sunglasses.
With a gross-vehicle weight over eighty-five hundred,
your EPA numbers were never reported.
Though your off-road prowess earned you some serious merit,
noted GM’s Docherty, “You don’t drive an H2, you wear it.”
But as fashion, H2, your appeal just couldn’t last,
as gas shot past three bucks to four bucks too fast.
‘Twas twenty ought three when you were first sold,
and twenty ought nine when your factory went cold.
You were held as example of General Motors gone bad,
and when your time came, too few were sad.
How different now, H2, is GM you might ask.
Well, two Buick Encores wouldn’t fill your roof racks.
- 2009 Hummer H3 Alpha
Also read Did the Pontiac Aztek Get a Bum Rap?
History has been unkind to the Hummer brand, and for the most part, rightly so. It would be hard to point at any General Motors project that better demonstrated a culture of commercial crassness, environmental tone-deafness, and just plain shortsightedness.
And looking back, one has to wonder that after selling an H2 to every guy who bought his Zuba pants and Oakley glasses by the case, who else was going to buy one of these things?
But, I would argue, not every Hummer model was completely absurd.
Yes, the H1 was nothing more than a military-spec patrol vehicle with leather seats. This mechanical extra from a Schwarzenegger movie was far too wide to drive in traffic and extremely cramped inside.
And the H2 was nothing more than a Chevrolet Suburban made stupid. GM essentially took a perfectly good large SUV and added weight, ruined the aerodynamics, and robbed it of nearly all its cargo-carrying capacity. It also painted a bunch of them yellow.
I haven’t had a eureka moment in the car in years. You’d think that someone with a long commute would occasionally, when deep in thought, stumble upon a perfect solution or a brilliant plan—but not so much. Unless you consider remembering to pick up sriracha and Diet Pepsi brilliant, I’m not getting too much mental business done while in transit.
I do spend a lot of time looking at other cars, though. As my memory is still largely intact, I have slowly, over the years, picked up on a number of interesting patterns and truisms that can be applied to traffic and commuters in general. Here I have compiled a list of 10 things that I have found to be either completely true or darn near always true. These are things I’ve noticed during the 600 hours or so I spend each year getting to or from work. Sure you can argue that my time might have been better spent, but you can’t say that I wasn’t paying attention.
Do you have an automotive truism to share? We’d love to hear it.
For decades, SUVs have been promoted as the essential vehicles for camping and any other rigorous outdoor sport. The marketers would have you believe that a normal sedan at Yosemite would be about as welcome as a Hummer at an Earth Day rally. I’ve driven SUVs and sedans on camping trips, and sedans are better.
Most modern sedans have huge trunks. They can easily swallow tents, backpacks, sleeping bags, and any other equipment needed for a camping trip. The extra mass of an SUV doesn’t always translate to more cargo room.
If your campsite is off-road or at the end of a boulder-strewn “4 Wheel Drive Only” road, then you need an SUV. However, more people camp at public campgrounds than on the Rubicon Trail. My gravel alley demands more traction and ground clearance than I’ve ever needed at a state park. Any mild-mannered sedan will have no problem with the terrain of the average campground.