Hummer H2 – 2008 First Drive: Imagine a party attended by the Who’s Who among the luxury suv elite. Range Rover’s there in his tailored European ensemble; Escalade, or Slade, flexes his muscle in a black tux while rappin’ for the crowd, and Navigator, well, he’s been asked to keep off the sauce, sit on the curb, and prepare to give the inebriated guests rides home. And then there’s H2 in a blue polyester getup from his high school prom, entering not through the front door like everyone else, but instead climbing the fire escape ladder to the roof, shimmying down the elevator shaft, and then crawling to the main room on his hands and knees ... after a deep exhale to air down.
H2 is the Rodney Dangerfield of the group – crass and adamant about choosing the path less traveled. At least it has been.
For 2008, Hummer swaps out the H2’s cheap and cheesy interior, bowing to demands for a significant bump in refinement. Borrowing cues from upscale versions of GM’s new full-size trucks, there’s a more elegant gathering of controls and instruments, an abundance of soft-touch and padded surfaces, more comfortable seats, and even the addition of a few steel and alloy bits where plastic once resided. To top it off, there are an extra 68 horses and 50 lb.-ft. of torque to move the more sophisticated package. An extra $500 on the sticker price is one of the few side effects.
A healthy dose of refinement and more grunt under the hood are welcome changes, but head down the paved road and its all Rodney, with vague steering and handling. Off road is another story, but that’s always been the case with the H2.
Better overall, with new dress on the inside, but still lacking the requisite finesse of a luxury SUV. That, in a nutshell, is the 2008 Hummer H2.
In an effort to broaden appeal beyond the H1, General Motors developed the smaller and more mainstream H2, which originally went on sale in 2002. Based on GM’s full-size truck architecture, the H2 married the style of the user-unfriendly H1 with everyday drivability. A pickup version, named the H2 SUT, debuted in 2005.