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Review: 2009 Hummer H3T
What’s New: The 2009 Hummer H3T is a midsize four-door pickup added to the Hummer H3 line for 2009. The Hummer H3T comes standard with a 3.7-liter inline-5 engine with a manual five-speed transmission or optional four-speed automatic. The Hummer four-door pickup also comes in an Alpha version powered by a 5.3-liter V-8 with the automatic four-speed.
What We Think: Out of the box, there is no midsize truck on the market today more trail capable, and its on-pavement handling outshines much of the competition. But a higher price point and an uncompetitive V-8 in the midsize 4WD truck segment will keep away all but the hardcore trail runners and those seeking an image of adventure.
Overview: 2009 Hummer H3T
Hummer enters the midsize truck market with the 2009 Hummer H3T, a 4WD crew cab pickup. The H3T is a derivative of the H3 from the front, but the back of the four-door pickup is all new. However, while the truck is capable and comfortable to drive, a base price that starts at $5,000 more than the competition will make it a hard sell for those not looking for Hummer styling or trail capability.
The H2 rocketed to stardom as celebs fitted them with 24-inch wheels and equally huge subwoofers and drove them in music videos and to red carpet events. But as the Hummer gained street cred, it lost the respect of enthusiasts, and soon videos of trail stranded H2s were popping up across the internet.
As gas prices soared, the H2 became enemy number one to environmental groups as vehicles and dealerships were vandalized in the name of Mother Earth. Next, celebrities who bought the Hummer to improve their image began auctioning them off and donating the money to green causes to gain even more publicity.
When a vehicle line has such iconic looks, how do you distinguish the rest of the line in a way that allows it to be judged on its own, not by how its predecessor was received?
You go back to the people the line was intended for to begin with -- at least that's what the folks at Hummer say they intend to do. Using phrases like "niche market," "outdoor adventure," and "lifestyle choices," Hummer seems to be steering its new H3T midsize truck toward the right crowd. Still, it will take more than the limited enthusiast market to support a new vehicle, and Hummer has packed in quite a bit of utility to help it appeal to the masses.
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