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Hummer is a line of medium- and full-sized sport utility vehicles and trucks sold by General Motors. The Hummer brand was originally owned by AM General Corporation, and based on the High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) designed for military use. All Hummer vehicles are designed to excel in off-road performance, and have competed in some of the harshest off-road races on the planet, including the Baja 1000 and the Dakar rally.

The original Hummer H1 model was a civilian version of the HMMWV and subsequent models have become more refined and luxurious. Past Hummer H3’s shared platforms with the GMC Canyon and Chevrolet Colorado.

Hummer Controversy

Hummer has become the poster-vehicle du jour for those against vehicles with higher fuel consumption rates, even though General Motors and others have been producing vehicles with the same mileage figures as the Hummer series since 1935. The Hummer H2 is not rated by the EPA, however owners report mileage figures that range between 10 and 15 miles per gallon. These estimates put the Hummer H2 squarely in the range of other full-size pickup trucks and large sport utility vehicles. Much of the Hummer fuel consumption controversy stems from the fact that only a small percentage of Hummer buyers will utilize the off-road capabilities of their vehicle.

The Hummer’s Military Origins

The AM General Corporation designed the original Hummer as a High Mobility Multipurpose Wheeled Vehicle (HMMWV) for military use. AM General had been producing the HMMWVs since 1985. The HMMWV has been used as a troop carrier, towing vehicle, ambulance, missile carrier, general-purpose truck, and scout vehicle. The first Gulf War would propel the original HMMWV into the public spotlight and drive incredible demand for a civilian version both from commercial and private parties. AM General entered the civilian market under the brand name Hummer in 1995 with a vehicle not very different from its military counterparts. The only changes were the addition of comfort and convenience features the original military version lacked.

General Motors purchased the Hummer brand name 1998 and “civilized” the vehicle further with the Hummer H2 and even more so with the H3, which shares platforms with GM’s Chevrolet Colorado and GMC Canyon pickup trucks. The Used Hummer lineup is composed of big strong SUVs.