2009 Hummer H3T

2009 Hummer H3T 2009 Hummer H3T
First Drive Review

Hummer sales are up.

That’s right. In spite of skyrocketing oil prices having an inversely proportional effect on Hummer sales in the United States, the brand’s global sales are at an all-time high. This can be attributable to Hummer’s newfound market penetration and accompanying sales growth in the U.K., Japan, Australia, Africa, and— surprise!—the Middle East, each a being place where gas remains cheap or Hummers are still novelties. Or both.

Leading the sales charge is the H3, which shrink-wraps the big H2’s manly form into a package that’s more suitable in size and efficiency for these new markets (heck, all markets). Initially a five-cylinder dog, the H3 has always had much more potential, which began to be realized in the form of the V-8–powered H3 Alpha, and that continues with its new pickup variants, the H3T and the H3T Alpha.

A Hummer Pickup: Bringing Actual Utility to a Sport-Utility Brand

The H3T is little more than an H3 with a 22.3-inch wheelbase stretch to accommodate a separate, composite pickup bed. Forward of the B-pillar, the H3 and the H3T are identical. From the B-pillar back, the H3T features longer doors, a 60/40 flat-folding rear bench seat with more legroom, and, of course, the pickup bed.

It’s a natural fit—the H3’s boxy fuselage is, by design, rather well suited to a boxy bed. Besides featuring visually correct proportions, the H3T offers versatility on par with its mid-size crew-cab competitors, and much more versatility than the small-on-the-inside H3 SUV. At 19.4 inches deep, 44.2 inches wide, and 59.3 inches long, the H3T’s bed is about 10 inches longer than that of the Ford Explorer Sport Trac and roughly the same length as the Honda Ridgeline’s, but it isn’t as wide or deep as either. Neither competitor, however, can touch the H3T’s ground clearance (up to 10.2 inches) and approach or departure angles (as great as 38.7 and 30.9 degrees, respectively), which are as much a measure of versatility as any in the off-road world.

A Kazillion Accessories

Hummer claims the H3T can carry two dirt bikes, a snowmobile, an ATV, or several (tilted) sheets of plywood—all of which, we imagine, will require the tailgate to be left open or removed altogether (Hummer says this is easy to do). The full-size spare is tucked away under the bed, in contrast to that of the silly, pointless H2 SUT, which is mounted on a swing-out rack behind the tailgate. Also unlike the H2 SUT, there is no Midgate that opens the bed into the cabin, but there are smaller compartments in the bed walls for small tools, ropes, and other detritus.

As any pickup owner knows, cargo space is pointless if what you put back there slides around, falls over, or—worse—flies out. So Hummer fits every H3T with bed rails and cargo tie-downs, and a huge array of accessories will allow lots of different drawers, cages, and enclosures to be attached to the bed or the roof.