Remember way back when Arnold Schwarzenegger got his hands on a military vehicle? Those were odd times, American was at war, and some famous actor/former body builder wanted one of the vehicles used in war. So he got a street legal one built for him. After he got that one built for him it was all down hill. Other famous people began wanting one too, and then average Joe’s wanted them as well. Thats where the whole Hummer brand starts.
After the questionable success of the original Hummer, AM General knew that there was a potential market for their vehicles. So, the Hummer H2 was launched in 2002 by AM General. The front half of the frame was GM 2500, whilst the rear half was GM 1500. In all reality its basically a beefed up Tahoe frame. The engine was also borrowed from GM, it was their 6.0L that came in 1500 and 2500 trucks.
All of these GM parts made the Hummer H2 fairly easy to work on, and fairly reliable. The GM parts also made it much more friendly for the average consumer than the original Hummer was.
The Hummer H3 brought massive change to the Hummer brand. The original Hummer and the H2 were both ridiculously massive SUV’s. In order to become more consumer friendly, it was decided to down size the next Hummer. I can remember it like it was yesterday. The commercials about the down sizing of the all new H3. Quite frankly it was pretty gimmicky, but then again so was the entire Hummer brand at the time.
Much like the H2, the H3 was built on top of GM components. The H3 chassis is borrowed from the Colorado and Canyon. The Canyon and Colorado were just like the H3, they were relatively small vehicles in their class. The 6.0L V8 was replaced by a rather odd 3.5L inline-5. Later down the line the 3.5L was replaced by a 3.7L, and in 2008 an optional 5.3L V8 from the Chevy Tahoe was added.
H2 vs H3: Exterior
Obviously since the H3 was down sized from the H2, the exterior was also redesigned. The odd thing is, as different as they look, they actually look the same. A lot of times when a sequel is introduced to a car, the sequel is either uglier, doesn’t represent the original, or both. But, the Hummer managed a way around that. While these vehicle have very different proportions, they look so similar. You can really get a sense of family looking at these two.
The Hummer H2 quite honestly isn’t the best looking SUV in the book. It’s extremely massive, and have very few curves or body lines. Its basically just a giant box on wheels. But, this was done so it actually looked like a successor to the original Hummer, which was also very boxy.
The Hummer H3 on the other hand is actually somewhat good looking. While it is still very boxy, it was rounded off quite a bit. The body was downsized significantly, but the wheel arches poke out of the body a huge amount. This gives the H3 a really muscular look. Honestly, it looks meaner, leaner, and more muscular than the H2.
I know for a lot of people, the outside looks of a vehicle aren’t that big of a deal. It if was a big deal you wouldn’t see half the cars that are on the road today. But, for the people who do care what their car looks like, the H3 is the obvious winner here. I know that this is very subjective, but the H3 is so much better looking than any Hummer before it.
H2 vs H3: Suspension
Do you remember the one super weird thing about the original Hummer?Thats right, it used fully independent suspension. All other heavy duty vehicles at the time were solid axle rear, and a lot of them were also solid axle front.
Remember earlier when I told you that the front of the Hummer H2’s frame was a GM 2500? The front suspension is also GM 2500. GM uses a torsion bar suspension setup in the front of all their trucks. I honestly don’t know why they use torsion bars, but thats a discussion for a different time. The rear suspension was sourced from the Chevy Tahoe, but with upgraded air bags to replace the standard coil springs. This was done to increase ride quality while still giving it great towing/hauling capabilities. The H2 was much different than the original Hummer in the fact that it used a solid rear axle. That solid rear is sourced from a GM pickup truck, making it pretty strong.
The Hummer H3 is also based entirely on a GM product underneath. The H3 uses its front, and rear suspension from the Canyon/Colorado chassis. The rear suspension was changed from air bag, to leaf spring. This helped bring costs down significantly while still keeping the decent towing capacity.
H2 vs H3: Power Train
The original Hummer came with a Detroit diesel. That engine was loud, slow, and expensive to maintain. Some of the original Hummers had a gas engine, but it seems like most of them were diesel.
When the H2 came along, that diesel engine was completely ditched in favor of the 6.0L V8. The 6.0L V8 was borrowed from GM. Its your typically GM truck engine which is based off of the LS engine family. The 6.0L was the largest engine available at the time through GM. Its a stout engine, pushing out an impressive 325 horsepower. That 325 horsepower pushes the H2 from 0-60 in a surprisingly unimpressive 10.7 seconds, not to shabby!
Like I mentioned earlier, the H3 is based mostly off of the Canyon/Colorado. Since its based off of those trucks, it also received the power plant of those trucks. Its a 3.5L inline-5, that produces 220 horsepower. That 3.5L was later replaced by a 3.7L inline-5 which produced 242 horsepower. An optional 5.3L V8 was offered in 2008, and bumped power output up to an impressive 300 horsepower.
Heres the bottom line; the H2 has a 6.0L V8, and the H3 has an inline-5 with an optional 5.3L V8. All engines are sourced directly from GM trucks.
H2 vs H3: Cost
One of the single most important factors when purchasing a vehicle is obviously the price. We are all strictly limited by money, so which one is better lb/dollar? The H2 or the H3? Well, one thing you have to understand before judging either vehicle, is that one is luxury SUV, and the other isn’t. The H2 was designed to be a luxury SUV, that why it has air bag rear suspension and lots of other unnecessary features. The H3 was designed more for the average consumer and is much less of a luxury SUV. With that out of the way, lets look at prices for both.
In 2008, a base model H2 was north of $53,000! Thats quite a lot for a vehicle thats 90% Chevy Tahoe. The H3 on the other hand was about $33,000 for a base model. Thats right, a different of $20,000+. That $20k difference is what make the H2 a luxury SUV and the H3 a consumer SUV.
H2 vs H3: Summary
As you might have noticed by now, the Hummer family gets smaller and more efficient the farther down the line it goes. The original Hummer sucked up fuel like crazy, the H2 improved upon that, and the H3 perfected it.
Heres how I look at it, the H2 is a massive boxy SUV that is basically just a Tahoe with a different body and different interior. The H3 is based off of a pickup truck but is obviously an SUV. The H3 also looks better than an H2, and is more efficient at nearly everything. In my opinion the H3 is better in nearly every where, plus its way cheaper. What do you think? Let me know in the comments below!