How Hummers Work

Hummer Options

Evander Holyfield's Hummer
Evander Holyfield's Hummer
Vince Bucci/Getty Images

The Hummer H2 is longer than, but not as wide as the H1, and the H3 is the smallest vehicle under the brand name so far. Even so, you can't describe the H3 as dainty -- it's 85.5 inches (7.1 feet) wide and 186.7 inches (15.6 feet) long. Drivers who love the series find the size empowering, while other drivers often feel intimidated when they encounter such gargantuan vehicles.

The Hummer line is not known for its fuel efficiency. Various models of the Hummer H1 reportedly averaged at around 10 miles per gallon [source:]. Peter Ternes, Hummer's director of global product communications, said that the H2 got 12 miles to the gallon [source: AOL Autos]. The H3 fares the best with 15 mpg city/19 mpg highway. There's also the experimental H2H, a hydrogen-powered Hummer, but because there's no hydrogen fuel infrastructure in the United States, it's not likely to be commercially available soon.

As the Hummer brand has evolved over the last few years, General Motors has introduced more options catering to customer comfort. The earliest commercial Hummer vehicles were only a little more comfortable than their military Hummer counterparts were. The appeal of the vehicle was in its off-road capabilities, not its style or amenities. The biggest concession to customer comfort was air conditioning, something many military Hummers lack.

Current Hummer vehicles have more appealing options like chrome finishing, leather seating, heated windshields, remote keyless entry, power windows and cruise control. You can buy an H3 Hummer with satellite radio and heated seats if you like. Other options cater to rugged outdoorsy types -- winches, off-road hardware, tool kits and trailer hitches are available.

As amenities have increased, the price of Hummers has actually gone down. The original Hummer's price was more than $100,000. The first H2 vehicles were also expensive, though now a 2008 H2 Hummer will cost you about $55,500. The H3 is the most affordable model -- a 2008 H3 is priced between $30,000 and $39,000.


In the next section, we'll look at how Hummers have impacted our culture.