What it Is
2009 Hummer H3T Alpha Preview – Chicago Auto Show: Rumors of an H3 with a truck bed have abounded ever since the SUV was introduced. Turns out the rumors were true. The H3T boast five passenger seating and a five-foot truck bed big enough for dirt bikes, a snowmobile or the good ol’ sheet of plywood. Alpha versions will also be available, with GM’s 5.3-liter V-8 engine providing enough grunt for 5,900 pounds of towing capacity.
Why it Matters
It’s wrong to call the H3T a compact pickup, or even a mid-size, as Hummer points out that it’s bigger than its mid-size competitors, but smaller than a full-size. It’s mostly aimed at Hummer fans who want a little extra utility, but don’t want to make the stretch to the H2 SUT.
What’s Under the Hood
The engine choices for the H3T are the same as those for the full-bodied H3. Base models get the lackluster 3.7-liter inline-5, while Alphas get the 5.3-liter V-8 with 300 horsepower. It also comes standard with full-time four-wheel drive, with of course user-selectable low range for off-road duties.
What it Looks Like
It looks, well, it looks like an H3 with a truck bed. From the rear it looks a lot like a Chevrolet Colorado on steroids, not too surprising considering that the H3 is based on GM’s small truck platform. Overall the H3 makes a better looking pickup than its larger H2 cousin. The bed-to-cab ratio is better here, and the H3’s bulldog stance makes it look even more aggressive than its bigger brother.
Obviously, there’s no longer accessible cargo room behind the second row of seats in the H3T’s five-passenger cabin. Of course, there’s a much more useable truck bed there now...try fitting a dirt bike in the back of a regular H3. Otherwise the cabin is standard issue H3, with the same redesigned dash and upgraded materials introduced for the 2007 model year.
What Hummer Says
This is, ultimately, a minor addition to Hummer’s lineup, more of a rounding-out than a full-blown new intro. Still, Hummer officials are understandably excited. Take Martin Walsh, Hummer’s general manager, who says: “With its unique size and HUMMER traits, the H3T is ideal for the customer who works hard and plays harder. It offers the combination of truck versatility and HUMMER off-road prowess that delivers customers to the trail in style.”
What We Think
The H3T fills out the Hummer range, but only in a small niche. That’s OK though, since Hummer buyers are in a niche themselves. We’ve driven H3 Alphas with the V-8, and while it’s better than the smaller engine by far, it doesn’t give you the big kick in the pants you expect from a V-8 engine...we blame the four-speed transmission. Still, if you like the H3 but need to haul a dirt bike or ATV, this might just be the vehicle for you.
By Keith Buglewicz
Photo credit: Hummer